End and side tables can bring incredible functionality to your home; being able to sit on a couch and comfortably put your book and your drink within arm's reach is nothing short of luxurious.
With a little bit of know-how, you can easily choose end and side tables that are as functional as they are beautiful! Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you do:
How do I know if I need an end table?
End and side tables traditionally go at the sides of couches or next to recliners or chairs in which people will be sitting, snacking, and spending lots of time. Take a look at your room: do you have space at the sides of your sofa or next to your chairs? Do you spend a lot of time relaxing and find that you have remotes, snacks, or other accoutrements that need a home?
If the answer is 'yes', then a side table might be just what you need. Read on for a guide as to the size, style, and price of a good end or side table.
What size of end or side tables should I get, and how do I measure for that?
To find the best size of side tables for your sofa or chair, you should start by considering the sofa or chair itself! Measure the height of the arm and the depth of the sofa, chair, or couch (the distance from the very back of the couch to the front).
Ideally, your side table will be about the same depth and height as your couch. Generally speaking, it should be within two inches of your sofa's arm height. If the sofa's arm is 22 inches tall, the end table's height can be anywhere between 20 and 24 inches.
Consider also what you'll be doing with the table. If you plan on snacking on the couch with the table at hand, you'll want a side table that is just an inch higher than the arm rest for optimal ergonomics.
Pro tip: If you're planning to put a lamp on your end table, the bottom of a lampshade should never be higher than your eye level when you're seated.
For the average couch, a side table with dimensions of 25x25 inches tends to work well. If you'd rather a rectangular table, a popular size is 26x21 inches. Avoid round side tables with diameters above 24 inches, as they will likely overpower the couch itself.
What style of end table should I get?
End tables come in many different styles, so you're sure to find something that fits your unique aesthetic. Here are a few of the popular styles you'll likely find:
If you like geometric shapes and neutral color palettes, this is a good place to start. These pieces may also be called 'contemporary' or 'minimal' - you'll find lots of hard lines, natural materials like twine and wood, and streamlined silhouettes.