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How to Choose Living Room Occasional Tables

by BrandSource Canada

Ashley Occasional Tables

So you bought new furniture or are about to? Have you given any thought to accent tables? No? Well, you’re not alone! You should though, because accent tables can be quite handy for keeping your magazines, the remote control or even resting your feet. Also, because they come in various styles, materials and shapes, they’ll enhance your sectional or sofa/loveseat/chair combination.But how do you pick the right tables at a price you can afford? Here are 4 things to consider:


First, you must decide how the tables will be used. Do you need storage because you have a small living room or because this is where you spend most of your time and children do their homework? Will the coffee table be used as a spare dining table or for putting down plates when you have friends or family over?

Some tables have an adjustable table top for height, a most convenient feature for meals in front of the TV; while others have casters so that they can be moved with little effort, or equipped with small seats for additional guests. If you like a place for everything and everything in its place, consider buying tables with drawers where magazines and remotes will be neatly stored.

magnussen t3521-50-2 Lift Top Table from Magnussenmagnussen-t4039-67-3 Expandable Table from Magnussenmagnussen-t1020-45-2 Table With Stools from MagnussenMagnussen T2017

Table on Wheels from Magnussen


The material chosen for your table will have to fit with your lifestyle.

If you like to entertain or eat in the living room, a table in wood or of wood veneer construction will be a wise choice since it is easy to clean and can offer many storage options. Perfect for families, wood tables can be easily repaired if needed. Now is the time to use the set of coasters you received as a gift and keep the wood surface ring-free. Take a look at the "How to Fix Dents in Wood Furniture" video from showing how you can easily repair small scratches on your wood furniture.

ashley-t901-9-sw Transitional Wood Table from Signature Design by AshleyZuo Modern 100087

Contemporary Wood Table by Zuo Modern

Tables with glass tops will make the room feel lighter and are ideal for homes with no children or with young adults. Or else be ready to wipe little fingerprints off the surface! Make sure you choose a table with tempered glass to keep you safe from potential injuries. magnussent3805-45 Contemporary Glass Top Table from Magnussenmagnussen-t4038-43 Traditional Glass Top Table From Magnussen

Finally, there are accent tables that are partially or totally made of stone such as marble, granite or slate. These types of tables will definitely add a touch of sophistication to the room but will require special care. They are also generally pricier and might not fit your budget while metal, laminated or plastic tables are more resistant, require less care and will fit most budgets.

magnussen-t2615-50 Slate Top Table From MagnussenMagnussen T2058 Zinc Top Table From Magnussen

Style and Colours

This is all a matter of taste, trends and availability. As for colours though, try to keep a certain consistency with the other furniture in the room. Wood tables often come with a wide selection of colours, especially if they are Canadian-made.

The current trend is about mixing and matching styles, so go ahead! Dare to combine different looks, from contemporary glass to industrial design, chrome finish or refined wood.

If an eclectic style is not for you, put the focus on the particular style of the table. Ornate tables will blend in perfectly with a traditional décor; whereas tables with sleek lines will fit comfortably in a contemporary and modern space. For a style that is somewhere between the two, look for transitional tables.

ashley-t869-9-sw Traditional Table from Signature Design by AshleyMagnussen T2050-47 Contemporary Glass Top Table from MagnussenZuo Modern 404070

Modern Wood Table from Zuo ModernMagnussen T4215

Contemporary Table from Magnussen


The size of the room is an important aspect to consider when choosing your accent tables. There has to be enough space around the coffee table for you to move around or open its drawers if needed. As for the height of the table, it is always best to choose one equal to the height of the seats of your sofas or chairs.

When it comes to choosing end tables, you will have to decide how many you need. Do you want two or do you have enough space for one only? What shape is better: square, rectangular or round? Take a look at your room and see what would work best.

Now all you need to do is go shopping. You need to remember that you have to love what you buy since you will likely keep the tables as long as your sofa and chairs. When shopping, select a few tables and once at home see if they could meet your needs and fit in your space.

Tip: To ensure that you will pick tables of the right sizes and shapes, cut out some cardboard samples and place them where they would go in the living room; this will help you visualize how well the tables would fit in your space.

Enjoy your shopping!

Patrick, Your Furniture Expert