Occasional tables buying guide

Read the Furniture Village occasional tables buying guide for help choosing side tables, coffee tables and more.

There are 5 well known types of occasional table.

Coffee tables

In the living room, coffee tables are often the focal point of the room. If you opt for a coffee table, make sure it does not overwhelm the space. For a smaller living room look for a compact coffee table, or a space-enhancing glass coffee table.

If you love magazines and books, as well as a bookshelf you might want to choose a coffee table with storage, such as inbuilt shelves or drawers.

For a unified look, coordinate your coffee table with other living room furniture such as display cabinets, on trend open shelves or TV units.

Lamp tables

Lamp tables are smaller, multi-purpose tables, convenient next to sofas, armchairs and beds. In fact they can sit anywhere you need to rest a book or a cup of coffee, where a table lamp is needed (the clue’s in the name), or where you want to display ornaments, finishing touches or photos.

If your hall is on the smaller side, instead of a sideboard you could consider a lamp table as a place to display real or artificial plants or flowers – always a welcoming touch.

Console tables

In the living room, console tables can be used to display photographs and store useful bits and pieces. The console table is also a favourite for the hallway. Slim, waist-height and space-saving, most also have drawers for keys, pens and pencils and some have a lower shelf too. If you want both a desk and a dressing table in your bedroom and space is tight, a multifunctional console table can be both.

TOP TIP: Place a mirror behind a console table to make your hall feel wider and double the impact of any light source.

Side tables

If you have an accent armchair in your living room – or even in your hallway or bedroom – you might want a convenient side table nearby for your cup of coffee. The beauty of side tables is that they can be moved to where they’re most convenient – within the living room and even from room to room.

Many people are now choosing small side tables to serve as bedside tables, because they look incredibly stylish and they don’t overwhelm the space – small, round occasional tables look particularly effective. Many have small drawers, perfect for these bits and pieces.

TOP TIP: Too short on space for a side table? A small folding occasional table can be stored away and brought out when needed.

Nests of tables

For a while nests of tables were regarded as old fashioned, but now they’re back in style, and they come in all sorts of designs and materials. Scatter them about when they are needed to create extra surfaces for drinks and nibbles. Then, when your guests have gone home, you can tuck them away until you need them next.