As simple as it may sound, sometimes choosing end tables can be confusing. There are so many choices. How high, how low, which style, which material?

The list seems endless.

This week I’m sharing an article from HOUZZ and written by Houzz Contributor, LISA FREDERICK. The photos and explanations should simplify it for you.

A guide, if you will, that allows you to feel confident when choosing your end tables.

The number-one question when choosing an end table: How tall should it be? The rule of thumb is that its surface area should be equal to or just below the height of the sofa arms. For a standard sofa, that’s around 25 inches, but get out the measuring tape to be sure (I did, and it’s a good thing — the arms on mine hit 28 inches). Most end tables are between 22 and 30 inches.

If you can’t find tables you like within your target height range, err on the side of shorter rather than taller. Styles that jut above arm level not only can look awkward, but they also can make it hard for people to set down a glass or pick up a book.

These tables break the height rule, but they work for two reasons: One, the tables’ bottom tiers sit below the sofa arms and within easy reach. And two, the floor-to-ceiling windows and draperies elongate the space visually, so the composition can stand a boost in elevation, exaggerated by the pair of lamps.
Nesting tables also let you get away with a little extra height. Leave the shorter table pulled partially or completely out from the taller one to create an engaging layered effect.
What about armless sofas? You have two options: Select tables that suit the height where arms would sit (to gauge it, get comfy on the sofa and reach for an imaginary drink), or buy low models that are level with the seat. Neither option is better than the other; it just depends on your preferences and the balance of your space.
This isn’t technically a sofa (it’s Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona Chair), but the principle applies just the same — the tabletop lines up with an imaginary arm. Its chunkiness helps to ground the leggy seating, and its cylindrical form brings a needed curvy element that offsets the succession of right angles.
If you like the mismatched look, choose tables similar in size and visual weight for harmony. These each fall at roughly the same height as the sofa arms. Notice how the square table is tucked into the corner, a nice match for its angles.
Of course, there’s no law that says you have to double up on end tables if the look doesn’t jibe with your space. A single tray table at the far end of this sofa preserves the inviting openness of the room, and the arrangement is evened out by the folding table that sits on the diagonal across from it.

Feel free to use nontraditional objects — shipping crates, old suitcases, sewing machine stands, garden stools — as end tables. Just make sure they fall in step with the height and scale guidelines above so that they are conversation pieces rather than nuisances.

As always, if you need help in choosing end tables for your home, or if wish to find ones that are unusual, please email me at me@nancymeadowsdesigns.com. I’d love to help you.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around


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