The ubiquitous occasional table doesn’t get the press it deserves. Ask yourself this: What is attractive, yet unobtrusive; functional, yet can be very artsy; beautifully shows off art, lamps, pictures, books – or nothing at all – and still, look like a work of art itself? When you think of occasional tables this way, you begin to understand how these unsung heroes can be critical in pulling the decor of a room together without dominating it.
Occasional tables are small, decorative tables that have no specific function. They’re not designed with a purpose, like dining or bedside tables. They are designed to decorate; not necessarily to perform any task. However, for the purpose of interior design, they help to bring together other components of a room in a fluid and aesthetic way. In other words, occasional tables are decorative items in and of themselves.
You can find accent tables to complement nearly any decor. Styles in occasional tables run the gamut from vintage and fantasy to ultra-modern. Whatever your style, the variety of beautiful occasional tables is limited only by imagination. The materials used are as varied as the styles. Basic materials are wood, metal, glass, and plastic. Exotic materials, such as rare woods, crystal, and marble, are used as well.
Often, the style dictates the materials used in the construction of an occasional table. For many traditional and vintage styles, wood is the material of choice. Sometimes a marble top is incorporated, or the wood top might be inlaid with wood or metal trim in contrasting colors. The contemporary styles incorporate a lot of glass and metal. The modern styles are ultra-chic – some of them in pure crystal. The certain style of contemporary pieces lends a clean set of lines and can be matched to other modern pieces, or mixed with contemporary pieces for a little stylish flavor.
When choosing occasional tables, consider the layout of the entire room. Style is important, but so is scale. Using a tape measure, write down the dimensions (length, width, and height) of all the pieces in the room. You can then sketch the layout on a piece of paper, keeping things in proportion (graph paper is very helpful for this purpose). Include the measurements of the occasional tables you would like to add. This will help you get a sense of how a set of occasional tables will look with your room.