End Table Height Guide

Posted In Knowledge - 07/10/2017

End Table Dimensions: Choosing the Right End Table Size

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End tables are a functional cornerstone of your living room. They allow you to keep drinks and other important items accessible while adding a touch of style to your space. When you're trying to decide which side table height to choose, a good rule of thumb is that the surface should rest at or just below the arms of the adjacent furniture.

How High Should an End Table Be?

To select the appropriate end table dimensions, measure from the floor to the top of the armrest. A 30-inch tall side table is a common size for most sofas, but taking this step ensures your end table fits your furniture properly.

End tables are workhorses, holding everything from lamps and decor to books and remote controls. They should sit at arm level of a sofa or between chairs to offer optimal style and functionality to your home. Consider some of these options to help you find an end table of the proper size and height to fit your space.

  • Couch End Tables: For sofas of average height, be sure to choose side tables that complement their size. Consider placing a 24-inch high end table on either side of your couch to ensure that living room essentials are easy to reach.
  • Short End Tables: A short end table is a good fit for loveseats or chaises that sit low to the ground. A low-profile model can function as a serving station for party snacks as well as a spot for guests to set down their cups or plates.
  • Tall End Tables: Higher tables work well as accents in your living room. Try using a tall end table as a display area for antiques or collectibles.
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How Wide Should End Tables Be?

The proper width of your end table will depend on a variety of factors. You should consider the size of your furniture and living room as well as what accents and accessories you plan to use. The right end table should balance out the visual weight of your space, so it's important to choose a model that's proportionate to your other furnishings.

Large tables work well alongside sprawling sectional, while a small side table pairs better with a simple, streamlined sofa. For tight spaces, like entryways and mudrooms, look for narrow end tables that fit easily beside the door. It's always a smart idea to measure and map out your room before you buy to make sure you find the perfect fit.

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Finding an End Table That Fits Your Space

A side table that is clearly too short or tall will look out of place. End table dimensions should fit the room's scale and complement the existing furniture. While symmetry and uniformity can create a pleasing, cohesive feel, you can also experiment with scale and shape by exploring your living room table options.

Balance is the key to creating a put-together look, so consider all of the variables, including table height versus seating height, visual weight and functionality. For example, you could place a wide, standard-height end table between two overstuffed recliners for a symmetrical appearance. Or, try a sleek, open-profile table alongside a mid-century sofa with track arms and a simple silhouette.

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Common End Table Materials and Finishes

The best end tables are made of sturdy materials and feature gorgeous finishes that effortlessly blend form and function. Choose from a wide array of end table designs to coordinate with your decor, including:

  • Wood: Natural wood side tables feature finishes ranging from rich mahogany to sunny teak to create a warm, organic vibe.
  • Metal: Sturdy metal models finished in bronze or silver make for a solid, reliable end table that is easy to clean.
  • Glass: Glass top end tables are effortlessly elegant, making your room feel uncluttered while providing a stylish, low-maintenance addition to your home.
  • Rattan: Rattan is a timeless choice for those who love the beachy look of coastal decor. Plus, these side tables are lightweight and easy to rearrange.
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End Table Styles

Once you know what size and type of end table you want, you'll need to consider the wide variety of available styles. Whether you need an ornate accent piece for your elegant living room or a rugged complement for your cottage aesthetic, a side table can be a welcome decorative addition.

  • Contemporary: Featuring clean silhouettes and simple lines, contemporary side tables offer a sleek, cutting-edge appeal to your room. Consider a silver end table for a chic accent, or opt for models in black and gray for a monochrome look.
  • Traditional: Refined curves and ornate details make traditional end tables a timeless design option. Carved wooden side tables with polished gold or silver embellishments are a stunning choice.
  • Rustic: Consider a rustic end table with a distressed finish and all-natural materials to create a warm, earthy vibe. Muted browns and greens evoke the feel of the great outdoors, while soft white finishes are light and airy.
  • Transitional: Transitional end tables offer a contemporary twist on traditional furniture design. Try a dark wood side table with a chic glass top, or consider a set of nesting tables with wrought iron bases.
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End Table Designs

Beyond size and style, end tables also come in many unique shapes to suit your layout and tastes. If you're looking to spice up your living room with a bold accent, consider stepping outside of your comfort zone and exploring less traditional options.

  • Square or Rectangle: The most common tables feature simple square and rectangular tops, making them a versatile fit for most rooms.
  • Circular: An oval or round end table introduces smooth curves into your design and fits easily into smaller spaces. As an added benefit, the rounded edges are safer for small children.
  • C Tables: Similar in function to old-school TV trays, a C table has a cantilever design that allows you to position it over the side of a sofa, chair or bed for a convenient spot to set drinks and snacks or for use as a desk.
  • Abstract Tables: If you're looking for a conversation piece, consider tables with unique features like rugged live edges or tops in unconventional shapes like triangles or hexagons.
  • End Table with a Lamp: Two-for-one designs like side tables with attached lamps provide light and storage, all in one convenient piece of furniture.
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Do End Tables Need to Match?

The fun thing about decorating with end tables is that you can choose a coordinated set or get creative and handpick pieces for an eclectic-but-curated look. Try mixing and matching different styles, finishes, materials and textures to create a design that's all your own. Depending on your seating situation, you can even use end tables in different heights to add visual interest to your space.

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Alternative Side Table Options

If you're looking to break the mold, you can opt to use an ottoman or small, square storage bench as a side table. As long as they meet your standard end table height and size requirements, these versatile options may work well for your needs. Alternatively, you can also use some nightstand designs as tall end tables for a stylish twist.