Why We Love Sofa Tables
Sofa table and console table are terms used interchangeably; some people argue a slight distinction would be that console tables have shelving, drawers or cabinets whereas sofa tables don’t. These narrow and tall tables fit great either against the back of a sofa or against the wall. They add polish, interest and functionality to any room by providing an opportunity add a different height furniture piece, a place to display favorite items, and often a handy spot to catch day-to-day articles.
Also fitting the tall, long and narrow table category are servers and buffets, typically found displayed with dining room furniture, can offer a wider variety of options. They vary slightly from sofa and console tables in that they are often a bit deeper, slightly taller, and integrate cabinets and or drawers. Some will have wine racks or shelves for dishware – that gives them a decidedly dining room look, but those without those distinctive features can work well throughout your home.
The sizes of these types of tables and cabinets vary widely, but typically sofa and console tables will be in this range: 45 – 60” long x 15 – 20” deep x 28-30” high. Servers can be found in similar lengths, but they are often taller: 30 – 40” tall and slightly deeper: 18 – 24” deep.
Where We Use Them:
Entryway – Entries are an often overlooked design opportunity since it is a pass through space; the furnishing needs aren’t obvious or evident. A high profile narrow table can add welcoming character to your foyer and is just the right place for keys, phones and mail. Top it by hanging a mirror above and you’ve got a convenient spot to check your appearance on your way in or out of the house. Your entryway dimensions will dictate size. You may need to look for a table on the shorter and narrower end if space is an issue, tables can be found as small as 24” wide by 12” deep. This is a great place to have a fresh bouquet of flowers in the spring, or a bowl of fragrant cinnamon potpourri in the winter. Don’t forget to have a tray, shallow bowl or organizer to as a catch-all.
Under a TV – Most media centers are low to position the TV at eye level when seated. But many people prefer the overall aesthetic of having their TV higher on the wall, as they would place art. A TV hung high with nothing on the wall below it will look awkward and unbalanced. This is a great place for a console table. Because you’ll want it to “own” the space inhabits, you’ll want to look for a table with some weight and presence to it often those with drawers and cabinets work well. Be sure the table is considerably wider than the TV. If you want to put the TV on the table, a server could be a sturdy option. A few small groupings of decorative items can be artfully displayed on the table top, just be careful not to place anything that will block the screen, cause interference for the remote control path or reflect on the screen, as light sources can.
Behind a Sofa Option 1 – When sofas are positioned away from walls and the back is exposed to view, a sofa table can dress up the dull back of the couch. The rule of thumb is the height of the table should be at or just below the height of the sofa back. It can either be just shy of the length of the sofa, or shorter; but it should be centered and at least half the length of the sofa. If you opt for a table on the shorter side, you can fill out the space by adding standing floor vases, tall house plants, baskets or floor lamp. In decorating the table top, for a formal look, keep it symmetrical - try a table lamp on each end for long tables. Add accents such as framed photos, mementos, a decorative box or leather bound books. A decorative tray is always handy as it can serve as a catch-all for handy items such as reading glasses or the remote control.
Behind the Sofa Option 2 – In living rooms with the sofa is along a wall, sofa tables often are both convenient and add depth and style to your room when positioned between the back of the couch and the wall. In this case, the table functions like a shelf and will be less noticed but allows you to add decorative elements behind the sofa – lamp, picture frames, plants, etc. It is more common to have the table stretch the entire length of the sofa and be on the narrower end of the spectrum.
Elsewhere in the Living Room – To fill an otherwise empty wall space in your living room, a sofa table or buffet can add a stylish surface to display collections of photos, art pieces, flower arrangements and other things you love. Selecting a table with storage can also help you organize and declutter your home, providing a place to store family room items such games, toys, or throws. Having a generous table top space also is also a welcome addition for entertaining as the perfect spot to place appetizers or a drink station.