Typically furniture manufacturers will make a set of tables consisting of a coffee table and two matching end tables. Some sets are sold only in a 3 piece pack so be sure to clarify that with your sales rep. However, a Collection of occasional tables with the same style details usually has a few different shapes and sizes of end tables to choose from.
You will find that end tables are available in so many sizes, finishes, colours, materials, shapes and configurations that it can make it exceptionally difficult to pick just the right one. As far as materials go, they are made from solid wood, wood veneer, melamine, metal, glass, plastic and some from fabric and leather. The choices are endless. I recommend going online and looking through the furniture store websites to see what is out there before you even head out to do your shopping. It gives you a chance to take in all of the options so you can hopefully narrow down your search.
Know your current furniture heights so you don’t end up with an end table that is far too high for the sofa it sits beside. You don’t want to have an end table that is impossible to place a drink on comfortably while you are sitting with guests. Be clear on your arm heights so you are not trying to reach over the arm to put something down on the table. If you are going to use the tables to place lamps on, then know the height of the lamps so they don’t look too high or too low on the table and in the room. Simply add the height of the lamp to the height of the table and see if it will suit your needs.
Check the construction to be sure the table is stable. Is it strong enough to hold up all the items you may wish to place on it? Check all the connections and joinery to confirm they are glued and screwed wherever possible. Like always, a well-built end table should easily be able to support your weight if you sit on it. If it’s wiggly, keep shopping.
Know ahead of time if you want a legged table, some storage like a drawer or if you are looking for a closed unit that has a higher storage capacity. Tables with legs will always appear lighter in visual weight than a closed unit with drawers or doors. This goes back to personal taste and what will work best for you in your home. Tables with a closed in base are more difficult to clean around because they have to be moved to get underneath them. Be sure to check the weight of the end tables to find out if you can move them alone for cleaning or if you require assistance from others. This should not stop you from buying a table that you love but once you get it home you most likely will be the one vacuuming or sweeping underneath it, so the size and weight will play a part in your choice.
I have encountered a great many people who are more comfortable when all their furniture matches, but you don’t have to follow this as a rule. This is an opportune time to replace one end table from the set with a unique, one-of-a-kind piece so your home doesn’t become too matchy-matchy. Think in terms of coordinating or complementing, rather than matching. There are so many amazing end tables out there for sale that you are sure to find the ones that you love.