Accent Tables to the Trade

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Accent Tables to the Trade

Often, a living space feels incomplete and uncomfortable without accent tables. The British designer Rita Konig says it's better to keep an ugly accent table than have none. A well-appointed house will eat up tables of all shapes and sizes. Clients tend to scrutinize these pieces less than the seating you specify. However, it's still important to know what level of finish a trade vendor offers so you can select coffee tables, side tables, consoles, and pedestals with confidence.

While we take them for granted, the coffee table only became a standard part of a comfortable room in the 20th century. Now, there are so many options for shape and material. Consider a round green marble coffee table with dramatic veining or an amorphous piece in pewter lacquer that conveys a bold modern aesthetic. Or perhaps your client loves the warmth and organic feel of wood; walnut, teak, ash, and white oak provide durable surfaces. Suggest nesting tables that can quickly expand or contract depending on the crowd if flexibility is necessary. Be careful; some coffee tables can get too large fast. 24 x 42" is a nice size, but something over 4' square can force seating groups to be too spread out for good conversation.

Console tables make a room feel well-considered. A marble top demilune provides a weather and wear-resistant welcome in an entry hall, while a black mahogany sideboard with inset cane doors gives the right vibe for an entertainment room. Consoles can be very sculptural and employ materials we might not see on other furnishings. Even Gesso and natural rope are attractive finishes with which to play.

Sofa tables are often the perfect solution in a long narrow room where a pair of end tables is impossible. Introducing a table behind the sofa allows a surface to place low lighting, a book, and a drink and still circulate easily through the room. This layout always indicates good design, whether of a black metal frame or sporting colonial-inspired turned legs.

Introduce pedestals in a room when you have something to draw attention to; maybe your client collects sculpture or has a ton of house plants that beg for a more elegant display method. Pedestals may be considered art themselves and might be finished in gold leaf, silver leaf, exotic wood, natural rope, marble, or chiseled stone.

Finally, a game table can ensure that the room you're designing is used. While even luxurious ping-pong tables of fumed oak and cast iron belong only in the game room, a lovely square leather top game table can be used to entertain when friends are over. It can also be used as a place to work during the day or even as extra seating when hosting a big dinner party. Rattan is also an excellent game table material.