Blog, Decorating, How To

How to Decorate with Accent Tables

Accent tables complement a room without demanding the spotlight. Selecting the right accent table effortlessly joins function and feel, fosters continuity in a room’s design, directs traffic flow and serves as a building block for just-right interior design.


“As with all layers of design, contrast adds depth and dimension.”

It’s important to keep in mind accent tables are not bound by one style, color or shape. They include contemporary and traditional, and are sold as side tables, end tables, night stands, consoles, square, round and triangle, offering ample decorative and functional options.


Aesthetics and Style- An accent table can serve as a building block of interior design through its wood tone and shape, adding depth, contrast and interest to a room. “For example, if you have a lot of rectangles in your home, such as your sofa, the rug, the windows, the bookcases, etc., then round or oval accent tables bring contrast to all those sharp edges and corners providing softness, interest and energy as your eye moves around the room,” says Amy Foster, Furniture Row Companies home accessory buyer.

Consider wood tone as another layer of color for a room, Foster adds. And not all colors have to match as long as they coordinate. “As with all layers of design, contrast adds depth and dimension,” Foster says. “If you have a matching set of tables as your coffee and side table, consider purchasing the console table in a deeper tone or lighter tone to add interest. Of course, a painted accent piece or a piece made from reclaimed wood would perform the same task of adding dimension and even a little bit of soul to the room.”


“Circular tables allow or encourage movement.”

Purpose – Considering the purpose you want your accent table to serve is essential, and this often depends on where it will be located in a room, Foster says. Some accent tables in a living room or bedroom function as a place to set beverages or hold reading lights, while others help shepherd traffic flow or complement a room’s overall décor without screaming their presence.


Proportion – Accent tables should be in balance with other pieces in a room. For example, “If you have a large, overstuffed chair, you want something with heft next to it,” says Foster. “If you have grandma’s spindly rocking chair, you need something delicate next to it.”

Traffic Flow – Properly arranged and appropriately sized furniture enables family members and guests to easily navigate a room. Choosing accent tables that help direct, rather than hinder, traffic flow is important.


Shape – While the stain of the wood and design style are important factors to consider, so too is the shape of an accent table, which can enhance the flow of a room and strengthen its theme, Foster says. Square tables often are used as a “connecting” piece. Circular tables create a sense of smooth-flowing motion. “Circular tables allow or encourage movement,” says Foster. “They create a nice energy and movement we’re unaware of.” Oval-shaped tables permit open-floor space in areas where motion can easily overlap. Triangular tables can turn a boring corner into a secondary focal point in a room or fill in odd corners, while maintaining the flow of a room.


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