Each item within the interior design of a room should have a purpose, a true function for being placed within that room, in that particular position. It is extremely important that each item look as though it were placed effortlessly. After all, no one wants to live in or visit a home that looks too perfect to be comfortable; although, we do want it to be beautifully and purposefully designed.
Occasional tables are multipurpose and are crucial to how a room looks and how it functions. An occasional table is a term used for any small table but, more commonly for cocktail, end and sofa tables. The sofa table is often overlooked as a creative design tool. Most often they are very long and narrow; some are designed with more than one shelf or a stretcher extending between the table legs. It is apparent the most common placement of a sofa table is behind the sofa, but did you know there are many other uses for this versatile table?
Here are some suggestions for the many uncommon uses of the common sofa table:
- It serves as support for ambient lighting and a place to display collectibles behind the sofa. Test lamp height for the proper coverage and to avoid any glare emitting from the light source. Place collectibles in groups or clusters to accentuate its importance.
- A sofa table can act as a buffer between the wall and the sofa. Resist the urge to place sofas directly against the wall. No one likes a wallflower. Pushing all upholster towards the center of the room is conducive to conversation and engagement.
- It functions as a decorative feature as it distracts attention from the back of a sofa. Ideally, the sofa table should have two or more shelves with accessories, attractive doors or some other decorative feature. The table height should not exceed the height of the sofa, nor should it be too low and out of proportion with the sofa.
- It also serves as a focal point when placed against an expansive wall in the foyer or a large wall in the living area. If the sofa has one top shelf only, it is important to create balance by filling the unoccupied space below. For example, this can be done with one long bench, two smaller ottomans or a collection of large vases.
- Sofa tables can also serve as a room divider in large open spaces. This helps to further define a space.
- When a standard kitchen island is too large, substitute a sofa table at least 36″ high and replace the standard wood or glass top with granite, butcher block or stainless steel.
- When serving as an entry table for long narrow foyers, place the sofa table in the center of the foyer. It is an absolute must that this table has multiple shelves, appropriately filled. You do not want this item to look out of place in the foyer.
This is just the beginning of the many uses and functions of the sofa table. Follow these guidelines to incorporate occasional tables seamlessly and effectively in your space plan.