Q & A: Seeking Side Tables for Lonely Sofa

Katie's couch seeking side tables (photo by Katie)

“We just got rid of a bunch of old furniture that we weren’t crazy about, and have a rug, wall color, and sofa that we like.  I need end tables, but am having a hard time imagining what shape/size tables would work best.  We will probably be either making them, or refurbishing them, so I need tips on general size/shape, rather than specific pieces to buy.  I’m in the mood for painting the side tables, too, unless someone wiser than me says that’s a terrible idea.”  — Katie

Well, this is a bit of a challenge. The room is small, so you don’t want anything too overpowering in scale. Even though your wall color is very bright, the furniture and rug have lots of brown and gold tones. I would probably not recommend adding any more wood tones unless they are very dark for more contrast. The room needs a little more “oomph” so it would be ideal to add a little personality in the tables (but that might mean losing some function). Some cheery accent pillows on the sofa could bring in more colors that could be repeated in painted furniture as well.

If you want to salvage and refurbish tables, you’ll have to hunt them down first. Try garage sales, Craig’s List and thrift stores looking for shape and scale. I suggest at least one round table to offset some of the angles and squares in your room. Below, round tables #1 and #3 are both interesting to add a pop but they don’t offer much storage. However, tables #2 and #4 have tray shelves but run the risk of becoming cluttered. You will have a much harder time finding a pair of matching tables, so don’t bother. It’s just fine to have two different tables, one with storage and one without, as long as they coordinate.

Once you find an old table to revive, follow these tips for painting furniture from Young House Love. Color? What about a rich orange or red (high contrast with your walls) or a pleasant plum (less contrast)? White or black are stand-by neutrals but then you would need to add a colorful lamp or table topper.

Would anyone else like to chime in with ideas for Katie?

Side Tables from West Elm, Overstock, Home Decorators

1. West Elm Martini Side Table, 2. Julia Tray Table , 3. Macau Accent Table, 4. Morgan Round End Table

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