You've probably noticed that living room sets are usually displayed with end tables. End tables aren't just for decoration. They also have practical purposes. But how many end tables should you have in your living room? Well, we've researched in-depth about how many end tables you should have in your living room and have some suggestions for you!
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The number of end tables you should have in your living room depends on the placement of your other furniture and what you will use them for. Typically most living rooms will have one to two end tables next to the sofa or individual seats.
Above we mentioned that the number of end tables your living room needs depends on your other furniture's placement, but what exactly do we mean by that? Keep reading as we discuss further how different living room setups use different numbers of end tables. We'll also answer some other questions you might have regarding coffee tables.
Number Of End Tables
End tables are placed at the end of sofas or next to chairs, and end tables can really complete the look of a living room, but in a time where minimalism is in, you may be wondering if you need them at all. Below, we'll go over different living room designs that range from no end tables to three end tables, so you can really see which idea works best for you and your space.
No End Tables
As you can see, end tables aren't always necessary. This bright living room space is end table free and uses a tall freestanding lamp to bring light into the space rather than using smaller table lamps.
As we mentioned above, minimalism is in, and so is space-saving. So if you don't have use for an end table, don't be afraid to go without. The modern living room above has all the tablespace it needs with a contemporary coffee table.
If you decide to go with no end tables but need some ideas about decorating with floor lamps, check out "Decorating With Floor Lamps: The Ultimate Guide."
One End Table
In this design, one end table is used to hold a small table lamp. Notice how it is placed between the loveseat and the sofa bringing the two together and allowing either couch to use the light. You can purchase end tables with lights built in, freeing up the tablespace for decorations or a place to put your drink.
Two End Tables
In this warm family room, two end tables are used to create symmetry. They, along with their lamps, match. In interior design, this is known as symmetrical balance and can help provide a sense of balance and order.
Mismatched and Modern
You don't have to match your end tables perfectly. Get creative and find end tables that complement each other and the rest of your room. In this design, end tables that match the color scheme but not each other were used to pull everything together.
In this modern design, mismatched end tables were used next to the end sofa and individual seating. Showing you can make them work anywhere in your room!
Three or More End Tables
If you have a large living room with lots of seating, don't be afraid to add more end tables to fit your needs. You can opt for different sizes and styles to draw less attention and add a little fun to the room, or have them all match for a sensible, balanced design. You can purchase matching end tables that stack, allowing you to have fun with different sizes in your design.
Should End Tables Match The Coffee Table?
You've probably noticed with living room setups in furniture stores, the coffee table will often match the end tables. You can even purchase end tables and coffee table sets together. If the idea of trying to coordinate mismatched tables intimidates you, this is the safest option.
However! It is not a requirement that they match, and you can furnish your living room however you see fit. You can have your coffee table and end tables match other aspects of your room instead of each other.
For a more in-depth discussion about whether end tables should match the coffee table, check out our other post: "Do Coffee Tables and End Tables Have to Match?"
How Close Should End Tables Be To The Sofa?
When thinking about how close an end table should be to your sofa, you may be thinking about how far away they are spaced from your sofa or how tall they should be regarding your sofa.
Distance Between The Sofa And End Table
Your end tables should be close enough that they can be used for their intended purpose. If your end tables will be used for people to place their drinks on, you will want to place them fairly close to your sofa. If they are used only to add lighting to the area, they can be placed further away from the arm of the sofa.
Keep in mind that it is still a good idea to keep them within arm's length even if they are just being used for lighting, so you don't have to get up to turn on the lamp.
How Tall Should The End Table Be
There is a general rule for how tall an end table should be. After all, you don't want someone having to reach down very far or up high to place their drink next to them. Your end tables should be the same or slightly below the height of the arm of your sofa. The average height of a sofa arms sits around 25 inches, but make sure to measure yours before purchasing your end tables!
If your end table is more for aesthetic appeal or will just be used to hold a lamp, feel free to experiment with different heights like in the design above. It still has a practical use as it has a storage area, but it might be a little more awkward to use it as somewhere to place your drink.
What Do You Put On End Tables?
As we've mentioned above, end tables have many uses. Lamps, plants, and other decorations such as ornaments and photo frames can all be placed on an end table keeping them at an easy to reach distance from your sofa. End tables can also be used for people to put their drinks on if you don't have a coffee table.
In this living room, the sole purpose of the end table is to hold the lamp. Using end tables to help add conveniently reachable lamps to a living room is a very common practice!
Photo Frames And Decor
Adding photo frames to your end tables can really add a personal touch and warmth to your space as seen in both the above and below designs. You can use end tables to display personal trinkets, ornaments, or a vase full of flowers. They give you extra space to decorate and accessorize your living room.
The number of end tables you use in your living room is completely up to you, but you should consider your end table's purpose. Use more end tables in larger living rooms or rooms that you want to accessorize with lamps and other smaller decorations, but don't be afraid to use only one or none at all if you don't have space or use for them.
Hopefully, we've given you some good ideas and things to think about when deciding on the number of end tables you need for your living room! Happy decorating!