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Tables come in all types, shapes, sizes, materials and styles, and provide a wide variety of functional elements to different rooms and settings. Knowing what types are available can go a long way in deciding which table is right for your particular room and needs.

Here’s a comprehensive list of table types together with a brief description of what they best fit and for what purposes.

Accent Tables

As the name suggests, accent tables provide a decorative accent to an interior. They complement a décor scheme while also providing a functional element. These tables can be placed anywhere in the home depending on the style, size and look. Common items they provide a platform for include lamps, sculptural pieces, vases, baskets, and little items you want kept close to hand.

Bedside Tables

Also known as nightstands, night tables, and bedside cabinets, the bedside table sits on one side or either side of a bed. They come in a variety of styles, sizes, features and materials. While these types of tables need to look good, they primarily serve a functional purpose. They hold and store items needed nearby for night-time comfort and use, including lamps, books, spectacles, medicines, and cups.

Coffee Tables

Used mostly in living rooms, the coffee table is a low rectangular table usually placed in front of sofas and armchairs. They often form the centrepiece of a furniture arrangement. Coffee tables need to look good and provide a platform for a variety of different objects used in everyday life. These items include beverages, food plates, decorative items, books, magazines, remote controls, and other bits and pieces.

Console Tables

A console table is a narrow table designed to fit against a wall. They are frequently used in hallways but can also be placed in other rooms. Some console tables have just two legs and accompanying brackets (to affix to a wall) while others are standalone with four supportive legs. They are ideal for the storage and placement of small everyday items like keys, gloves, telephones, and dog leads.

Dining Tables

These large tables have one main function which is for communal eating. They come in a variety of sizes depending on the size of a family and common entertaining requirements. When not being used for dining, this type of table can function as an all-round family table for games, discussions, work, and just about anything else. Dining tables are mostly found in dining rooms and/or kitchens.

Drum Tables

Drum tables are small circular tables with a central support of some kind. Traditionally this support would have been a table leg with decorative tapering, but now drum tables look more like the name suggests, drum-like. Some drum tables come with storage drawers and cupboards while others rely purely on form over function. They can be used beside other furniture or as stand-alone accent features in themselves.

End Tables

End tables are placed on one or both sides of a sofa or armchair. These tables provide both a decorative and functional element to the furniture pieces they sit next to. End tables are usually a little lower than the arm of the sofa or chair, and provide a platform for the placement of drinks, books, remotes, and other items people want close to hand.

Nested Tables

Nested tables are the Russian nesting dolls of tables. They come in a set of varying sizes which all fit within the one immediately larger than the other. This allows them to be neatly nestled away when not in use. Nested tables are ideal for entertaining and occasional use, where they can be used to hold drinks and food, and even act as extra seating furniture.

Sofa Tables

These are long tables placed behind a middle-of-a-room sofa. They provide an attractive and function backdrop to the main seating furniture piece in the room. Sofa tables can hold lamps, flowers, ornaments, candles, baskets, and photo frames. Although designed to go with a sofa, the sofa table can be placed on its own in any room as well.