11 Types of Tables to Spruce Up Your Space & Add Functionality

Updated: | Categories: Furniture
types of tables

With the definition and essence of a table being as simple as legs supporting a flat surface, you’d think that picking out one of the types of tables would just be about quality and aesthetic value.

Well, it may have been at some point, but with interior decoration getting more nuanced by the day, what type of table you buy, where you place it and what you use it for makes a huge difference to how your room ends up looking, while also making life easier!

From desks to dressers to nested tables, different tables serve different purposes. By getting the right table for the right purpose, you don’t have to compromise and fit your lifestyle around inefficient furniture or try to make your dressing table into your work desk.

You can find a range of tables to perfectly fit and fulfill your wants and needs as well as your lifestyle, home, and budget, letting you bid adieu to all that adjusting.

Using different types of tables for different purposes is not only convenient, but also makes your home more comfortable, functional and possibly better looking.

11 Types of Tables

If you’re just doing up your new home and are looking to buy tables or want to replace that decade-old dining table, here’s a list of the different types of tables to know of.

Knowing your cocktail table from your dining table isn't necessarily obvious to a young person or a first time home buyer, so a quick review is definitely on the menu.

Cocktail Table

cocktail tables are one of the types of table used for hosting guests
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As the name suggests, cocktail tables are stylish, sophisticated tables that serve as great centerpieces, whether in your living room or your garden and outdoor seating area.

These decorative tables are used to hold drinks and snacks while being conversation starters thanks to their aesthetic appeal.

Additionally, one of the most appealing features of these tables is that while they are large enough to hold several types of drinking glasses and platters, they are still compact enough to not take up too much space on the floor, mainly owing to the fact that they generally have just one central leg holding them up.

Coffee Table

coffee tables are perfect for the living room in front of the sofa

Cocktail tables are also known as coffee tables, the only difference being that what we call cocktail tables are generally square or rectangular, whereas coffee tables are usually round.

The best spot to put a cocktail or coffee table is in front of the sofa to hold your magazines, books, drink cups, television remote, and so on. Some coffee tables come with in-built cabinets, allowing storage space.

Dining Table

dining tables are a longer, larger type of table used to host a family or a large gathering of guests for a meal

An extremely common type of table that most of us have heard of, dining tables make mealtime a family affair. They’re great for gatherings as well, family or otherwise.

These tables are large enough to accommodate a veritable buffet spread as well as provide enough space for members to sit around and eat comfortably from their plates. Dining tables can truly lend an inviting aura to any space,.

Since dining tables occupy quite a bit of space, size matters. One good way to figure out what size table you should get is to consider how many people you want to be accommodated at the table.

If you’re a family of four and gatherings are few and far in between, it doesn’t make sense to invest the space or money required by a 12-seater table, unless you want to stage a dining room for decorative purposes.

Additionally, bear in mind that the shape of the table will also influence the amount of space it takes up—whether you get a rectangular, square, oval or circular table, ensure that there’s ample space to move around it, even when people are seated around.

Vanity Tables

vanity tables hold commonly used items like wallets, watches, jewelry, make-up, and often feature mirrors

Vanity tables are designed to hold any accessories and other vanity items that you own and generally find their place in bedrooms or rooms meant for dressing up, such as walk-in closets.

Their excellent functionality makes them super convenient for individuals to use, especially busy ones for whom a properly laid-out one-stop table, with a specific spot for every item, will save a ton of time.

Though you can purchase just a table, some vanity tables come included with drawers and a mirror; these full sets are also called dressers or dressing tables.

Nested Tables

nested tables stack inside of each other in order to take up less space and be flexible in their uses

Nested tables are quite an innovation in saving space—these tables come in sets of size-gradient tables that can be stacked together, with each smaller sized table able to fit into the immediate larger size. You know, like Matrioshka dolls.

Not only is the design fun, convenient, unique, and innovative, but it also allows you to customize your space as you wish; you can bring out the differently-sized tables as and when you wish to use them, without having to use them all at once.

This nesting and flexibility minimizes the floor space used and makes these tables extremely easy to put away when not in use. You'll find tons of uses for them. The main problem is having the discipline to put them away when you're done.

End Tables

end tables are seated next to a couch or sofa to hold lamps, drinks, television remotes, etc.

As the name says, end tables are generally placed at the end of the sofa, either on one side or both, serving as a surface within convenient reach to lay down magazines, food and drinks, remote controls, the phone, or anything you need to set down at all.

Since these tables are placed at the end of your sofa, you’ll need to pick one out that aligns or matches the dimensions of your sofa and your room.

These tables need not necessarily be only functional; you can make them decorative by placing lamps, sculptures, picture frames, and other size-appropriate items on the table to enhance the beauty of the table and the room.

End tables are durable, compact and don’t take up too much space on the floor or in the room, but whether or not they make your room look cluttered also depends on the size you buy, where you place it and what you place on the table.

Console Table

console tables can hold televisions, decorations behind a couch, or be placed along the wall in a hallway or entryway.

Console tables are meant to hold up gadgets or equipment, such as gaming systems and televisions. They can be placed as the centerpiece of a room, behind a couch, or along a wall.

Built to be extremely durable since they have to hold up considerable amounts of weight, these tables are not only built to be functional but aesthetically appealing, as well. They really spruce up a family room or living room quite well.

Some console tables come with attached cupboards/closets to store books, CDs, and DVDs or act as display cabinets or stands to place your speakers and other gadgets and equipment.

Accent Tables

accent tables bring sophistication and functionality to any room as the highlight of the space.

Accent tables serve as the highlight of the space they’re set in, often acting as that one element of decor that ties up all the decor in the room. Make sure they match and aren't over powered by whichever of the types of rugs you have in the room.

One accent table is all you sometimes need to add a whole new dimension of aesthetic appeal to your space; this also quite the money saver, since you only need to invest in one piece of furniture to spruce up your space instead of many pieces of furniture.

Bedside Tables

bedside tables are used in the bedroom beside the bed so the sleeper can rest books, drinks, and TV remotes, for instance.

These tables are small and compact tables that go next to your bed—a convenient spot to place your books, lamp, glasses, and anything else you may need to take off you before going to sleep, without the need to get out of your bed.

These tables come in 3 different types; though they’re pretty much the same in terms of their functionality, the purpose they fulfill differs slightly and contribute differently to your bedroom feng shui.

The first type is a standalone table without any storage space that only provides a surface to place your belongings. These are all-purpose in terms of fitting in with most any of the bed alternatives, too.

The second type is a bedside chest or cabinet—these include drawers for extra storage or a cabinet and a drawer above. These are extremely convenient to store socks, handkerchiefs, a flashlight, or pillow covers, for example.

The third type is a nightstand, which only includes one storage drawer. The main function of these stands is to provide a surface for you to set your bedside lamp or alarm clock and not storage.

Bar Tables

bar tables are for sitting upright on stools and enjoying a beverage and a conversation with a friend or spouse

Bar tables may come as a part of a full home bar setup or a large table with space to prep meals, host dinners and store cutlery.

These are great options for the party animals or those who frequently host guests at their homes. People will need a place to stand around and set their belongings.

Wooden Tables

wooden tables bring a classic style of warmth and comfort to any room

Tables can also be differentiated based on what material they’re made from. Though many tables exist in plastic and other synthetic materials, wood tables are the most popular, thanks to their durability and their beauty.

Such tables come in a range of colors and patterns (formed by the wood grain); since they’re made of a natural material, some tables feature unique wood-grain patterns and coloring.

Wood tables add a touch of elegance to any room, indoors or outdoors, owing to which they grace homes around the world. I mention these only to point out that there's other materials other than wood that are used as well.

Know Your Types of Tables

With such a range of tables available to fulfill a range of purposes, you’re never going to be at a loss when it comes to picking out the right table anymore, whether it’s for aesthetic value or functionality.

Remember, what kind of table you pick out and where you place it can make all the difference between the room looking cluttered or not; additionally, the size of the table also matters, so don’t pick one that’s larger than necessary—it will just end up taking more space than required.

Know you know the various types of tables. Go forth and decorate well, my friends.

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, who's life is consumed by all things home and garden. Starting as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.