Functions of an Occasional Table

By Furniture Buying Guides

A brief history

The Old English word “tabele” and the French word “table” provide the origins of the modern word, “table”. Both words are derived from “tabula”, which is a Latin word with a definition of “a board, plank or flat piece”. Egypt and China were where the earliest tables originated from some five millennia ago. The purpose of these tables was painting and writing, as well as to make sure that the floor was uncluttered. Dining tables came into existence courtesy of the Romans and Greeks some 3,000 years afterwards. Another table which has gained acceptance down the centuries is the occasional table, which is used in various places in the home to hold various items. There are few homes today without some sort of occasional table, with items such as telephones, vases and lamps tending to appear on them.

occasional tables furniture uk

Where are occasional tables used?

Occasional tables are a common sight throughout the home. They have tended to appear in living rooms, bedrooms, hallways and dining rooms.

  • Functions of an occasional table:

As well as providing a place to put telephones, photographs, lamps, vases, candles, and ornaments, occasional tables also often have drinks placed upon them. This is the purpose that nests of tables particularly serve, as drinks are often passed to a guest who is then provided by the host with a table from under the nest to place his or her drink down on. There are also tables that hold a lamp near a telephone, plant or sofa, known as lamp tables.

  • Display:

Various different items are small enough to be placed on side and lamp tables, such as vases, ornaments, and photographs.

  • Storage:

Occasional tables are also used as a place to stack books, magazines or similar items. Newbury collection trunks are not only good occasional tables but provide storage space as well.

  • Accent piece:

Side and lamp tables can add to a room’s attractiveness by being placed in different areas of the house to display items. They also naturally serve a practical purpose.


Features of occasional tables:

Features of occasional tables include shelves, drawers, cupboards and possibly even a wine rack. Often an occasional table is used as a coffee table!

Choosing an occasional table:

You will have several key priorities in buying an occasional table. Firstly, you will want to know the eventual location of the table in your home. This is important as you won’t want a clash between your table and the room’s general wood colour and décor. Secondly, you’ll want to determine the right size from the great variety available. Thirdly, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to assemble it yourself.

How to look after an occasional table:

Good quality beeswax can be used to protect and clean your table. It is best to keep it away from strong sunlight and radiators, the latter because the table could shrink, and its veneers and joints loosen, as a result of the heat.

Occasional table assembly guide:

You can assemble an occasional table by taking several steps. Firstly, protect both the table and the work surface from damage by laying a blanket down. Secondly, lay all the pieces out once you have carefully removed them from the packaging. Thirdly, make sure that all of the necessary tools such as screwdrivers and hammers are to hand. You can then get assembling!



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