Functions of an Occasional Table

Functions of an Occasional Table

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A brief history

The Old English word “tabele” and the French word “table” provide the origins of the modern term “table”. Both words are derived from “tabula”, a Latin word defined as “a board, plank or flat piece”. Egypt and China were where the earliest tables originated some five millennia ago. The purpose of these tables was painting and writing, as well as ensuring the floor was uncluttered. Dining tables came into existence courtesy of the Romans and Greeks some 3,000 years afterwards.

Another table that has gained acceptance down the centuries is the occasional table, used in various places in the home to hold multiple items. There are few homes today without occasional tables, with telephones, vases and lamps tending to appear on them.

Where are occasional tables used?

Occasional tables are a common sight throughout the home. They 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 mainly 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 their glass down on. Some tables hold a lamp near a telephone, plant or sofa, known as lamp tables.

  • Display:

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

small tables with vase on top
Photo: Eugene Deshko
  • Storage:

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

small wood table used for storage
Photo: Sam Moghadam Khamseh
  • 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 correct size from the variety available. Thirdly, you must 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 avoid strong sunlight and radiators because the table could shrink, and its veneers and joints loosen due to the heat.

Occasional table assembly guide:

You can assemble an occasional table by taking several steps. First, protect the table and the work surface from damage by laying a blanket down. After carefully removing them from the packaging, lay all the pieces out. Thirdly, ensure that all necessary tools, such as screwdrivers and hammers, are to hand. You can then get assembling!