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Occasional Tables Buying Guide

Occasional Tables Buying Guide

A Brief History

The word “table” is derived from a mix of the French word table and the Old English tabele, both from the Latin word tabula, which means “a board, plank or flat piece”. The earliest, most primitive tables were to be found in Egypt and China around 5,000 years ago. These tables were used to keep things off the floor and for writing and painting. The Romans and Greeks introduced dining tables around 3,000 years later. Through the centuries, occasional tables, dotted around the home to place various items on, have become more and more common. Nowadays, occasional tables are found in most homes, holding items such as lamps, telephones and vases.

Where are the occasional tables used?

Occasional tables can be used in many rooms in the home. You’ll find them in most living rooms, but also in dining rooms, hallways and bedrooms.

Functions of an Occasional Table

Occasional tables are used to hold items such as lamps, telephones, photographs, vases, ornaments and candles. They’re also a convenient place to put down drinks. Nests of tables are particularly used for this purpose; when guests are given a drink, the host often pulls a table from the nest and gives it to them so they have somewhere to set their drink down. Lamp Tables are perfect for a lamp by the side of a sofa, a plant or a telephone.


Side and Lamp tables have room to display many different items, including photographs, ornaments and vases.


There’s plenty space on an occasional table to stack items like books or magazines. These trunks from the Newbury collection are great storage as well as acting as occasional tables.

Accent Piece

Not only are lamp and side tables practical, placing them around your home and displaying items on top of them can really help complete the look of a room. 

Features of Occasional Tables

Some occasional tables have drawers, cupboards, shelves or even a wine rack, while others are just a straightforward table. We have several nest of tables, including the contemporary Oakleigh Nest of Tables and the , from the Oakleigh collection and the distrinctive Westminster Oak Nest of Tables. Occasional tables vary in size from the Canterbury Nest of Tables collection to the mirrored cube from the Venetian collection.

Choosing an Occasional Table

The three key questions you should ask yourself when selecting an occasional table are:
1. Where are you going to put the table? You’ll want to make sure it fits in with the decor and wood colour of the rest of your chosen room.
2. What size of occasional table do you want? We have a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from this small lamp table to this large console table.
3. Do you want to assemble your table yourself? We have both fully assembled and part assembled occasional tables.

How to look after an Occasional Table

To keep your table looking its best, clean and protect it with good quality beeswax. You should also keep your occasional table away from strong sunlight and take care not to place it in front of, or next to, a radiator. The heat might cause it to shrink, loosening joints and veneers.

Occasional table Assembly Guide

If you choose a part assembly occasional table, here are our top tips for putting it together: • Lay a blanket down on the surface you’re going to use to assemble your table to prevent scratching and damage to both the surface and the table. • Take all the pieces out of the packaging carefully and lay them out. Make sure you have everything you need before you start. • Lay out your tools – hammer, screwdriver, etc. • Get to work!

If you don’t want to, or are unable to, assemble your occasional table yourself, we recommend Flat Pack Amigos (www.flatpackamigos.com), who have furniture assemblers nationwide.