How to Arrange Multiple Tables
Cocktail, sofa and end tables, oh my. With all those tables in the same room, what do you do about mixing and matching? Here are some do's and don'ts:
• Match everything. If other furnishings in the room are bold or busy, the best thing to do is to match all the tables so as not to distract from the attention-getters. This also provides a sense of organization.
• Mix everything. Having every table be different can be quite attractive if they're well coordinated. The difficulty is in making them fit comfortably (for the eye) in the room with everything else. If they're all of the same theme - say contemporary with glass tops - the bases can be different. But the bases should still have something in common. They might all be bronze-colored metal, for example, although they don't all look alike. All the tables could also be of a traditional persuasion - say, all in mahogany - yet each an interesting work of art different from the others. It would help if the tables were all of one period, such as rococo or Queen Anne.
• A combination of the above. This is the most popular solution, with all but one piece matching. Usually it's the cocktail table that's different, though it's occasionally the sofa table. End tables serve as supporting actors in this scene, so they should match each other.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann is author of Mystery of Color.