Some prefer to have a table that has several drawers for storage; others prefer a single drawer with perhaps a small shelf along the bottom. It largely depends on the needs of your home. A single drawer table with long legs is visually lighter than an end table with drawers or a drawer and a lower shelf. The "visual weight" of a piece is important in keeping a room from looking too crowded.
End tables get more abuse than most other pieces of furniture in your home. They are always being banged around and beaten up by everyone who walks around your home. Think about all the times that someone has turned the corner beside your sofa a little too tight and ran right into the table? Between that and plates, purses and anything else they may be setting down on the end tables and picking up again, there are likely to be a lot of dings and scratches on your end tables if you don't protect them.
Modern furniture puts an emphasis on glass, however real wood is generally far easier to care for. If you're looking for something with personality, a painted finish will give your living or family room an additional 'wow' factor and if you have modern decor it will help you avoid the 'metal and glass' look. A light colored, painted finish will give your room a fresh feel; there's no need to go for dark colors if you're looking for a traditional style; be fashionably 'shabby chic' by choosing pastel tables with a distressed finish. A light, chintzy or feminine sofa, potted plants and vases stuffed with cottage garden flowers will complete the look, but if you'd prefer something more exotic, try something with a patterned mosaic surface and the warmth of brass, or use a carved ornate trunk to add an air of mystery.
Many end tables have lift tops. These can serve a number of purposes. First, if you happen to be short table space for a family meal, the end tables tops can be lifted up, and locked in place to offer more counter space. These are also a great solution for game nights, when you don't want to bring out the rickety card table.
One of the most common damages to end tables is from someone setting a cup down on the table without a coaster. The water from their cup will seep into the table and cause those white rings. Sometimes you can get them out, other times you may have to have the tables refinished to remove the damage. It's better to prevent it in the first place.
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