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Designer Picks: The Best Benches for The End of Your Bed

Whether you’re designing your bedroom from scratch or refreshing it with a new look, a bench at the end of the bed is one of our top bedroom essentials. Stylistically, an end of bed bench is a luxurious finishing accent. It adds a polished look to your bed and bedroom, and it also provides a seat for putting on and taking off shoes as well as a surface for holding any extra pillows and blankets at night.

However, with so many bedroom bench options available, it can get overwhelming when shopping for one that meets your style and needs. Do you go with an upholstered bench or one of the more practical storage benches? Or should you pick a pair of stools or ottomans instead? What are bench sizes that work with queen beds?

Bench dimensions in relation to your bed size is key. (For the record, a queen bed should be paired with a bench that’s about 45” wide, and 60-65” wide for a king. And there should be 6”-8” of bed on both ends of the bench.) Additionally, your bench should be the same height as, or lower (not higher) than, your bed.

To help you find the right size bench for your bed, we’ve devised this handy bench to bed frame size guide, along with a roundup of our designers’ favorite benches below.

The Best End of Bed Bench Size for Each Mattress Size

  • Full Size Beds = 46” max
  • Queen Size Beds = 48” max
  • King Size Beds = 64” max
  • California King Beds = 60” max

Keep reading to see our designers’ top picks for end of bed benches in every style.

Best Wood Benches

Wood benches go with any style space or furniture. They’re a reliable option for an end of bed bench that’s long-lasting, easy to clean, and simple to style up with pillows, throws, and accents.

Contemporary bedroom with wood bench and woven storage baskets

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Saige Mid-Century Bench, Greenville

Why We Love It: Simple, polished, and airy, this modern bench adds practical seating without being bulky. The rich walnut wood tone adds instant warmth and pairs nicely with many different palettes, while the open base provides lots of extra storage room for baskets and boxes underneath.

Perfect for… Modern and contemporary bedrooms with a neutral palette.

Rustic modren bedroom with wood bench

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Sango Bench, Noir

Why We Love It: The unique design of this bench makes it a sculptural statement in any bedroom. Substantial in size, this bench provides both bold form and practical function with its three separate seats. The honey-tone munggur wood also adds a touch of natural beauty and warmth.

Perfect for… Neo-traditional style bedrooms with a mix of classic-trad and modern elements.

dark bedroom with platform bed and natural wood bed

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Dakota Bench, Crate & Barrel

Why We Love It: This clean-lined bench has a perfectly minimalist look. It adds practical function without taking up room both physically and visually. The neutral ashy wood tone also works well with other neutrals, making it easy to mix with any style furniture or space.

Perfect for… Minimalists and contemporary bedrooms with lots of organic and neutral designs.

Eclectic bedroom with woven bench

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Callie Woven Bench, Hyde Park

Why We Love It: With its woven seat, this bench brings a bold eclectic look to the bedroom. The two-tone hues and woven texture add visual interest, and they make the bench stand out alongside natural-wood pieces. Mix it with other colorful textural accents, like a sheepskin rug or kilim pouf.

Perfect for… Rustic, eclectic, and boho style rooms with a mix of chic, colorful, and organic designs.

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Best Upholstered Benches for Bedrooms

Plush upholstered benches offer the greatest range of style options, from solid colors to patterned designs. They’re luxe end of bed benches that add major warmth, texture, and color.

Neutral MCM bedroom with tapered leg bench

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Cavett Leather Bench, Crate & Barrel

Why We Love It: A classic Mid-century style bench with a neutral color palette, it’s a polished and plush addition to the foot of any bed. The upholstered leather top adds a cool industrial vibe and is also easy-to-clean. It’s a great investment piece since leather is durable and ages nicely over time.

Perfect for… Any modern bedrooms with a Mid-Century style furniture mix.

Industrial bedroom with organic accents and velvet bench

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Channel Velvet Bench, Crate & Barrel

Why We Love It: Topped with a bold-green velvet seat, this clean-lined bench adds a modern and glamorous look to a queen bed. The soft velvet makes it a great end of bed bench that can do double-duty as a reading seat or a catchall for clothes and pillows. It also pairs nicely with other green accents for a lush and calming look.

Perfect for… Glamorous and nature-inspired bedrooms with lots of botanical and green elements.

natural wood headboard in a blue coastal bedroom

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Sweden Bench, Noir

Why We Love It: With its natural wood, cream fabric upholstery, and nailheads, this bench has a timeless antiqued look that easily works with a wide range of color palettes. The open rectangular design is classic and elegant, and it’s substantial in size so it’s best suited for a large bedroom.

Perfect for… Rustic and transitional style spaces with lots of natural wood bedroom furniture.

Pink monochromatic bedroom with matching bench

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Terrace Bench, Vivid Arts

Why We Love It: The turned brass legs give this bench a majorly glam form. Paired with a pink patterned seat top, this bench is at once chic, colorful, and compact so you can easily pull it into a large or small bedroom. It’s the perfect fun companion to any size bed.

Perfect for… Glam, Mid-Century, or even eclectic style rooms that have lots of warm pops of color.

Mcm bedroom with upholstered bench

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Dechlan Bench, Scout Home

Why We Love It: Light and airy, this x-framed bench from Scout Home is a stylish addition to any traditional or rustic bedroom. The neutral upholstered seat, silver nailheads, and warm-wood frame make it versatile and easy to work into any color scheme. Try mixing it with other traditional wood and metal accents.

Perfect for… Traditional and rustic interiors with sleek lighting, luxe accents, and rich woods.

Modern bedroom with white leather bench

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Lucas Long Leather Bench, Global Views

Why We Love It: A Mid-century style bench with a balanced shape. You get the best of all worlds with the angular carved wood frame and sumptuous white-leather upholstered seat. It adds a sculptural look at the end of a bed or it’s equally stylish and bold set against a wall along the bed.

Perfect for… Minimalists who love the Scandinavinan-inspired Mid-Century look.

MCM meets glam bedroom with velvet and acrylic bench

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Acrylic & Velvet Bench, CB2

Why We Love It: It doesn’t get more glam and chic than an acrylic bench topped with a plush velvet seat. The acrylic base gives the bench a visually minimal look that makes it practical in smaller rooms, and the clear frame also makes it a piece that can be easily paired with any size or style bed.

Perfect for…  Mid-Century lovers who also love a glam, modern touch in their decor.

MCM and rustic bedroom with ribbed goat leather bench in cognac

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Goat Leather Bench, Precita Home

Why We Love It: A stylish combination of rustic ribbed leather with tapered modern wood legs, this compact bench packs a bold look at the end of a bed. The warm wood tone and tan-leather is a great way to add a pop of color and texture to a neutral bed and white bedding.

Perfect for… Modern rustic bedrooms anchored in earth tones, organic wood, and light fabrics.

Rustic and industrial bedroom with collapsable leather bench in cognac

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Leather Director’s Bench, CB2

Why We Love It: The smooth leather seat with an old-school collapsing X-frame bench makes this a compact and convenient seat at the foot of any bed. The leather-and-metal combination and the hand-assembled and sewn aspect of the bench also gives it a cool industrial vibe.

Perfect for… Rustic and industrial style rooms with a mix of simple designs and natural materials.

Contemporary bedroom with upholster bench

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Pax Bench, Crate & Barrel

Why We Love It: A stylish classic bench with a clean-lined frame that’s made extra-bold with a striped upholstered seat. The striped fabric adds visual interest to a bedroom without coming off as too colorful, while the mango-wood frame offers a touch of warmth.

Perfect for… Neutral palette rooms and modern bedrooms with clean-lined furniture and decor.

Contemporary bedroom with tufted bench

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Arlo Bench, Nuevo

Why We Love It: A chic bench featuring walnut wood and charcoal tufted upholstery, this is classic Mid-Century style at its finest. Anchor the foot of a bed with this bench to add bold texture and a sumptuous place to sit, lay down a tray, or to hold extra clothes and pillows.

Perfect for… Modern or traditional bedroom with lots of neutral upholstery and textile accents.

Tropical inspired bedroom with woven bench

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Aliser Double Bench, Ludlow Living

Why We Love It: This durable woven rattan bench brings a tropical-inspired look to the bedroom. At the foot of the bed, it’s a bedroom seating area all on its own, with its plush removable cushion and settee-like arms. It’s a sumptuous bench that’s not heavy looking thanks to the open woven rattan.

Perfect for… Eclectic, boho, and coastal style bedrooms and spaces with kids and pets.

 

Mid-century modern bedroom with wing bench

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Mid-Century Wing Bench, Nyla Home

Why We Love It: With tapered legs, a tufted seat cushion, and winged sides, this curvy Mid-Century style bench brings an elevated look to any bedroom. It’s a great bench to balance out a more classic wood bed and it will instantly brighten a room with a crisp, design-forward look and feel.

Perfect for… Mid-century style and minimalist rooms with simple wood pieces and graphic accents.

Best End of the Bed Storage Benches

These seats have hidden storage compartments and provide the best bedroom storage. As an end of bed bench, you can stow blankets and linens out of sight but always within easy reach.

Contemporary bedroom with upholstered bench

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Sydney Trunk, Scout Home

Why We Love It: This leather bench has the sleek look of an industrial Mid-Century seat but comes with added hidden storage that makes it a stylish storage essential for the bedroom. It’s low-maintenance given the leather upholstery and the blue hue makes it easy to mix into any space.

Perfect for… Spacious modern rooms that can fit larger bedroom benches and clean-lined pieces.

pink boho bedroom with velvet trunk

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Clutch Bench, CB2

Why We Love It: Plush and substantial in size, this chic storage bench in blush upholstery is sure to be a showstopper at the foot of any bed. The top lifts off to reveal a deep cavity that’s perfect for storing bedding, pillows, purses, shoes, and other clothing. The blush also blends beautifully with other color palettes—it isn’t too bold or too subdued and works perfectly as a neutral.

Perfect for… A large bedroom of any style, from minimalist to eclectic and Mid-Century.

rustic bedroom with tufted headboard and bench

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Lorraine Storage Bench, Pottery Barn

Why We Love It: This is as classic as storage benches get. It comes with a tufted cushion top, clean-lined design, traditional wood feet, and a deep hidden compartment inside. The cream upholstery is the perfect neutral for mixing with any color scheme and the substantial size of the bench makes it super practical as a seat and storage piece.

Perfect for… Traditional and rustic rooms with a king size bed, which works best with this bench.

Best End of the Bed Stools

The most versatile end of bed bench option, stools are great if you want pieces that are small-space friendly. They’re easy to move around and usually work best in pairs.

Traditional bedroom with rustic elements and twin woven stools

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Malibu Accent Stool, Pottery Barn

Why We Love It: These rustic stools come with natural wood frames and woven jute seats that give them an organic warmth. At the end of a bed, these bedroom benches add an earthy vibe and make for convenient surfaces for clothes and books. Try two placed side-by-side for a balanced look.

Perfect for… Boho and modern eclectic bedrooms outfitted with lots of natural textures and accents.

Electic bedroom with leather stools

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Leather Stool, Baylin

Why We Love It: The industrial X-frame in dark metal and warm-leather sling seats make these chic stools for in and out of the bedroom. At the foot of the bed, a pair instantly adds a sleek modern look. Lightweight and easy to fold away, they’re also ideal bench options for small bedrooms.

Perfect for… Modern, industrial, and rustic style rooms where bold materials are the spotlight.

Best Ottomans for the End of the Bed

For something more substantial than stools and benches, ottomans are the way to go. Spacious, kid-friendly, and made for lounging, ottomans can make for a great end of bed bench that’s chic, durable, and long-lasting for years to come.

Minimalist bedroom with storage bench

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Lounge Deep Storage Ottoman, Crate & Barrel

Why We Love It: A classic and simple ottoman with a deep storage compartment inside, this substantial piece adds a clean-lined and crisp look to the foot of any bed. The neutral upholstery works in any space, and hidden casters let you move it as needed.

Perfect for… Spacious modern minimalist rooms large enough to fit a king sized bed, which works best proportionally with this ottoman.

modern rustic bedroom with iron bed

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Pacey Leather Ottoman, Jofran

Why We Love It: With a clean-lined metal base and a tufted leather top, this industrial-style ottoman adds instant statement style and warmth to a bed. The dark hues of the bench work with a range of color palettes and schemes, and the open base offers extra storage for boxes, bins, and baskets.

Perfect for… Modern rustic spaces with a mix of industrial and contemporary furnishings.

Best End of Bed Trunks

Trunks have been used in bedrooms for centuries. They offer more storage than benches and a trunk or chest generally has a versatile design that’s easy to mix with furnishings in various styles. As an end of bed bench, they’re durable, timeless, and unexpected.

Rustic style bedroom with trunk

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Maynard Trunk, C2C Home

Why We Love It: Equal parts classic and rustic, this natural wood trunk with metal details brings a vintage-inspired look to the bedroom. It can work with a range of color palettes, from light and airy to rich and warm, and it offers tons of interior storage that makes it a timeless and practical piece.

Perfect for… Traditional and modern bedrooms with lots of natural textures and vintage accents.

iron bed in modern rustic bedroom

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Acacia Trunk, CB2

Why We Love It: For a sleek modern trunk, this clean-lined trunk made with richly hued acacia wood is a chic update of classic old chests. It adds warmth to a bedroom without feeling too bold, and it blends seamlessly with other wood and modern furnishings as well as high-contrast accents.

Perfect for… Modern, minimalist, and rustic rooms that have a good mix of contemporary designs.

Best End of Bed Poufs

Soft, versatile, and easy to maneuver, poufs are perfect benches for small spaces. A pair is the easiest (and most affordable) way to create an end of bed bench that adds color, pattern, and texture. There are also endless pouf options, so you’re sure to find ones that match your style.

Coastal bedroom with twin ottomans

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Nautical Pouf, Precita Home

Why We Love It: You can’t go wrong with poufs in classic blue-and-white stripes. A pair of these nautical-style poufs will bring a relaxed and airy look to the foot of your bed and the simple cube shape makes it easy to move around and decorate with other laid-back furnishings.

Perfect for… Rustic, coastal, and traditional bedrooms with a mix of white-washed and relaxed furnishings.

Explore our gallery for more Bedroom Design Ideas!

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The 20 Best Ottomans to Use as a Coffee Table

The coffee table is a living room essential. But if you’re looking for something a little more unexpected in style, there are plenty of coffee table alternatives. One of our favorites is the ottoman coffee table, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an ottoman (or two!) that you can use to hold trays, put your feet up on, or even lay out an entire cocktail spread.

There are many ottoman coffee table styles you can choose from—be it one with built in storage or a pair of round ottomans that function like nesting tables. So no matter your style or preference, you’re certain to find an ottoman that suits your style and needs.

But first things first, here are some basic questions and things to know if you’re considering an ottoman coffee table:

Can I use an ottoman as a coffee table?

Yes! It’s great for a home with kids, especially ottomans with rounded edges and upholstered tops, which are more child-friendly. As a coffee table, ottomans can also double as a comfy footrest while adding a casual feel in family and TV rooms.

Room with blue grid rug, two wingback chairs and fireplace

What are some things to look for in an ottoman coffee table?

Storage

It can be built in storage, like the top of an ottoman that lifts off to reveal a storage compartment, or it could be a lower compartment under the ottoman that’s like open shelving. Some ottomans have drawers built in as well. No matter the style, storage ottomans are great if you live in a home with kids or pets to keep things organized and hidden.

Material

If your ottoman is going to come in contact with energetic kids and pets, you’ll want to pick one made with durable materials. If it’s upholstered, the fabric material should be high performance and easy-to-clean. A darker or patterned upholstery material is also a good option for busy households since they can conceal wears and stains better.

Size and Shape

This depends on the size of your space and the furniture around your ottoman. Just like a coffee table, you want it to be proportional to your sofa or sectional while leaving at least 12” of walking space in between. Because of that, sometimes round ottomans that allow more room all around it work better with a sectional sofa.

What about casters?

They make it easy to move the ottoman around, so it’s great for a living room where you regularly need to free up floor space to play with your kids or exercise. Plus, ottomans can be heavy depending on its style, so one with casters makes it more versatile and moveable as a foot rest.

Do I have to use a tray on top of my ottoman?

It’s totally up to you—but we’re fans of trays! Since the top of the ottoman isn’t always level or hard enough to set drinks on, a tray can help. A deep tray also gives you a bit of stability to add plates and drinks, or you can use one to set out decor, like candles, vases, and books. Plus a tray can be great for keeping remotes and chargers all in one place while still within easy reach. You can also add a tray with handles so you can easily move it on and off the ottoman as needed.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our stylist’s picks for the best ottomans to use as coffee tables. Scroll to see some of our favorite and most popular ottoman styles!

Designing your living room and want some more furniture ideas? Take a look at our living room furniture checklist, and also see some of our favorite living room storage ideas.

Our Designers’ Top Ottoman Coffee Table Picks:

room with formal layout and cognac sofas, fireplace and white ottoman

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Essex Ottoman, Serena & Lily

Style: Classic Traditional

Why We Love It: It’s a timeless ottoman design. The tufted top and spindle wood legs on casters make it a comfy, kid-friendly piece, and easy to move. It also works in any style room.

Keep in Mind: It’s versatile in style but it works best in formal living and sitting rooms.

room with brown leather armchairs

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Hingham Ottoman, Scout Home

Style: Laid-Back Global

Why We Love It: The square ‘cube’ shape makes it a great footrest and the caning adds a nice textural touch. Bunch two together (aka. put them side-by-side) for a larger combined ottoman.

Keep in Mind: It’s more decorative than multifunctional and best for a home without kids or pets

Green room with abstract art and leather ottman

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Large White Hide Ottoman, Jamie Young

Style: Modern Rustic

Why We Love It: The clean-lined square form, the natural hide leather, and the detailed stitching all make this ottoman an instant statement piece in any living room.

Keep in Mind: Hide leather needs special care, so top it with a tray to prevent spills and stains.

room with large lantern, white sofa and chairs, and ottoman

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Malibu Woven Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Classic Coastal

Why We Love It: Relaxed and versatile, this open-base ottoman with a woven rattan top is lightweight and airy but also soft and durable. Mix it with white upholstery for a chic coastal vibe.

Keep in Mind: Because it’s made with woven rattan, use it with trays to extend its longevity.

 

room with butterfly art, vanity, and blue ottoman

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Indigo/Ivory Pouf, Loloi

Style: Casual Modern

Why We Love It: These plush ottomans bring a beautiful artisanal touch with its hand-dyed shibori pattern. They’re also comfy and easy to move, and totally kid-friendly coffee table.

Keep in Mind: Like poufs, two is better than one and they work best when placed side-by-side.

room with chaesterfield sofa and purple velvet tufted ottman

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Tufty Ottoman in Mulberry, Nuevo

Style: City Glam

Why We Love It: Upholstered in tufted velvet, this ottoman makes for a luxe coffee table that brings rich texture, vivid color, and a bold glamorous look to rooms. It’s a forever chic option.

Keep in Mind: Velvet can be expensive, so choose a darker velvet which will help hide stains.

room with large patterend rug and twin ottomans

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Dallas Round Ottoman, Nyla Home

Style: Contemporary Cool

Why We Love It: The round ottomans have a fun cylindrical shape, tufted leather, and wood tops that lift open to reveal hidden storage. A pair will fit seamlessly into a modern living room. Keep in Mind: The round shape and hidden storage make them perfect for small living spaces.

beige room with blue ottoman and white sofa

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Lounge Storage Ottoman, Crate & Barrel

Style: Laid-Back Cool

Why We Love It: Designed with a built-in storage compartment and upholstered on all sides, this streamlined ottoman is a versatile option that can be mixed with any style furniture.

Keep in Mind: If you’re keen on practicality, this piece is kid-friendly and great for family rooms.

Creme room with jute rur, abstract art, and ottman art

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Seagrass Striped Ottoman, Precita Home

Style:  Coastal Boho

Why We Love It: Like a soft, textured pouf, this rounded ottoman wrapped in jute is durable and can work for both indoor and outdoor spaces while also holding up to kids and pets.

Keep in Mind: Rounded ottomans leave walking room all around, so it’s great for small spaces.

blue room with white sofa and cognac ottman

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Lyle Leather Ottoman, Joybird

Style: Clean-Lined Rustic

Why We Love It: Lightweight and easy to slide around, this leather ottoman is soft like a pouf while still being durable and strong. It’s a stylish choice for a slightly more formal family room.

Keep in Mind: Leather is durable and will age over time, so it’s a worthwhile investment piece.

room with blue velvet sofa and brown leather tufted ottoman

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Martin Leather Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Farmhouse Traditional

Why We Love It: A classic ottoman in dark leather with a tufted top, spindle wood legs, and nailheads, this piece is equal parts rustic and elevated. We love it in a traditional or rustic room.

Keep in Mind: It’s a good investment piece that’s substantial in size and built to last for years.

abstract art over fireplace

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Caden Square Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Contemporary Rustic

Why We Love It: With a large open shelf underneath for extra storage, this ottoman made from natural wood with a leather top will instantly add a rugged sense of style to any modern room. Keep in Mind: While it’s durable, be sure to add a tray to protect the leather top.

room with formal layout and patterned ottman

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Rug-Printed Folkthread Ottoman, Anthropologie

Style: Modern Eclectic

Why We Love It: If you’re looking for an ottoman coffee table with a pop of color, pattern, and texture, this one has it all. It’s a statement piece that will instantly add eclectic style to a room.

Keep in Mind: It’s a decorative piece, so keep it clear of trays and clutter to let it shine!

room with wood paneling, leather sectional, and square coffee table

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Upholstered Ottoman Table, Ashby Home

Style: Formal Rustic Trad

Why We Love It: A large ottoman with a refined look, it has a wood frame adds durability and an upholstered tufted top makes for a soft surface. The storage shelf base is a major bonus!

Keep in Mind: With so much storage underneath, use it for baskets, books, boxes and more!

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room with fireplace circular mirror and white ottman

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Dover Modular Ottoman, Hyde Park

Style: Simple Modern Chic

Why We Love It: Made with stain-resistant fabric and a spring-cushioned top, this ottoman is more durable and versatile than it looks. It’s a chic coffee table and footrest for a family home.

Keep in Mind: Although it’s all white, it repels spills and stains so it’s super kid- and pet-friendly.

tufted bench ottoman

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Pacey Archive Leather Ottoman, Jofran

Style: Modern Industrial

Why We Love It: Long and narrow like a bench, this leather-topped ottoman is the perfect coffee table height next to any sofa. The metal base also gives it a cool industrial edge we love.

Keep in Mind: The open base feels airy while also making room for storage underneath. Use it!

room with white sectional and leather ottoman

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Wells Leather Ottoman, Crate & Barrel

Style: Contemporary Industrial

Why We Love It: A superb footrest, this ottoman has a soft pillow top with slender legs that give it a modern-cool vibe. It’s a streamlined piece that works well with contemporary upholstery.

Keep in Mind: It’s a smaller ottoman so it’s a chic multifunctional piece for compact apartments.

Room with blue grid rug, two wingback chairs and fireplace

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Comfort Slipcovered Storage Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Classic Ease

Why We Love It: Any slipcovered ottoman is a workhorse in our book. This one comes with a top that lifts straight off to reveal storage inside for books, games, throw blankets, and more!

Keep in Mind: Slipcovers can be washed, so it’s a great polished piece for a home with kids.

large room with vaulted ceiling, formal layout and mirror above fireplce

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Finley Square Ottoman, Joybird

Style: Modern Glam

Why We Love It: It doesn’t get more glamorous than this large ottoman with a sleek x-base metal frame and a plush tufted leather top. It makes for a chic addition in sitting rooms.

Keep in Mind: While it’s durable, the design is a bit precious so it’s best in a home without kids.

Small living room with twin ottomans

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Olean Khaki/Navy Pouf, Tanjore

Style: Mid-Century Rustic

Why We Love It: Nothing beats practical, lightweight, and versatile ottoman poufs for easy accent pieces. Pair two together as a coffee table or use each one as a footrest.

Keep in Mind: Chic small-space ottomans, stow them under consoles or in corners as needed.

See our gallery for more Living Room Design Ideas.

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Lighting Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Choosing Lighting for Your Space

We’re big believers in layered lighting here at Modsy. When you have more than one light source in a room, it gives you more control over how your space feels. You might want to throw open your blinds in the morning and let in all the natural light. But if you’re working from home, you may also need a task light by your desk. As the day turns into evening and the sunlight fades, it’s helpful to be able to turn on an overhead light if you’re working on a project or opt for floor and table lamps if you want a softer, moodier glow.

Essentially, the right lighting helps you set the mood and tone you want. That’s why lighting is essential in all of our room checklists and interior design buying guides. You might find yourself feeling a little grumpy if your bedroom only has one bright overhead light. While this is a great lighting option during the day, it will seem harsh when you’re trying to cozy up in bed with a book. That’s when you want a bedside lamp or sconce, for a softer and more directional lighting option. (Plus, when you have a lamp by your bed, you don’t have to get out of bed to turn off the light!)

What we’re saying is: good, layered lighting makes all the difference when it comes to setting a vibe in your home. And, as we enter winter and the days grow shorter (AKA it gets darker earlier) it’s so important to have the best lamps and be able to make your lighting work for you. No one wants to just have an overhead light on all through a long winter evening!

So, to help you get your lighting right in your home, we’ve put together a lighting buying guide full of everything you need to know about choosing lighting for your home.

lighting buying guide

Types of Lighting

There are five main types of lighting that all work together to create a well-lit home. You certainly don’t have to use all five in each room of your home—but having a couple different light sources in each space will allow you to layer your lighting and change light sources throughout the day.

lighting buying guide

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is all the—you guessed it—natural light that comes in through your windows. Good natural lighting might mean you can skip other light sources during peak sunlight hours. You can use curtains to soften and diffuse natural light, and you can use mirrors to reflect natural light and brighten up a room or make it seem larger. Some benefits of natural lighting? It shows the truest colors in your interior and can boost your mood, making your environment feel more appealing.

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lighting buying guide

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, is the overhead lighting in a room. It’s the perfect option for when you need an entire room to be lit—like when you’re cooking in the kitchen, doing chores around the house, or working on a craft. But ambient lighting can feel intense at night. Adding a dimmer switch is a great way to have the option of softening overhead lighting.

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lighting buying guide

Task Lighting

Task lighting, or reading lighting, creates a focused area of light in a room. Typically, this type of lamp will have a swivel head with more of a spotlight-type shade which allows for smaller, more concentrated light. (AKA, the light doesn’t disperse in all directions but is pointedly focused where you need it.) It’s just the thing for studying, working, reading, or when working on smaller crafts or hobbies.

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lighting buying guide

Accent Lighting

As the name suggests, accent lighting accents something. These are more concentrated lights that draw your eye to a certain focal point. Usually a table lamp or a sconce, it can be used to highlight a piece of furniture, object, or art piece—or simply to add an extra decorative element to a space. Accent lighting is best used on console tables, buffets, or side tables in a living room, dining room, entryway, or sometimes even in a hallway.

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Decorative Lighting

Decorative lights are light sources that are simply used as decor rather than for function. Think: bulb or twinkle lights, or small lamps or candles on a mantel, bar cart, or floating shelf. Decorative lighting is often just used to make a small statement, fill a space, or set a mood.

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lighting buying guide

Types of Light Fixtures

Beyond the types of lighting, there are also different types of light fixtures that will help you achieve your desired lighting layers and mood of your space. Below are the main types of light fixtures.

bedroom lighting

Table Lamps

Table lamps are smaller lights that tend to be anywhere from 14 to 30 inches in height. They offer subtle, dispersed light. These aren’t necessarily a task light—but they certainly can be. When brainstorming table lamp design ideas, remember that it will take a few table lamps to fill a whole room with light.

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Where to Use It

You can use table lamps on side tables, accent tables, consoles, nightstands, sideboards, and credenzas, or countertops. Table lamps are best for lighting a specific area of a space, like the corner of a sofa or one side of a bed.

Important Things to Consider

Consider the size and scale of the lamp in relation to where you’ll want to put it. Your table lamp should sit comfortably on a side table. So, veer away from anything that feels too top-heavy. A good rule of thumb? Aim to achieve a set-up where you can place your lamp comfortably on its side table, with room for at least two other objects on that table. If you can’t fit any objects on the table other than the lamp, generally the table is too small or the lamp is too big, and the whole set-up will look too crowded and will potentially even be wobbly and unsafe.

Ensure the shade supports your intended use. Shades impact the design style of a lamp and also impact the lighting diffusion. So, a darker shade will emit less light than a lighter shade. And a sloped shade will spread light out into a space more than a cylinder shape shade (which will cast light more up and down).

Make sure your lamp is at the right height. When you’re sitting on your sofa or bed, or at your desk, you want the bottom of your table lamp’s shade roughly at eye level. This protects your eyes from the glaring light of an exposed lightbulb. At this height, it will also properly illuminate the pages of a book or your workspace.

green room color schemes

Floor Lamps

A floor lamp is a lamp that sits directly on the floor. They’re typically 40+ inches tall, with the average being 58 to 64 inches tall. Floor lamps can project light throughout space and act as ambient lighting or be a focused task light depending on the shade and shape.

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Where to Use It

Use a floor lamp in a space where you need a lot of light and don’t want to place a lamp on the surface. The best floor lamps can offer focused lighting to about half of a room. So, one floor lamp won’t light up a whole room by itself—but they work well when accented by a table lamp or a second floor lamp. When it comes to floor lamp ideas, we love using floor lamps over an accent chair, next to a sofa, or even to light up a dark corner of a room.

Important Things to Consider

Build in enough space around the floor lamp. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of space to walk around the floor lamp, so you aren’t bumping into it every time you walk past the lamp. Since there will be a chord snaking on the floor, you also want to consider where you’ll plug it in to ensure the chord doesn’t present a tripping hazard.

Consider the height of the lamp in relation to where you’ll be placing it. If you’re placing a floor lamp next to a sofa or side chair, you’ll want the height of that floor lamp to feel appropriate to the sofa or chair. If it’s too tall it will make your seat look tiny and disproportionate. Too low and it will make the room feel small. Ultimately, you should be able to sit comfortably in said sofa or chair and not bump your head on the shade of the floor lamp.

lighting buying guide

Ceiling Lights

Ceiling lights come in many forms: pendants, chandeliers, flush-mount lights. Essentially, this is any light that hangs from the ceiling. Ceiling lights offer ambient, overhead light and can also make a stylistic statement in your space.

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Where to Use It

You’ll find ceiling lights throughout your home, and switching out the standard fixtures that come with your home is a simple but impactful way to drive home the style of your space. Dining rooms and living rooms are great places for pendants or chandeliers, where you want to create a focal point in your space. Meanwhile, in a bedroom and kitchen, you might want a flush-mount light. You could also opt for track lighting or recessed lights for more directional light control.

Important Things to Consider

Ceiling lights require a level of commitment. While you can always switch them out, the size of light fixtures and the involvement in installing them probably means you want them to be fairly permanent. This is especially true if you have high ceilings and have to rent scaffolding or large ladders to install the light fixtures.

The style of your light fixture can help set the tone for your whole space. Ceiling lights are a great way to help establish or drive home the overall style of your room. (In fact, this is a great way to try out the industrial lighting trend.) So, while they can be more of an investment, they’re one that will pay off stylistically and help your home feel more custom and thoughtful.

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Sconces

A sconce is a type of light fixture that is fixed to a wall. It typically provides light that is directed upwards or outward.

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Where to Use It

Sconces are great for narrow spaces, like hallways and bathrooms, where there isn’t room for a floor or table lamp but you still want a layered lighting option. Looking for some wall sconce design ideas? We love using them flanking either side of a fireplace or as a way to highlight a painting. They’re also great in small bedrooms, as an alternative to a bedside lamp, so you don’t have to take up surface space on a small nightstand!

Important Things to Consider

Sconces are more permanent than a lamp or floor lamp. They have to be mounted on a wall and often need to be hardwired in—so you want to make sure you feel confident with the placement and style before committing to installing a sconce! Though, there are plug-in styles which is a great option for rentals!

classic style living room with fireplace and ruffle sofaHow to Pick the Right Light for Your Space

Considering all the different types of lighting and light fixtures, it might feel overwhelming to land on the right lighting for your space. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a couple other things to keep in mind when picking the right types of lighting and specific fixtures for your space.

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Think of Your Room’s Needs

Simply think through how you use your space and make lighting choices accordingly. Need some help knowing which kind of lights to use in each room of your home? Check out our room-by-room lighting checklist.

Create a Budget

Of course, all these different light sources might seem like quite the investment if you’re starting from scratch! So, make sure you create a budget for what you want to spend on each piece. Here are some general pricing guidelines, though prices will vary depending on size, quality, materials, and brand.

  • Table lamps: $50-$250
  • Floor lamps: $100-$500+
  • Sconces: $50-$250
  • Pendants and Chandeliers: $100-$1,000+

display of mid-century modern lightingPick Your Materials

Light fixtures can be made in a variety of materials, but there are a couple popular materials for each type of fixture. Most table lamps are ceramic, metal, or acrylic—and sometimes wood. Floor lamps are usually made of wood, metal, or acrylic, though you can also find mixed materials and even some marble or other stone for both lamp types. Sconces and pendants are usually made of metal, with some glass or acrylic details. Overall, lighting fixture materials can really run the gamut! It all depends on the look and style you’re going for, as well as your price point.

Consider Size and Scale

As we mentioned earlier in the post, the size and scale of various lighting fixtures are also very important. So, when picking lighting, consider the overall size of the room as well as the pieces of furniture on which accent lighting will be placed to make sure everything looks balanced.

If you’re not sure what types of lighting or style of light fixtures are best in your space after reading this lighting guide, we can help! With our style quiz and online interior design packages, we can help guide you to your preferred interior design style and help design your room with furniture, lighting, and decor that goes with your style.

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Shape, Size, and Materials: The Only Dining Table Guide You’ll Ever Need

A dining table is one of the most crucial pieces of furniture in your home. As the focal point of your dining room, a great table means you have a place to enjoy meals, laughter, shared stories, and memories with family and friends. But today, it’s more than that, too. Our dining rooms are also taking on the roles of homeschooling hub, home office, craft central, and so much more. With so many uses in one space, the right dining table is more important than ever!

So, how do you choose a dining table for your needs? There are many factors to consider. But most importantly, you want to make sure you land on a table that’s practical—one that it fits your space and offers adequate seating—but also that it aligns with your personal style. If you’re ready to invest in a new table, this dining table guide will walk you through everything you need to consider—from size and shape to material—to make sure you furnish your dining room with functionality and style.

dining roomConsider Your Dining Table Shape

When choosing a dining table, one of the first things to consider is the shape. This helps to narrow your search a bit, too. You can choose from a shape based on your personal taste, but there are also some general guidelines to follow when it comes to the shape of a dining table. And it usually boils down to the size and shape of your dining room.

Want to try on round and rectangular dining tables in your room? Start your Modsy design project and see how 100s of real tables will look and fit in your exact room.

rectangle dining tableRectangle/Square Dining Tables

Square and rectangular tables are the most common shape. This is largely because these shapes work best in rectangular rooms and most dining rooms are—you guessed it—rectangular! A rectangular table is a good shape to seat more than four people, so keep this in mind if you have a big family or love entertaining. But it’s not great for really large gatherings, since there’s not as much room on the tabletop to fit serving dishes in addition to place settings—so things could get crowded.

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oval dining table

Round/Oval Dining Tables

Round tables are great because they can accommodate the most people. It’s easy to squeeze in an extra table setting or two where there aren’t any corners! They’re better for small rooms or rooms that aren’t square, as their rounded edges help create easy flow through the room. Circular tables are perfect for small gatherings and make an intimate and cozy setting for conversation. Oval tables help fill out longer, more narrow rooms.

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dining roomFind the Right Dining Table Length

The size of your dining room table will depend on the size of your room and how many people you want to accommodate.

In order to make sure each diner has enough elbow room while chatting, follow these standard seats to size ratios:

  • A 48” long table seats 4 people
  • A 60” long table seats 6 people
  • A 72” long table seats 8 people

Of course, if you don’t mind a more intimate setting or have little ones at the table with you, you might be able to squeeze in an extra seat.

Expandable dining tables are also a great option! If you don’t need as much table space on the day-to-day but want to have the flexibility for an occasional dinner party or holiday gathering, consider a table with leaves that can be dropped or inserted at the center of the table.

tall chairsGo For The Right Dining Table Height

Dining tables generally come in three height variations. Most standard dining tables fall between 28 and 30 inches to allow for comfortable legroom underneath. Counter-height tables are closer to 36 inches high. And pub-style tables are the tallest, falling in the range of 40-42 inches.

If you’re not married to the idea of a traditional dining table, counter-height and pub tables are worth considering! They’re convenient because they can double as a place to serve food during a party or offer extra space for food prep. These heights work especially well in small spaces with open kitchens. However, if you have a dining room office, you may want to go with a traditional height, unless you want a table that functions as a standing desk!

Pick Your Dining Table Material

Dining tables come in a wide range of materials. So when exploring dining room design ideas, this factor mainly boils down to your own personal aesthetics and how much wear and tear your dining table will need to withstand. Below are some of the most popular material options for dining tables.

wood dining tableWood

Wood is the most common choice for dining tables because it’s super durable and can stand up to anything life throws at it! It’s also easy to maintain or refinish with paint or stain as needed.

Natural wood offers a beautiful color and texture in a dining space and there are plenty of different types and finishes of wood to choose from. Weathered or reclaimed wood looks great in a variety of styles and can also hide nicks or scratches—which is great for families with children! Solid wood is more expensive and can be damaged more easily, so it’s more of an investment.

There are also veneer or laminate options, which can mimic the look of wood but are usually a much more affordable alternative. These are non-porous materials so they’re easy to clean and hold up to stains better than many other materials. However, if veneer chips, stains, or get scratched, it can’t be refinished like solid wood.

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lacquer dining tableLacquer

Lacquer is a glossy, resinous material that is applied as a coat to the outside of other materials (most often wood or particleboard). This is a great material for chic designs and small spaces as it’s glossy texture reflects light, which is great for rooms in need of some extra shine.

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art deco interior designGlass

Glass dining tables provide a sleek look for modern or contemporary spaces. They’re great for small dining areas because they make the space seem larger as don’t add any clunky visual weight to a room.

Glass is also super low maintenance and easy to clean. However, these tables might not be very family-friendly as they easily show finger smudges and their sharp edges can pose a threat to rambunctious little ones!

Explore more glass dining table ideas.

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1980s interior designMarble

Many people consider marble to be one of the best dining table materials. It’s luxurious and sophisticated and puts the natural beauty of the stone on full display. However, marble is a porous material—meaning it can stain easily and quickly. While it’s great for elegant, traditional settings, it might not be the best choice if you have a family with young kids or if you like to entertain often, as spills are inevitable in both scenarios!

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dining room furnitureMetal

A metal dining table can add a cool, industrial feel to any room. It’s also super durable and easy to clean up. Some metals can be prone to corrosion, however, so make sure to use cleaning products that won’t damage it.

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Explore Dining Table Styles

Finally, choosing the best dining table means finding the right style for your space. There are so many styles to consider—from modern to rustic, contemporary to traditional—and each style has plenty of variation within it! In addition to being functional, you want your dining table to reflect your personal style and complement the decor in the rest of your home.

Take our style quiz or check out our dining table style guide to learn all about the pros and cons of different dining tables!

Need help with more than the table? If you’re furnishing a dining room from scratch, check out our dining room checklist. It has a round-up of everything you need for a functional dining area, while working with your personal needs and budget!

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The Ultimate Guide to Dining Table Styles

In the strangeness of 2020, the dining room has truly become the new center of the home. For many households, this (newly) multipurpose room has taken on the roles of home office, homeschooling zone, and arts and crafts space, as well as hosting all our family meals. So, this space now needs to be functional for far more than dining! On top of all that, our typical plans for holiday hosting have probably gone out the window. Basically, our dining rooms have been turned on their heads!

But, even as things look different this year, we’re taking any chance we can get to make this space feel extra special. And the best way to do this is with a dining table that you really love. It sets the tone for your space, bringing in unique style and functionality.

But here’s the thing: there are so many dining table styles to choose from, you’re probably wondering where to begin. A dining table can be a big investment, so you want to make sure you pick one that fits your style and meets all your daily needs. So, whether you’re doing some holiday entertaining prep for a small group, figuring out how to make a dining room office work, or simply just dreaming up some dining room design ideas to give this workhorse space a refresh, we’re here to guide to our favorite dining tables for 2020 and beyond.

There are so many dining table styles to choose from, you’re probably wondering where to begin. A dining table can be a big investment, so you want to make sure you pick one that fits your style and meets all your hosting needs. To help, we’re breaking down the different dining table styles here so you can find the one that works best for you.

dining tableFarmhouse Dining Table Style

A farmhouse dining table design is generally an expansive, warm, and welcoming option. This style is great for complementing rustic styles and makes for an extra cozy vibe. It adds a rugged, vintage-inspired touch to your dining room that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an old country farmhouse, even if you live in a high-rise apartment. And, since farmhouse tables are usually made of rough, solid wood, they tend to be very sturdy.

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The Perks: This is a versatile dining table style. You can pair a farmhouse table with a dining bench for a more family-friendly style or turn up the sophistication with upholstered chairs.

The Vibe: Solid, sturdy, and timeless—this is the workhouse of dining tables. And its rustic style makes your dining room feel extra cozy and inviting.

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Farmhouse style dining table

Classic Formal Farmhouse Style

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farmhouse dining room table

Rustic Gatherings

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country style dining table with two toned wood and mason jar lighting

Countryside Farmhouse Charms

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dining tablePedestal Dining Table Style

Pedestal dining tables are generally composed of a wide (usually round) table top sitting on a single solid leg in the middle. (Though some more contemporary options sit on two legs instead of one supporting pedestal.) They are stylish, architectural, and just plain useful in a dining room. They come in a variety of styles and can blend in with an assortment of dining room designs.

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The Perks: Despite their more streamlined design, pedestal tables have plenty of surface space. And round or oval styles can seat more people than a square or rectangular table, since you can squeeze more chairs around the table in a pinch!

The Vibe: Smart, symmetrical, and stylish. These tables can put the fun in functional in any dining room design.

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Minimal Marble Pedestal Table

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rustic dining room with natural wood dining table and black cabinet

Modern Dual Pedestal Table

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pedestal dining table style

Cozy Pedestal Dining Vibes

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dining tableParsons Dining Table Style

A Parsons dining table is the perfect table for a super streamlined and contemporary style. There are a myriad of incarnations of its simple, balanced form, but this modernist style is always distinguished by clean angles and straight lines with absolutely no frills or ornamentation.

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The Perks: The pared-down aesthetic makes this table incredibly versatile and timeless.

The Vibe: Dress it up for an elegant and dramatic look. Dress it down for a simple, laid-back style.

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natural wood dining table with large bench seating

Modern Rustic Style

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Traditional Take on Parsons Style

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parsons style dining table

Sleek and Streamlined

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dining tableTrestle Dining Table Style

Trestle dining tables have a tabletop that sits upon two trestle supports. This timeless style was very popular in the Middle Ages and the simple look is a natural fit in many dining rooms today. This style was built to be portable and flexible; back in the Middle Ages, people didn’t have dedicated dining rooms, so dining tables had to be easy to take apart, transport, and reassemble. Trestle tables remain popular today because they’re sturdy, attractive, and great for hosting large groups.

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The Perks: Trestle tables come in so many styles that you can find one that will work with your aesthetic no matter what.

The Vibe: This is the kind of table that makes you think of gathering friends and family for a jovial night of eating, drinking, and merrymaking.

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contemporary style dining table with upholstered white dining chairs and grey walls

Modern Style Trestle

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trestle style dining table

Cozy Rustic Dining

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dining roomMid-Century Modern Dining Table Style

Mid-Century Modern seems to be the forever favorite aesthetic—after all, the trend is still going strong after 60+ years! You can usually spot a mid-century modern style dining table by its warm natural wood construction and slender, tapered legs. The sleek silhouette and medium-to-light woods of the era feel both polished and fresh and bridge the gap between comfortable living and aesthetic delight.

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The Perks: A style of furniture designed during an era when American families were moving into more urban, smaller spaces, mid-century modern furniture is great for smaller dining rooms.

The Vibe: Clean lines, geometric shapes, and sleek simplicity give these tables a timeless appeal.

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sleek black dining set with green wool rug

Mid-Century With a Chic Twist

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mid-century modern dining table

Scandi Modern Vibes

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dining roomTraditional Dining Table Style

A traditional dining table is usually made of sturdy wood with a darker finish. You’ll often find these tables with more ornamentation and carved features on the legs. You can keep with the traditional vibe by pairing it with traditional dining chairs, go more farmhouse with upholstered options, or even play up an eclectic vibe trying on the mismatched dining chair trend.

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The Perks: These tables are large and in charge, with plenty of room for guests. They make a lovely centerpiece and are substantial enough to call for a big, beautiful chandelier to illuminate the dining area.

The Vibe: Traditional dining tables are elegant, super-versatile and never go out of style.

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eclectic blue and red dining room with neutral toned wood table

Bold Traditions

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traditional dining tables

Parisian Dining Nook

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Need some extra guidance? Check out our guide on how to choose a dining table, our dining table shape and size guide, and our dining room layout guide to get your space looking good and working for your life!

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