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Outdoor Side and Accent Tables

There’s almost no better way to turn a basic patio into a warm, welcoming outdoor living space than by furnishing it in style. That’s why end and side tables, along with console and coffee tables, can make such important design statements in your open-air spaces. Tables of all kinds beckon guests to relax and kick up their feet with space to spread out and rest their drinks. Let us at Pottery Barn give you a few tips and tricks to consider when it comes to choosing various outdoor accent tables to create an inviting area under the sun and stars.

End Tables

As with indoor tables, the general guideline is to choose an end table that’s an inch or two lower than the arms of the furniture it’s sitting next to. This makes for better reachability when you have a drink or book sitting nearby. Choose tables that are the same depths as the sofas or chairs they're next to so the pieces don’t overtake the space. Because they’re outdoors, you most likely aren’t going to have matching lamps to place on your side or end tables. Mix and match styles, materials and colors to keep the area colorful, creative and eclectic. Or, simply match the set for a cohesive look. Newer side tables serve a dual use as umbrella stands, too. For example, you can use an umbrella stand side table with a tilting market umbrella on one side of an outdoor sofa and a square end table on the other side, both in the same finish. Or, mix a round sky-blue ceramic accent table with a shiny metal drum accent table to create a global outdoor oasis.

Coffee Tables

Any coffee table, indoors or out, should be around the same height or slightly lower than the top of the seat cushions. That way, the height is comfortable for reaching for your outdoor wine glasses, but it’s also ideal for use as a place to rest your feet. Just make sure the coffee table – whether it’s round, rectangular or square – is accessible from all of your seating vantage points. For flexibility, look for bunching tables that you can place side by side to make a larger coffee table or spread apart for other uses. Choose all-weather wicker coffee table poufs that you can use for extra seating; they’re light and portable for guests to move around easily.

Console Tables, Buffets and Hutches

Keep outdoor console tables around waist height so you can easily access the surface from a standing position. Place a console table behind your outdoor sofa if there’s room, or tuck it against an outdoor wall as a place to serve a buffet of drinks or food. For the ultimate console table, you can find styles that have built-in towel racks and ice basins to keep bottles and cans cold. Place outdoor buffet and hutch pieces under your home’s eaves if possible to give food a little protection and to take advantage of light – if you’ve installed lighting in the overhang.

Have fun designing your outdoor oasis. It's one place you can truly call casual and one area in which you can easily experiment with new and exciting accent table styles.

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