Build your own end table or side table for a fraction of the cost.  We've got dozens of free plans to help you out.


Every living room needs an end table or side table to create balance and function. Creating a space to relax and entertain guests is essential, in a room or area of the home, where so much time is spent in our everyday lives. Placing stylish furniture in key areas of the home, will help with the flow and balance of the room, creating convenience for everyday use. While searching for the perfect side table or end table, look for something that is durable, stylish, versatile and can work double duty, creating more storage where needed. End tables are an essential piece of furniture for a living room.

This guide will walk you though choosing the perfect accent table for your home!


First let's tackle the difference between a side table, end table and accent table. As we will be interchanging these words in this guide, there are a few differences to note.

  • Side Table - A side table has a larger surface area. Side tables may also be placed along a wall or at the side of a room, and will be used throughout the home.
  • End Table - An end table generally butts up against a sofa, arm chair or another piece of furniture and will typically have a smaller surface area.
  • Accent Table - An accent table can be used as either a side table or end table, but generally is used as more of a decor item to tie the room together, add storage, or bring a design element into a room.

    What are the benefits of adding a side table to my living room?

  • FUNCTION - Side tables give you an added surface area to set things like a remote control or device. It also makes it easier to entertain, creating a convenient spot to put drinks and snacks, along with more storage space. 
  • DECOR - End tables are a great place to show off family photos for guests to enjoy, special books, a table lamp, special accessories, candles, or central diffuser. 
  • APPEAL- They add substance, functionality and decorative value to a room.  Look for end tables that match your style and provide plenty of surface area and storage space for your needs.
  • STYLING - End tables are essential pieces of furniture that can be used to tie everything together, making the space look like one coherant statement, with certain hardware, finish and design options.


  • Traditioinal Style - Wooden side tables of the traditional persuasion, will combine ornate details, with warm rich tones, that bring a piece to life giving it a unique look.These types of accent tables will boast more turned leg, hand carved, claw feet and crown molding details to enhance the overall look of the piece. It's bold, rich and timeless design wiil bring a feel of elegance to a living room and space.  Traditional furniture is mostly built of wood and proven to be quite durable.
  • Mid-century -  Also know as MCM or Mid Century Modern. This style is characterized by it's clean lines, open sides, gentle curves and classic shapes, Mid Century style furniture originated in the mid 20th century. Very popular in contemporary modern design, this style brings a simple elegance to the home.  It is often crafted by solid wood, worn metal, plywood or reclaimed wood. Popular additions would be upholsterery, cane, glass or vinyl. There is a wide spectrum of materials to bring out the 1950s inspired looks, bringing classic style and inspiration to any living room or den. 
  • Contemporary - Which means "belonging to or occurring in the present".  Contemporary style is what's happening at the current time, "the style of today", so it changes with time. This style incorporates aspects of modern furniture and mid-century style with its clean lines and simplistic approach. Contemporary furniture generally is made using wood, fabrics and metals. Making it fun to pair with sofas, coffee tables and other accent tables in the living room or family room, with a similar looks and styles. 


Function is just as important, if not more important than style, when selecting an essential piece of furniture! Here are some of the most popular styles to choose from. 

  • Open Design Side Table with Open Shelves - Offers extra storage space for items like books or magazines, without taking up tons of extra space. Open end table styles can work in traditional, mid-century and modern living rooms and family rooms. Choose materials that match your existing furnishings.
  • End Table with Drawers - For even more storage, especially in a small space, a small end table with drawers is perfect for storing smaller items. Keep things like remote controls put away so they don't get lost falling between sofa cushions. End tables with drawers offer a more traditional or modern look. Utilize the top surface for table lamps or other  accessories. 
  • Oversized End Tables -  Larger living rooms, family rooms or dens require a larger table to fill the space. Make sure to check dimesions for the perfect end table. Look for end tables that provide tons of surface area, lots of storage space  and are appropriatley sized for the end of a sofa or chair. Not working with a big space? Look for small end tables with a smaller footprint. 
  • Nesting Tables - What is the purpose of nesting tables? They stack inside of each other and are ideal as a space saving option, where space is limited. Nesting tables can be moved around depending on your needs. These accent tables have a unique look, adding modern elegance to a living room or family room.
  • Cube and Ottoman Style End Tables - These double duty end or side tables are able to work for overflow seating as well as provide more surface area for entertaining or guests. They can also be pusehd together for more of a coffee table. Cube and ottoman-style end tables are versatile in traditional, mid -century and modern design living rooms. Create this style using materials, like leather or upholstery options to match other upholstered pieces of furniture like sofas, loveseats and sectionals. These make a great accent table that can be moved around easily depending on the need.
  • Round Side Table  - Looking to make a statement, a round side table can be a stand alone piece taking center stage or it can blend seamlessly with other furniture. Round side tables are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. A great place for table lamps, framed photographs, or somewhere to store coffee table books. Round side tables can be used beside a chair, couch or even as an extension of a larger coffee table.



Most living rooms will have between one and three end tables. Three end tables would require a larger space, potentially a room with larger oversized sofas and chairs. The key to position end tables is to place them where they naturally flow with the room, and avoid cluttering the space.  

Ideally, guests and users should enjoy the the placement, without realizing an end table is even part of the design, until they need to conveniently set something down. In an open room with one couch, think about positioning an end table at each end of the couch so users at each end can enjoy the same convenience. A place where more lighting is needed, and end table is ideal to set a table lamp to add lighting to the room or area.

Scan the space naturally created between chairs, or sofas, and in hidden corners. This is where your tables will naturally fit. 

What Materials Should I Use to Build an End Table?

The goal is to build an end table that is durable and will hold up over time. Most of our plans use wood. While most end tables frames are made up of wood or metal, you can have fun by creating accent tables with a unique look by adding elements to fit your personality and space. Some other materials to think about when building your own end table, are industrial pipe, hairpin legs, metal brackets, marble tops, a glass top, maybe a concrete top, or tile top and so much more. These are just a few ways to give your essential end table a unique look for your space!


Tips to find the perfect size end table for your living room!

You want to keep items within comfortable reach, so an end table height should be within 2" of the height of your couch, sofa or arm chair. Either 2" taller or 2" shorter is a good rule of thumb.

For the width of the table think about how much surface area you'll want and what it will be used for. A standard end table is between 14"-24" wide, which will work well with most sofas.

For the depth, an end table should be equal to the depth of the sofa or shair it's next to. It can be smaller in depth, but it should not exceed the depth of the piece of furniture it is set next to.

How Much Time Will it Take to Build an End Table?

Most of our plans are easy to build in just a few hours. As you get into adding doors and drawers the project times may increase to 8-12 hours. It really depends on personal preference, details and added storage options or finishes.

Will it cost less money to build an end table or purchase one?

These are just a few things to think about when deciding to build vs. buy

  • Build it Yourself - You get exaclty what you want right down to the finish and the perfect dimensions for your space. You do need to have access to tools and some know how of building. Our step-by step plans are beginner friendly. 
  • Buy it - It's great if you find the perfect end table online. A couple things to think about are shipping fees and at the end of the day you still have to take the time to assemble it. Finding an end table at a store or online will have more options as far as materials used or extra details that may not be as easily achieveable if it is build. 

Which style of end table will best fit my home? Consider the three Fs - Function, Form and Finish.  First, decide on the necessary functions.  Then select a form, based on your home's style and the needed functions of the end table.  Finally, choose a finish to coordinate with your home style.

Why is an end table an essential piece of furniture? End tables are tabletop surfaces for use in a living space, creating convenience in seating areas.  But end tables are also important pieces for creating structure and balance in living room furniture arrangements.  They can also add much needed storage and decor to a room.

What type of end table will best benefit my living room? First, arrange your living room seating to fit your room.  Then, determine where you need end tables to balance the sofas, sectionals and accent chairs, and to provide surface areas for user convenience.

How many end tables do I need? This will depend on your seating arrangements. First, arrange your seating furniture - sofas, loveseats, sectional, accent chairs.  Then determine what and where you need end tables to balance the living room furniture grouping.

Where do I put the end tables? End tables are most often placed beside a sofa, sectional, or accent chair.  

What size should the end tables be? End tables come in different sizes, the most popular is about a 2 foot square cube size.

How long will it take to build an end table? End tables can be super quick and easy to make, or more involved to include decorative elements and storage.

Should I build or buy an end table? Build - you'll get exactly the size and finish you want, for a fraction of the cost.  And it's way more fun to build than buy.