Often when you think of accent tables, you’re thinking ornate, vintage-inspired art pieces designed to help catch the eye in a larger room. But not all home decor calls for elaborate pieces, and not all pieces have to be elaborate to be eye catching. Contemporary accent tables are stunning in their simplicity, and add both functionality and design to a modern or contemporary living room. The more modern your look, the more you want something simple, sleek, and polished to match your space’s cool, minimal decor, and contemporary accent tables are all that and more.
One of the biggest differences between traditional and contemporary accent tables is material. While many traditional accent tables are made of rugged, antiqued wood or aged, finished metal, contemporary accent tables skew towards plastic, lacquered wood, glass, and bright, reflective chrome or stainless steel finishes. This Largent Accent Table from Nuevo is an excellent example – made with a shiny chrome frame and a tempered glass top, it’ll meld perfectly with just about any contemporary decor. The “accent” part comes in with the staggered base and top, and the asymmetrical offset arm that attaches the two. While many tables of any kind are perfectly symmetrical, contemporary accent tables often use asymmetry to add visual interest and make up for the lack of ornamentation.
That said, even incredibly simple contemporary accent tables like these stacking Explorer Tables from Zuo can be stunning in a modern living space. Made of folded, tempered glass, these tables are about as minimal as they come, but when stacked, the slightly green glass creates a cool three dimensional look and neat shades and depth of color. They can either be used stacked or scattered throughout your room, and are extremely versatile if you occasionally need more space.
Tempered glass in general is an excellent material for a modern decor. Because glass is transparent, it allows you the functionality of an accent table without visually blocking your room. This creates a more open looking space, which is especially nice in a smaller home, loft, or apartment where you might need the utility of a table but not want to crowd your room with furniture. This Legacy Side Table is especially stylish – the hole in the middle allows you to stand a tall, slim object (like a vase or statue) on the bottom shelf and have it protrude up into the center of the table for a unique, eye catching accent.
Shiny metal tables, like this Stacked Side Table do the same thing in a slightly different way. While you can’t see through them, the most reflective contemporary accent tables reflect the room around them which can make your space seem larger than it is. As a bonus, these also blend well with just about any modern decor, simply because they get most of their coloration from the room they’re in. This table is especially visually interesting for the Escher-esque lines that are alternately reflective and give little peeks into the room beyond.
Taking it a step further, contemporary accent tables that are made of mirrors do this even better. This Matty Cube from Uttermost is about as simple as this concept comes, with five reflective sides on a perfect cube, but just about any shape covered in mirrors makes a dramatic statement piece in a modern setting. The more highly contrasted your room is (like a black and white room), the more dramatic the reflections in the accent table will be, and the more angles the table has, the more fascinatingly distorted the reflection will be – very cool!
Black and white accent tables are actually really great for a modern decor as well, whether or not you’re going for a dramatic high-contrast look. Because the colors are undiluted, they have a simple but hefty feel to them. White contemporary accent tables, like this Carrie Coffee Table from EuroStyles, are especially statuesque, and can create a sophisticated, museum-like feel. The smooth, simple curves and slightly reflective surface are classic modern design, and are supremely easy to accessorize – like a blank canvas.
The other great thing about black or white accent tables is that they show their shapes especially well. Again like statues, a solid white or black finish with just a hint of gloss to it really shows off even the simplest curves in prime form. So if you’re not big on asymmetry, you can get a slightly more traditional table like this Mon Accent Table done in a solid black or white to much the same effect as a more strictly modern accent table.
Simplified classical shapes can actually make for an especially stunning, sophisticated twist on a modern design with a little vintage flair. This petite Viola Accent Table has the sleek, sweet curved legs of an antique piece, but without any other ornamentation and a high-gloss, mirrored black finish. It’s slightly reflective and ultra modern in the way only solid black pieces can be, perfect for a classically influenced modern decor.
Finally, if you’re still not sure quite what you’re looking for, and you just want a simple stand for a favorite decorative table lamp, look for something modest and minimal like this Jupiter Bistro Table. It’s got a smooth, asymmetrical shape in a soft glossy black finish and a tempered glass top to make it fitting (but largely inconspicuous) in most modern rooms. It’ll add a bit of curve to a room with a few too many hard lines, or just make a nice, unobtrusive top for a more ornate decoration.
What are you looking for in a contemporary accent table? Do you like a highly modern look, or something more vintage inspired?