Home furniture can be complemented by the use of occasional furniture and accent pieces. Although most will initially furnish their home with the accepted tables, chairs, display cabinets, sofas and the like, a time will come when that seems just a little plain. Something seems lacking, and that is when you will turn to individual items of occasional furniture and other accent pieces.
Examples of these are elegant bookcases, crafted in hardwood with a beautiful rosewood or walnut veneer. An empty corner can be filled with a tall elegant corner cabinet, and you have a fabulous selection of consoles available, beautiful semi-round tables with one straight back to stand against a wall anywhere in your home. They make lovely telephone tables!
Many people will collect their home furniture curios and accent pieces throughout their life, while others will inherit them. However, many of the better cabinet makers and furniture stores also offer them to the discerning buyer who has a need for such pieces. Among these are Southwood, Stickley, Sherrill and American Craftsman, and if you feel there is a gap in your home that needs to be filled, then you could do worse than consult the websites of these firms and those like them.
Here are some examples the types of occasional furniture that can be used to complement your existing home furniture as accent pieces. They add a touch of class to a room, and make it appear more distinguished and certainly better furnished than had you simply used the standard three-piece suite and perhaps a coffee table.
There are three distinctly different types of occasional table that can be used in your home. The most popular is the coffee or cocktail table which is available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. They range from glass tops in any color resting on a variety of different types of leg to traditional hardwood tables
Traditional occasional tables are available in many styles, including the fine and delicate Sheraton style and the sturdier thicker-legged Chippendale – often French polished to a very high gloss. Contemporary tables can be anything, including the aforementioned glass, metal and plastic.
If you use tables such as these as accent pieces for your home furniture, then they should meld with your existing style of furniture. A clash of colors and materials is often fine for contemporary pieces, but this looks out of place with tradition polished hardwood furniture.
End tables are fundamentally intended to stand to either side of a chair or sofa, and are used to hold items such as books, magazines and drinks. They can also be decorated with candles, lamps, floral arrangements and so on.
They are available in a variety of styles, and are excellent accent pieces for traditionally furnished homes. They are not intended as alternatives to coffee tables, since the latter generally sit in front of a chair, but they can also be used as a table irrespective of any nearby seating.
Nowadays used mainly for show, card tables can double as chess tables and their original use is obvious. Some have a reversible top, with a polished wood surface on one side and a baize or felt surface on the other for playing cards. Others have a flip-top, where top opens up from the middle using two flaps to create a playing surface double the size of the original.
Card tables can double as cocktail or coffee tables, and are used more as accent pieces than as functional pieces of furniture. They originate from an era when computers were science fiction, and even radio was almost unheard of let alone TV, and when playing cards was a normal evening entertainment.
Benches, Love Seats and Settles
Benches, love seats and settles are indoor accent pieces of home furniture that are designed for sitting on. They look good in a conservatory or large hall, and at one time would be used by courting couples and their chaperones. The couple would sit side by side with the chaperone present, and would talk but not come into bodily contact. Oh, the joys of old-time courting!
Miscellaneous Occasional Furniture and Accent Pieces
There are many other types of home furniture that can be used as home accents, such as cocktail cabinets, entertainment centers and hall/umbrella stands. Many like an individual bookcase or a display cabinet. Escritoires are writing desks, while secretaries are tall, coming in the form of a chest of drawers at the bottom, on which stands a bureau with a pull-down flap that doubles as a writing surface and with a book case or display cabinet resting on that.
Each of these would grace any home, but again should be used to complement existing home furniture. Rockers are also occasional pieces that can be used in a more rustic style of home or in a conservatory, although some of the better made rockers that are finished in polished hardwood would grace any room in your home.