Customizable occasional tables create flexible, hard-working environments

As the way people work moves away from traditional workspaces- breakrooms, lounges, lobbies, and cafes are fast becoming today’s hotspots for collaboration, meetings, and individual work. In this changing workscape that values innovation, flexibility, and informality in the workplace, occasional tables—coffee, lounge, and side tables—have moved front and center thanks to customized options that allow designers to meet both the functional and aesthetic requirements of the environment.

Customization allows designers to choose colors, materials, sizes, and shapes that meet the unique needs of their clients’ contract environments

In open workspaces, the use of occasional tables fosters teamwork and creativity by providing spaces for impromptu meetings and collaboration. In lobbies and reception spaces, they provide thoughtful, convenient landing spaces for waiting guests. In breakout and cafe spaces they support casual meetings or individual work in a more relaxed setting. Meeting the unique functional needs of these spaces requires a wide range of offerings that can be customized in height, size, scale, and more.

Beyond function, the ability to customize occasional tables allows designers to contribute to the character and feel of the environment, creating an intentional aesthetic that speaks to the organization’s values and culture. A tech startup, for example, might opt for modern, collaborative designs that reflect their innovative culture. Law firms, on the other hand, may opt for classic, traditional wood styles. While luxury hospitality spaces might trend toward metal occasional tables in design-forward styles. Contract furniture manufacturers that offer a range of customizable table solutions allow designers to create both a cohesive, branded environment and a flexible, high functioning space at the same time.

One-style-fits-all product lines limit designers who seek custom solutions

That’s why a one-style-fits-all approach typically falls short. A broad product offering and the ability to customize sizes, configurations, surfaces, and materials is essential to designing spaces that support the kind of work intended, promote comfort, and align with the organization’s brand. From corporate offices to hospitality environments to public spaces, the diverse nature of contract spaces demands flexible, customizable solutions that meet each client’s unique needs.

Consider these factors to ensure you achieve your clients’ functional and aesthetic goals

What are the space constraints and opportunities?


  • Every environment has unique spatial requirements. In smaller offices or waiting areas, tables such as Solitaire occasional tables are optimal due to their scale and ability to fit spaces or nest inside each other to provide flexibility without compromising on functionality. In larger spaces, bold designs and large surfaces can take center stage. Products lines that offer a wide range of sizes and shapes let you carry a single aesthetic throughout an environment in spaces both large and small. Look for occasional table lines with a wide range of height, shape, and surface-size options to support diverse spaces requirements and users.

What are the functional needs of the environment?

  • Different environments have different functional needs. Product lines must be designed to accommodate these varied demands—whether that’s accommodating laptops for casual work, fostering group conversations, offering display spaces for art or greenery, or providing a solid, durable surface to put your feet up. Look for product lines that let you customize design, sizes, and materials for a variety of functions, whether that’s work, collaboration, or relaxation.
  • Tables that allow for quick, easy changes in layout—like Cavea occasional tables that nest, move, cluster or reconfigure easily according to the needs of the space or user—are in high demand. Beyond basic functionality, studies show that flexible, adaptable environments promote greater innovation in the workplace.

What aesthetic do you want to achieve?

  • As commercial spaces take on a more residential look, feel, and function, contract furniture offerings that focus on quality craftsmanship and offer abundant custom options give designers greater flexibility in establishing the ambiance, mood, and brand image they seek to achieve in the built environment.
  • Look for table lines like that offer broad options that allow you to choose from a variety of base styles and materials, combined with abundant surface options including glass, wood, solid surface, metal, and stone. A wide breadth of options creates an almost unlimited design palette within one product line. View some of Cumberland’s designs as inspiration, here.
  • Looking for a clean, crafted, mid-century modern vibe? The quality wood craftsmanship of the Novocoffee, side and console tables could be the perfect complement to your space. If minimalist modern is your preference, consider the simplicity of occasional tables like these that can accent an environment or recede into the space. Specifying occasional tables for a high-end lobby or high-design space? Think bold, sculptural forms like these Cavea glass and metal occasional tables (also available in stone top surfaces) that offer the added bonus of flexible nesting and cluster configurations.

Be sure to consider durability in your specification.

Durability and sustainability are absolute when specifying occasional tables. These hard-working, multi-functional tables must be able to withstand heavy use in today’s work and hospitality environments where people put their feet up, eat and drink, and collaborate in shared spaces outside the traditional workspace. Consider durable, sustainable materials for these areas, such as stainless steel, glass, wood, and stone that stand up to the demands of these high traffic, heavy-use environments. Cuff tables, for example, include a wide range of beautiful occasional tables in metal or wood bases that offer top-surface options such as glass, stone, wood, and solid surfaces designed to stand the test of time.

There’s a rising demand for customizable contract furniture as work transitions “from a place we go, to a thing we do,” according to Amanda Schneider, who writes about the future of work and how it affects those who design and furnish spaces.

Occasional tables—coffee tables, side tables, and console tables—that can be customized for different size, space, functional, and aesthetic aims are a key ingredient in creating work environments that marry the comforts of home with the ability to work, meet, and collaborate in today’s evolving workplace.

As contract spaces continue to advance, customization remains a key strategy for creating adaptable and purpose-driven environments that cater to the diverse needs of today’s dynamic workplaces and public spaces.