They may take a bit of a back seat (no pun intended) to sofas and chairs, but side tables are a must for every stylish living area. Not only do they visually complete your space, but from a purely functional perspective (as the perfect spot for resting your beverage of choice) they make relaxing on the sofa or entertaining friends all the more enjoyable.
Like any furniture purchase, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right side tables to enhance your living room. It’s important to think about form and function, (the size, design, style, height and the materials) when taking into account what you plan on using the side tables for.
A side table works best if it is between one and three inches below the arm of the sofa or chair. In addition to height, you’ll have to consider the size. If you’re planning on putting a standard lamp on it, you will need a side table that is at least 22 inches wide. And keep in mind that with the side table’s width, you’re not just thinking about what you’re using the table for but also the space it will fit into.
1. From side table to hot desk
If your side table is going to be used with a laptop, you’ll need to consider the height. To save you getting out the measuring tape, some tables are designed to specifically go with a sofa. Our Muuto Relate table can be pulled right up to the sofa whether you need to hot desk or rest a hot drink.
2. A little extra storage
Quickly reduce the visual clutter in your living area by choosing a side table with storage, such a drawer, which can be a practical problem-solver and the perfect place to pop your papers and pens.
3. House your books & magazines
If you like to have your favourite books and magazines handy for when you curl up on the couch, opt for a side table with a convenient storage shelf so that you can easily find your reading material. Our Karpenter Vintage Side Table in solid oak is simple and Scandinavian in style with its clean, contemporary lines.
Karpenter Vintage Side Table in European white oak
4. Make it Pinot proof
If your side table’s main mission is to hold drinks and food, you’d be wise to invest in stain-proof glass marble or stone topped side tables that can handle a spill. The Camerich Pebble Side Table can be pulled right up to the sofa for makeshift drinking and dining and features a stylish marble top for low-maintenance cleaning and care.
The Arc Coffee Table in smoked glass and brass plated steel
5. Maximise a small space
The easiest way to maximise a small living area, is with stackable or nest side tables as they can expand the usable area as required. Our Ferm Living Cluster Tables is a nest of three tables that are big on style and small on space.
Cluster Side Tables - set of 3
6. Soften hard edges
If your living area features a lot of rectangle or square shaped furnishings, a great style trick is to soften the edges with round side tables. The Sketch Humla Side Table features a convenient shelf, or consider the ever-popular Muuto Around Coffee Table, which looks great either on its own or in clusters and comes in two sizes and seven finishes so you can combine them to your taste.
Humla Side Table, available in a range of sizes
Around Coffee Table, in several sizes
7. Mixed materials add texture & style
There’s no need to stick with the same materials for your side tables. Make the look your own by mixing wooden side tables with metal side tables or different tops in glass, leather or marble. Just remember, the trick to pleasing the eye is to make sure both tables are the same height.
The Cage Trolley from Wendelbo
8. Shape up or ship out
As above, there’s also no reason that you have to go with the same shaped side tables. If you can’t choose between an oval side table or a round side table, go for both - again, the pair will look perfect together if they are the same height.
9. Not just for coffee
If you have space in front of your sofa, a coffee table (in addition to side tables) will complete the look of your living area - and makes the perfect place to pop a tray of collectables, a stash of books or magazines, a lamp, an array of candles and of course, your latté. But, if you don’t have a coffee table, why not use two or more side tables to act as an unconventional coffee table?
Teri Side Tables, add a stylish consistent composition to a room
10. Add a sculptural element
Side table design is far more inspiring than you might think, so why not consider investing in contemporary pieces that add a unique sculptural element to a monochromatic living space. Yes, you can get excited about side tables - we do!
Form Double Top Side Table