How to pick the perfect side table for your living room

Side tables offer a fantastic way to add storage, style and personality to a space. Perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, hallways and even bathrooms, side tables are some of the most versatile furnishings around.

You can use your side tables to display photos, plants, ornaments and lamps. Turn them into temporary coffee tables by moving them into the middle of the room or use them for extra storage anywhere in the home. Alternatively, you can just keep your side tables clear and let their eye-catching designs speak for themselves.

If you’re on the hunt for a side table for your living room, bedroom or hallway and can’t decide which is right for you, we’re here to help. Keep reading to find out more.

Round or square?

Side tables come in a great choice of styles. From striking contemporary designs to vintage pieces with a distinctly mid-century feel, it’s easy to find the piece that perfectly complements your interior décor.

One of the first choices you’ll need to make when selecting a side table for your home is the shape. While most tables will be square or rectangular, there is also a good selection of circular designs around.

Square and rectangular tables are ideal if you want your living room side tables to sit snugly by your sofa or your bedside table to line up perfectly with your pillow. Clean, crisp and classic, square and rectangular side tables are a great choice for all styles of interior.

If you want your living space to look a little more organic, circular side tables are a great alternative. Just as convenient and just as attractive as right-angled tables, round tables can be placed next to the sofa, bed or anywhere else in the home that needs a little extra love.

Legs or no legs?

Side tables can be designed to either sit flat on the floor or stand on legs. If your tables are going to go in the middle of the room – for example, if they’ll sit next to a sofa that’s placed away from the wall – then a design with legs might work best.

Side tables with legs help to give a space a light, airy feel. They’re also very easy to clean around so are perfect if you like to keep your living area looking ship shape. Legs often give side tables a slightly vintage feel. This is especially true when the legs are made from a retro metal like brass or hardwood like oak or walnut. So if you like the vintage look, a raised design is probably the best choice for your interior.

Solid side tables that sit flat on the floor are ideal for bedrooms and for living rooms where the sofa sits flat against a wall. Because they don’t have legs, this style of table will add a grounded, durable aesthetic to your living space.

Adding storage

Side tables are incredibly useful pieces of furniture. In the bedroom, you can use them as a place to put your reading lamp, book, alarm clock and morning cup of tea. While in the living room, you can use them for snacks and drinks as well as a place to display photos, plants, lamps and other decorative pieces. In fact, when you think about how to decorate a side table, pretty much anything goes.

If you need extra storage space in your living room or bedroom, look for a set of side tables that come with built-in cupboards or drawers. These handy compartments are ideal for books, magazines, electronics and anything else you want to tidy away but still have easy access to.

If storage isn’t an issue in your house, choose side tables without built-in cupboards and drawers and keep your furnishings light and airy. Side tables without storage are also a great choice if you think you’ll want to move them around on a regular basis. So, if you plan to use your side tables like coffee tables, or as bedside tables for a folding sofa bed, opt for designs that are light, mobile and storage free.

Choosing your material

Most side tables are made from wood, metal or a mixture of the two. Some also have marble, mirror or glass tops, and occasionally you’ll find designs with acrylic elements. All of these materials are attractive and durable, although glass and mirror tabletops maybe a little more fragile than wooden or metal options.

If you’re going to use your side tables for hot or cold drinks on a regular basis, you might want to choose tables with a glass or marble top as they won’t be damaged by condensation or heat. Alternatively, if you’ve got your heart set on antique style wooden side tables, you can just use coasters under your drinks to prevent marking or discolouration.

If most of the furniture in your room is made from solid wood, you can keep the natural theme going with timber side tables. Strong and durable, wooden furnishings work well in both modern and period properties.

Side tables with metal legs and wooden tops often have a fantastic vintage vibe. Perfect for retro interiors, these simple but beautiful pieces are a great way to add a design touch to your interior.

Last but definitely not least, you could mix things up a bit by choosing a rattan side table. Lighter and airier than many other designs, rattan tables have a lovely natural feel that’s perfect for Scandinavian style interiors, conservatories and light, bright homes.

Thanks to their versatility and eye-catching looks, side tables can be used to great effect pretty much anywhere in the home. Perfect for adding extra storage, and extra style, to your living space, side tables can help you create a unique interior layout that really works for your household.

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