Choosing a Side Table

The side table, that humble yet ever-present companion to the sofa or armchair, often gets overshadowed by its larger furniture brethren. But don’t let its size fool you! The perfect side table can elevate a room’s functionality and style in surprising ways. Whether you need a place to perch your morning coffee, display a cherished lamp, or add a touch of personality to a bare corner, choosing the right side table is an essential step in creating a well-rounded and inviting space.

Function First: Needs and Considerations

Before diving into the world of aesthetics, prioritize your needs. Consider the primary purpose of your side table. Will it be a landing pad for drinks and snacks? Do you need storage for books and magazines? Perhaps you crave a dedicated surface for a table lamp or a small houseplant. Once you understand the table’s role, you can narrow down your search based on features and dimensions.

Size Matters: Finding the Perfect Fit

Side tables come in a vast array of sizes, from petite accent tables to generously proportioned surfaces. Here’s how to find the perfect match for your space:

  • Height: Ideally, the table’s surface should be level with, or slightly lower than, the armrest of your sofa or chair. This allows you to easily reach for items without hunching over.
  • Width and Depth: Consider the available space and traffic flow. A narrow table beside a tight walkway might create congestion, while a small table next to a sprawling sofa can look lost. Ensure the table complements the size of the seating it accompanies.

Material Marvels: Choosing the Right Look

The material of your side table significantly defines its aesthetic and functionality. Here are some popular options to consider:

  • Wood: A timeless classic, wood offers warmth and versatility. Opt for light woods for a breezy feel or darker tones for a touch of sophistication. Wood tables require regular maintenance but can last for generations.
  • Metal: Metal side tables exude a sleek, modern vibe. They can be lightweight and airy, perfect for smaller spaces. Consider brass, gold, or chrome for a touch of glamour, or iron or black metal for an industrial edge.
  • Glass: Glass tables add a touch of lightness and can make a room feel more spacious. Opt for tempered glass for safety, and keep in mind that glass can show fingerprints and dust more easily.
  • Stone: Marble, granite, or travertine side tables add a touch of luxury and can be incredibly durable. However, they are heavier and more expensive than other options.

Storage Savvy: Keeping it Organized

If you crave a clutter-free space, consider a side table with built-in storage. Drawers, shelves, or even hidden compartments can help keep magazines, books, or remote controls neatly tucked away.

Stepping Up Your Style: Design and Details

With the practicalities addressed, it’s time to unleash your inner designer! The style of your side table should complement the overall aesthetic of your space. Here are some popular design choices:

  • Mid-Century Modern: Clean lines, tapered legs, and a mix of wood and metal define this iconic look.
  • Scandinavian: Simple, functional, and often crafted from light wood, Scandinavian side tables bring a touch of warmth and minimalism.
  • Industrial: Raw materials like metal pipes and reclaimed wood create a rugged yet stylish look.
  • Glam: Metallic finishes, mirrored surfaces, and bold shapes add a touch of Hollywood glamour to your living space.

Beyond the Basics: Unique Side Table Solutions

Think outside the box! Here are some unconventional yet functional side table ideas:

  • Nesting tables: A set of two or three tables that slide neatly under each other, offering flexibility and space-saving functionality.
  • Ottomans with storage: Ottomans with built-in compartments provide a comfortable place to rest your feet while offering hidden storage space.
  • Vintage finds: Repurpose a vintage suitcase, stool, or even a stack of old books as a unique and conversation-starting side table.

The Final Touch: Bringing it All Together

Once you’ve chosen the perfect side table, consider how to style it. Here are some tips:

  • Accessorize: A table lamp, a decorative vase, or a stack of coffee table books can add personality and visual interest.
  • Greenery is key: A small potted plant adds a touch of life and complements other natural elements in the room.
  • Mix and match textures: Combine a smooth tabletop with a textured rug or a woven basket for a layered look.

By following these tips and letting your creativity flow, you can choose a side table that enhances the functionality and style of your space.