Small Side Tables: 10 Décor Ideas

It’s definitely easy to underestimate the importance of small side tables (also called end tables, accent tables, tray tables, console tables, c-table, poufs, or nightstands) in your living room until you need a handy place to put your drink, phone, or book while lounging on the sofa.While it’s true that small side tables aren’t as big as the sofa or even the coffee table, they are still important in their own right. Side tables help to fill the space in the room (regardless of whether the room is a small space or large space) and help frame and anchor the main focal point in the living room – the sofa. Of course, side tables are decorative pieces to also have in the dining room, home office, entryway or even as outdoor furniture. Not to mention but they are also functional as well! With the endless amount of different side tables out there, it can be difficult to find ones that fit in your space. So here are ten small side table décor ideas and how to choose and decorate your new side tables!

How to Choose the Right Side Table

Choosing the right side table can seem like an impossible mission. There’s an overwhelming amount of options both in stores and available online so it’s really hard to know what you’re looking for. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do some research beforehand to get an idea of what would look good in your space in terms of shapes and sizes – and we are here to help with that!

  • When it comes to size, you definitely don’t want side tables that are too big, stick out too far, and overpower your couch. The side table is meant to compliment your couch and so the size of the table should match proportionally to the size of the couch. When it comes to height, a side table should be one to two inches lower than the height of the sofa’s arms. Side tables come in different sizes as well so be sure to consider round side tables as well as the standard rectangular or square tables.
  • You also want to make sure that your side tables match the overall style of the other pieces in the room. For example, if you have a really traditional leather sofa and a rectangular wooden coffee table, it’s probably not the best idea to go with a more modern side table. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has to look exactly the same and be matchy-matchy, you don’t want to go too outside of the box either. It’s definitely possible to make a statement with your side tables without going overboard, and here are ten ideas to help you pick the best style for your space.

10 Side Table Ideas

  • Colored Side Tables: Colored side tables are a great idea if you have a neutral colored space and are looking for a pop of color without having to buy a new piece of bigger and more expensive living room furniture like a couch or chair. Accent walls have largely gone out of style, so a colored side table is a great way to add an accent color to your room.
  • Neutral Colored Side Tables: For a more natural look, neutral colored side tables made out of solid wood or marble make great options. Wooden end tables are often made out of walnut or oak, or even faux wood and come in colors like espresso, black and white. Marble side tables can be made out of white marble or any color marble and will provide a mid-century modern vibe in any room.
  • Mirrored Side Table: Mirrored side tables are a really cool and modern piece that can take your room to the next level of fanciness. Mirrors are also a useful idea if you have a smaller space because they help to create the illusion that the room is bigger than it really is.
  • Geometric Side Table: Geometric side tables have really come in style lately and can add a really modern and funky feel to your room without going too overboard. There are so many different kinds of geometric side tables that you’re bound to find one you love.
  • Side Tables with Storage: Get a side table with storage to help eliminate some of the clutter within your space! Everyone always needs more storage and every little bit helps. Side tables with storage can also replace chunky bookcases and other shelving units. Plus, some side tables even have hidden storage features that are different from the obvious drawers.
  • Free Form Side Table: Free form side tables are another style that has become really popular in recent years. These tables usually consist of a uniquely shaped piece of wood and three or four metal legs. The wood adds a rustic feel while the metal adds a more modern and funky feel for a really interesting addition to any room.
  • Nesting Side Tables: Nesting side tables are great for functionality. Depending on what you need, you can display one, two, or all three of them! These sets are always aesthetically appealing for an indescribable reason. There are tons of unique shapes of nesting tables from traditional circles and squares, to half-circles, crescents, and even hexagons!
  • Trunk Side Table: A trunk side table is a great addition to a room with really traditional décor. It can really add a historical flair to your room as trunks always seem to look like they are from 100 years ago! Plus, trunks often offer the added benefit of storage space – so in terms of style and functionality, it’s a win-win!
  • Wire Side Table: Wire side tables are really interesting design options that fit really well in more industrial and modern-styled spaces. The look of these tables can really vary a lot when it comes to the amount and design of the wire used as well as the tabletop. You can find some wire tables that essentially look like baskets that are more industrial or you can find some modern prism-shaped wire side tables with a clean marble tabletop.
  • Spiral Side Table: If you are looking for a really interesting and conversation-starting piece then consider a spiral side table. Spiral side tables are really modern and give off the art deco vibe without being too much. Usually these tables have a metal spiral base with a glass or stone top.

How to Decorate Your Side Table

Now that you are able to find the perfect side table for your room with our guide and tips, it’s time to decorate it! Side tables should never be left bare, and they provide an opportunity for you to show off your decorating skills. But decorating side tables can be difficult because you don’t want to put too much on them so that you don’t even have room for things that you need to put on them, but you also don’t want to put too little and have them look bare. Here are a few ideas that can help you decorate and style your side table like a professional interior decorator:

  • Glass Top Tray:

    Using a glass top ray on your small side table can help make sure that everything on the table looks neat and organized. That way, you can keep the decorative things inside the tray and your everyday items outside the tray.

  • Flowers:

    A side table is a great place to put either real or fake flowers to give your room a really warm and sophisticated vibe. Try finding a really nice vase that compliments the table and the rest of the décor well and go with some classic flowers like greenery, hydrangeas, or lilies.

  • Decorative box:

    If you decided not to get a side table with storage for whatever reason, that doesn’t mean that your side table can’t offer any storage functionality at all. In fact, you can place a decorative box on your side table to store a few important items that you need easy access to like your phone charger, the remote control, a lighter for your candles, etc.

  • Candles:

    Speaking of candles, these are also a good accessory for side tables. Try finding a few elegant candle holders of varying heights to really give depth and dimension to your side table display. That way you can always have the appeal from the candles and light them for an added ambiance.

  • Lamps:

    Lamps aren’t just pretty but they are also practical too! Light is extremely important in any room and darkness should be avoided at all costs. Side tables are a great place to put table lamps to brighten up a room and add to the design with interesting lamps and shades.

  • Books & Magazines:

    Side tables are a great place to put a few decorative books or magazines. If you love to read you can display some of your favorite books for easy access to read them while lounging on the sofa. If you love fashion or home décor, you can display some of your favorite issues of your magazine subscriptions here.

  • Sentimental Item:

    It can be difficult to find places in your home to display sentimental items, but side tables are great places for this. Side tables are more out of the way than the coffee table so you don’t have to worry as much about potentially breaking/ruining these precious items while still being able to display them proudly!

  • Sculptures:

    Another thing that you can add to your side table to style it are smaller sculptures. These can act as great conversation pieces for your room and definitely will give it a personalized touch.

  • Picture Frames:

    The last thing that you can add to your side tables to accessorize them are picture frames. You probably have tons of extra pictures laying around the house that you have been meaning to frame and this is your chance! Feature amazing family memories in elegant frames on your side tables to add the perfect homey touch to your space.