How to style your side table


The side table has spent a long time as one of the more underappreciated aspects of home décor, but it’s still a very important one. Side tables are usually considered quite a functional piece of furniture, though when styled well, they can become a decorative focal feature of any room. By accessorising your side table with a lamp, a vase of faux flowers or a cluster of photo frames, it can instantly uplift and add depth to your scheme. Here are just a few examples of how, with some simple styling, you can turn your side table into the centre of attention.

How a statement lamp can light up your side table

A side table is usually used to showcase a table lamp, but what if you used the lamp to (quite literally) bring your side table into the spotlight? The right brown table lamp should be an extension of the table, serving to enhance the style of the table and, in turn, the scheme. As you can see below, our unusual Magicus Side Table is matched by the quirkiness of the Tracery Table Lamp. Balance is key: bronze lamps will contrast beautifully against a black wooden table, and a narrow metal table lamp will never overwhelm a glass side table. Play around with different pairings of lamps and side tables until you find the perfect combination.

Are your faux flowers sitting on the sidelines?

As the most used area in your home, the sitting room should be comfortable and welcoming. Though sumptuous seating and cushions provide this, sometimes the room craves for a little more to complete the look, so give your side table a boost and the room that missing ‘je ne sais quoi’ with a colourful bunch of faux flowers. Whatever type of flower you choose, the arrangement should never be bigger than the side table itself. Consider the vase too: this should complement the design of the side table.

How to add character to a side table with photos

Whether it’s for a wedding, graduation or your dog’s birthday, there’s a perfect photo frame to showcase your favourite moment. Create your own personal vignette on a side table with a couple of our smart photo frames and give a nod to the special occasion by including a memorable item from the event, perhaps a shell from the beach where you went on holiday or a decorative sculpture that was a wedding gift. Style with caution: the last thing you want is for the side table to disappear underneath a million photos. Arrange one or two frames of various sizes to create depth and contrast on your side table, and make sure your chosen frame complements your side table – our Gunnebo Side Table, paired with a bone photo frame, delivers simple elegance.

How can a side table be more welcoming?

Tray tables (or butler’s trays) are the ideal solution if you’re looking for something slightly higher than a small side table but more compact than a console table. The deep tray top is ideal for turning your side table into a mini bar – there’s less chance of drinks and bottles being knocked over as everyone gets a bit worse for wear! Carefully styling makes all the difference, so create an Instagram-worthy mini bar using an array of your favourite spirits (the more eye-catching or colourful the bottle, the better), a selection of matching glassware and unique bar accessories.

Is your bedside table the star of the show?

Admit it – we all have the tendency to overcrowd our bedside tables with table lamps, books and tissue boxes. If you have a lot of ‘stuff’ you want to keep nearby, choose a side table with drawers, shelves or a cupboard underneath so you can hide it away, leaving the top free for you to rest a glass of water and a reading lamp. In fact, we conducted a study to find out what kind of things people keep on their bedside tables, the results of which will be revealed next month so keep your eyes peeled for that post – it’s sure to be insightful!

When a bedside table is decorative, it pays to keep things simple and let the table itself do the talking. For example, the hand-painted, intricate gold Chinese details on the Xin Bedside Table makes it a fine focal feature for any bedroom – the handy storage inside is just a bonus.

Available in many different shapes and sizes, side tables can become the pinnacle of your scheme – you just need to know the secrets to styling them. We’ve also been thinking of creative ways to use a side table in your home – you might be surprised at what unusual ideas we’ve come up with!

Topics: side tables

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