Side tables may be one of the most overlooked pieces of furniture in your living room. But in addition to serving a serious purpose, they can truly make or break a space design-wise. “Every chair or sofa should have a landing spot to place a drink, your book, phone, etc.—even if it’s a tiny garden stool,” Philadelphia-based interior designer Anita Householder of House Edits tells MyDomaine.
Before you start your side table search, Diana Weinstein, of DW Designs, suggests taking a long hard look at your space. “Make sure the scale is right,” she advises. “You don’t want it to be higher than the arms of the sofa, as too high or too low will be awkward.” Also, consider the functionality of the piece. Will you need it for storage? “If so, ensure it has ample drawers to store items,” she points out.
Interior decorator and author of Rental Style, Chelsey Brown, adds that instead of going matchy-matchy, you should try picking a side table that contrasts your large pieces of furniture, such as your sofa and coffee table. “It can add so much dimension and character into your room,” she explains. Since sifting through the thousands of side tables available online can be a drag, we did the grunt work for you.
Here, the best side tables available for every aesthetic.
Nathan James Harper Mid-Century Oak Wood Nightstand
Your guests will have a hard time figuring out that you didn’t pick up this small but impactful Nathan James piece at an exclusive furniture boutique. Mid-century in design and featuring two drawers accented in vintage gold or brass—perfect to store small necessities—it serves double duty as either a nightstand or side table. We love the vintage-feeling walnut finish, but it is also available in white, black/brown, and white/brown options. An added bonus? It can be yours for under $120.
Serena & Lily Dip-Dyed Stools
Serena & Lily epitomizes coastal chic and their dip-dyed stool is one of their trademark pieces. These tiny and affordable teak tables—which are dip-dyed in glossy navy and white paint—pack a huge design punch. While many people opt to place them next to a tub, they also work as a small side table in your living room or bedroom. Should you go for the small and the large, they also work well when staggered with plants and candles. Plus, because they're handcrafted, each is one of a kind.
West Elm Terrace Side Table
West Elm’s Terrace Side Table is an elegant piece of furniture you'll never want to part with. The mid-century design features tiered glass shelves that seemingly float above a mirrored base. As such, it's the perfect showpiece to display your favorite lamp, books, or knickknacks. The handsome, refined piece works as a side table or nightstand and can be purchased a la carte or as a set of two. (We'd splurge on the set if we were you.)
Nathan James Amalia Nightstand Marble Solid Wood Accent Table
This minimalist Nathan James end table rings in well under $100 and is available in a few different finishes. It features textured wooden legs, a durable, marble-like laminate top, and a scratch- and stain-resistant finish that protects it from errant spills. Reviewers rave about its realistic-looking faux stone finish and how easy it is to assemble.
The Inside Hexagonal Ottoman
If you're looking for a side table alternative, check out this upholstered ottoman from The Inside. Like pretty much every item offered by the design-savvy direct-to-consumer brand, it's available in near-endless colors, fabrics, and patterns—including those from The House of Scalamandre and Old World Weavers. If you've been dying to add a dash of wild pattern to your space, this hexagonal piece is a no-brainer.
Nathan James Hugo Nightstand Accent Rustic Wood Table with Drawer
In case you haven’t noticed, we're slightly obsessed with Nathan James side tables! The Hugo features not only a drawer, but a handy leather hammock which is ideal for stowing books and magazines. Metal accents also add an industrial edge to the otherwise rustic and mid-century design, making it an ideal fit no matter your home's aesthetic.
Perigold Butler Marble Top C End Table
A c-shaped table is a stylish yet functional solution for any living space. Whether sidled up and over the arm of your sofa or chair or placed in front of you and used as a computer table, Perigold's Butler Table is a functional and versatile option. With a timeless combination of marble and metal, this option also delivers just as much design power as utility.
Birch Lane Tiara Cross Legs End Table
This metal end table is an easy way to accent any nook or corner in your living room. Perfect for displaying any prized trinkets or just a place to set down a drink, Birch Lane's understated, no-assembly-required end table is elegant without trying too hard. The Tiara, which can effortlessly pull any room together, also features a removable mirrored table top which can double as a cocktail tray.
Burrow Serif Side Table
Burrow's Serif Side Table is rather simple, but that's exactly what we like about. The sturdy and stylish piece is pared back, like most mid-century modern Danish designs, but it has everything we need: a place to stash our newspapers and magazines and a small top for drinks, candles, and remote controls. If your home already has a fair number of statement pieces, it won't steal attention away from them, either.
Mercury Row Marotta 1 Drawer Nightstand
With its X-shaped legs, boxy body, and metal corner accents, this nightstand/side table epitomizes style and function. It can work with a variety of aesthetics—everything from traditional and transitional to mid-century or even modern glam. In addition to white and gray, it's also available in a bunch of punchy colors, so it's an easy way to add a pop of color to any space needing a little something-something.