Living Room Side Table Ideas That Are Functional And Stylish

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When it comes to living room side table ideas there are many things to consider. It’s more than just picking one that looks good.

Things to consider will be its functionality, space management, and styling. The side table you choose should complement your design style while serving your needs.

Side tables are a practical spot to put down your drink or display your favorite decor. The material you choose is important for durability and blending with the other textures and elements your the room.

Whether you prefer a sculptural wooden piece or a modern metallic table it’ll have an impact on the overall look and feel of your room. The design details of your side table are important—they should enhance your room and reflect your personal style.

Key Takeaways

  • Side table considerations are its function, the needs of your room, and the design.
  • The size and material of the side table should complement your design style and be durable.
  • Your side table should blend in with the look and feel of your living room.

This post is all about living room side table ideas.

READ MORE>>> Furniture Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk

two accent chairs with table in the middle living room side table ideas

Choosing the Right Size Living Room Side Table

When choosing side tables for your living room, it is important to consider your space and the scale of your existing furniture. This will create a cohesive look that feels balanced and inviting.

What is the difference between a side table and an accent table?

  • Side Tables go to the side of another piece of furniture. They typically have a larger surface area around 18″ to 26″ wide.
  • End Tables go at the end of a piece of furniture. They are usually smaller than side tables at 12″ – 18″ wide making them great for small spaces. 
  • Accent Tables are not the main focus in a certain space. The term comes from the meaning of the word “accent,” which means stress, or emphasis. An accent table can be used for decoration in any room.
boucle accent chair with wood side table

Measuring Your Space

First, determine the location you’d like to put your side table. Measure the height and width to make sure there’s enough room for traffic flow.

Pro Tip: A general rule to follow is to place your side table 2-3 inches from the end of the furniture piece it is next to. Allow for a minimum of 18-24 inches between the side table and other seating for traffic flow.

Sizing Considerations

Your side table should be proportionate to the other furniture in your living room. The table height should be equal to or just below the arm height of your sofa or chair.

This will make it easy to comfortably reach items from your seating area.

lucite furniture side table next to navy velvet sofa

Functional Needs

When considering side table options for your living room, focus on tables that offer both style and function. Your choices should support your daily activities and lifestyle.

Multifunctional Living Room Side Table Ideas

Look for side tables that can serve multiple purposes. They can be used for one or more of the following needs:

  • Display: Showcase your prized possessions on gallery-style tables, tiered stands, or open shelving.
  • Storage: Manage clutter with tables that have drawers, baskets, or hidden compartments.
  • Entertaining: Nesting tables offer an extra surface for last-minute gatherings, while tables on wheels roll can be moved as needed.
  • Work Productivity: Check off your to-do list with tables that have built-in charging stations and adjustable heights.
  • Small Space: Maximize every inch with nesting tables, wall-mounted options, or even ottomans with hidden storage.
side table collage for living room

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Surface Area Usage

Your side table’s top surface is prime real estate. It should be large enough to support items like a lamp, coasters, or a coffee cup without clutter. Use decorative trays or baskets to organize small objects.

living room with blue sofa and white coffee tables

Design and Aesthetics

Selecting the right side table serves more than a functional purpose. They’ll also elevate the overall vibe of your space. Think about the design and aesthetics when choosing accent tables.

Shape and Form:

  • Geometric: Clean lines and sharp angles for a modern minimalist vibe. Think squares, rectangles, and triangles.
  • Organic: Curved edges and flowing shapes for a softer, more natural feel. Imagine kidney-shaped tables or rounded corners.
  • Sculptural: Unique and artistic forms for a statement piece. Think pedestal tables with abstract bases or tables resembling stacked trunks.
  • Nesting: A set of tables that fit together, offering flexibility and space-saving benefits. Perfect for small living areas.

Side Table Styles

  • Modern Minimalist: Think clean lines, glass or metal surfaces, and hidden storage for a sleek and sophisticated look.
  • Rustic Farmhouse: Embrace warmth and character with reclaimed wood, distressed finishes, and woven baskets.
  • Mid-Century Modern: Channel timeless elegance with organic shapes, tapered legs, and a touch of brass.
  • Industrial Chic: Rough and raw, yet surprisingly refined, this style features metal pipes, reclaimed wood, and exposed rivets.
  • Bohemian Glam: For the free spirit within, this style embraces a mix of textures, metallic accents, and even a touch of mirrored surfaces.

Contemporary Living Room Side Table Ideas

Embrace the spirit of modern design with contemporary living room side tables. Think clean lines and geometric shapes for a minimalist vibe, like marble paired with cool metal or sleek acrylic with brass. Metallic finishes or glass tops offer a modern touch that complements the latest trends.

For a touch of organic warmth, consider curved wood bases or woven textures for natural charm. Sculptural concrete bases or mirrored surfaces add instant drama.

Remember, the perfect side table should complement your space and reflect your style. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find a piece that speaks to your contemporary vision.

contemporary side table collage

Traditional and Rustic Looks

For a more traditional or rustic look, choose side tables made of natural wood with carved details or wrought iron elements. Distressed finishes on your side table can add character and warmth, evoking a sense of history and comfort.

traditional living room with beige sofa and blue velvet chairs

Minimalist Living Room Side Table Ideas

If you prefer a minimalist vibe, focus on simplicity and functionality. A single statement piece or a simple design with clean and unadorned surfaces will ensure your living room feels spacious and uncluttered.

modern c table ideas

Material Considerations

Selecting the right material for your living room side table is both an aesthetic and a practical decision. It will affect the table’s appearance, durability, and how it compliments your space.

Wood Living Room Side Table Ideas

Wood side tables bring warmth and a natural touch to your living room. Hardwoods like oak and walnut are prized for their longevity and sturdiness, while softer woods like pine offer a more cost-effective, albeit less durable, option.

  • Pros: Warm, natural look; durable; versatile; wide variety of styles and finishes to choose from; can be refinished or repainted to update the look.
  • Cons: Can be susceptible to scratches and water damage; requires regular maintenance; solid wood tables can be heavy and expensive.
wood accent table collage

Glass and Metal Accent Table Ideas

Glass side tables can give a room a lighter, more open feel. They go well with metal bases for a contemporary look. Metal accents, from wrought iron to polished brass, add different textures and degrees of luster, suitable for modern to industrial styles.


  • Pros: Lightweight and airy; creates an open feel in a space; allows light to pass through, making the room feel brighter; easy to clean.
  • Cons: Can be fragile; may show fingerprints and smudges easily; not ideal for displaying heavy objects.


  • Pros: Sleek and modern look; durable; easy to clean; available in a variety of finishes, such as chrome, brass, and nickel.
  • Cons: Can show fingerprints and smudges easily; can feel cold to the touch; may not be suitable for all styles.


  • Pros: Lightweight and transparent; creates a modern and minimalist look; easy to clean.
  • Cons: Can scratch easily; may not be suitable for displaying heavy objects.
gold living room side table collage

Marble and Stone Living Room Side Table Ideas

Marble top side tables add a touch of elegance and can be a focal point in your living room. Stone varieties, including granite and slate, offer unique patterns and exceptional durability. They’re more of an investment upfront but are worth it for their longevity.


  • Pros: Luxurious and elegant look; very durable; heat-resistant; unique natural variations in color and pattern.
  • Cons: Heavy and expensive; can be cold to the touch; may not be suitable for all styles.


  • Pros: Modern and industrial look; durable; heat-resistant; can be used indoors or outdoors.
  • Cons: Heavy and expensive; can be cold to the touch; may not be suitable for all styles.
marble accent tables collage

Durability and Maintenance

Consider the durability of materials and their maintenance requirements. Wood may need regular polishing, glass requires frequent cleaning to avoid smudges, and stone surfaces often require special cleaners to prevent stains.


In conclusion, choosing the right side table for your living room is not just about aesthetics. It’s a thoughtful process that involves the needs of your space and the look you’re after.

The side table you choose should complement your design style and support the way you live. They’re a place to put down your drink or highlight your favorite decor.

Whether you prefer a sculptural wooden accent table or a sleek metallic table, the choice will have an impact on the look and feel of your living space. Choose the one that reflects your design style and it’s sure to take your design to the next level.

This post is all about living room side table ideas.

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Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Nicole DelaCruz

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