The 8 Best Side Table Ideas And Must-Know Styling Tips

Side tables are versatile little companions that flank our sofas, armchairs, and beds. They offer a handy surface for drinks, lamps, and decorative accents, but their true potential lies in a room's entire look and feel.

Finding the perfect side table is a balancing act between functionality and style. It should complement your existing furniture, and fit your space constraints, and reflect your personal taste. But fear not, design enthusiasts! This guide will equip you with bedside table styling and inspiring tips to transform your side tables from afterthoughts to focal points.

Table Inspiration for Every Style

  1. Mid-Century Modern:

Love the idea of a classic look? Picture a side table from the 1960s made from warm brown walnut or teak wood. The legs are thin and slanted, and the overall design is clean and simple. It's like a blast from the past! 

To complete the retro feel, add a cool lamp with geometric shapes or a vintage globe. It's both stylish and timeless.

  1. Industrial Chic:

Want an industrial look? Think metal side tables with bolts and a worn finish, like old factories or warehouses. Pair it with a worn leather pouffe for a comfy seat to add to the edgy feel, top it off with a cool floor lamp that's metallic or has exposed light bulbs; this mix is both stylish and comfy, perfect for a city vibe.

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody:

Get that beachy feel with a side table made from woven rattan or bamboo. The natural materials and cool patterns make you think of relaxing vacations. Add a colourful, hand-woven throw for a global touch, finish it off with seashells from your travels or a pretty brass tray. This bohemian style is perfect for bringing the feeling of adventure home!

  1. Scandinavian Simplicity:

Scandinavian design's clean lines and airy aesthetic are complemented with a minimalist side table.  Imagine a piece crafted from blond wood or painted in a crisp white featuring a simple, uncluttered silhouette.  Decorate it with a single bud vase filled with fresh flowers in soft, muted tones.  A woven basket adds a touch of texture and functionality, showcasing the Scandinavian commitment to beauty and practicality.  

  1. Rustic Charm:

Create a warm, inviting atmosphere with a rustic side table made from reclaimed wood or natural stone. The imperfections and variations in the wood grain add character and tell a story.  Imagine a piece with a chunky, hand-hewn feel, adding a sense of cosy cabins nestled amidst the wilderness, a chunky knit throw draped over the side.

  1. Beach Bliss:

Want to feel like you're by the ocean? Give a bedside table makeover made from driftwood or rope, like something washed ashore! The natural materials and worn look create a relaxing beach vibe. A side table decor of a woven rug for texture and seashells from your beach trips would be perfect. Finish it with a glass jar filled with sand and colourful sea glass—perfect for dreaming of ocean waves!

  1. Less is More:

Love clean, simple spaces? A minimalist side table is for you! Imagine a clear glass or acrylic table that makes everything else stand out. Add a single geometric sculpture and a small orchid for a touch of interest without cluttering things. This keeps the space feeling open and peaceful.

  1. Modern Farmhouse Charm:

Want a warm and cosy side table? Choose one made from distressed wood or painted white. The worn wood adds a rustic touch, while the white paint makes the space feel bright and airy. Imagine a simple table with practical details, just like on a farmhouse. Add a galvanised metal bucket filled with wildflowers for a pop of colour. 

Finish the look with an old book and a mason jar lamp for a touch of industrial style, creating an inviting and stylish space. 

Must-Know Styling Tips for Side Table Success

  1. The Rule of Three:

This universal design principle creates a visually pleasing display by grouping objects in threes. It doesn't have to be a rigid formula, but consider incorporating three items of varying sizes, heights, and textures to add visual interest. This could combine: 

  • A tall, sculptural vase filled with pampas grass for a modern touch.
  • A chunky ceramic bowl overflowing with colourful decorative balls for a playful vibe.
  • A stack of vintage travel books for a touch of wanderlust.

Before setting off, you can draft a list of all that you need; read more on Bedroom Furniture Shopping Checklist: What to Look for Before You Buy

  1. Balance is Key:

Achieving balance with your side table styling is about creating a sense of visual harmony.  Consider the height and scale of your objects in relation to each other and the side table itself:

  • Height: Juxtapose a tall, slender lamp with a low, wide bowl filled with decorative pebbles to create visual interest without overwhelming the space.
  • Scale: Balance a large statement vase with a cluster of smaller trinkets or a collection of miniature picture frames. 
  • Weight: Counteract a bulky table lamp with a collection of lighter objects like feathers or seashells displayed on a decorative tray.
  1. Let There Be Light:

The right lamp can help your side table go from functional to fabulous.  Here's how lighting plays a key role:

  • Ambience: A table lamp with a warm glow creates a cosy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for reading or relaxing. Consider lamps with dimmer switches for adjustable mood lighting. 
  • Functionality: Choose a lamp that provides sufficient light for your needs. A task lamp might be ideal for reading, while a less powerful lamp could create a more ambient setting. 
  • Style Synergy: Select a lamp that complements the style of your side table. A sleek metal table might call for a minimalist lamp, while a rustic wooden table could benefit from a lamp with a natural woven shade. 

Hudson Furniture’s Inspiration

At Hudson Furniture, side tables are more than just a place to set your drink. They're a chance to infuse your personality and style into every corner of your home. Whether you crave the sleek sophistication of modern mid-century or the relaxed vibes of a coastal retreat, we offer a curated selection of side tables inspired by diverse design aesthetics.  Crafted from high-quality materials and featuring unique details, our side tables are designed to be functional and conversation starters. So, explore our collection and discover the perfect piece to complement your space and ignite your design inspiration. Visit our website for more inspiration.

Closing Remarks 

In conclusion, your side table doesn't have to be an afterthought! By now, you probably have ideas about how to style a bedside table.

It can be a stylish and functional focal point that reflects your personality. With various design options, from modern mid-century to bohemian chic, there's a perfect side table for every taste.  Remember, the key lies in these tables in your space. Don't be afraid to experiment with bedside table styling tips techniques like layering, playing with scale, and incorporating unexpected elements. Following these tips and letting your creativity flow, your side tables will transform from ordinary surfaces to extraordinary design statements. 

Visit Hudson Furniture for more information.  


  1. What are some unique side table ideas beyond the traditional designs?

You may use repurposed vintage suitcases, tree stump slices, or even stacking books to create a unique and personalised table.

  1. How do I choose the right size side table for a space?

Consider the available space and other furniture in the room. Aim for a side table that is proportionate to the surrounding furniture, ensuring it doesn't overpower the space or seem too small in comparison.

  1. What are some stylish ways to use multiple side tables in a room?

Incorporate multiple side tables by replacing them with a traditional coffee table, creating a staggered arrangement, or pairing different styles and heights to add visual interest and functionality.

  1. How can I style a side table to make it a focal point?

Add a statement piece, such as a bold lamp or a unique sculpture, to draw attention to the side table. Incorporate decorative items like candles, vases, or books to create an aesthetically pleasing display.

  1. What are some space-saving side table ideas for small rooms?

Opt for slim and compact side tables, nesting tables, or wall-mounted options to save space in smaller rooms. Additionally, consider side tables with built-in storage or shelves for added functionality.

  1. What materials work well for side tables?

Materials such as wood, metal, glass, acrylic, and marble can all contribute to unique side table designs. Choose a material that complements the overall style and aesthetic of the room.

  1. Can I repurpose existing furniture as a side table?

Absolutely! Get creative by repurposing items like wooden crates, old trunks, or even a stack of vintage suitcases. By repurposing furniture, you can add character and create a unique side table with a personal touch.

  1. How can I incorporate a side table into a bedroom design?

In a bedroom, a side table can serve as a nightstand. Opt for a design that matches the bed frame or complements the colour scheme of the room. Ensure it is large enough to hold essential items like a lamp, book, or alarm clock.

  1. What are some tips for achieving a balanced look when styling a side table?

Balance is key when styling a side table. Use a mix of heights, shapes, and textures to create visual interest. Play with symmetry by placing matching items on each side or create an asymmetrical look for a more eclectic feel.

  1. How can I make a side table versatile for different decor styles?

Choose a neutral-coloured side table that can easily blend with various decor styles. Keep the styling minimal and opt for versatile accessories that can be switched out or rearranged to match changing design preferences.