pink and blue living room design

6 Simple Ways To Style Your Side Table

A Side table serves not only an aesthetic purpose but is also extremely practical. They are perfect for stashing your reading glasses, television remotes, or cup of hot tea. I can’t imagine a living room design that doesn’t include at least one side table (that might be a lie, but they are very important). Unfortunately, side table design is often left on the low-priority list.


How To Style A Side Table

organic modern living room with transitional side table styling

If you want to step up your side table design and give it the style it deserves, we’ve got 6 simple ideas to help inspire you. Each idea ranges from complex to simple and truly depends on the amount of surface space your table has to work with. However, no matter how big or small, we’ve got the perfect inspiration to help you style yours.

Option #1 – Minimal Reading Nook

reading nook in bedroom with wooden side table decorated with two books

Here’s some inspiration for those looking to style a small side table in a cozy corner for your reading nook. Obviously, with a smaller space, you will have limited table space so you will want to keep your design minimal to keep the table functional. Opt for a small stack of your favorite books or ones you’re currently reading. You can add a little twist to the stack for some extra flavor, but it’s still simple enough to leave you space to put your reading glasses or a cup of coffee.

Option #2 – Minimal Greens

vibrant seating area with gold side table decorated with a small plant

Do you need something minimal, but fresh for your seating area side table? Add a small potted plant to the center of your table. This keeps the design fresh and bright but leaves room for a couple of drinks to rest. It may seem overly simplified, however, finding the perfect plant to fit that space could be a bit more of a challenge.

Make sure you measure your table before going on your plant hunt. You’ll want to leave around two-thirds of the table available for function, meaning your plant base should only take up one-third of the surface area.

Option #3 – The Maximalist Design

maximal marble side table design with books, vase, picture frame and lamp

From absolutely minimal to complete maximalism, this side table design is the perfect eclectic look for those who prefer to add more to their decor. With a maximalist design, it’s important to follow a few key design principles to keep things visually appealing. First, start with an odd number of items. One exception is that any kind of stack of objects can count as one item.

You will also want to ensure that you follow the visual triangle rule to ensure visual intrigue and structure. Notice how the above doesn’t appear to be a triangle, but it is in fact two visual triangles. The lamp, picture frame, and book stack are one, and the lamp, plant, and vase are another. It’s a lot easier than you think, just make sure each object is a different height and size.

Option #4 – Transitional Side Table Stack

living room design with mid-century side table styled with two decorative books and small bowl

I love this side table design because it’s both timeless and elegant. The design itself is not only classic and functional, but it’s also extremely simple to replicate. All you have to do is find a couple of decorative books of the same size and a smaller decorative bowl. You can then fill the bowl with candies or mints for your guests.

Once you’ve topped off your bowl with whatever goodies you decide, your look is complete. Pro tip: adjust your book size to the size of your table. If you have a large side table, you will need larger books to fill the surface and keep a proportionate look.

Option #5 – Big Table, Bigger Plant

wicker side table with large floral arrangement vase and decorative book stack

Larger side tables can feel a bit intimidating to design. You can go with a maximalist style and add various decorative objects, or you can keep it simple and use one very large visual triangle. I absolutely love doing this with a large plant because it’s simple, affordable, and easy to replicate.

Start by finding a fairly tall and sturdy potted plant. It can be real or faux and could be just green or a floral arrangement. Once you find the perfect plant for your space, you’ll want to find two decorative objects of varying heights. This could be a stack of books, a small bowl, a decorative tissue box, a picture frame, or anything else you’d like. Once you find the right decorative object combination, arrange them into a visual triangle and situate them either in the middle or toward the back of the table.

Option #6 – Any Rule Of 3

transitional styled side table with lamp, plant and vase

I saved the most simple side table design for last. You can never go wrong utilizing this classic side table design. All you need are three decorative objects of varying heights that you arrange into a triangle. It’s really that simple!

I recommend using a lamp for your larger object as it provides an additional layer of task lighting, but you could also use a plant or a tall vase. Then you can get creative on the other two objects for your side table decor. It’s important that your design reflects both your taste and the function of the space, so try to find both fashionable and practical objects!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top