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Decorating A Side Table For Any Room

Side tables are much more than a place to set our drinks and accessories. They are the perfect blank canvas for expressing creativity, showcasing personal style, and displaying artful home accents. 

From selecting the perfect lamp to arranging cherished mementos, decorating a side table for any room allows you to highlight things you love while adding style and ambiance. Side tables may not always get the flash and praise of statement decor, but when styled right, they can add an abundance of elegance and story to any room.  

Choosing the Right Side Table

A stylish side table starts with the right piece of furniture. Before you start decorating a side table, choose the best style and size for the room and surrounding furniture. 

Height: Select a side table of the same height as the arm of the sofa or chair it will be placed next to. If placed next to a bed, choose a height that is level with or slightly below the mattress. A good range is from 22 to 30 inches in height. 

Width & Depth: A side table should have a width and depth that is proportional to the size of the room and nearby furniture. A smaller chair might be paired with a table around 12 to 18 inches wide and deep, while a larger sofa might pair better with a table around 18 to 24 inches wide and deep. 

Surface Space: The function of the table may also inform its width and depth size. Ensure the tabletop is large enough to hold the items you want to place on it. A common surface space is around 16 to 22 inches in diameter for round tables or 18 to 24 inches wide for square or rectangular tables.

Style: Select a side table style that complements your surrounding decor. Choose a color that harmonizes with your room’s palette. Neutral tones offer versatility, while bold colors can make a statement. Opt for materials and details that match or contrast with your furniture, such as a sleek metal table for a modern look or a wooden table for a more traditional or rustic vibe.

Balancing and Proportion

The art of decorating a side table for any room is rooted in two things: balance and proportion. Your side table accents and decor should complement each other while creating a pleasing visual harmony. As you select items for your side table, keep these tips in mind. 

  • Choose table accents that match the scale of nearby decor, furniture, and artwork. 
  • Display no more than five items (and even fewer for smaller surface areas) so the space feels fresh and open rather than cluttered and busy. 
  • Create layers by placing tall items in the back and short or flat items near the front of your display. 
  • Mix and match textures and materials, such as smooth, rough, soft, and hard surfaces, to add depth and warmth.
  • Choose items that complement other colors in the room, but don’t be afraid to add contrasting pops of color to make the space feel eye-catching and lively.
  • Use negative surface space as part of your design to create depth and balance.  
  • Add items with reflective surfaces like mirrors, metallic finishes, or glass to add a touch of elegance and make the space feel larger.

Function and Stylish Storage

Side tables can display treasured artworks and stylish accents, and  \can also serve as a spot for safekeeping and storage. Consider how you can offer both form and function with your side table by keeping these ideas in mind: 

Contain loose items. The use of containers can make side tables look elegant and chic even when used for storage. Stylish trays can contain smaller items while baskets and decorative storage containers can house larger items to make your table look organized and artful at the same time. 

Arrange books and magazines. Stack books in order of size or choose ornate magazine racks or bookends to turn reading material into an elegant arrangement.

Style with coasters. Even the most stylish side table may end up used to hold drinks and beverages. Protect your table’s surface while adding a stunning accent by choosing decorative coasters that look beautiful standing alone or with a drink set on top. 

Adding Personal Touches

End tables are a great place for showcasing your unique style and interests. Infuse personality and character into your side table arrangements by featuring items that are personal, one-of-a-kind, and custom. 

  • Add picture frames and photobooks of your favorite moments and trips. 
  • Set out coffee table books, novels, and magazines that showcase your favorite stories, hobbies, and interests.   
  • Display and light stylish candles with your favorite scent to set the mood and create ambiance. 
  • Show off items you’ve collected from travels by displaying high-end souvenirs and mementos.
  • If you’re a collector, feature favorite items from your collection, and consider rotating items every few months to create a fresh look and new conversation starter. 

Lighting and Ambiance

Light up your side table to add an extra dose of style and ambiance. Choose accent lamps that suit the decor of your table and the room around it. 

  • Lamp Size: Select a lamp that is proportionate to the size of the side table and surrounding furniture. A lamp that is too large or too small can throw off the balance of the space.
  • Lampshade: Choose a lampshade with colors and patterns that complement the room's color scheme and decor style. Also, be mindful of size, and choose a shade that doesn’t overtake the space or hang off the edge of the table. 
  • Lamp Body: Choose lamps with interesting materials or textures, such as ceramic, glass, metal, or wood, to add variety and create a beautiful statement piece. 
  • Non-Lamp Lighting: Add other types of accent lights, such as fairy lights, led candles, and decorative lanterns, to create layered lighting and add depth to the arrangement.

Seasonal and Theme-Based Decor

Side table accents don’t have to be static. Consider how you can change out decor items every few weeks or months to instill a sense of renewal and excitement.

Rotate items bi-annually or seasonally to keep decor fresh and relevant. Adjusting your items to reflect the seasons or holidays can bring a sense of joy and festivity to your home. It can create a cozy atmosphere in the winter or a bright, airy feel in the summer. Plus, a rotating display can ignite conversation as guests admire new and unique items from your personal collection. 

Final Touches and Styling Tips

Finally, consider these final touches when decorating a side table for any room. 

  • Add some greenery. Adding plants brings a touch of nature indoors and enhances aesthetic appeal with vibrant colors and organic shapes. Plus, plants improve air quality and create a calming, serene atmosphere that promotes well-being.
  • Be practical. Keep both form and function in mind when decorating a side table for any room. Balance the artful display with items that serve the use of the table. 
  • Break rules that don’t work for you!As with all home decor, let your personal style and aesthetic shine above any rulebook. Your home is a reflection of your personality and taste. If a styling rule doesn’t work for you, break it!


Shop Fran Berger Living's Decorative Items

To get inspired to create a stylish side table, check out a few of our favorite items from Fran Berger’s curated collection of home accessories and accents

Labradorite Sparkle Bee Jewelry Box

Elevate the aesthetic of a bedside table with a beautiful box that delivers both form and function. The Labradorite Sparkle Bee Jewelry Box is a gorgeous and secure storage space for jewelry slipped off before slipping into bed. 

Catchall Dish Walnut

For more masculine and minimalist storage, choose this stunning Walnut Catchall Dish. The smooth and warm curved edges are hand-turned from sustainably harvested domestic hardwoods and are perfect for nestling important personal items. 

Kulinda Coasters

Protect your side table with a work of art. Kulinda Coasters are handmade from Ankole cow horns by artisans in Uganda. No two are exactly alike. Each features natural variations in color, offering an eye-catching and useful tableside accessory. 

Talianna Oro Bud Vase, White & Gold

Add height and visual depth to side tables big and small with this gorgeous Talianna Oro Bud Vase. Made with contrasting sleek white and elegant 24K gold, this vase turns any end table into a display of fine art. 

The Catalogue: Vol 01

Let your side table inspire endless ideas for stylish living by displaying a copy of Fran Berger’s The Catalogue: Vol 01. On the outside, the beautifully bound coffee table book presents artful table decor, while the inside offers pages of stunning spreads featuring sophisticated styling and artful entertaining.

Elevate Your Home Decor

A side table is the perfect opportunity for adding extra personality, story, and style to a space. Start seeing side tables as blank canvases for your creativity, and use these ideas for decorating a side table for any room with elegance and flair. 

Then, find the perfect items to bring your vision to life by browsing more home accents in the Fran Berger Living collection. From beautiful vases to eye-catching coasters, the collection will inspire you to accessorize side tables throughout your home. Shop the collection now.



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