How to Choose a Side Table

When designing an interior, side tables often end up being the final piece of the puzzle. We tend to look at big-ticket items like sofas and coffee tables as the anchor pieces of a space. But given the chance, considerately selected side tables can establish decorative direction, play into a richer stylistic narrative, and create a more functional environment for living. They are mighty little tools for making a space sing – but the key is landing on the right one for you. So, we’ve brought together a few key ideas to get you started…

Moveable Side Tables

Left: Christian Bense design scheme featuring Lily Cocktail Table with ‘Rosso Luana’ marble top; photographed by Alexander James | Right: Lily Cocktail Tables in cast steel with ‘Moon’ tops

Opting for a lighter side table with a small footprint allows for some incredibly convenient mobility. These roving side tables, like the diminutive Lily, bring a sense of fluidity to the room as you shift them around to suit your needs. They’re the perfect little pedestals to see you through your day, from morning coffee to evening tipple.


Finding Decorative Direction

Papillon Side Table + Papillon Screen in ‘Ulysseys Blue’; photographed by Damian Russell

Side tables offer a great opportunity to develop decorative motifs in your space. Start by picking up on a colour or form in the room that you particularly like and emulate that through your choice of side table. The addition can help to draw focus to that element of the space and pull the scheme together beautifully. The Papillon Side Table takes on an especially captivating form and brilliantly vivid colours, making it a great piece for establishing decorative direction.


Drinks Trolleys as Side Tables

Papillon Drinks Trolley in ‘Baronet Red’ + Papillon Console Table in ‘Ulysseys Blue’, with glassware by Michael Ruh; photographed by Damian Russell

Bar trolleys bring a bit of tasteful levity to a space, plus they usually come bearing gifts. They can be fantastically functional additions to the home, beyond the role of drink ferry. There’s no rule against introducing a few decorative objects and treating a drinks trolley as a movable side table. With its organic lines and dichroic glass, the Papillon Drinks Trolley makes a statement, whether decked out with cocktails or not.


Classic Side Table

April Hamilton Architectural Design scheme featuring Lexington Round Side Table in ‘Bronze’

For a classic feel and a subtle look, the Lexington Round Side Table is just the thing. Its clean lines and sleek hand-finishing give it a timeless, refined quality to suit just about any environment. And for added functionality, it’s worth considering the matryoshka-style Nest format, with three tables that seamlessly tuck together.

Lexington Nest in ‘Bronze’ with glass and smoked glass tops


Contrast in Interior Design

Ariel Round Side Table in Bronze with a glass top

They may be small but side tables can make a big impact if considerately contextualised. To create a bit of contrast and intrigue in a space, go for a side table that offers some juxtaposition to the surrounding decorative scheme. In the case of a soft, traditional interior, it can work well to introduce a piece like the Ariel Side Table. The stark metalwork, bold finish, and modern form bring an unexpected hit of complexity to more classical environments. The result is an interesting narrative built through variation in era, decorative style, and visual effect amidst the interior’s elements.



Text by Annabel Colterjohn


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