Whether you're designing a great room space, looking for another layer for your reading look, or thinking about updating your accent pieces, this post is for you!
Here are a few things we like to keep in mind when choosing a side table:
Size (Make sure to measure)
First and foremost, let's talk about technicalities. When you're choosing a side table, it's important to make sure it works with whichever the furniture piece you're placing next to it.
In a great room, a typical side table height falls just below the seat's arm. However, when designing our spaces, we prefer a slightly taller side table for a more modern look. That way, it doesn't get lost in the rest of your pieces. Plus, we find that a taller side table functions just as well! We actually design some of our side tables at McGee & Co. to be a bit taller than the traditional side table for this reason!
Whichever look you prefer, check the dimensions when purchasing your side table to ensure you end up with something that works for you!
Function (What is the purpose?)
Ask yourself what function your side table will be performing and factor that into your decision.
Do you want to style a table lamp on it and still have room for books and a candle? Or are you using it as an accent piece next to a chair for coasters? Its purpose will determine how large the surface needs to be, which will get you closer to choosing the right style!
Styling tip: If you need more storage room, try a double-tiered side table with a basket on the bottom for added space and texture!
Style (Create contrast)
We love mixing styles, materials, and tones in our spaces to create contrast, and side tables are the perfect way to do this. For example, if we have a traditional armchair, we might pair a modern side table alongside it to give it an added layer of dimension.
In a great room, side tables are typically one of the last pieces we choose, allowing us to consider what we already have and accent a style to bring balance to the look.
In one of our latest projects, Rye New York, we had a quite a bit of modern-looking pieces in the great room, but adding a more traditional side table brought the perfect layer of contrast.
Sometimes, intentionally matched side tables in a traditional space can work really well, but more often than not, if we have two side tables in a great room, we like to use different pieces.
Variety (don't be afraid to think out of the box)
Some of the best designs come from experimentation, and we love using pieces that aren't technically side tables as side tables. In The McGee home, we added a vintage stool next to the sofa that serves as a side table, and we love the unexpected element in brings.
What's your favorite side table look? Let us know in the comments!