The Perfect Sidekick: 3 Steps to Picking the Right Side Table

The world is full of important sidekicks (where would Batman be without Robin?). In the decorating world, one of the all-important but unsung heroes of a room is a great side table.  When we are designing a living room, most of us have a blast picking out a sofa or chair, then we kinda forget about its buddy, the table that will snuggle up and complete the look of the seating arrangement.

It’s not as easy as you’d think to pick the perfect side table. The wrong table can throw off the look of the room. Here are 3 key questions we will be asking customers who come to Nell Hill’s during our popular Wood Furniture Sale (all wood furniture will be 20% off Feb. 15-March 15) in quest of a side table, so they get just the right one for their space: 


1. What is the scale of the seat that will be next to the table?

It’s essential that the table you pick match the scale of the furniture it will stand by. Be sure to pick a table that isn’t so large that it overwhelms the sofa or chair, or is so small, it gets lost in the space. Your goal is to have balance in the grouping, and the table will play an important role in achieving that sweet spot. The table in the photo above, from Nell Hill’s, is one of my favorites. Its classic stylings will never go out of style, and it offers the trifecta of ample tabletop space, storage drawers and a shelf to decorate.

I like tables to be about five inches above or below the arm of the chair or sofa so you can easily reach the tabletop when you’re seated.


2. How will you use the table?

Every piece of furniture in your home plays a role in the overall function and form of the space. What job will your side table do? I like tables big enough to hold pretties, plus a few essentials, like a lamp. The photo above, of a side table at Nell Hill’s, has a broad enough top for a drinks service. I love the added luxury of the shelf below to display books, serving pieces or seasonal accents.

Since I live in a home where storage is very limited, I like furniture that offers me places to stash stuff. Don’t overlook the help your side table can offer. For example, this intriguing table is filled with drawers where you can keep essentials you don’t use every day, like silver serving pieces or table linens.


3. What style fits your space?

I’m not a fan of firm lines when it comes to decorating styles. While it’s key to pick a side table that complements the seat is stands by, don’t let yourself by hobbled by the notion that all the pieces in a room have to fall into a rigid decorating style category.

In fact, when I’m designing a room, I like to mix a variety of styles together so the overall space is more reflective of the homeowner’s unique personality.

My favorite rooms are those that appear to have evolved slowly over time, becoming more unique and beautiful as the homeowner adds new treasures through the years. An interesting side table is a great way to add an unusual layer to your look.

Hunting for a new side table to set off or finish your living space? We have lots and lots of styles to choose from at Nell Hill’s, in all price ranges. And, during our Wood Furniture Sale, Feb. 15-March 15, all our wood side tables—plus wood dining tables, bookcases, hutches, etc.—are 20% off.

Next Week … Most of us need more storage in our homes, don’t we? I’ll have a smart solution to this constant challenge!