Maybe you're in the home stretch of decorating — or perhaps redecorating — your living room. You found the perfect sectional sofa where you can cozy up to watch your favorite shows. The accent chairs are in place. The paint on your walls has finally dried. You've added some accessories and textiles. A fabulous floor lamp, coffee table, area rug, pillows, and artwork are making you smile from ear to ear. But! You're still on the hunt for the perfect end tables, and you're not sure if you want to go matchy-matchy or opt for something a little unexpected.
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End tables are a must in a living space because they serve a plethora of functions: a place to rest a cocktail, or a means to showcase your ceramic collection, favorite books, plants, or family photos. Sometimes they can even be essential statement pieces on their own. Whether you want a piece that'll fit into a small space or one that's big enough to hold a lamp and a stack of magazines, we've got them all here — including some DIY ideas so you can earn extra bragging rights when a guest pops by for a visit.
Whether you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get crafty or go online and start shopping, here are some stylish DIY and store-bought end tables that will definitely up the ante in your living room.
9 DIY End Tables
These step-by-step DIY end table ideas are endlessly unique, but what makes them even cooler is that they will be completely original and handmade. Whether reworking a plain side table and turning it into something special or making an entirely new piece, we present your next weekend project. Scroll on for a few fun-to-follow tutorials.
End tables can be used for a multitude of purposes. Take this cute plant stand-meets-table setup by Carrie Waller. This end table's dark wood finish and orange hairpin legs are sure to add a cheery pop of color to any room. And, is it just us, or does that potted houseplant match perfectly with this whole color scheme?
Making over a classic piece of IKEA furniture is never a bad idea, especially when it is an easy DIY project like this one by Caroline Burke. With some cane webbing, scissors, glue, and a staple gun, you can turn a simple wood table into an eye-catching accent. Plus, we love an extra shelf for a few books and other nighttime essentials.
Another end table, another chance at an awesome IKEA hack. The Gladom is the perfect size and shape to create your very own design showcasing a terrazzo top. Follow Hunker contributor Maya Marin's lead and gather a colorful collection of mosaic or glass tile pieces and go to town. The end result? A side table so pretty you might not want to put anything on top of it.
Like any other piece of furniture or decor, end tables follow interior design trends, too. Currently, fluting and ribbing are the details du jour. You can get in on the fun by buying this beauty from West Elm or challenging yourself to this DIY project from Carrie Waller. All you need is a little gray spray paint, PVC pipes, and scrap wood, and voilà!
Let's say that you have stumbled upon a secondhand table that you adore, but you hate the existing finish. Not a problem. This DIY plaster look by Trisha Sprouse will freshen it up and then some. It's the perfect way to add an end table that's on-trend to the living room without blowing your budget or overwhelming your space. Plus, you can even customize the color with some dye.
We can all agree that IKEA is a great place to pick up simple and affordable pieces of furniture that can be customized with a little ingenuity. For example, take this nightstand that Carrie Waller transformed into a serious statement-making end table. With an extra shelf and hidden drawer, this chic little design gives you storage galore and plenty of midcentury charm.
At Hunker, we are always on the hunt for DIY projects that are ultra unique, and an accent table adorned with tiles definitely fits the bill. It's an easy glow-up for a simple piece of furniture that's just sitting around the house or for one that you've picked up at a flea market. Go the sustainable route and use recycled tiles to create a super groovy surface perfect for displaying a colorful flower arrangement or a one-of-a-kind piece of pottery.
End tables aren't just pretty pieces to place your objects on; they can also provide a little extra storage that everyone could use more of. By putting your artistic skills to work, you can turn a ho-hum nightstand into a showstopping side table. And thanks to the fancy new facade, the two roomy drawers almost go unnoticed.
Fluted details are popping up everywhere from glassware to dining sets lately, and we are so here for it. Luckily, this DIY side table by Sara Albers incorporates the ultra-chic trend. We promise it's a project for any skill level and calls for materials that you can pick up from a local hardware store.
8 Store-Bought End Tables
Maybe DIY isn't your thing. Or between work and everything else you're juggling, you just don't have the time to get crafty. We totally get it. So, we did a little shopping for you and found a variety of end table styles that will suit just about any living room.
Want to add a little sparkle to an otherwise neutral living room? Consider this brass beauty spotted on Overstock. Its lustrous design is sure to take your seating arrangement to the next level without making too much of a fuss.
We love the idea of using a wood tree stump, like this one from West Elm, as an end table. The look of natural wood is always a good bet — especially in modern living spaces — and it's an easy way to bring an organic quality and a touch of warmth into your home. Plus, this piece can also pull double-duty as extra seating when you're entertaining a crowd.
End tables present excellent opportunities to add something a little out of the ordinary to your living room. For instance, this acrylic number from Urban Outfitters is the perfect example of how to weave a '70s-inspired piece of home decor into a modern setup. Plus, the clear acrylic material is less bulky than a solid wood or stone design, so your space will look and feel more open and less crowded.
A minimalist end table with a marble surface will bring a little elegance to your living room without going too high-brow, while a sleek brass base will add a bit of sparkle. Sounds like the perfect combo if you ask us. And bonus: A smaller-scale design like this one from CB2 is versatile enough to slip comfortably into tight quarters.
If you want to add a vintage touch to your living space, you simply can't go wrong with a design classic like this Platner side table. It's an investment to be sure, but it will never go out of style and can be passed down for generations to come.
Why stick with just one end table when you can have three? With this nesting table trio from West Elm, you'll have room to display a verdant plant, serve a charcuterie board, and place your cocktail when you're busy chatting with friends (or eating). And the best part is, you can move each one around as much as your heart desires.
Invest in an end table that will give you more for your money, like this two-tiered piece from Hayneedle. Thanks to the multi-level design, there is plenty of room to stash an assortment of shelter mags and one or two pieces of decor. The rattan trays and metal frame would work beautifully in any boho, rustic, or farmhouse-style setting.
When square footage in your living room is limited, a tiny side table that can fold up when it's not in use is the perfect solution. It can also come in handy as the ideal table for one to enjoy dinner and a movie. Or, when you have guests, it can act as a mini serving buffet for cocktails and snacks.
Just a Few Things to Keep in Mind
When shopping around for a new end table for your living room, the most important thing to remember is that decorating your space should be fun, not stressful. Next, decide how much money you want to invest. For instance, if you dream of adding an iconic piece to your setup, be prepared to spend big bucks. On the other hand, if you prefer a handmade touch, you can save your cash and opt for a similar, less-expensive option instead.
Another important factor to consider is: How will this table function in your space? Does it need to include storage? Or will it just be a convenient place to rest a cup of coffee and a good book? Look for designs that satisfy all of your needs, including style, size, and function. Don't settle for less.
Be open to trying something unexpected and get in touch with your inner artist. There are some great DIY end table ideas that will not only look good but will be rewarding to dive into. So why not go for it? Plus, you'll save more money for the rest of your living room decor.