Every Living Room Needs a Sidekick, so We Give You These End Tables

Living room with blue tiled fireplace and wood chair and side table
credit: Stephen Paul

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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 Netflix 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, rug, pillows, and art are making you smile from ear to ear. But! You're still on the hunt for living room side tables that will be the just the right fit, and you're not sure if you want to go matchy-matchy or unexpected.

End — or side — tables can serve a function: a place to rest a cocktail, or a means to showcase your ceramic collection, favorite books, plants, or family photos. And sometimes they're simply statement pieces. Whether you want a table 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 it all here. These ideas will help you find the perfect living room side table for your needs, wants, and dare we say, dreams.

End Table Idea #1: A Little Form, a Lotta Function

DIY IKEA Hack Side Table with Dowels
credit: Carrie Waller

Sometimes you need more than just a pretty face from your end table. Translation: you need some drawers to store stuff in and a surface big enough for a lamp. It may seem like the traditional route, but you can pick a piece that still stands out on its own and hides the remotes, playing cards, and knick-knacks you don't always want in full view.

(Or try our easy DIY where you can transform an IKEA nightstand into a modern table as seen in the pic above!)

End Table Idea #2: Small, But Mighty

When space in your living room is limited, or you just need a little something-something to sit next to a chair to make things complete, a tiny side table that folds up when you don't need it could do the trick.

End Table Idea #3: Twinning

Pairing or nesting tables is both eclectic and functional.
credit: Hunker

Make a statement by displaying nesting tables. One could hold a plant, the other could hold a cocktail, or they can serve as extra space for your charcuterie board when your friends stop by. Plus, they always look so pretty.

End Table Idea #4: Invest in Vintage Design

When mixing vintage with newer looks, an end table can be the perfect opportunity to bring in a collectible as a major design moment while keeping the rest of your room simple. Sometimes it's a splurge, but it's meant to last a lifetime.

End Table Idea #5: Marvelous Marble

DIY IKEA Hack Marble Side Table
credit: Lucy Akins

Bring a little elegance to your space without going too high-brow with a marble end table. Marble is durable enough to take on whatever you put on it, and with metal legs or accents, provides a nice pop of contrast to the rest of your room.

(Or if you want to save some money, make your own from a plain IKEA side table and marble contact paper. It's so easy!)

End Table Idea #7: Go Gold and Bold

Go bold with gold in your neutral space.
credit: Hunker

You love neutrals, but your inner voice says go bold and that you deserve a medal for all your work, but we digress. A great way to please all your needs is picking an end table that outshines them all. From metal finishes, to powder-coated pops of color, let your inner Olympiad shine.

End Table Idea #8: Sculptural Side Piece

From stone and ceramic, to concrete and metal, a sculptural end table is another way to bring something surprising to your room without overwhelming it. Bonus point: it's totally on trend, yet another reason to bring a little 'of the moment' into your space without committing too big to being trendy.

End Table Idea #9: 100% Au Naturel

Set your space off with a unique side table.
credit: Stephen Paul

The look of wood is always a good bet, especially in a modern eclectic living space. It's an easy way to bring a natural vibe to your decor. We love the use of a wood tree stump (or a replica of one) as the perfect not-so-fussy statement piece where you can place decor accessories — or even provide extra seating when you're entertaining a crowd.

Where to Buy End Tables:

Oh, but we could go on and on ... the possibilities for end tables are endless (pun intended), but here are some of our favorite spots to find them:


Siobhan Murphy

Siobhan Murphy

As an Emmy Award winning creative director, writer and producer I have worked on content for brands like Disney, BravoTV, TBS, Universal, E! and MTV. But I mostly love rearranging furniture and repotting plants at home.