How to Decorate Side Tables in Living Room: 5 Best Ideas

Uncover the secrets of 'how to decorate side tables in the living room' with our comprehensive step-by-step guide. This resource is packed with creative ideas and practical tips to help you infuse elegance and personality into your living space.
how to decorate side tables in living room

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Embarking on the journey of “How to Decorate Side Tables in Living Room” transforms a house into a home, and the living room, the heart of every home, deserves special attention. This is where side tables come into play – small but significant, they offer both utility and an opportunity to express personal style. This guide, crafted for both novices and seasoned decorators, offers a step-by-step approach to enhancing living room side tables. With these tips, the goal is to elevate the living room’s ambiance, making it a perfect blend of elegance and personality.

Decorating side tables is more than just placing a few items on a surface; it’s an art that involves consideration of space, style, and functionality. The key in “How to Decorate Side Tables in Living Room” is to create a space that is not only visually appealing but also reflects the essence of the home and the people living in it. Whether it’s about making a statement or adding a subtle touch of elegance, the right approach can transform the ordinary into something extraordinary.

how to decorate side tables in living room
how to decorate side tables in living room

Choosing the Right Table

how to decorate side tables in living room

Selecting the perfect side table is a foundational step in the decorating process. It’s not just about picking a piece of furniture; it’s about choosing a companion for your couch or armchair that complements and enhances the overall aesthetic. Consider the size and scale relative to other furniture in the room. A table too small or too large can disrupt the harmony of the space.

In addition to size, the style of the table is paramount. From contemporary glass designs to rustic wooden pieces, the style should align with the room’s overall theme. This cohesion ensures that the side table doesn’t just stand out for its looks but also blends seamlessly into the living room’s decor narrative.

Material and color also play a crucial role. A metal table might lend a modern, sleek look, while a wooden table could add warmth and traditional charm. Color choices can either create a contrast or complement the existing palette of the room. The right table not only holds items but also holds the room’s character together.

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Selecting a Theme

how to decorate side tables in living room

A consistent theme is like a thread that ties the room’s elements together. It’s important to decide on a decorating theme that reflects the living room’s character. This could range from a beach-inspired look with light, airy colors to a more sophisticated urban theme with darker hues and metallic accents.

Once the theme is chosen, it allows for a focused approach to selecting accessories. For instance, a minimalist theme would call for fewer, more impactful pieces, whereas a bohemian theme might welcome a mix of eclectic and colorful items. This thematic approach ensures that every piece on the table tells a part of the room’s story.

Even within a theme, there’s room for creativity. Mixing and matching different styles within the chosen theme can add depth and interest. For example, in a rustic-themed room, combining a weathered wood table with modern accessories can create a delightful contrast that is both unexpected and harmonious.

Incorporating Functional Decor

how to decorate side tables in living room

Balancing beauty with functionality is crucial. The side table should not only look good but also serve its purpose. Consider items like table lamps, which add both light and style, or decorative bowls and trays, which can hold everyday items while keeping the look organized.

Books are another great addition. A carefully selected stack of books can serve as both a style statement and a conversation starter. This functional decor approach ensures that the side table is more than just a showpiece; it’s a practical part of the living room setup.

The key is in the arrangement. A well-arranged side table can make even the most functional items look like part of the decor. For example, a small plant can bring a touch of nature indoors while also purifying the air. Similarly, a stylish coaster set can protect the table’s surface while adding to its aesthetic appeal.

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Playing with Heights and Textures

how to decorate side tables in living room

Creating a visually engaging side table display involves playing with different heights and textures. Varying heights can be achieved by stacking books, adding a tall lamp, or using vases of different sizes. This creates a dynamic and layered look, drawing the eye and adding interest.

Texture adds dimension to the decor. Combining different materials like glass, metal, ceramic, and fabric can create a rich, tactile experience. For example, a smooth, metallic lamp base contrasts beautifully with a textured fabric lampshade, adding depth and character to the space.

The interplay of light and shadow also plays a role in enhancing the textures. Proper lighting can accentuate the textures, giving the side table a lively and inviting appearance. Using reflective surfaces like a mirrored tray or a glass vase can also play with the light, adding a subtle sparkle to the room.

Adding Personal Touches

how to decorate side tables in living room

The most captivating spaces are those that reflect personal style and stories. Adding personal touches to the side table makes the space feel more intimate and inviting. This could be a cherished photograph, a souvenir from travels, or a piece of heirloom that holds sentimental value.

Personal touches don’t have to be grand; even small items can make a big impact. A hand-painted vase, a collection of seashells, or a handcrafted candle holder can infuse the space with personality and charm. These elements not only decorate the space but also make it feel uniquely ‘home’.

It’s also about evolving the space with the changing seasons of life. Updating the side table decor with seasonal elements, or switching out items to reflect current interests or moods, keeps the living room dynamic and reflective of the current chapter of life.

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Factors to Consider How to Decorate Side Tables in Living Room

When considering how to decorate side tables in the living room, there are several key factors to keep in mind. Here’s a list of factors that are important in this process:

  1. Size and Proportion: Ensure the side table is proportionate to surrounding furniture like sofas or chairs. It shouldn’t be too high or too low in relation to the seating.
  2. Style and Theme: Choose a table style that complements the overall theme and decor of the living room, whether it’s modern, rustic, vintage, or eclectic.
  3. Functionality: Consider the practical use of the table. Determine if it’s primarily for decoration, storage, or to hold essential items like drinks or books.
  4. Color and Material: Select colors and materials that blend well with the existing living room palette and textures. This could include wood, metal, glass, or mixed materials.
  5. Balance and Symmetry: Aim for a balanced look. If there’s more than one side table, they should be symmetrical in placement and decoration.
  6. Layering and Height Variation: Use items of varying heights (like lamps, vases, or candle holders) to create visual interest and depth on the table.
  7. Personalization: Include personal items or decor that reflect your style and interests, such as family photos, travel souvenirs, or unique trinkets.
  8. Lighting: Consider adding a lamp to the side table for both functionality and as a decor element, especially in rooms where additional lighting is needed.
  9. Texture and Pattern: Mix and match different textures and patterns to add depth. This could be through table accessories like coasters, small sculptures, or decorative bowls.
  10. Seasonal and Occasional Decor: Think about changing the decor according to seasons or special occasions, adding elements like holiday-themed decorations or seasonal flowers.
  11. Space Utilization: Be mindful of the space around the table. Avoid cluttering; keep it neat and functional, with enough room for movement.
  12. Safety and Accessibility: Ensure that the table and its decorations do not pose a safety hazard, especially in households with children or pets.
  13. Reflection of Living Room Atmosphere: The side table decor should contribute to the desired ambiance of the living room, whether it’s cozy, elegant, vibrant, or relaxed.
  14. Sustainability: Consider eco-friendly and sustainable options in materials and decorations, reflecting a consciousness towards the environment.
  15. Budget: Decorate within your budget, remembering that stylish and effective decoration doesn’t necessarily require a high expense.

Each of these factors plays a vital role in ensuring that the side tables in the living room are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and harmonious with the overall interior decor.

how to decorate side tables in living room
how to decorate side tables in living room


Decorating side tables in the living room is an adventure in creativity and personal expression. With the right approach, these small pieces of furniture can have a big impact on the overall ambiance of the space. It’s about blending style, functionality, and personal touches to create a space that is not just visually appealing but also a reflection of the inhabitants’ personalities and lifestyles.

Remember, the best-decorated side tables are those that tell a story – the story of the home and the people who live in it. By following these tips and ideas, anyone can turn a simple side table into a captivating and meaningful part of their living room, making it a true expression of their personal style and taste.


What are the best items to put on a side table in a living room?

The best items include a mix of functional and decorative pieces like lamps, small plants, books, photo frames, and unique trinkets. The choice depends on personal style and the table’s size.

How do I choose the right side table for my living room?

Consider the size, height, and style of your existing furniture. The table should complement the room’s decor and be proportionate to the seating arrangements.

Can I mix different styles when decorating a side table?

Absolutely! Mixing styles can add character to your space. For example, placing a modern lamp on a vintage table can create an eclectic and interesting look.

How important is lighting in side table decoration?

Lighting is very important. A well-chosen lamp can serve as both a functional piece and a key element in your table’s decor, enhancing the ambiance of the room.

How often should I change the decor on my side table?

This depends on your personal preference. Some people enjoy updating their decor seasonally, while others prefer a consistent look that they update less frequently.

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