Side tables are not typically the centre of attention in your house, which means you can be more daring with them than with bigger pieces of furniture. The innovative use of materials in the creation of stools, stumps and side tables in a variety of colours, textures, sizes and shapes allows this unassuming but highly functional piece of furniture to punch well above its weight in adding personality to any space.
Tip #1 – Balance. One thing to avoid is placing an ornate or elaborately designed side table next to a sofa with a bold pattern. This is where the versatility of stools and stumps becomes really useful as they will work well against most fabrics, textures and colours, without drawing attention away from the hero piece in the space.
Just about any stump or table that sits to the side of a piece of furniture can be considered a side table. You'll most often find one in a living room by a sofa or chair, next to a bed, or in the bathroom next to the bath, or even in the study. Depending on its height, you can also use a stump as a nightstand or as a coffee table in a small room. Here are some ideas for choosing one (or two or three) for your space:
Tip #2 - One height does not fit all. If you're using a stump or side table with a chair or a couch, they work best when their top is no lower than an inch or two below the arm of the seat it's adjacent to. A standard couch arm is around 24 inches tall, so aim for a side table about that height. If it’s going to serve as an entryway piece, choose one that's 27 to 30 inches tall or even cluster a few of them together to create a more dramatic effect to stack books, lamps, or your favourite artwork.
Tip #3 - Placement is key. The number of side tables, stumps or stools you need in a room depends on the amount of seating you have and the room's size. Any couch or chair can have its own side table, or two seats can share one. Let's say you have a couch with two chairs facing it, plus a coffee table in the middle. We recommend putting one side table between the two chairs and two other side tables on either end of the couch if the room is big enough – it’s a great way to link themes in a room, and showcase homewares, books, artwork, photo frames or lamps.
Tip #4 - You can mix and match. One pair of identical side tables, stumps or stools in a room is fine, but if you have more than two, don't match the rest. Do stick with a similar look, and keep the theme running through the room. Maybe all the tables are made of wood, or the colour theme runs through other accessories such as our pink Terrazzo Tooth Stump in soft pink. You may also match this with cushions or throws, having one trait in common will keep the look cohesive throughout the room or space.