I’ve often noted that every piece of an interior plays an integral part in the symphony of the room; side tables are no exception! Although they naturally fall into a supporting role (pun intended), these pieces can make a fabulous statement.

From various heights, shapes, styles and functionality, the options are endless! Don’t let this petite accent get the best of you. Let’s first focus on the proper height of your accent for the next time you’re on the hunt.

Houston Interior

Height of side tables

Time to get out the measuring tape! Most side tables fall within 22-30 inches in height (of course I have seen some just 12” tall and others 36” tall), but selecting the “perfect” one without taking height into account can leave you with an end table that just doesn’t work.

First, measure the height of the arm on your chair or sofa. If no arm, measure the seat. For bedside tables, measure your mattress height.  Now, here’s the deal with height: you can follow these rules or throw them out the window and get weird with your side tables. Pretty much anything goes with these amazing little accents. But, if you are the consummate rule follower, here we go:

Next to an armchair or sofa, go for a table that is just slightly lower than the arm height. Like 1 or 2 inches lower. That is ideal. Here are a couple of images illustrating this:

Side Table Height

For a daybed or chaise, note the seat height and then choose a table just slightly taller by just a few inches at most.

Interior InspirationUnique Side Table

Next to your bed, nightstands are best if they are a few inches taller than your mattress. I like to picture myself sitting there, reading a book, glass of wine in hand. If I reach out to the side, where does my hand want to go? Not far! Try this exercise with your measuring tape to be sure – wine optional!

Bedside Table

Or, as I said, throw the height thing out the window! I personally love selecting an eclectic height, shape or finish to offset a fabulous upholstery piece.

Copper Side Table

For this design, we brought our client’s drum-shaped side table with a copper shimmer right into the middle of her aubergine library. This timeless Palecek chair upholstered with Robert Allen’s Exhilaration Pumice fabric balances the fun Arteriors hair-on-hide ottoman. One look and you may think “where in the world did that side table come from!?” and, that’s the point!

Accordion Side TableReading CornerThese geometrically-inclined shapes have become a favorite mine because of their interesting shape and clean finish.

Although selecting your little accent table can go from a fun opportunity to a daunting task (just. so. many. options.), keeping the height in mind will alleviate at least one of your shopping anxiety points. For more classically current style inspiration, head over to my Pinterest and Instagram!




Ohorona24.in.uamansky is a story-teller at heart. Her unique perspective and tailored design process empower her to create singular interiors for clients all over the world.

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