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18 of the most stylish side tables for any space

Our edit of designs in all shapes, sizes and materials, from wood and marble to glass side tables

side table
Tom Dixon

Perhaps it's rarely the star of a space, but anyone who has found empty air where they expected to place a drink, book or another part of life's paraphernalia will be well versed in the value of a side table. Portable and compact by definition, we say it's an element worth playing with. You might find that it's a key piece of your living room puzzle.

Resist the urge to pile these designs high, tempting as it may be – it would be a shame to obscure their good looks...

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1 'Mag' side table by Daniel Schofield for The Conran Shop
side table
The Conran Shop

Designed exclusively for The Conran Shop, the clean lines of this colour-pop design are formed using intensive ceramic firing and glazing techniques, which make it incredibly durable and resistant to heat and staining. There are four colours to choose from, and it has a squatter sibling, too. £395, conranshop.co.uk

2 'Sediment' side table by Studio Besau-Marguerre
side table
Studio Besau-Marguerre

The ‘Sediment’ side tables by Hamburg-based design agency Studio Besau-Marguerre appear to be made from two different types of marble. But look closer and you’ll see the tops are crafted from single slabs of stone, with the striped pattern created by alternating honed and polished finishes. From £930, favius.de

3 'Disco' side table by Antrei Hartikainen for Basta
side table

Though it looks a far cry from the flimsiest examples of flat-pack design, this clever side table is assembled by spinning the top into place. Crafted in solid oak, its appeal lies in the interplay between the solidity of the pedestal-like stand and the illusion of perfect balance. £701, finnishdesignshop.com

4 'TRN' side table by Pani Jurek
side table
Pani Jurek

Pani Jurek’s ‘TRN’ collection was inspired by 20th-century painter Jan Tarasin’s colourful, symbol-filled canvases. The series of sustainably made furniture and lighting is intended to be used together to build up abstract compositions (the tables can be placed together to create a larger one, as pictured), and no two pieces are exactly alike. £1,179, adorno.design

5 'Prince Aha' side table by Philippe Starck for Kartell
side table
John Lewis

This simple hourglass shape has unexpected tactility, thanks to the ribbed finish of the base. Made of polypropylene and available in white, grey or a delicate sage green, it's a testament to Philippe Starck's inimitable instinct for form. £74, johnlewis.com

6 ‘Allié’ side table by Luca Nichetto for La Manufacture
side table
La Manufacture

Small but packed with personality, the ‘Allié’ by Luca Nichetto for French brand La Manufacture is a handy piece to have around. Both a stool and a side table, its expressive handles make for a shapely statement and allow it to be easily moved. Handily, it can be used outdoors as well as in. Approx £552, lamanufacture-paris.fr

7 'Tabitha' nightstand, Urban Outfitters
side table
Urban Outfitters

The lower shelf of this well-proportioned side table is a practical second surface for books, alarm clocks et al, while the tray-style top and enclosed sides grant a sense of order and visual calm. It will slot into the corner of a living room as happily as beside a bed. £99, urbanoutfitters.com

8 'Blok' side table, Darkroom
side table

Pieces from Darkroom’s appropriately named ‘Blok’ series are hand-built from ash in north-east England and stained with bold water-based pigments. ‘We wanted to use the material, with its strong heritage, to create something new. It also signals our pursuit of a more sustainable approach,’ notes director Rhonda Drakeford. £800, darkroomlondon.com

9 'Bowler' side table by Hay
side table

Smartly designed for when space is scarce, the compact granite base of this side table lends it reassuring stability, while the powder coated steel stem extends into a convenient handle for habitual room re-arrangers. £209, skandium.com

10 'Note' stools by Edward Collinson
side table
Edward Collinson

Made using traditional carpentry techniques, London-based designer Edward Collinson’s handcrafted stools come in an ebonised oak, walnut or natural oak finish. Gently curved undersides add to their tactile appeal, while flat tops mean they can double up as side tables. £710 each, edwardcollinson.co.uk

11 'Museum' side table by TAF Architects for String
side table

Best known for its iconic modular storage system, String Furniture’s new foray into freestanding furniture is the ‘Museum’ side table. A small but mighty design crafted from robust aluminium, its adjustable top makes it suitable for a variety of spaces. Following last year’s ‘Museum’ shelf, it’s the firm’s second piece designed by Swedish studio TAF architects. £290, stringfurniture.com

12 'Androgyne' table by Danielle Siggerud for Menu
side table

Laser-cut for precision, the steel base of this elegant side table has a clean, well-balanced silhouette. It's available in simple black or white, while the steel top can be swapped for Emparador, Nero Marquina or Calacatta Viola marble. From £290, utilitydesign.co.uk

13 'Explorer' side tables by Jamie Hayon for BD Barcelona
side table
Eugeni Aguilo

Jaime Hayon’s ‘Explorer’ side tables for make for a characterful little gang. Typical of the Spanish designer’s playful aesthetic, the three variations are inspired by jelly beans and childhood sweets and are available in a tantalising array of colours and finishes. From £1,564, aram.co.uk

14 ‘Stub’ side table by Mette Schelde for Fritz Hansen
side table
Fritz Hansen

Inspired by a wooden ‘stump’ – ‘stub’ is Danish for stump – this simple side table required a series of experiments to master the joining of materials without any glue or visible fixings. The glass and base are cut at a 45-degree angle so they lock into position smoothly. £507, fritzhansen.com

15 ‘Ekero’ side table by Tollgard & Castellani for Porada
side table

Customisation is the a key part of this streamlined side table's appeal – the cylindrical base is available in white carrara or grey carnico marble, while the oval, round or square solid canaletta walnut table top can be left natural, stained in wenge, or matt lacquered in a range of colours. £1,452, porada.it

16 'Nara' side table by Marie Massaud for Poliform

Inspired by the art of cabinet-making, this exquisitely crafted side table is a pleasingly weighty piece, with a real sculptural feel. It's crafted from solid wood – naturally – with a tricky choice between black elm and gold walnut. From £1,641, poliformuk.com

17 'Swirl' low table by Tom Dixon
side table
Tom Dixon

Trust Tom Dixon to do clever things with waste materials. For his ‘Swirl’ series, powdered residue from the marble industry is mixed with pigment and resin, which creates blocks of material that can be sawn and sliced to create different configurations. We love the substantial feel of the low table, but there are medium and tall options, too. £1,100, tomdixon.net

18 Shuffle side table by Mia Hamborg for &Tradition
side table

Norwegian designer Mia Hamborg's playful take on the side table is inspired by childhood memories of wooden stacking toys, and it's plain to see in the cheerful, gem-like components, which can be arranged in various configurations for a satisfyingly sculptural result. £425, andtradition.com

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