Today let’s talk about alternatives to the side table. You know those cute little tables that we put next to our chairs and sofas so we can put a lamp on them or a drink or a book or the channel changer. I’ve had a parade of side tables next to one of the chairs in our family room because this table often is called to hold lots of my “stuff” while I’m researching or on the computer. I found a better solution to the side table for those of us who have stuff…


Our family room is going through a  s-l-o-w makeover! I’m waiting for a chair I ordered and have another 6 week’s before it comes in. So I’ve been working on filling my cabinet with wonderful accessories and choosing new pillows and paying attention to every detail. And changing my color palette a bit.

I’m still on the fence about my sofa. For those of you who don’t know, I have a love/hate relationship with it but that’s for another day!

So, back to the side table. I have an “interim” chair in the family room until my new chairs come to live at StoneGable and needed to find a side table to work next to it.

I’ve been looking and looking and although lots and lots of side tables struck my fancy they were not right for my needs there. You see, this is where I sit. And along with me often comes all kinds of stuff. If I’m working I have a computer and an external hard drive and probably a few decorating books and magazines and a drink and a pair of readers and some fruit.

And I need a lamp next to me too! So lots of stuff!

I needed smart alternatives to the side table!

Then I thought, “who says I need to use a side table at all?”. So I started to look at cool table style desks and slender  sofa tables. And after an exhaustive search, I found one. One that was right for me and my family room.


It does break the decor rules for height and length but it is perfect for me!

Today you are seeing it all cleaned up with not a lot of “stuff” scattered over it. 


I figure I’m not the only person who could use something a little bigger and longer than the side table they have. Is that you?

The very fun thing about this table is that the top folds out from the top to become a real table and I can pull a chair up to it and work away!

If you like this idea too here are a few alternatives to consider…

  • the table should not dwarf the chair 
  • the back of the chair next to it should be equal to or higher than the table
  • make sure you have plenty of room to add a table desk or sofa table. Preferably it should have a good stretch of a wall 
  • keep the table leggy and not heavy
  • use the open space below to add baskets for storage
  • the table should work with the feel, style and color palette of your room

Here are a few long tables that may be a great alternative to the side table…

To see the items I have in my family room including the sofa table and pretty pillow click the < and > on either side of the images below…


You might like to follow me and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Rosemarie Veliz says:

    Oh my word, its perfect. I love your table. I can’t wait to see the family room finished. Can you tell me about your window shades? Are they Bali and did you hang them yourself? I need to get these and you picked the right color also. May I ask about them ? Thank you so much.

  2. That table is a perfect example of how important function is to any room! Any room can be beautiful but if the furnishings aren’t functional, the rooms use is limited. I love the lamp on your new table! Please share your source. I’m excited to see your completed family room with touches of blue. Thanks for stretching our thinking Yvonne!

  3. That table is gorgeous! And yes, function often is as important as aesthetics. I looks great in your room. Can you please tell me where it was purchased? Thanks!

  4. That is a great little table-good finish and quality-and so practical. The name of the manufacturer is Universal.

  5. Well, come rules are certainly made to be broken. Who writes the rules anyway ? Just love the table.

  6. Karen VanLoo says:

    I absolutely LOVE that table. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

  7. Lucy Beliveau says:

    Good Morning!?
    Your blog was wonderful today and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your new, large table! It’s lovely! I don’t know anyone, other than you, who more deserves a table like this with lots of room on which to spread out and get some work done!!

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s Blog! Lucy

  8. Denise Cox says:

    LOVE your new table!! Please tell us where you purchased it.

    1. See the GET THE LOOK BELOW and click on the arrows until you come to the table and then click on that. Hope this helps.

  9. Loving the table and the lamp, it will function perfectly for your needs.

  10. Yvonne,
    I love the table. I have a question, is your rug from Pottery Barn? I am looking for a rug like that for my bedroom and can’t seem to find what I am looking for.

  11. Looks like a great place to work or relax! I love the pillow on the light colored chair, where did you get it?

  12. Denise Cox says:

    Thank – you very much, Yvonne!

  13. I love the glass piece that says The Pratts. Did you make that yourself? I didn’t see it in Get the Look. I love the bigger table as I also have a lot of “stuff” next to me.

    1. Our son gave this to us a few Christmas’ ago. It was made by a local artisan.

  14. Julie Briones says:

    I LOVE this idea for a side table. Would work great in a small home, doing double, or even TRIPLE, duty! So pretty and super functional… thanks for the inspiration, Yvonne!

  15. Have used a beautiful file cabinet between two chairs in my family room for years. Looks like a beautiful chest yet each drawer, when opened, has hanging files which allows me to sort and file my decorating pictures I’ve torn from magazines, articles, etc. I also use three drawer chest of drawers in other rooms instead of tables. They are great for storing seasonal items or extra linens for bedrooms, etc.

  16. Wow, I love it. Yours look great, and thank you, yet again, for the helpful tips.

  17. This is a perfect idea this also is a great idea for those that need extra seating for holidays. I think if the sofa is not working, 85 is time to replace. Seven years i have found is the going rate of time no matter where my friends and i buy. It seems like we will have an exciting reveal soon I’m ?

  18. I have this table! Love it. We eat dinner at it every night. I use it as a sofa table as all my furniture is floating in our open floor plan. It also works to extend my dinig table when we have a large group to seat.

  19. I love your table!!! I think it’s perfect for your space and I can’t wait to see the chair you’ve ordered.

  20. I haven’t perused your blog in quite some time due to family responsibilities. So I was surprised by the changes in the family room. Do like that table!! But what happened to the houndstooth check chair? It wasn’t that long ago we voted on it, it seems.

    1. Ni Nanci, It’s been 5 years. And I really beat it to death. I had a cast on my foot and an aircast for almost a year so it took a beating. Just wait till you see what I am replacing it with.

  21. I love the fact that it folds out. Looks fabulous!

  22. Love using repurposing items in the home. We are preparing to downsize to a townhouse, and I plan on keeping all our hardwood tables. We will no longer have a family room, just a large living room, and a smaller “keeping” room off the kitchen so we need to find a place for our lighter tone cherry end tables and soda table. I think I will use them as bedside tables in our guest room and use the sofa table there as well. I love all yours ideas. Keeps us thinking!

  23. Make that “sofa” table – not “soda” – type too fast!!! Thanks again!

  24. Jina Sheppard says:

    I have often admired your choice when noticed in other pictures of your home. Beautiful!

  25. Carol Frey says:

    The link for the table no longer works so I’m hoping you can share the manufacturer or something to help me find it!