Small Spaces: Side tables

Guest bedroom in a residence we designed in Sonoma, CA: custom shelving/headboard, “Aix” end table by Bay Area designer William Earle, 10″ x 29″ x 15″  (Photo: Kee Photography)

As surely most know San Francisco is an expensive city to live in, and just like in New York a million dollars does not buy you a lot of square footage.  The rest of the Bay Area is perhaps a little more affordable, but still homes are smaller than in many parts of the country.  So as designers we often have to seriously maximize spaces to fulfill all of our clients’ needs within a smaller footprint then perhaps elsewhere in the country.  I always seem to be hunting for very narrow side tables, shallow cabinets and consoles.  So I thought I would start a new series about fabulous furniture for small spaces.  For starters please join me to look at some of my favorite side tables.

When it comes to end tables, whether in between a couple of chairs or at the end of a sofa, at times small tables are called for even in larger rooms.  Unless I custom-design a piece I have found that it is often easier to find a modern side table in a small scale than a traditional one.

Round &  Octagon Tables
Round tables are perfect for small spaces, less corners to bump into.  Whether a pedestal, tri-pod or four legs, there are many gracious choices.  Octagons come close.

My living room: “Cheyenne” horn table from Z Galerie, 15 35″ diameter (Photo: Kandi Carol)

“Crenelle” lucite side table by Craig Van Den Brulle, 20″ x 30″
(Photo: courtesy of  Craig Van Den Brulle)

“Cyrnos” side table by Ironies, 17 3/4″ x 22″ (photo: courtesy of Ironies)

“Philippe 1” side table designed by Sam Baron for Casamania, 16 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ & 15 1/2″ x 20 1/2″
(Photo: courtesy of Casamania)

“Calice” occasional table designed by Piero Lissoni for Glas Italia available through, 11.8″ x 21.6″ (Photo: courtesy of

“Axiom” side table by Ironies, 14 1/4″ x 24″ (photo: courtesy of Ironies)

“Remy” accent table by Arteriors, 20″ x 25″ (Photo: courtesy of Arteriors)

“Henri” side table by Ironies, 17 3/4″ x 23″ (Photo: courtesy of Ironies)

“Cigarette” table by Oscar de la Renta for Century Furniture, 15 1/2″ x 22″
(Photo: courtesy of Century Furniture)

“Art Moderne Gueridon” and “St. Honore Gueridon” tables by Matthews & Parker, 13″ x 26″
(Photo: courtesy of Matthews & Parker)

Living room in a penthouse we designed in Portland, OR: “Twig” side table by Global Views, 16 1/2″ x 22″
(Photo: ADG)

“Twig” side table by Global Views, 16 1/2″ x 22″ (Photo: courtesy of Global Views)

“Bard’s” side table by Ironies, 18″ x 24″ (Photo: courtesy of Ironies)

“French Moderne” side table by Global Views, 12″ x 25 1/4″ (Photo: courtesy of Global Views)

Side table designed by Warren Platner for Knoll in 1962 available through Knoll, 16″ x 18″
(Photo: courtesy of Knoll)

Octagon Moroccan table inlaid with mother of pearl available at Kenza Imports, 16 1/2″ x 24″
(Photo: courtesy of Kenza Imports)

Rectangular & Square Tables
Narrow rectangles or small squares work well taking up minimal space and perfectly fitting against a sofa arm.

Living room in a historic mansion we designed in Diablo, CA: custom end table 16″ x 24″ x 24″  (Photo: César Rubio)

“Old World Side Table” by Sarreid 28″ x 11″ x 27″ (Photo: courtesy of Sarreid)

Swedish Lyre-based table, ca. 1910 at Jefferson West Inc., 24 1/4″ x 14 3/4″ x 21 3/4″
(Photo: courtesy of Jefferson West Inc.)

“Hollis” side table by Arteriors, 16″ x 26″ x 22″ (Photo: courtesy of Arteriors)

“Telephone” table designed by Karl Springer, available at Matthews & Parker, 9 1/2″ x 14″ x 23″
(Photo: courtesy of Matthews & Parker)

“Eden” side table by Ironies, 9″ x 15 3/4″ x 20 3/4″ (photo: courtesy of Ironies)

“Butler” accent table by Arteriors, 12″ x 20″ x 16″ (Photo: courtesy of Arteriors)

“Prow” table by SeaMarsh Woodworks, 14″ x 14″ x 27″
(Photo: courtesy of SeaMarsh Woodworks)

“Lien” tray table designed by Laura Kirar for Baker, 15″ x 15″ x 20″ (Photo: courtesy of Baker)

“Lit” table by Ironies, 16″ x 16″ 22″ (photo: courtesy of Ironies)

“Nate” accent table by Arteriors, 14″ x 17″ (Photo: courtesy of Arteriors)

Cantilever Tables
Cantilever tables are also a great choice as they can be pulled close and take up very little room.  We had very little space on either side of the sofa in the lounge area of Mavelous.  So we picked the most narrow end tables we could find and powder-coated them in a bright and rich yellow for a splash of color.

Cantilever end tables in the lounge are at Mavelous Coffee & Wine Bar in San Francisco (Photo: Crystal Shafer)

The iconic accent table designed by Eileen Gray in 1927 available through Design Within Reach,
20″ x 24″ (Photo: courtesy of Design Within Reach)

1970s cigarette table by Breuton at Dual, 16″ x 18″ (Photo: courtesy of Dual)

“Milan” side table by Dragonette, 12″ x 9″ x 29 1/3″ (Photo: courtesy of Dragonette)

“Cricket” side table by Bay Area designer William Earle, 9″x 9″ x 19″
(Photo: courtesy of Twentieth Art & Design)

“Mesa Auxiliar Na Xemena” side table designed by Ramon Esteve for Gandia Blasco
available through
m, 17″ x 17″ x 23″ (Photo: courtesy of

“Framed Side Table” from West Elm, 20″ x 18″ x 24″ (Photo: courtesy of West Elm)

“Soho C” table available through Vastu, 10″ x 20″ x 24″ (Photo: courtesy of Vastu)

Stools are a good choice as well, as they have many eclectic choices and can double as seating.  From Asian garden stools to exotic taborets there are many and varied choices.

Family room in a farmhouse we designed in Walnut Creek, CA: small antique painted stool
(Photo: Crystal Shafer-Waye)

19th century blanc de chine ceramic stools from China available through Greenwich Oriental Antiques,
12 1/4″ x 18 3/4″ (Photo: courtesy of  Greenwich Oriental Antiques)

Pierced brass garden stools from the 1960s available at Darrell Dean, 13 1/3″ x 19 1/2″
(Photo courtesy of Darrell Dean)

“Face” stool from Maison Bertet (Photo: courtesy of Maison Bertet)

Hand-embossed recycled aluminum drum stool from Viva Terra (Photo: courtesy of Viva Terra)

Lacquered taborets from Drum & Company (Photo: courtesy of  Drum & Company)

“Costello” accent table by Arteriors, 12″ x 15 1/2″ (Photo: courtesy of Arteriors)

Various end tables by German designer Judith Seng (Photos: Jaime Kopke)

Cast aluminum side table by Craig Van Den Brulle, 16″ x 17 1/4″
(Photo: courtesy of  Craig Van Den Brulle)

Petrified wood table at Balsamo, 15″ x 16″ x 16″ (Photo: courtesy of Balsamo)

Reproductions of Eames walnut stools by Vitra, 13 1/4″ x 15″ (Photo: courtesy of Vitra)

“Hocker” stools by Herzog & de Meuron, available at Vitra, 11 3/4″ x 15 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ (Photo: courtesy of Vitra)

“Stone” stools designed by Marcel Wanders for Kartell, 13 1/3″ x 18″ (Photo: courtesy of Kartell)

“Hourglass” stool and side table by Bungalow 5, 13″ x 20″ (Photo: courtesy of Bungalow 5)

19th century African stools/tables from Lucca & Co., 16″ x 18″ (Photo: courtesy of Lucca & Co.)

White painted Bamileke stools from Cameroon available through Liza Sherman Antiques, 19″ x 27″
(Photo: courtesy of Liza Sherman Antiques)

Asante stool from Ghana available through Rand African Art, 19″ x 8″ x 11″ (Photo: courtesy of Rand African Art)

Stay tuned for more furniture for small spaces.  Coffee tables will be next.  Until then, since I am always trying to find more small tables I would love to hear about some fabulous options you may have found.



Family Focus Blog included us in Family Room Decorating Ideas

Family room in an English Tudor cottage in Orinda, CA (Photo: Marc Angelo Ramos)

Scarlet Paolicchi did a story about Family Room Decorating Ideas, and asked me along with other designers to share some of my thoughts on the subject as they relate to key elements needed, hiding toys, and giving the room a fresh new look on a small budget.  Take a look at everyone’s suggestions. Continue reading

Mark your calendars for the fabulous SF20/21

Hedge Gallery’s booth in 2010 (Photo: Drew Altizer)

I can’t wait for the 4th annual the San Francisco Art and Design Show & Sale (SF20/21)  returning to the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason from September 15th through September 18th.  Once again the show benefits the SFMOMA, helping underwrite the museum’s education and exhibition programs that engage residents of the Bay Area, including over 55,000 children, teachers, and families, each year. Continue reading