Home Improvement Interiors Room Ideas

What can I use instead of a side table?

Tired of the same old side table taking up precious space in your living room? Looking to shake things up and add a touch of creativity to your home decor? We’ll explore some unique and stylish alternatives to traditional side tables that will serve their purpose and make a statement in any room. Whether on a budget or seeking a fresh design idea, we’ve got you covered.

Find an old crate or box.

Once you’ve found the perfect crate, please give it some TLC by sanding it down and removing rough edges. This step will not only enhance its appearance but also ensure safety. Now comes the fun part – painting or staining! Get creative with colors complementing your decor, or use a natural wood finish to maintain that authentic charm. To elevate your crate-turned-side table, consider adding some legs. You can either repurpose old furniture legs or purchase pre-made ones from your local home improvement store. Attach them securely to the bottom of the crate using screws or adhesive, ensuring they’re level and sturdy.

Sand it down and paint or stain it.

When finding alternatives to a side table, one option is repurposing an old crate or box. You can transform this simple item into a stylish and functional piece for your living space with sanding and some paint or stain. Start by thoroughly sanding the crate or box to remove any rough edges or splinters. This will make it safer and provide a smooth surface for painting or staining. Once sanded, choose a color that complements your decor or a natural wood finish. Applying paint or stain lets you get creative with your design choices. Consider using bold colors for an eye-catching statement piece, or go for more subtle shades that blend seamlessly with the rest of your furniture. Try techniques like distressing or stenciling to add additional character.

After allowing adequate time for drying, consider adding legs to elevate the crate off the ground and give it more height. This not only enhances its functionality but also adds stability and visual appeal.

Add some legs to the crate or box.

Add some legs to the crate or box for a creative and stylish alternative to a side table. First, find an old crate or box that suits your style. Look for one with interesting details or a vintage charm that will add character to your space. Next, please give it a fresh look by sanding it down and painting or staining it in a color that complements your decor. Once you have customized the crate or box to your liking, it’s time to add the legs. You can find pre-made wooden legs at most home improvement stores or get creative and repurposed items like bedposts or table legs. Attach them securely to each corner of the crate using screws or brackets.

By adding legs, you are raising the height of the crate and giving it stability and durability. This makes it suitable for holding items such as lamps, books, and plants or as a small side table next to your favorite armchair. These simple steps allow you to create an eye-catching and practical alternative to traditional side tables without breaking the bank.


Once you’ve found your old crate or box and transformed it into a stylish side table, you can proudly say: “Done!” It’s a small word with considerable satisfaction attached to it. With a little sanding, painting, or staining and the addition of some legs, your new side table is ready to be used.

Use a plant stand.

Use a plant stand to add a touch of greenery and style to your space instead of a side table. Plant stands come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, making them versatile options for any room.

Place a small plant stand beside your sofa or bed to hold essentials like books, magazines, or even your morning cup of coffee. The height of the stand can be adjusted according to your needs, providing convenience and functionality. Another option is using a larger plant stand as a statement piece in the corner of your room. You can display multiple plants on different levels for an eye-catching display that adds life and color to the space. Plant stands also work well in outdoor areas such as patios or balconies. They create an inviting atmosphere while allowing you to showcase beautiful potted plants or herbs.

Use a stool or ottoman.

A stool or ottoman with a flat top provides the perfect space for setting down drinks, books, or even your laptop while you relax on your couch or armchair. Their compact size makes them ideal for small spaces where traditional side tables may need to be bulky. You can choose from various materials and styles to match your home decor. Whether you opt for a sleek metal stool, a plush fabric ottoman, or a rustic wooden piece, countless options suit any aesthetic.

Use a tray

Use a tray as an alternative to a side table! This versatile option not only adds functionality but also brings style to your space. A tray can be practical and decorative, as a convenient surface for holding items like drinks, snacks, or even your favorite book. One great thing about using a tray is that you have endless options regarding design and material. Choose one that matches the aesthetic of your room – whether it’s sleek and modern or rustic and vintage. You can find trays made from wood, metal, glass or even woven materials such as rattan.

The best part about using a tray is its mobility. Unlike a traditional side table, you can quickly move it around whenever needed. Use it in the living room during movie nights or bring it onto the patio for outdoor gatherings.

Use a stack of books.

To create your book stack side table:

  1. Start by gathering a selection of books in varying sizes and colors. You can use old novels, coffee table books, or vintage magazines for an eclectic look.
  2. Arrange them in a neat pile next to your sofa or chair.
  3. If you want to add stability to the stack, consider securing the books with adhesive putty or using bookends on each end.

This will prevent them from sliding around when you place items on top. Once your book stack is ready, place a tray or small piece of tempered glass on top as a stable surface for drinks, remotes, or other essentials. You can choose a tray that complements your room’s color scheme or style for added cohesion. Using a stack of books as an alternative to a traditional side table adds functionality, character, and charm to your space. So go ahead and get creative with this unique option!

Use a basket

A woven basket can add a touch of natural texture to your space while providing storage for books, magazines, or even blankets. It’s an excellent choice for those who appreciate the bohemian or farmhouse aesthetic. Opt for a sleek metal or wire basket if you prefer a more modern look. These can be used as catch-all storage solutions or plant holders by placing potted plants inside them. You could also get creative and repurpose items around your home as makeshift baskets. For example, an old wicker laundry hamper can be transformed into a unique side table with some creativity and DIY skills. The best part about using a basket as an alternative to a side table is its portability. You can quickly move it around your space or use it in different rooms depending on your needs.


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