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Stylish Side Effects

Tray tables, short bookcases, stools, shabby chic beside tables, pedestal tables, petite console tables, even French Louis chairs - get creative with your side table styling...

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1 Bijou Side Table: £245. 2 Buffalo Leather Side Table: £199. 3 Delphine Distressed Painted Bedside Table: £260

When space is at a premium or when you're looking for the perfect new spot to show off your new Abigail Ahern Poodle Lamp on, think outside the side table box, and look to alternative tabletops. Think a fabulously sculptural stool with only space for one favourite key piece to sit on, or a bedside table rather unusually in your lounge but fitting with other French furniture pieces in the scheme and providing desired drawer space too. Make a real focal point with them by choosing a finish in a contrasting accent colour - metallic gold or a fluorescent bright to sing out against muted neutrals.  Or play with symmetry by placing side table alternatives at either side of a sofa for example, and dressing the areas at each end - a wall light above each of them, a single wall shelf displaying a favourite vase or objet d'arts, even a little rug under each area like our Simple Chic Sheepskin.

If you've got plenty of space to play with in your French bedroom or living room, a neat little bombe chest of drawers, just the right height, can provide plenty of tabletop surface area as well as an abundance of storage space underneath in its drawers, leaving space where the chest would ordinarily stand, for even more storage, or a stunning gold-gilt framed, silk upholstered seat.

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Left image: French Gray, Farrow & Ball. Right image: French By Design

Create a vintage moment in your scheme. A grown-up heirloom Georgian pedestal table, for example, in a dark wood provides plenty of tabletop space for contrasting modern accessories like bright coloured table lamps, with room for jewellery, the prettiest of perfume bottles and stacks of bedtime reading/style magazines. A reclaimed apple crate turned onto its side will be right at home against painted floorboards and an eclectic mix of shabby chic furniture or elegant white painted furniture, linen upholstery and other industrial-style unfinished wooden pieces - beautifully simple styling, and clever use of a crate no less.

Author: , Managing Director, The French Bedroom Company

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