Recently, there has been a shift in how we approach our homes as we want to imprint our personality and individuality onto our personal space, instead of following a formula to create the ‘perfect’ interior. This results in craving pieces that are creative and unusual. The latest manifestation of this? The totem side table trend.
Loved for their sculptural, geometric shapes, these tables are inspired by carved totem poles, and they make for the perfect living room addition or a bedside table idea.
These pieces are basically functional sculptures for your home, both serving a purpose and bringing an artistic flair to a room. It’s no surprise they’re having a moment.
Totem side table trend
People are embracing these alternative pieces of furniture to express their individuality, as expertly outlined by Alex Stubbs, interior stylist at Flitch. ‘More sculptural pieces such as totem-like side tables have garnered a lot of attention recently signifying a shift towards more eclectic and artistic interior decor. This shift could be seen as a reflection of our collective growing desire for individuality and self-expression in our living spaces.’
But even beyond the reason of wanting to express our personality and taking into account practical and design perspectives, this style of table is a winner. First of all, they make for the perfect small living room idea.
‘Due to their compact size and vertical orientation, totem side tables are excellent space-savers,’ points out Lucy Mather, design expert at Arighi Bianchi. ‘They can be placed in small nooks, corners, or alongside larger furniture without taking up much floor space. This makes them ideal for apartments or rooms with limited square footage.’
And secondly, this home decor trend is very versatile, despite its strong aesthetic. ‘This style of side table actually encompasses a wide range of items, across a variety of different materials, shapes, and sizes, which allows them to complement various design styles,’ Alex explains.
That’s right, just see the breadth of material, colour and shape choices there are on the market.
Get the look
How to style them
‘It’s no surprise that totem-like side tables have seen a spike in popularity lately with their structural flair and statement design,’ starts Sue Jones, luxury interiors expert and co-founder of OKA.
And because they have such a strong, statement design, you don’t have to do much in order for them to shine. So they are fairly easy to style.
‘Totem-like side tables are, by their very nature, unique designs,’ confirms Juliette Thomas, founder and director of Juliettes Interiors. ‘A side table should never have too many items on it, as this might overwhelm the scene. Totem-like side tables are also eye-catching enough and require little styling. They make a design statement as a standalone piece.’
So keep it simple. ‘They can be styled either as bedside tables, or as side tables in the living room, offering a striking space for a well placed lamp, or a space to display books,’ Sue recommends.
‘The other frequent use we see is within a bathroom to display towels or decorative items such as plants and glassware,’ Lucy concludes.
We’ve already got our eye on our top pick and will be adding to basket asap.
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Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.
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