Rule of thumb for sizing: End tables should be within two inches of a sofa's arm height.
If you don't want to worry about placing a coaster under every drink, choose an end table with a ceramic, glass, metal, or stone top.
Since side tables have a small surface area, keep them clear of clutter by limiting decoration to just two or three items, such as a table lamp, photo frame, and bud vase.
Balance plush upholstery with a streamlined table and vice versa: modern furniture with an ornate table.
If storage is a concern, look for a trunk table or a piece with shelves, baskets, or drawers.