Maybe you've got one table and want to complement it, rather than replace it. Maybe you have more space on one side of the bed than the other. Maybe the rest of your room is one big matched set, or a sea of pairs, and you want to break things up and avoid the showroom-floor look. Maybe you just swing that way.
How do you do it well? Here's the secret: something about them should match.
1.) Same size and shape, different type
Campaign chest and skirted table
Dresser and table with ottoman
Crazy stacked table and nesting tables
Open shelf with baskets and draper chest
2.) Same finish, different style or weight
3.) One square one round, unified by color and vibe
If you want to get really advanced, there are some gorgeous examples of paired bedside tables with not a single thing in common. How does this work? Often by introducing a pair of matched lamps.
They don't even have to sit on the tables, as this image attests. (the artwork pair over the bed is helping here, too)
This trick can even work with non-traditional nightstand items, like this pair of mismatched chairs, with matching clip-on lamps.
Not sure you want to try this last one at home.
What do you think: is there a strategy here that would work for you?