How to Style Nightstands – 6 Easy Tips

We love just about every aspect of home decorating, but our absolute favorite step in the process is the styling. There’s just something about putting on some music, gathering lots of gorgeous accessories, and going to town tweaking every surface with pretty objects. Anyone else love this step as much as we do?!

How to Style Nightstands

Today let’s chat about our tried and true tricks to style a nightstand. A tricky surface that deserves some TLC in the bedroom. Here’s how to style nightstands.

Identify What You Actually Need On Your Nightstand

Like any styling or organizing type project, we think it’s important to start from scratch. Go ahead and clear off both nightstands (this one is from West Elm and we used it in this gorgeous master bedroom makeover!) and start with a blank slate.

Look at the pile you removed from the nightstands and set aside everything you absolutely NEED when it comes to a functional nightstand. This may be your glasses, cell phone charger, coaster for your nightly water, all the essentials. Then make a pile of items that you could “style” with but are not necessary for day-to-day operation. Keep those piles right there, we’ll be back to them in a minute.

Add Symmetrical Lights

Instead of fully accessorizing these nightstands right from the start, we are going to break down the process into small steps. The first step is to find symmetrical lighting, one lamp on each nightstand OR one sconce on each side of the bed.  We got these 2 white lamps for the bedroom we’re styling, and they were such a steal for the pair! The symmetry of 2 matching lamps will be visual anchors while also making your nightstands a bit more functional… especially for our late night readers in the crowd!

Choose Secret Storage

Now we can finally get into the fun part — the accessorizing! We want to accessorize these small spaces with intention because we want them to be stylish, but also very functional. The first “trick” we use is to try and add some secret storage onto the nightstand. A stylish box? A cute mini basket with a top? Anything that can conceal your bedside treasures that are not as stylish (i.e. your retainer, eye glasses, phone charger, etc.) will be secretly stashed in these storage pieces. That way you still have the option to store the essentials, but they don’t have to be an eye sore.

Consider Simple, Meaningful Accessories

We also want to be intentional on what items we use for decoration purpose. This surface is one of the first things you see when you wake up, so we want you to LOVE or feel inspired by everything on it. Do you have a favorite photo of you and your spouse? A trinket from your travels (like the sculpture above)? Or maybe a favorite quote or meaningful accessory that symbolizes something special to you? Walk around your house and see if you can corral a few mini accessories that will not only add a pop of style to this tabletop, but also some much-needed inspiration in the morning.

Here’s an example from Casey’s bedroom. She actually framed a letter from her great-grandmother that she cherishes. Not only is it a stylish piece of art, but it’s meaningful to her so it’s even more special in this space!

Add a Pop of Greenery

We love the idea of having a pop of “life” on your bedside. Although we wish we could always have a bundle of fresh flower on our nightstands every day, we realize this is not always the reality. Instead of fresh blooms, try a pop of greenery in the form of a succulent garden or even a fake piece of greenery. No one will ever know it’s fake, yet it will make your whole room feel fresher!

Vary the Height

Last but certainly not least, we think it’s important to vary the heights of all of the items on your nightstand. This is pretty true for just about any shelf decor and it most definitely applies on the nightstands too. You don’t want all of your decor at the same height visually. The lamps will add height, but make sure you also add varying heights below the lamp. You can do this with your secret storage boxes, decorative (or functional) books, tall vases, or even plopping the plant on something taller. As long as there is some differentiating height, we think your nightstand will look effortlessly styled and so on-trend!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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