By Erica Young
The nightstand is an essential piece of furniture. It stores books, perhaps a pair of reading glasses, definitely a phone charger or two, and whatever other items you need as you’re relaxing in bed. Because of its highly functional nature, the nightstand is often neglected when it comes to styling.
But I say, “No more!” to boring nightstands. You use it every day, why not make it beautiful? You don’t have to be an interior designer to pull it off; all you need are a few key items. Here’s a quick and simple guide to help you through it.
1. Start with a Nightstand
To state the obvious, you’re gonna need a nightstand. Nightstands are fun to shop for because the style options are endless and you can find plenty of affordable options that are still chic. For size and height, use your bed as a guide. Just remember - the bigger the bed, the bigger the nightstand. An ideal height for a nightstand should be about level with your mattress or a few inches taller.
2. Add a Lamp
After a long day of staring at screens, there’s nothing more relaxing than lying in bed with a real book. So now it’s time to add a lamp to your nightstand. When choosing the lamp, keep in mind the scale of the bed and the nightstand. The lamp should be about 1/3 the width of the nightstand, and the bottom of the shade should be at about chin level when you’re sitting up in bed.
3. Create Interest with Artwork
Artwork is essential décor for any vignette, and the bedside is no exception. Go with your gut for artwork. There’s really no hard and fast rules for either size or style. You can make a statement with something big and bold, or go for a subtle approach with a more moderately-sized piece. Hang the artwork about 5 to 6 inches above the top of the table. For a more casual approach, you can place the frame directly on the table and lean it against the wall.
4. Create Different Heights with a Book or Two
Positioning all your tabletop décor on the top of the nightstand with height variation can create a boring and one-note arrangement. Instead, create different layers and levels with books. Use a stack of three, or for smaller tables, one simple book might be all you need.
5. A Plant is Essential
Ready for the magic ingredient? It’s green, leafy, and you can pick one up for just a few bucks. Yep, it’s a plant. A simple plant, or even a pretty few stems in a vase of water, will do wonders to infuse life and freshness into your bedroom. Again, pay attention to scale when choosing your plant – not too big that it dominates the whole arrangement; but not too small that it gets lost with the other accessories.
6. Finish with a few accessories
Speaking of accessories, grab a few to finish off your nightstand vignette. Think about how you use your bedside table and style accordingly. If you often take off your jewelry before bed, add a decorative bowl to hold all your baubles. A pretty candle, a stylish alarm clock, or an elegant glass for water are a few other options.
That’s it! Your nightstand is styled. Err on the side of simple rather than cluttered. The goal is to fuse style and function when it comes to nightstand styling. Well-chosen layers of artwork and accessories will get the job done while still fulfilling your everyday bedtime needs.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Erica Young