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8 Easy Ways To Style Your Nightstand Like a Dang Pro

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: portland master bedroom reveal (and how to pull together a your own dreamy suite)

It’s Afternoon Snack time! Head here if you missed this morning’s main post, otherwise, enjoy today’s style lesson.

I thought since I am the only one in the office without a traditional bedside table that I was the natural fit for writing a bedside table styling post. Those who don’t bedside table, teach bedside table…right? Well, fear not because I have learned from the pros and one day when I can fit a bedside table in my bedroom it will be a ba-reeeze to make beautiful. So in today’s styling post, I have created four different (creatively named) categories of how to style your bedside table. Let’s jump right…in bed.

The “Business On Top, Party On The Bottom” Nightstand

Emily Henderson Styling Bedside Tables 1
photos by sara ligorria-tramp | left from: MOTO reveal: emily bowser’s bedroom | right from: mountain house master bedroom reveal

It’s as fun as it sounds. Keep it very simple on the top with two items max. Like in the bedrooms above, you can style a lamp and a bud vase or a vase and a water glass but really the possibilities are pretty endless. Just make it functional for you (and pared back). Then on the bottom, books are your friend. They look clean but add texture…plus, you know…reading. Overall, always keep your color palette (three to four colors max) and mix up the textures, too.


On top: Keep to two items, vary the scales of those items and always throw in some greenery.

On bottom: Three books in corresponding color palettes and in ideally some descending sizes. Add a bowl or small box on top of books if there is enough space between the top book and the bottom of the drawer or shelf.

The “What Do I Do With All This Space?!” Nightstand

Emily Henderson Styling Bedside Tables 2
photos by tessa neustadt | left from: the griffith park master bedroom reveal | right from: eclectic traditional bedroom reveal

Large bedside tables are great but can be challenging to style because there’s so much space (a bad problem to have, clearly). The right (and large enough) scale for the items you choose is important for this one. A good and large enough lamp really helps to anchor the look. Then with the other accessories, you don’t want things to feel too bitsy and small. This one is also fun because it can be more decorative. You have the space so take advantage.


On top: Keep to around four items, vary the scales, textures and patterns of those items. Also, to keep things spicy, throw in some greenery or florals. It’s just something that will make you happy every morning and night. Trays are your friend and will add visual interest and help to corral things like small bowls, a water glass and/or bud vase.

On bottom: You can use large books, trays, more decor items, etc. Just keep it tidy, visually balanced and intentional looking. AND avoid clutter.

The “Keep Your Loved Ones Close” Nightstand

Emily Henderson Styling Bedside Tables 3
left photo by sara ligorria-tramp, from: a romantic glam bedroom makeover | right photo by tessa neustadt, from: our master bedroom reveal

Some people…okay A LOT of people, like having a picture of their loved ones on their nightstand. I mean it’s really nice before you fall into sweet slumber to take a glance at someone you love. I get it. To help you make your loved one look their best behind that glass, I am showing you two ways to style them.


Large frame: If you don’t have a table lamp and a medium to small nightstand (a large one could handle both) then go a bit bigger with your frame and have some fun with texture and/or color. Then to balance, but not overwhelm, just add a simple small vase (shorter than the frame) with some greenery. This leaves some space for you to stash a book or two, your glasses, etc. and boom you have a perfectly styled bedside table that’s still functional.

Small frame: First, pick a pretty table lamp (placed toward the back like how Emily did in her bedroom to open up space) then use a tray up front to corral the frame and a cute bud vase with greenery. Easy, breezy, beautiful.

The “Three’s Company” Nightstand

Emily Henderson Styling Bedside Tables 4
Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: 14 Rules for How We Style the Perfect Bedroom + 3 Reveals

We LOVE odd numbers when it comes to styling and three is a magic number around here. So that is a great rule of thumb when styling a nightstand like a friggin’ pro. Also, limiting yourself to three will force you to keep it simple which will make you feel less stressed as you are counting your sheep.


The title on this one pretty much says it all, but stick to three items max in a corresponding color palette. One of those is usually a lamp. Make sure to vary the heights and materials. Then, lastly, make sure one item has a pattern for that hint of visual interest.


Hope this was helpful and that you are about to embark on your most beautifully styled sleep (that’s a thing, right?). If you don’t know where to start or just need some product inspiration, head to home decor section of the EHD shop page.

Love you, mean it.

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Annie K
4 years ago

A delicious snack.

I’d love a roundup (maybe you have one already!?) of practical bedside accessories. Like, phone charger or cable box, alarm clocks (with and without phone capabilities)…coasters? What else does one need? How about actual photos of EHD staff actual bedside tables in the morning, not cleared for visitors or visiting cameras? How do stylish peoples lives actually look when not styled?

4 years ago
Reply to  Annie K

What else does one need?

I would imagine that is dictated by the “one” in your question … in other words, you!

4 years ago

beautiful inspiration, but in real life I need my nightstand to hold my phone, and charger, and hand lotion, and lip balm, and tissues, and the 2 books and magazine that I’m currently reading(not the beautifully styled ones) and my water bottle, and a plant because it’s supposed to make the air healthier in there, and a pen, and notepad, and…..oh well.

Colleen Hodge
4 years ago
Reply to  Kerri

What Kerri says…

4 years ago
Reply to  Kerri

…and a cat that likes to sleep on my nightstand, therefore knocking everything else off if I don’t leave space for him. I got really large nightstands specifically for this reason, and put his small bed on the nightstand as a reminder to me to leave his space, plus it makes it cozy for him. The bed isn’t visually stunning, but as Bowser’s reveal posts show, cats are the best styling accessory 😉

4 years ago

This afternoon snack was just what I was craving


4 years ago

Hmmm. I have a nightstand with two drawers and a cubby but there is still not enough room for all the practical stuff let alone the pretty stuff. Maybe I’ll send it in for an agony review. And kondo it in the meantime.

4 years ago

All nightstands should be wired for interior charging, in my humble opinion. I can’t live without my kindle at the ready!

4 years ago

where are the phone chargers? I would love to see some stylish phone chargers.

Amy KS
4 years ago

I have an “old fashioned” digital alarm clock, no phone charger near my bed, but how do you make the small black box look attractive?

4 years ago
Reply to  Amy KS

YES! I have literally been looking for an attractive digital alarm clock for years with no luck. Any secret sources out there?

pikachu chu
4 years ago

The article is very easy to understand, detailed and meticulous! I had a lot of harvest after watching this article from you! I find it interesting, your article gave me a new perspective! I have read many other articles on the same topic, but your article convinced me! shell shockers

4 years ago

…and a cat that likes to sleep on my nightstand, therefore knocking everything else off if I don’t leave space for him. I got really large nightstands specifically for this reason, and put his small bed on the nightstand as a reminder to me to leave his space, plus it makes it cozy for him. The bed isn’t visually stunning, but as Bowser’s reveal posts show, cats are the best styling accessory 😉