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How To Style Your Bedside Table Like a Pro |

6 Ideas on How to Style a Bedside Table Like an Expert

Six design secrets for stunning bedside table styling

Joanne Quinn - Senior Interior Designer at LuxDeco Studio
By Joanne Quinn, Senior Interior Designer

There’s most definitely an art to dressing a bedside table. Too little, too many or simply the wrong combination of accessories are easy faux pas to make, but once you’ve found the right balance of pieces with your bedside table then the results speak for themselves.

Perfect for pulling a bedroom's look together, reflecting your personal style and serving as a home for practical contents, an exquisitely styled bedside table is a must for every bedroom.

Unsure whether to style yours with a statement table lamp or an array of accessories? Here are our top six ideas on how to style a bedside table for a winning arrangement.

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1. Embrace varying heights

Proportions are everything when it comes to creating a bedside ensemble. Using objects of the same size can create a flat look whereas accents of varying heights add a dynamic dimension.

Tall designs are great for rousing high-impact and drama, while smaller accents introduce balance and a sense of calm.

Remember that a bedside table is often the last thing you set your eyes on at night and arranging pieces of changing shapes and sizes adds a dose of feng shui, helping to create a harmonious sleep environment.

2. Consider texture

Incorporating texture into bedside table styling creates a captivating display instantly. Before deciding on which textures to use, consider the surface you’re dealing with.

Naturally, different styles of bedside tables – whether they’re made from rich wood, mirrored glass or metal – call to be dressed with different textures. Smooth accents – think ceramic vases and table lamps – look incredible against high-shine veneers. Tactile accents, from hammered metal pieces to coral sculptures, complement tables with a highly visible grain or draw the right attention when contrasted against a sleek glass surface.

Similarly to the way varying heights add interest, a mix of textures promise effective visual impact. In this elegant bedroom, Helen Green Design realises the potential of mixed textures, uniting a glossy table lamp with a uniquely textured golden box and vase.

Style Ideas:

Experiment with faux shagreen boxes and bowls as well as crackle-effect ceramic lighting and vases with textured surfaces.

3. Think personal & practical

As much as they’re there to be decorated, bedside tables also provide a practical home for your functional and personal belongings. Remember, there’s no reason to compromise on style when choosing useful additions, such as clocks or valet trays to keep precious trinkets safely in one place. Invest in double-duty designs that serve a purpose but also complement your decor scheme.

London interior designer Laura Hammett, for example, chooses pretty yet practical golden bowls to tie in beautifully with the other metallic accents in this serene bedroom.

How To Style A Bedside Table - Styling Bedside Tables - Think personal and practical
Image credit: Laura Hammett

Personal touches also offer a beautiful way to enhance a nightstand. Picture frames filled with sentimental photographs or artwork help to make a bedside arrangement truly yours. Candles in your favourite scent or a vase filled with your most-loved flowers also make for individual touches.

How To Style A Bedside Table - Styling Bedside Tables - Style with symmetry
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4. Style with symmetry

Playing with symmetry is a striking technique that’s always pleasing on the eye. Think about opting for a “mirror image” look with identical bedside arrangements at either side. Twin table lamps add poise to spaces and are a beautiful way to frame a bed.

Matching accents – take note of the metallic photo frames and posies of red flowers in this luxurious Taylor Howes bedroom – emphasise a balanced aesthetic. Alternatively, go for subtle symmetry by using a colour or material theme to showcase two different yet cohesive examples of bedside styling.

Style Ideas:

Table lamps, bookends, statuesque ornaments and floral arrangements really shine when styled in pairs.

How To Style A Bedside Table - Styling Bedside Tables - Contrast and complement
Image credit: Katharine Pooley

5. Contrast & complement

The right hues are crucial to the success of a bedside arrangement, and complementing and contrasting the colour of your table is a powerful way to highlight its design.

Whatever the colour – whether it’s ebony black, rich walnut or a pure white design – reference your cabinet’s hue with accents in similar colourways. A few contrasting tones help to avoid a heavy block colour look and add layers to your display. Light hues make a striking juxtaposition against dark cabinetry and vice versa. Pops of bold colour and metallic tones also add effective highlights.

Dressing your bed in linens of the same colour family will also amplify the impact of your bedside decor. Take inspiration from this interior, designed by Katharine Pooley, in which a deep grey bedspread and photo frame are used to flatter a dark cabinet.

Style Ideas:

Metallic additions (Michael Aram specialises here) introduce gold and silver twists to bedsides, while tranquil green and blue tones are set to be big accents colours this season.

How To Style A Bedside Table - Styling Bedside Tables - Less is more
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6. Less is more

One of the absolute keys to en pointe bedside styling has to be – less is more. Whilst the choice of unique accessories out there can make it tempting to over-style your nightstand, a few power pieces will always be more effective than a load of ordinary accents.

It’s important to remember that accessories are there to enhance, not hide, the surface of your bedside table. Don’t be afraid to embrace bare space and let carefully chosen, timeless designs reveal and flatter the craftsmanship and materials of your tabletop.

Style Ideas:

Accents in neutral hues never fail to create a less is more look, as do subtle patterns. Simple, clear glassware always makes for a timeless, elegant display.