11 Ways to Style a Nightstand

Is your bedroom nightstand looking a little sleepy? Wake it up with these gorgeous tables and ideas for accessorizing

Joanna Linberg
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Dark Edge

An industrial-style nightstand cuts the sweetness of this soft and feminine bedroom—like throwing a moto jacket over a floral dress. A small table benefits from mounting a sconce on the wall above to free up the tabletop. On its surface, white ceramics contrast the black finish.

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Off the Floor

If a bulky piece of furniture by your bed just isn’t your thing, look to your wall. A petite bracket shelf (a.k.a. floating nightstand!) can be installed at whatever height works for your bed and frees up the floor for that pile of only-worn-once clothes (or, you know, a beautiful rug or a bed for your sleeping pup).

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Get the Look: Off the Floor

Bracket shelves come in a multitude of styles, but we’re partial to this white and gray marble version with brass brackets. It’s a classic material made modern by the two-tone construction. At 18” wide, there’s plenty of room for necessities.

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Stylish Solution

It’s a common problem: All the little bedside essentials sort of float on the surface of the nightstand, making the top seem cluttered, not designed. But here’s a quick fix: Lean a piece of art behind them. Magically, it visually marries all the items in front of it and finishes the look.

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The Nature Cure

If you’re stumped about the best nightstand to pair with your bed, keep it simple. A natural material (e.g. wood or woven versus metal or a painted finish) goes with virtually anything. What’s more, an unfussy shape is flexible—it can mimic the other clean lines in the room like it’s doing here, or it can contrast the ornate shape of a traditional upholstered headboard. If you’re a bedtime snacker, take note of that high lip—it’s perfect for catching spills.

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Double Up

What’s better than one beautifully aged nightstand? Two of them (especially if your To Be Read pile is monumental). Pieces with a lot of patina stand out more with minimal, clean accessorizing. Keep the color palette neutral, make the art unfussy, and use a tray to corral small items so the top stays tidy.

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Great Heights

Matching nightstands? Yes. Matching accessories? Not so much. A good rule of thumb for styling a bedside pair is to use the same materials but different shapes and sizes. So white ceramic pops up in the hand sculpture on one side and as a vase on the other. Wood bowls feature on both, but with different silhouettes and proportions.

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Get the Look: Great Heights

A metallic nightstand gives a woven or rattan bed some welcome zip. Gold and brass highlight the warmth of the natural fibers; chrome or iron are a bit more daring. Try it out with this tripod-style brass table that has a textural surprise: it’s topped with a very thin slice of end-grain oak.

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Unofficially Great

No budget (or room) for a “real” nightstand? No problem. Run around your house and grab a stack of art and coffee-table books, the bigger the better. Push them close to your bed. You’re done. On its own, it strikes a boho vibe. With another piece of furniture, the look is effortlessly relaxed.

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Hot Now: Blush

You’ve heard of Millennial Pink, right? It’s a hit because blush is a surprisingly versatile color. In fact, it’s today’s neutral. So while a colorful nightstand might normally seem like a risk, in soft pink, it’s a go-with-anything room brightener that won’t give you any buyer’s regret in a few years.

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Hot Now: Wired for Sleep

These days, we’re all sleeping with our phones next to the bed. Why not up the ante with a totally tricked out nightstand that caters to our digital needs? This sleek piece can wirelessly charge your devices overnight, and has two USB ports, a motion-activated LED light for that midnight trip to the bathroom, a Hi-Fi audio system, and an app that controls all this and more.