Five Ways to Style a
ACHIEVE THAT SPREAD-WORTHY SPACE WITH THESE SIMPLE STEPS.
By Heather Bien
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As you’re flipping through your favorite magazine or your Instagram explore page, you stop to admire a stunningly styled nightstand. It’s a calming, serene scene with a single fluffy peony atop an engraved bud vase. There’s a book that you imagine is actually cracked open at night and a delicate glass carafe with a vintage water glass. There’s a noticeable absence of items that belong on a desk rather than a nightstand and you can’t spot the mess of hand lotions and night creams that are usually strewn about a bedside.
How do they do it? Is it even possible to style a magazine-worthy nightstand at home? Absolutely! It’s simpler than you might think—but it does involve committing to less rather than more, and these four design experts are sharing their top tips for the perfect nightstand styling.
Use Layers of Styling Pieces
A gorgeously styled nightstand involves a formula that brings together layers of different items, all serving different and unique functions. Chelsea Amell, owner and design director of Studio Amell, explains, “Incorporate different styling layers of plants, art or decor, and candles. These elements all provide a different purpose to make the space feel complete.”
“Incorporate different styling layers of plants, art or decor, and candles. These elements all provide a different purpose to make the space feel complete.”
In her vintage-inspired, moody spaces, she brings all these pieces together in a way that feels cohesive—they’re all parts of a whole vignette. Different textures and metals sit alongside items of varied scale and size.
Amell says, “Plants provide purity and freshness, art and décor provide visual interest and evoke emotions, and candles enhance your senses and add calmness and tranquility.”
All of these elements work together to create a bedside styling moment that is relaxing and sophisticated.
Combine Utility with Beauty
“When styling a quintessential nightstand, it’s all about finding the perfect balance of utilitarian objects that actually are designed well and pass as decorative items,” says Michael Scott Shome, global visuals director at Architectural Digest.
Most nightstands have limited surface space for unnecessary items, so nearly every item needs to carry its weight. Consider pieces that can do double duty, looking as stylish as they are functional.
Shome suggests, “I love earthenware vessels for water and using stone-clad boxes for holding random bedtime necessities. Natural materials are great for capturing that perfect zen vibe we all need in the bedroom.”
“Natural materials are great for capturing that perfect zen vibe we all need in the bedroom.”
Keep Your Nightstand Perfectly Simple
Less is more, particularly in a space that you hope will feel like a calming retreat.
Ashley Fiocco, founder and creative director of Ashley Fiocco Designs, LLC, says, “Whether styling a magazine-worthy nightstand (or a real-life one!), I always try to keep it simple and clutter-free.”
Put away the stacks of to-be-read books and resist the urge to charge multiple electronics within arm’s reach at night. It can be tempting to add to the list of must-haves by the bed, but simplicity is key—that’s the secret behind the serene look you see in aspirational bedroom images.
“A book, cup of tea or glass of water, task lighting, and maybe a favorite scented candle and/or fresh flowers is all you need,” explains Fiocco.
“A book, cup of tea, or glass of water, task lighting and maybe a favorite scented candle and/or fresh flowers is all you need.”
Incorporate Attractive Storage
Of course, you’ll have items that you can’t live without that don’t have an attractive option. Your trusty lip balm, your retainer, or your melatonin—all necessary, but they don’t add to your stylish nightstand vignette. That’s when you bring in attractive and functional storage.
“When a bedroom design looks great, keep it that way by stashing all your favorite grab-ables nearby in a beautiful box or vintage nightstand with drawers,” says Cira J.S. Raab, founder and lead designer of Cira James Design.
Spring for a stylish tray or scour thrift stores and stop in antique markets to find storage items that bring a sophisticated, collected vibe to your bedside. These make a show-stopping impact when juxtaposed with a sleek, modern nightstand.
Create Space by Using Sconces
If all else fails and you need to create more space for necessities (or for the beautiful items that you want by your bedside each evening and every morning!), free up surface area atop your nightstand by mounting your lighting.
A lamp takes up a surprising amount of space between its base and shade and, by installing a sconce, you free up the entire top of your nightstand for both functional and styling items that create a magazine-worthy scene that will help you drift calmly off to sleep.
FIND THE PERFECT NIGHTSTAND