Nightstands have a way of attracting clutter with everyday use. Is there really a way to organize the items we keep close at hand every night? We spoke with top interior designers to find out their favorite ways of maximizing this small surface while making it a stylish focal point in the bedroom. Instead of using your nightstand as a catch-all, you can style it to be functional and attractive with these simple ideas:

Get creative with personal touches

Creative Nightstand styling

Use nightstands to express your unique creativity and taste.

Interior designer Lisa Gilmore, known for her colorful and glamorous design, shares her out-of-the-box tips to style your nightstand in unique ways:

  • Books: Choose some pretty books — it can be color, font or subject that attracts you — and make a neat little stack.
  • Table lamp: Have fun with your table lamp. It can be an artistic piece or something that complements the whole room nicely. Make sure that the scale is appropriate for the space you have.
  • Personal touches: Add something a little whimsical or sentimental. Those little pieces make a nightstand go from boring to perfectly styled!

Style with technology in mind

neutral bedroom nightstands

Well-styled nightstands complement a neutral bedroom. 

Los Angeles-based interior designer Mark Cutler offers practical tips for incorporating your tech needs while styling a beautiful nightstand: “I think the first rule of thumb is to start with what you need. Are you a tech person with a bunch of remotes? Then find a beautiful box to store them in.” 

How we use our nightstands should also determine how we style them. “Another thing to consider is: What do you want to see first thing in the morning?” Cutler says. “A framed picture of your family? An alarm clock? Or maybe just glorious open space? Try to make the nightstand a reflection of you. As a general rule, my nightstand always has a decanter of water, a cool retro alarm clock, a book or two, a vase with fresh flowers from my garden and a tall table lamp.”

Consider functionality

Pottery Barn Nightstand

Rustic meets industrial in Pottery Barn’s Juno Nightstand.

Consider functionality

Margaret Ash, a leading San Francisco-based interior designer, offers a formula for styling your nightstand to create the bedroom of your dreams:

  • Design: It’s important to start with a good foundation — the nightstand itself! Choose a nightstand with a drawer and/or lower shelf so you can hide the clutter and stack your books, magazines and iPad underneath.
  • Lighting: Lighting in a bedroom is key, as you want to create a warm and gentle ambiance to set a calm environment for bedtime. Choose a lamp that doesn’t take up the entire nightstand. If your nightstands are small, opt for a sconce mounted on the wall above the nightstand so you have more surface area for styling and storing the essentials.
  • Mirrors: If your room is small, a mirror mounted on the wall behind the nightstand can make the room feel bigger.

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