Sunday, July 31, 2022

An Interior Designer's Guide to Bedroom Styling | How To Style Your Nightstand and Dresser Like a Pro

 When it comes to bedroom styling, our interior design clients are often stumped by what to do with their nightstands and dressers. It looks so effortless in the design magazines - a lamp here, a candle there, and then you have the perfect look. But many people struggle with scale, layering, and making your surface look polished, not bare or cluttered. 

Here are our top designer tips for styling your bedroom surfaces like a pro. 

How To Style Your Nightstand Like a Pro

  • First thing to do: pick out your lamp. A good rule of thumb is that nightstand lamps should be around 30" from the top of the shade to the bottom of the base, but this can vary based on how large your nightstand and tall your ceilings are. Very tall ceilings (10-12' or taller) will likely need taller lamps; you might want taller ones if you have a bigger nightstand, too. Historic house with lower or sloped ceilings or small nightstands may be able to accommodate smaller lamps. If you still can't decide, think about hiring a professional designer for their opinion. 
  • Designer Tip: Can you do a sconce or pendant instead of a lamp? Yes, but unless your walls and/or ceilings are already hard-wired for the electric, it will be expensive to install it. Sconces and pendants do save space on your nightstand, though! 
  • Find a catch-all tray. These small trays are perfect to hold rings, chapsticks, hair ties, phones, and anything else you want to keep in one place instead of all over your dresser top. 

  • Add your favorite pretty candle. A pretty candle doubles as decor. 
  • Layer in personal touches - like photo frames. 4x6' is usually the best size to start - if your nightstand is large enough, you can add a smaller round one. We love our Pigeon and Poodle Corinth frame
  • Vary the heights with different decor like vases, pitchers, and book stacks. This keeps all of your decor from being on one layer, giving a more dynamic and interesting design. 
  • Don't forget the coaster - you don't want to ruin the finish on your beautiful nightstand. 

How to Style a Small Nightstand: 

For nightstands 24" wide and smaller:
  • Get a lamp that's lighter and airier. One with a base is especially helpful in easing up surface space. 
  • Make your tray do double duty. Get a larger tray that serves as a catch-all and a piece of decor. 

How to Style a Large Nightstand

These can be deceptively difficult to style, since one long, blank piece of space can be hard to differentiate and can be hard to balance with decor. 

  • Don't be afraid to use a larger lamp. A too-small one will look rinky-dink in the space. 
  • Create two distinct vignettes instead of trying to cram all your decor in a row. This will make it easier to decorate. 

How to Style a Nightstand with a Shelf: 

What to do with the trendy double shelf nightstands? We like to put stacks of books, trays, and baskets. 

How to Style a Dresser: 

Dressers run into the same problem large nightstands do - it's too much decorating space for many people to know what to do with. 

Another dresser challenge is that TVs are usually above them or on top of them. If you don't have a TV on top of your dresser, it should definitely have a mirror (preferably mounted) or artwork for visual interest. 

Dresser Styling Tips:

  • Cluster smaller decor pieces on a tray to avoid a cluttered look.
  • Pair matching lamps on either side on a larger dresser. This is an easy way to create balance. 
  • Display jewelry in glass jewelry boxes. This creates visual interest and keeps your favorite pieces on view. 
  • Display pretty perfumes on a tray. 

Find your favorite bedroom furniture and decor at Lavender & Co. and get in touch with us for virtual design!