Six design secrets for stunning bedside table styling
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 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 nightstand is a must for every bedroom. Unsure whether to style yours with a statement table lamp or an array of accessories? Here are the six design secrets to know for a winning bedside arrangement.
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.
Style suggestions: Look to tall vases and table lamps for height, and medium-sized candles and photo frames for mid-level beauty. Decorative bowls and trays make flattering low-profile additions.
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 suggestions: Experiment with faux shagreen boxes and bowls as well as crackle-effect ceramic lighting and vases with textured surfaces.
3. Think personal and 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.
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.
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 suggestions: Table lamps, bookends, statuesque ornaments and floral arrangements really shine when styled in pairs.
5. Contrast and 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 suggestions: 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.
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 suggestions: 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.