Nightstands aren’t just for holding lamps, books and your glass of water. They can be traditional or unique. They can be ready to hold the usual things and also create a style moment all of their own.

Nightstand Decor

You know, I like to think that I am a traditional kind of girl in many ways in design. I love symmetry -well except for when I love the mingle of 3 or 5 in a grouping in a room. I like classic styles that are traditional- other than those unexpected surprise pieces in a room. And I do love all the beautiful flowery, carved details and lovely old patinas everywhere- and mingling with stripes and checks -even better. But when it comes to nightstands – can I let you in on a secret? I’m so not traditional.

I don’t like classic matching nightstands in a bedroom. They just don’t talk to me. Maybe it is because they are smaller and shorter than the scale of my tall bed. Whatever it is- they just are not my thing. That said- it doesn’t mean that classic design style doesn’t work best for you- design is a personal thing.

nightstand decor

I think I first discovered the look I love when we were decorating the bedroom in this house. It is a large bedroom and there was a whole lot of extra space on both sides of our bed. Not having a traditional chest of drawers (there goes that non traditional me again) I decided to tuck a vintage dresser next to the bed as a nightstand. It was taller so the lamp fit a better height. It did double duty- holding work things and closet things in the drawers. And it just looked good with the vintage paint and details next to the bed. So naturally, since this was a vintage find- I had to find something for my husband’s side of the bed that was similar in scale and finish to feel cohesive. We shopped tag sales for a bit before finding what worked well- another vintage chippy painted piece in the form of an old desk.

Those both changed when I found the antique French commode and decided it fit perfectly as a bedside table.

Tip: Think outside the traditional decor box. The first tip for nightstand decor is to think of your nightstand As Decor too rather than just functional. It can be matchy-matchy or not matching at all. It can be a painted piece, wood piece, metal piece – you decide and go with what you love.

On the Nightstands

Of course, the nightstand is just one piece of the overall. What you put on it makes a difference. Since we are talking about traditional design things for a nightstand- let’s go with lamps here. Most people have a lamp on their bedside table- for reading, etc. So why not make that lamp a design element and bring in some pretty? Look for beautiful colors, unique styles and finishes and a lovely little shade that diffuses the light beautifully. You can also look at hanging lights for bedside lighting too- less clutter on the top of your stand.

nightstand decor

Tip: Functional pieces like lamps can be decorative – choose something that fits your aesthetic and pay attention to the overall height in relation to your bed.


Flowers on nightstand in French country bedroom

Mirrors are a perfect way to bring in a lovely touch to a bedside table. You can simply lean it against the wall or hang it on the wall if you prefer.


If you prefer something other than a mirror – why not add a piece or two of artwork and create a beautiful display? You can also do something with family photos or a unique design element like a wall planter for something different.


I mean, hello. My name is Courtney and I am addicted to flowers in every room.

So, yeah, this is a me thing- and it might not be a you thing but I do love it. The tip here is to go with something that is not going to cause allergies and choose something that smells lovely like lilacs, roses or peonies. Beyond!!

flowers on nightstands in Paris

Bowls and bits

My husband has some little bowls on his nightstand that our sons made back in school when they took pottery. He puts his pocket change, keys, and random things like drill bits and screws that were in his pockets in them. I like the clean aspect of them (rather than a pile of change and random things just sitting there) and I love that they are special pieces from our boys too.

flowers and lamps

Stacks of books

There are so many things you can bring in and use on your bedside tables- so obviously we’re only covering a few here. But one for sure that I almost always have on my nightstand is books. I love stacks of books. Vintage books, design books, pretty books, etc. If your favorite books feel too visually cluttered and busy – wrap them in paper for a cohesive look and stack them up and enjoy.

nightstand with dried flowers

And on a random nightstand book decor side note – I just noticed that my New Christmas book Preorder pricing is 10% off on Sale right now on sale at Amazon! So, it’s a great time to preorder if you haven’t already- Click the book photo below for more!!

You can read more about the carved sideboard used as a nightstands HERE

what about you? What kind of a nightstand type are you? What’s on your nightstand?

Happy Thursday everyone!