nightstand styling

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There are a bunch of different formulas you can find online about how to properly style a nightstand.  Some of them work for me and others don’t.  By that I mean if the perfect styling recipe calls for a tray or candle and I don’t have one that looks right, I’m not going to go out and purchase one.  I’ll just work around it with what I have.  If you find yourself needing some nightstand styling ideas, I’m sharing ours and how I created them.

In our master (you can read more about it here and here), we just retired our ancient alarm/radio/why are there so many dials clock for this simple alarm clock that’s pretty enough to stay out for photos 🙂  I ended up switching up the nightstand decor in the process.  Since the clock, table skirt, and lamp (temporarily stolen from the entry to see if I liked it, and darn it, I do) blend in with the wall, I added a larger dark vase in the back for some contrast.  There’s a small tray for hairbands and any jewelry that I forgot to take off before bed.

A previous version had my usual lamp.  I used a silver tray to hold a vase with greenery, a black candle for contrast, and some little brass swans.  You’ll notice the absence of an alarm clock.  I removed it for photos because our old alarm clock was definitely not inspiring anyone 😉
My husband’s side has a vase with greenery and black candle to break up the lighter colors, and a small plate acting as a tray to hold any smaller items like a ring or cell phone.


For our guest room nightstand I kept this side simple.  Just a lamp and small bowl for jewelry, etc.
And since we’re using a desk as a nightstand on the other side I had plenty of open space left after adding a lamp and tray with accessories.  The tray holds a vase for color and life stacked on books for height and a glass box with seashells.  The white tray breaks up the dark wood and keeps the accessories grouped together.  I added a basket under the desk for dirty laundry because I can’t stand stuffing dirty laundry back in my suitcase when traveling.

In our daughter’s room she has a small accent table on one side of the bed that holds a vase with faux succulents for color.  The necklace adds extra texture and color for the photo but in real life there’s usually a cup of water in its place.  Oh, and instead of placing lamps on nightstands in kids’ rooms, I like to use sconces so I don’t have to worry about them getting knocked over.


Her desk sits on the other side of her bed.  It’s definitely more of a desk than nightstand and is set up as so, but the two closest drawers to her bed hold her chapsticks and sleep masks (she uses them when she’s feeling fancy).

In our son’s room it’s all geared toward being useful.  Again, I used sconces instead of lamps.  One side holds his favorite bedtime books and his piggy bank as a bookend.
The other has a metal basket filled with all of his toy cars.  They’re out in the open so he can play with them, and they just look plain cute in a little boy’s room.

That is it!  While they don’t all follow some strict recipe, they work for us and I love how they look.  I hope this gives you some ideas if you’re struggling with how to style your nightstands at home!



  1. Cassie Bustamante Avatar

    you are the master at beautiful simplicity- just the right amount!

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      Thank you, Cassie! It's hard finding the right mix sometimes. I was trying out a nightstand "formula" a while back and felt like a crazy lady with every collectible displayed and no room to sit my alarm clock or book 😀 That's when I decided to scrap it and do my own thing.

  2. designchic Avatar

    Beautiful styling on each table, Shelley. I just love the desk used as a side table – stylish and functional! Happy Tuesday!

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      Thank you so much! It's funny, I didn't realize until recently that I used a desk as a nightstand in every bedroom but my son's 😀

  3. Reagan Rocks Avatar

    As always,I get so many practical ideas from your blog vs some others that I read. I have since ordered the same bamboo roman shades and have the same sconces (in pewter) in my son's room. I am thinking about moving my daughter's desk to the other side of her bed as well when we switch her from a single to a double since the desk's current position will make the walkway too tight wit a larger bed. My question for you is did you purchase or buy the bulletin board above her desk and would you mind sharing the source or instructions? Thanks! Meg
    (my daughter hijacked my google account and changed the user name)

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      Hi Meg! That is hilarious about your daughter hijacking your google account!! My daughter did the same to my iPhone so now instead of Shelley it says Izzy the Bunny Queen 😀 Ok, so the bulletin board was a DIY that I found here: The great thing about this is that you can make it whatever shape or size you want!

  4. Lilen Avatar

    How disappointing they don’t make that Alise Eternity rug anymore… looks stunning.

    1. Shelley Avatar

      I know, I’m bummed too!

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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