How to Decorate a Nightstand

Many people use nightstands to keep bedside essentials within reach during the night. However, these practical storage pieces also have amazing style potential. Topping these bedside tables is an excellent way to spruce up your space and keep important items close by. In this post, we'll offer helpful suggestions on how to decorate your nightstands with functional and fashionable accents.

Nightstand Decor Ideas

Wondering how to decorate the top of a nightstand? A good rule of thumb is to start with important items that you need to keep within reach, even when you're in bed. Designate a spot for your CPAP machine, inhaler or other prescription medications so you can grab them as soon as you need them. Be sure to set them in a place that keeps them out of reach of small children and pets.


People also sometimes reserve a space on their bedside tables for eyeglasses, table lamps, an alarm clock and maybe even a glass of water. If you have a large nightstand with a roomier surface, you may be able to sit a few of the following items on the tabletop as well:


  • Bedtime Comfort Items: Those who have sensory issues or struggle to fall asleep at night may want to have a few things close by when it's time for bed. A sleep mask, pair of earplugs and a white noise machine can block out distracting sights and sounds that keep you up at night. If you have toddlers, their nightstand is the perfect spot to sit a pacifier or battery-powered nightlight.
  • Hobby Supplies: If you like to enjoy calming activities before bed, such as reading, writing or knitting, consider making room on your nightstand for books, your journal or a bowl of yarn and a pair of knitting needles.
  • Necessary Electronics: New parents may decide to use their bedroom and nursery nightstands to hold baby monitors. Meanwhile, a teenager or college student in a dorm may prefer to keep their smartphone, tablet and chargers on their bedside tables.

white nightstand with book

Nightstand Decor Items

Once you designate a spot for each essential item, you can incorporate a few decorative pieces to enhance the stylish look of your nightstands and the charming vibe of your bedroom. A potted plant or silk floral adds a refreshing pop of color to your bedside table. Some aromatic plants can also improve air quality and create the soothing atmosphere you need for restful sleep.


Topping your nightstand with a few small photos of your loved ones is a great way to promote a happy and peaceful feeling in your bedroom. Meanwhile, a small sculpture, collectible or framed painting lets you show off your unique tastes and personality. You can also select decorative items that coordinate with the chic design of your bedside table. For example:


rustic nightstand with rustic decor

Take Advantage of Storage Compartments

Some bedside tables have an open shelf or compartment beneath their built-in drawers. Use this convenient space to hold an extra pillow and blanket or display a small collection of movie or comic book-themed figurines. You can also choose kids' nightstands with lower cubbies for your little one's favorite stuffed animal.


Despite their small surfaces, nightstands can have a huge impact on your overall design. Whether you're decorating your primary suite, a guest room or your kids' rooms, you can use the tips in this guide to select practical and chic nightstand decor that brings a subtle style upgrade to the space.


In This Guide:

  1. Details vs. Big Picture
  2. Styling a Bookshelf
  3. Lighting Tips
  4. Decorating a Window Sill
  5. How to Decorate a Fireplace
  6. How to Decorate a Fireplace Mantel
  7. How to Decorate a Stairway
  8. How to Decorate a Hallway
  9. How to Decorate a Table
  10. How to Decorate a Desk
  11. How to Decorate a Patio
  12. How to Decorate Living Room Walls
  13. How to Decorate a Two-Story Wall
  14. How to Decorate a TV Stand
  15. How to Decorate a Foyer
  16. How to Decorate a Nightstand

kids nightstand with cubby storage