Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Decorating a Nightstand or Dresser

Decorating a Nightstand or Dresser

Decorating a nightstand or dresser is fun, easy, and will make your buyer appreciate your home more. Stagers use formulas to create pretty displays. Once you know the formula, you can create any number of lovely combinations to add charm to your bedroom.

Think of your nightstands as the bookends for your bed. Symmetry is pleasing, so strive to visually balance both sides of the bed. Lamps don't have to match exactly, but it helps if they're similar in size and height.

If you have room for a dresser, use the same formula. You can make your arrangement as simple or elaborate as you wish, but strive to keep it consistent with the rest of your home. 

Formula for Decorating a Nightstand or Dresser

  • Balance both sides of the bed with two matching nightstands and two matching lamps, or
  • Balance both sides visually with similar size items. See an example in Staging a Bedroom.
  • If your room is very small, one nightstand is fine.
  • Usually an odd number of accessories looks best.
  • Vary the heights of your accessories: tall, medium, small.
  • Include a floral or some greenery.
  • Keep your colors consistent with the rest of the home.
  • Add something fun or interesting.
  • Keep it clean and simple.

Staging Details

  • The mother of pearl lamp is our tall starting point.
  • Add a medium sized plant.
  • Finish with a small stack of pretty books (the stack counts as one item, visually).

Staging Details

  • A tall silk orchid complements the creamy color scheme.
  • A short, vintage red box looks at home with the antique furniture. If you're showing your home, put your valuables away.
  • We fiinished with the medium sized photo of the owner's puppy.

Staging Details

  • Larger, more luxurious homes call for larger accents. Start with two tall lamps. Terracotta lampshades keep the color scheme flowing.
  • Medium height accents stair-step down from the lamps.
  • Decorative metal sculpture and two candlesticks with terracotta candles on the left.
  • A clock and framed photo on the right.
  • Potted greenery on each side.
  • Finish with short items: a pretty carved box on the left, and a small stack of books on the right.

Staging Details

  • Two medium sized matching crystal lamps on the dresser carry the feminine theme.
  • A tall vase of pale silk peonies are striking in the middle of the dresser.
  • On the right, a framed photo and a small clock stair-step down from the peonies.
  • On the left, a decorative jewelry box is the right height.
  • On the nightstand, a different crystal lamp, a medium bouquet of pale yellow flowers, and a short stack of books is complementary without being matchy.

By starting with the basic formula and then turning your creativity loose, you can come up with many beautiful combinations for decorating a nightstand or a dresser.

Building a Table Display. The best displays seem natural, random, effortless. Masters know how to make the difficult look easy because they've done it so many times. To the novice, the task can be baffling. But the mystery is an illusion, because beneath the beauty there is a formula. And within the formula there are endless combinations. Building a Table Display

What's Your Favorite Nightstand or Dresser
Decorating Idea?

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.