How to Decorate the Top of a Nightstand

Do you need help finding ways to decorate the top of your nightstand? Most homeowners may not consider this space a focal point in their room, but with a few creative tricks and tips, you can transform the top of your nightstand into an eye-catching feature.

How to Decorate the Top of a Nightstand

From bold sculptures and artwork pieces to quirky vases and trinkets, you have many possibilities when it comes to accessorizing this small nook of your home.

Whether you’re looking for an understated and minimalist approach or a more avant-garde vibe, we’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look at some of our favorite ideas for making the top of your nightstand stand out.

In this blog post, we share our best ideas on how to decorate the top of a nightstand in style! Keep reading for some amazing inspiration that’ll take your bedroom décor up a notch!

What Will You Need?

Before you get started on sprucing up your nightstand, it’s important to gather the necessary items. That way, when you know what you want to create, you can begin immediately!

Some basic supplies that are great for decorating the top of a nightstand include:

  • Fabric or paper
  • Paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A variety of trinkets and décor pieces
  • Floral arrangements or plants
  • Picture frames

Once you have the necessary items, you’re ready to start decorating!

9 Easy Steps on How to Decorate the Top of a Nightstand

Step 1: Clean and Prep Your Nightstand

Before you begin the decorating process, ensure your nightstand is clean and clear of any unnecessary items. Dust off the top surface, wipe it down with a cleaning cloth, and let it dry completely. If you plan to paint or add a fabric covering, now is the perfect time. Remember, a clean and well-prepared nightstand will allow your decorative pieces to truly shine!

Dust Off the Top Surface

Step 2: Choose a Theme

Consistency is key to a visually appealing nightstand. Whether you prefer a minimalist, vintage, rustic, or modern aesthetic, decide on a theme that complements the overall decor of your room.

This theme will guide your choice of decorative pieces, colors, and arrangements, creating a cohesive and stylish look. Remember, your nightstand is an extension of your style; let it reflect your tastes and preferences.

Step 3: Arrange Larger Items First

Start with larger items like lamps, clocks, or a sizable piece of art. These elements will act as the focal point of your nightstand’s decor.

Position them at the back or to the side, depending on the layout of your room and where your nightstand is situated. This step helps to create a visual hierarchy, allowing the eye to flow naturally across the space without feeling cluttered or overwhelmed.

Step 4: Layer with Smaller Decorative Items

After setting your larger elements, layer in your smaller decorative pieces. These might include books, glasses, picture frames, or small vases with fresh flowers. Try to vary the height and size of these items to create a dynamic and balanced display.

Remember, the rule of threes can be very effective here: Grouping items in odd numbers, like three or five, tends to look more appealing and harmonious to the eye. Use your chosen theme as a guide, and be sure to leave some space for practical items like your phone or a glass of water.

Larger Items Like Lamps

Step 5: Add Personal Touches

Incorporating personal touches can truly make your nightstand decoration unique and reflective of your personality. Consider adding a framed picture of your loved ones, a small piece of artwork you adore, or even a tiny keepsake from a memorable trip.

These items not only enhance the visual appeal of your nightstand but also add an element of warmth and personality. However, remember not to overcrowd the space; aim for a tasteful, well-balanced display that combines style and sentimentality.

Step 6: Incorporate Greenery

Adding a touch of nature can breathe life into your nightstand decor. Consider incorporating a small potted plant, a succulent, or fresh flowers to add color and vibrancy. Choose a stylish vase or pot that matches your theme and place it where it enhances the overall arrangement.

Artificial plants or dried flowers make a great low-maintenance alternative if you’re not a green thumb. Remember, the aim is to strike a balance between aesthetics and clutter, so pick a plant proportionate to your nightstand’s size.

Step 7: Play with Lighting

Lighting can significantly impact the mood and aesthetic of your nightstand. Consider adding a distinctive lamp that fits your theme or some fairy lights for a whimsical touch. If your nightstand is near a natural light source, take advantage of this by placing a small mirror or reflective objects to magnify the light.

Conversely, ensure you have a good reading light for those who enjoy reading before bed. Remember, the choice of lighting should not only coincide with your decor but also cater to your needs and daily routines.

Adding a Touch of Nature

Step 8: Create Balance with Symmetry

While an asymmetrical arrangement can create interest and dynamism, playing with symmetry can also give your nightstand a balanced and harmonious look. Place similar items on opposite sides of the nightstand or use pairs of items such as candles, picture frames, or matching sculptures.

Alternatively, you can achieve balance through colors and textures, using contrasting elements to create an engaging yet balanced appearance. Remember, the goal is to strike a balance that draws the eye while maintaining a sense of order and tranquility.

Step 9: Consider Functionality

While aesthetics are important, remember the practical use of your nightstand. It’s crucial to leave space for essential items you may need to access easily from your bed, such as your phone, a glass of water, or your favorite book.

Keep a small tray or bowl to place small items like your glasses, keys, or jewelry. Incorporate storage solutions like small boxes or baskets to keep items like chargers, remotes, or medications out of sight but within easy reach. Remember, a beautifully decorated nightstand serving your needs can enhance your comfort and convenience.

By following these simple steps, you’ll have a beautifully decorated nightstand that serves both as a practical and decorative element in your room. Ready to start designing? Have some fun and be creative as you curate the perfect display for your nightstand!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Mixing Textures: Mixing different textures is a great way to create interest and depth in your nightstand decor. Try combining a smooth ceramic lamp with a plush fabric book cover or a glossy picture frame with a wooden trinket box. This variety can help your nightstand feel rich and layered while still maintaining a cohesive look and feel.
  2. Seasonal Changes: Be bold and change up your decor with the seasons. Incorporating seasonal elements, such as flowers in spring or a small pumpkin in autumn, can keep your nightstand fresh and exciting. Plus, it’s a fun way to celebrate the changing seasons!
  3. Color Coordination: While your nightstand doesn’t have to match your room completely, coordinating colors can help create a harmonious look. Try picking up one or two colors from your bedding or wall art and incorporate them into your nightstand decor.
  4. Play with Heights: Adding items of different heights can make your nightstand aesthetically pleasing. Place taller items at the back and shorter ones at the front. This creates a stepped effect, which leads the eye naturally across the display.
  5. Rotate Items: Lastly, be bold and switch things up every now and then. Regularly rotating your decorative items can keep your display exciting and dynamic and prevent it from feeling stale or overlooked. Plus, it’s a fun way to incorporate new finds or highlight different items from your collection. After all, decorating should be a joy, not a chore!

With these easy tips and tricks in mind, you can be sure to create a nightstand that looks both stylish and inviting. So start decorating and have some fun while doing so!

5 Things You Should Avoid

Storage is an Essential Aspect
  1. Overcrowding Your Space: It’s important to keep your nightstand clutter-free. While it can be tempting to showcase all your favorite items, only a few can create a crowded, messy look. Be selective and choose a few standout pieces that create the right balance of form and function.
  2. Ignoring Proportions: The size of your decor pieces should be proportional to your nightstand. For instance, placing a large lamp on a small nightstand could make it look disproportionate and unbalanced. Keep the size of your nightstand in mind when selecting decor items.
  3. Neglecting Lighting: Underestimating the power of lighting can be a mistake. The right lighting can elevate your nightstand decor, add warmth, and even set the mood in your bedroom. Ensure your nightstand has appropriate lighting, whether it’s a stylish lamp, fairy lights, or both.
  4. Forgetting About Storage: Storage is an essential aspect of a functional nightstand. If you ignore this, you could end up with a beautiful but impractical nightstand. Opt for decor pieces that double as storage, like trinket boxes or decorative baskets, to keep essential items within reach yet out of sight.
  5. Sticking to One Style: While having a cohesive theme is important, sticking rigidly to one style can make your nightstand feel dated or dull. Feel free to mix different styles, textures, and colors to create a unique and dynamic display.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help ensure your nightstand looks stylish and practical. With the right decor pieces and a little creativity, you can create an inviting and aesthetically pleasing nightstand.


Now that you know the options for how to decorate the top of a nightstand, it’s time to create your own masterpiece! Whether you choose to spruce up with framed photos, house live plants, or even put out a few books and candles, remember that the point is to have fun!

Get creative and let your unique personality shine through the design. Letting go of perfectionism can be hard, but it helps one to unleash their inner vision and true sense of style without worrying about other people’s opinions or criticism.

If nothing else, your nightstand will reflect yourself – so make sure it is something you love looking at before you part with your hard-earned money. Happy decorating!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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