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Our Top Side Table Styling Tips

Serene bedroom with light wood slat wall and cozy bed with pinstripe pillows, red bolster pillow, and white duvet next to bedside table with eye glasses, small yellow clock, and bud vase

It can be daunting to know where to start when it comes to styling a side table, we know because we’ve been there too. We can’t all have professionals come over and design our homes (though we definitely wish we could!), but the good news is that it only takes a few simple steps to create an elegant and intriguing display, no matter the room or size of the surface. Below, we'll share some tried-and-true tips and tricks to help make styling your bedside tables a breeze.

 

Cozy bed with light blue bedding and bedside table with small bud vase and wooden box containing photos with a white sconce above.

Rule Of Three

A general guideline that we tend to stick to when it comes to styling is the rule of three. Simply put, this magic number is soothing to our brains, and items grouped together in this way tend to appear more natural and compelling. That said, you may be wondering which three objects to choose for any given surface. 

Shaker-style bedside table with brass lamp, small wooden clock, and fresh cut flowers in a white vase

Build It Up

Before we start thinking about what to style it's important to consider how to style. There are a few tips we've learned over the years to keep things simple, uncluttered, and clean, while also enhancing the visual variety of the space.

For starters, we find that stacking objects is an ideal choice when table space is limited to create a stunning, layered look. Begin with your base, perhaps a brightly colored coffee table book, or a slim tray. Next, add a secondary object, like a short stack of novels you've been meaning to read, or a lidded dish. Lastly, we find that adding a pop of green, such as a small plant or simple vase with a few flower sprigs, tends to add some visual diversity to the space without feeling cluttered.

Wicker bedside table with fresh cut blooms, small clock, and water glass

Create Balance

Another way to achieve a refined look is by displaying objects of varying heights together. Try adding a tall and slender lamp alongside a petite clock and a stack of books, or a short picture frame nestled into the overgrowth of a thriving potted plant. It's all about creating balance without taking up too much space.

Now for the fun part. To get those creative juices flowing, we're rounding up some of our favorite objects when it comes to bedside styling. From timeless lamps, to a pop of green, to a simple yet meaningful family heirloom, our list of beloved items goes on and on.

 

a wooden scalloped side table with lush greenery and small blue clock and auburn ceramic jar.

Bedside table with small white clock, vase full of fresh flowers, and black wall sconce.

Start Green

No one can resist a well placed plant. Add a touch of lush beauty to your space with a favorite plant and planter combo. Or opt for a vase (sometimes we even use a carafe) and some fresh cut blooms. Some of our favorite, easy to maintain plants that have a big impact in a space are silver pothos, which are effortlessly beautiful with their heart-shaped, lustrous leaves, and require less care than your typical indoor plant. Another top choice are monstera plants, which are relatively easy to grow and possess that sought after "wow" factor with their shiny, one-of-a-kind fronds. 

 Shaker-style side table with wall sconce, small ring dish, bud vase with dried flowers, and wooden picture frame.

Soothing Glow

As designers of iconic lighting, it’s no wonder that one of our top suggestions when it comes to styling a bedside table is an ambient light source. It’s not only a timeless choice, but allows you to cast a glow on the rest of your table side items, giving them an immediate purpose. While we love the look and feel of a well placed lamp, we’re also big fans of a simple and subtle wall sconce for easy bedside reading. 

 

A wooden scalloped bedside table with an amber mug and stack of colorful books.

Pop of Color

Including a fun pop of color in your space not only showcases your personality, but is a great way to enliven any room. Whether you choose a brightly colored light fixture, a vibrant stack of books, or a multicolored piece of pottery or sentimental trinket, it’s important to experiment and have some fun with it.

 Cozy bed with pinstripe bedding and red bolster pillow and wooden slat wall behind it featuring a black wall sconce and small bedside table with a blue meg and picture frame White iron bed with cozy floral and mustard colored bedding with small side table with a clock and black lamp on top.

Bright and airy bedroom with small green bedside table holding a tiny clock and vase with a rattan wall sconce above.

 

At the end of the day, it's all about having fun with your space, living thoughtfully, and engaging with your home in a way that shows off your personality. Don’t be afraid to switch things up, and remember, the mix always beats the match.

 

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ABC's of Design with Amanda Jane Jones
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