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Bedroom Nightstand Ideas

The nightstand is an often overlooked but essential piece of furniture in any bedroom. Not only does it provide practicality and convenience by keeping your essentials within reach, but it also offers an opportunity to enhance the overall aesthetic of your sleep sanctuary. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between a nightstand and a side table, delve into the basics of decorating a nightstand, and discuss various lighting options to create the perfect ambiance in your bedroom. We will also discuss multiple nightstand ideas to get you inspired for your bedroom refresh.

Nightstand vs. Side Table: Understanding the Differences

Although nightstands and side tables are similar in function and design, there are a few distinctions worth noting. Traditionally, a nightstand is specifically designed for the bedroom, placed next to the bed to serve as a dedicated surface for items such as lamps, alarm clocks, books, and personal belongings. On the other hand, side tables can be found in various areas of the home, including living rooms, entryways, and even outdoor spaces, and their purpose is more versatile, accommodating a wider range of items and activities.

Basics of Nightstand Decor

Balance and Proportion

You want to consider the size of your bed and the available space when choosing a nightstand. Opt for a nightstand that is proportionate to the bed’s height and width, ensuring it doesn’t overwhelm the room or appear too diminutive.

Style and Theme

Coordinate the nightstand with the overall style and theme of your bedroom. Whether you prefer minimalist, modern, rustic, or eclectic aesthetics, select a nightstand that complements the room’s existing furniture and decor.

Functional Storage

Look for nightstands with storage options such as drawers or shelves to help keep your bedside essentials organized and within easy reach. This helps maintain a clutter-free and visually pleasing environment. This recommendation is particularly useful to me since I am constantly looking to store things.

Personal Touches

Incorporate personal touches such as framed photographs, small potted plants, or decorative items that reflect your personality and ones that help create a sense of warmth and intimacy in the bedroom. I have recently added my kid’s artwork to my nightstand design. It’s always nice to look over and see their artwork.


Create visual interest by layering objects of varying heights and textures. For example, place a stack of books, a small vase with fresh flowers, and a decorative tray for jewelry or other accessories.

Rustic matching nightstands in a modern farmhouse bedroom
Via Beasley & Henley Interior Design

Nightstand Lighting Ideas and Options

Table Lamps

The most common and versatile lighting choice for nightstands. Choose lamps that complement the overall style of your bedroom and provide the right amount of illumination for reading or creating a relaxing ambiance. Consider the lampshade design and the color of the light it emits.

Wall Sconces

Perfect for saving space on the nightstand, wall sconces can be mounted above or beside the bed, providing focused lighting for reading while freeing up space on the surface.

Pendant Lights

For a modern and elegant look, consider pendant lights suspended from the ceiling on either side of the bed. They create a visually striking statement while offering ample lighting.

String Lights

If you’re looking for a whimsical and romantic touch, string lights can be draped around the headboard or hung on the wall behind the nightstand. They create a soft, enchanting glow, perfect for relaxation.

Floor Lamps

In rooms with limited space or for those who prefer a unique and unconventional look, floor lamps can be positioned near the nightstand, providing both task lighting and an interesting visual element.

Nightstand Ideas

Single Piece Nightstand

Large shelf nightstand idea with a dark wood stain
Via Ethelind Coblin Architect 

This nightstand idea comes as a single piece connected to the headboard. This piece looks great in this bedroom. You would think that a piece that is a combination headboard and nightstand would appear bulky and outsized for the space. This piece does do that. This is a great design and would look great with any style of bedroom decor.

Daybed Nightstand Ideas

This small nightstand idea is great for a small space. A daybed provides extra space and flexibility during the day, but can easily transition into a cozy sleeping spot at night. These small nightstands appear to be custom-made just for this space. The daybed and nightstands fit perfectly in this niche. This idea proves that even daybeds can look great with nightstands!

Low Bed Low Nightstands

Low bed with bedroom
Via S2 Architects

This nightstand idea is great for those who have low beds. This bed is slightly raised off the floor and paired with two low nightstands that are perfect for displaying books and other items while still providing enough surface area for holding your electronics and a small table lamp. This look is minimalistic yet modern and would be perfect for a bedroom where space is limited. 

Nightstands with Shelves

nightstand with large shelves
Via MCYIA Interior Architecture and Design

This idea is great for those who like to have their items on display. A small chest of drawers with a top shelf, or two side shelves provides the perfect amount of storage and display space. The shelves can be used to store books, knick-knacks, and other decorative items while the drawers provide more secure storage for out-of-sight items. 

Unique Nightstand Ideas

Side tables in a bedroom
Via LAURA MILLER Interior Design

This Pedestal nightstand is really unique. This nightstand idea utilizes the height of a pedestal base to create a beautiful and eye-catching bedside solution. This is perfect for those looking for something that stands out. 

Solid Wood Nightstand

Solid Wood nightstands in a master bedroom
Via Trinity Builders & Design, Inc.

This nightstand idea is perfect for those who like a timeless and classic look. Solid wood nightstands are timeless and provide plenty of storage for books, glasses, alarm clocks, tissues and more. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes, making them an ideal addition to any bedroom style. There are a few benefits to using solid wood furniture. Solid wood furniture will last you a really long time much longer than the stuff you have to put together yourself. So durability is a key factor. Another great benefit of solid wood furniture is the ability to stain the piece any color you desire. I always love the coastal vibes that gray wood stains and white wood stains provide.

Table Nightstand

Table as a nightstand idea
Via Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

This nightstand idea is useful for anyone who wants to maximize the functionality of their furniture. It involves using a small side table as a nightstand during the night and relocating it to a different part of the room during the day for general use. This concept is especially beneficial for people who frequently move and do not want to part with their furniture. With a bit of ingenuity, unique design ideas like this can be achieved.

Pedestal  Nightstand

Small drawer nightstands in a modern bedroom
Via Baxter Design Group

This minimalist design is great for modern or minimalist bedroom designs.  Pedestal nightstands don’t provide mush in terms of extra storage . This is perfect for those who prefer  out of sight. The sleek design will add a touch of sophistication to any bedroom while still being the perfect size for bedside table lamps or charging stations.

Mirrored Nightstand

Mirrored nightstand decor
Via Inson Dubois Wood LLC

This is perfect for those looking to add a touch of glamour and sophistication to their bedroom. Mirrored nightstands provide both storage and style, adding depth and a subtle shine to the room while providing an extra place for glasses, books, tablets, or other items. The reflective quality of these nightstands will create the illusion of more space in your room as well. 

Ottoman Nightstand

Using an ottoman as a nightstand
Via Sweetpea & Willow

This is a great alternative to traditional nightstands if you want a more relaxed look. Ottomans can be used as nightstands, providing both additional seating and storage with the added bonus of being able to move it around as needed or when you’re cleaning. They come in an array of colors and fabrics, making them easy to customize to fit any existing decor. 

Glasstop Nightstands

Glasstop nightstand in a bedroom
Via Novari Interior Design

This is one of my favorite nightstands because of its see-through top, which allows you to store items underneath while keeping them visible. What I find particularly appealing about this design is how the black of the nightstands matches well with the artwork and bedding. I also really like the table lamps positioned on either side of the bed.

Mirror Above Nightstand

small mirror above a three drawer nightstand
Via Meadowbank Homes

This is a great way to add some extra light and reflection into your bedroom. A mirror above the nightstand provides just enough of a reflective surface that it will brighten up any room without making it too overwhelming. Be sure to keep the size in mind when selecting the mirror so as not to overpower the space. If this idea interests you click over to my comprehensive blog post on how to decorate with mirror nightstand ideas.

Side by Side Nightstands

Two small white round nightstands in a kid's bedroom
Via The Designory

You can use this idea of placing a nightstand next to each bed if your kids share a room. This will help create some space between their beds, giving them their own separate area. The nightstands help this bedroom create a great overall aesthetic.

Floating Nightstand

This is great if you’re tight on space and looking for great nightstand ideas, floating shelves might be what you are looking for. Floating nightstands are basically shelves that are attached to the wall. They provide a great solution to lack of space while still giving you enough room for bedside essentials. You can find them in an assortment of colors and designs, allowing you to get creative and match your existing bedroom furniture and decor. Throw some baskets down below for extra storage space without taking up extra floor space.

Mint Nightstand

I rescued this mint nightstand from the side of the road years ago. It’s a small dresser that I used as a nightstand in my bedroom. I absolutely loved the color and it fit in perfectly with my coastal inspired decor. While I had it, it provided lots of storage and it eventually found its way into our living room when we no longer needed it as a nightstand.

DIY Nightstand Ideas

DIY nightstand inspired by Pottery Barn
Via Making Home Base

If you want to save money and have a one-of-a-kind nightstand, consider making one yourself. You can find many helpful tutorials online to guide you through the process. This is a great way to add a personal touch to your bedroom decor without spending too much. I made my own nightstand a few years ago and I loved it. My DIY nightstands were inspired by a pricey version found from a high end home decor site. Believe it or not, this was a relatively easy DIY project and we did it over a weekend.

Shabby Chic Nightstand

Vintage inspired nightstand
Via A Beach Cottage

Shabby chic nightstands are a great way to add some vintage-inspired charm to any bedroom. These nightstands come in an array of different colors, patterns, and styles. They look especially great when paired with white bedding or other furniture pieces. These nightstand would look great in any style of bedroom but especially a coastal or farmhouse designed space.

You could even refurbish an old nightstand and customize the paint color and amount of distressing you want for your rustic nightstand.

Traditional Nightstand

Traditional nightstand in a bedroom
Via Sophie Metz Design

This wouldn’t be a proper round up of nightstand ideas without a traditional white nightstand. This is the design most people think of when they think of a bedroom nightstand. It’s a classic design and can fit in nicely with any design style.

Desk – Nightstand Ideas

Using a desk as a nightstand
Via McGrath II

Like the nightstand table this design multi tasks. This is a great design if you also use your bedroom as a home office in these work from home days. It provides plenty of storage and is a great way to stay organized in your bedroom.

Nightstand Ideas Conclusion

These nightstand ideas are just a few of the many options available to you. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something more eclectic, there is sure to be a style that fits your bedroom perfectly. So, take some time and explore the different designs available and find the perfect one for your home. Hopefully these ideas provided you some inspiration you can use in your design.

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