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How to Style Your Bedside Table for Function and Flair

Your bedside table says a lot about what you deem a daily essential. Here’s how to tell the right story

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By House & Garden South Africa | July 2, 2024 | Design

The last thing we see before we go to sleep is the first thing we see upon waking up. That’s why ensuring your bedside table (or night stand) is home to a few daily essentials, mindful reminders, and objects that inspire a sense of regular beauty amongst the mundane.

With that being said, it takes a certain eye to answer the question ‘how to style night stands or a small bedside table?’ Our modus operandi for bedside table styling is simple: Keep your essentials close and your trinkets closer. But the best part about styling your bedside table is the ease of change: Don’t like a cluttered bedside table? Clean it up! You’d prefer to have your family heirlooms close instead of a table lamp? unplug the lamp and keep that special piece centre stage.

There are also different options when choosing which bedside table works best for your space: Cabinet bedside table; open-shape; shaker style; baroque drawers, or commit to a floating bedside table (like the 1887 Bedside Table from local makers Pedersen Lennard).

The 1887 Bedside Table from local makers Pedersen Lennard. Image: Supplied.

Here are a few styles to consider in a wonderfully curated bedside table:

Keep Things to a Bare Minimum

Keeping your bedside table to the bare minimum may sound counter to the act of styling this liminal spot, but it provides the opportunity to play with striking a balance between personal and practical. As seen in this bedroom by Rowen and Wren below, this night stand with contrasting colours, but stark silhouettes checks all the boxes: Lighting, decor achieved through a planter, and personal touches with vintage books, a framed picture, and wicker jewel box.

Image courtesy of Rowen and Wren.

Opt for a Mobile Trolley Over a Table

If you are on the look out for a bedside table that has the ability to shape shift into another item of furniture, few options are as versatile as a playful trolley. We love trolleys from Danish brand HAY, who managed to make the humble drinks trolley a sturdy, modular piece of furniture that transcends its usual role as a drinks carrier.

To style a bedside trolley table, consider using magazines to add height, colour, and character, and use bowls to compartmentalise personal and practical objects. This makes a good system for ensuring all of your daily goods can be found in one place. Add a bowl for your keys, wallet, and glasses and another for small jewellery, tiny trinkets, and watches.

A bedside trolley below a suspended pendant lamp. Photography by Klaus L Moeller.

Forgo a Bedside Lamp for a Bedside Plant

While there are a plethora of studies proving the positive impacts of introducing plants into your home let alone your bedroom, but there is something to be said about waking up to a living plant that motivates you to get up everyday. By adding a small plant to your night stand, you help your body release serotonin, making sleeping and waking up everyday better!

Image courtesy of Rowen and Wren.

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