Bedside Tables Décor & Styling Ideas
While they might feel like rather functional, mundane items, your bedside tables are full of untapped styling potential. As the primary surface in any bedroom, a bedside table is often a catch-all for random bits and bobs that would otherwise clutter up your space – but it doesn’t have to be.
By flipping the script and treating your bedside tables like an opportunity to play with design and show off your personality, you’ll tie the room together in a way that’s uniquely you – and put that clutter to bed for good. Thankfully, our Brosa stylists have come to every newbie designer’s rescue with a bunch of handy hints and tips for making your bedside tables look chic. Let’s explore our favourite bedside table ideas and decor must-haves.
Think about functionality
Before we jump into side table decor, it’s important to lay some ground rules. Ultimately, these nifty little furniture pieces are responsible for stowing away all of your bedroom clutter, and providing an easy surface to use when you’re sitting or lying in bed. So, with that in mind, every choice you make should consider functionality. If a bedside table isn’t practical, it’s defeating its own purpose!
This might mean ensuring you’ve got a nice, wide space to house your must-haves – or that it’s got a cupboard rather than drawers, just for example. Don’t forget to collect or make a list of those non-negotiable items that will have to live on or in your bedside table, like phone chargers, your glasses, a coaster, vitamins, tissues and so on. If you have them all to hand, it’ll make the bedside table styling process ten times easier and more seamless.
Tuck away unsightly items
With this being said, the quickest and most efficient way to kick off this process is putting away as much as possible. If you have lots of bedside table drawer or cupboard space to work with, you might find it effective to group like-minded items into baskets. On the other hand, with limited space, it could just be a matter of working out where things fit best. Anything unsightly that you aren’t using upwards of 30 minutes a day could potentially find a new home, tucked away inside your bedside table rather than taking up valuable space on its surface.
Illuminate your space
With the basics out of the way, the process of arranging items and seeing what fits best can begin. Unless you have a ceiling or wall light directly above your bed, one thing none of us can live without – especially the voracious readers in the room – is a table lamp. Thankfully, bedside table lamps in 2022 are ultra-cute, with a tonne of different options around to suit different styles. Depending on the size of your bedside table, there’s a good chance your lamp will take up lots of valuable real estate, so make sure it’s really reflective of your go-to aesthetic. On an otherwise-plain white bedside table, something striking like the Leo Arc Table Lamp will break up the space (and illuminate it at the same time!).
Tip: If you keep your phone by the bed, a smart bulb will be a killer investment, as they allow you to control the temperature and intensity of your light at the click of a button!
Stack it up
Whether you’re keeping track of your ‘to be read’ pile, or showing off your favourite tomes, books are another fantastic addition to your bedside table decor. They add height when stacked, and provide an opportunity to communicate your colour scheme. Bright, funky books are always an eye-catching choice on a bedside table, even in a relatively monochromatic or achromatic bedroom, as they introduce lots of different hues in a subtle way. Grab a few books and stack them on top of each other in size order. Once you’re done, you might choose to collect a few other items atop the final book to emphasise another facet of your styling.
Bring the outside in
Every bedside table will look immeasurably more gorgeous with a vase of blooms or a fun potted plant on its surface. If you’re going the flowers route, you’ll want to consider longevity – if you’re not prepared to buy a new bunch every week, perhaps dried or fake flowers are a good alternative. Select a vase that highlights an accent colour in your space, and don’t be afraid to play with texture. For the plant lovers, pick something that suits the light in your room, and is compact enough to sit comfortably on your bedside table. Once again, this is a great opportunity to mix it up with texture or colour – the world (or the pot plant, perhaps) is your oyster.
Collect your favourite items
Your bedside table is one of the first things you’ll lay eyes on of a morning, so it should be packed full of your favourite things, perhaps to remind you of the good things in life. Curate a few items to add to the decor that are sentimental or make you happy, such as photo frames featuring your loved ones, trinkets collected on holiday, heirlooms, or even just homewares pieces in colours you gravitate towards. By adding this little piece of ‘you’, your bedside table will stand out in the space, and make your bedroom truly feel like home.
One of our favourite side table decor ideas is to hark back to bygone eras with a retro item that’ll scream mid century modern. If you tend to rely on your smartphone or watch to tell you the time, why not pick up an inexpensive yet fun analogue alarm clock? They’re old school in the best of ways, and are still relatively practical – although they’ve got nothing on your iPhone, they do the job just fine. This also provides an opportunity to play with varying typographies, especially if you’re using a book stack as part of your styling efforts
Keep it minimal
Something we’d urge everyone to consider is taking a pared-back approach to the bedside table. After all, these pieces aren’t just a styling opportunity, but also have myriad functional uses in daily life, so should be kept relatively clear so as not to impede easy use. If you’re all about the minimalist look like we are, try to limit your decor pieces to three to four key items. Then, this will ensure you’ve got space to play with as necessary. To keep with the theme, you might also like to select a bedside table with a minimalist Scandinavian design, in a light wood with a sleek, simple frame.
Depending on how much space you’ve got available, you might also like to include an item or two that will enhance the room’s ambience, such as a candle or diffuser. Reed diffusers are a quick and fuss-free way to permeate the bedroom with a lovely scent of your choosing, whereas candles definitely contribute to the calming mood when lit. If you prefer something automated, an essential oil diffuser is a fantastic investment
Mix and match
A bedside table styling idea we love is breaking the symmetry that’s often expected in the bedroom, and instead, choosing to mix it up a bit. Pick two complementary yet ultimately different bedside tables for an edgy look. You’ll be able to switch up your choice of bedside table to suit your style, pairing two rustic wooden bedside tables in different designs for a cool coastal look, or mixing a black bedside table with a glass alternative to stay in a modern contemporary lane.
Go big or go home
Ever lamented that your bedside table just doesn’t provide enough space or surface area? Well, if your bedroom permits, there’s always the option of going a little bigger with your bedside table. Oversized pieces look great in larger rooms, and increase the potential for beautiful styling that’ll ultimately help establish your atmosphere of choice. You might decide to opt for a living room side table to increase your space – keeping in mind that not all of these have drawers. A storage-filled alternative is a narrow ‘lowboy’ dresser.
Include pops of colour
Finally, use your bedside tables to reinforce your bedroom’s colour palette, including your accent hues. While some might choose to do this through styling elements, we also encourage taking things a little further, and selecting a brightly-coloured bedside table. This will be a fun and whimsical centrepiece, especially alongside a more understated bed.
While bedside tables are just one element in your bedroom, they’re very crucial to how you use and navigate your space effectively – so it’s worth taking some time to get it right both practically and stylistically. Layer your favourite elements, including books, flowers and plants, lighting, and personal trinkets, to create bedside tables that feel warm, welcoming, and truly ‘you’. Shop our range of bedside tables and decor to get started.