5 tips to style your bedside table like a pro

Blend personality with practicality.
Contemporary bedroom with upholstered bed head, neutral sheets and vase of tulips on the bedside table.Photography: John Downs | Style: Carlene Duffy

You can colour drench the walls of your bedroom and splash out on expensive European linen, but if your bedside tables are a mess of cords, a growing collection of half-empty glasses and a mountainous ‘to be read’ pile it can bring the look of the entire room down. It’s time to style your bedside tables like a pro, so take everything off, dust the surface with a damp microfibre cloth and take a step back to consider the blank canvas. 

The key is to create a bedside table that works with your routine and looks pretty. No matter what your evening wind-down routine looks like, this guide will help you create a personality-filled nightstand where everything is organised and has a place.

1. Light it right

Bedside lamps are both a functional piece of furniture and an opportunity to make a statement or inject a new texture into your bedroom. Pick a lamp that makes a statement such as something that has graphic print, a textured shade or an interesting shape.

A bright cottage-style guest bedroom with a vintage quilt.
(Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

2. Hang some art

Think beyond the box of the nightstand itself and consider adding an artwork, mirror or print to the wall behind it. It can help zone the bedside within the room, as well as bring a pop of unexpected colour into the space.

Lakeside New Zealand Home Bedside Table 3
(Credit: Photography & styling: Nicki Dobrzynski)

3. Tidy up with trays

What might look like a haphazard mess strewn across your tabletop can look like a thoughtfully curated selection of products if you simply arrange them all on a single tray. There’s an endless variety of trays available these days, from brass and gold to glass, marble and perforated metal, and most are at affordable price points.

Pick one up and arrange your things on top of it and watch how it magically makes your nightstand feel organised rather than messy.


Valet tray nightstand organiser

From $59, Gifts Australia

Prevent the surface of the bedside table from accumulating clutter by keeping everything organised in this simple but stylish valet tray. It has a spot for everything, including a phone, jewellery, glasses and more. Made from vegan leather with suede-feel lined interior. 


Indulgence stainless steel tray

From $330, Georg Jensen

Chrome is making its way back into our homes, and incorporating small touches of this shiny metal in unexpected places is the key to pulling off the look successfully. The ‘Indulgence’ tray by Georg Jensen will illuminate your bedside table and keep oft-used items together and in view. 


Heritage walnut look serving tray

From $69.95, Myer

If you’re the type that likes to keep a glass of water by your bed but struggle with taking said glasses back to the kitchen to be cleaned, a tray will help. The handles on this walnut-look tray will allow you to carry a carafe and glass back to the kitchen each morning and will also help contain any middle-the-night spillages that may occur. 

4. Add greenery

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a tiny succulent, a vase of flowers or a fully grown indoor houseplant, just add some greenery to your bedside table. It’ll feel fresh and instantly chic.

contemporary bedroom with white upholstered bedhead
(Credit: John Downs)

5. Set the mood

A bedroom isn’t complete without a scented candle or diffuser, a pile of your favourite books and a luxe hand cream. Rather than trying to hide them away in a drawer or trying to remember to put them elsewhere, work your books and candles into the styling of your bedside table.

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