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18 Clever Nightstand Ideas To Upgrade Any Bedroom

nightstand ideas

 Modernly You

Decorating a bedroom is exciting—it's the place you'll likely spend the most time, and turning it into a serene sanctuary befitting your unique personal style is pretty fun. But there's something about nightstands that just seem a little...uninspired. Boxy, generic-looking, and nowhere near as chic and clever as the other fixings in our boudoirs, we find ourselves putting off that final purchase far longer than is appropriate.

Contrary to our humdrum perception of nightstands, some crafty homeowners and deft designers have us looking at these bedside workhorses in a new way. Whether they're utilizing atypical furniture pieces in place of traditional nightstands, or are mixing up the classic pair of matching pieces with something a little more eclectic, these spaces prove that nightstands don't have to be purely practical.

01 of 18

Pull Double Duty

nightstand ideas

 Rikki Snyder

This tree-shaped shelf makes clever use of space between two beds in a children's room—and gets items up off the floor in one fell swoop. (Plus, its two-sided style encourages sharing—a good thing in any family setting.)

02 of 18

Add Floating Shelves

nightstand ideas

Ashley Webb Interiors

Bookworms, this one's for you. Add some whimsy to your bedtime routine with these floating book stacks in place of traditional nightstands—not only will they encourage you to get more reading done, but they're a great way to display your favorite titles.

03 of 18

Bring in Both

nightstand idea

Bespoke Only

While this space *technically* makes use of traditional nightstands as well, we're kind of obsessed with the idea of using a built-in alcove or inlet as a substitute nightstand (if you're lucky enough to have those types of architectural details at home—or can fake 'em).

04 of 18

Repurpose a Pouf

bedroom nightstand ideas - pouf

Design: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Sometimes all you need is a little pouf, and—poof!—your bedside situation is complete. A boho-inspired textile option adds texture (and a place to set a tray with a few essentials) to even the most petite space.

05 of 18

Think Geometrically

nightstand ideas

 Coco Lapine

True minimalists will swoon over this sculptural, statement-making take on a bedside table. A breathtaking block of (faux) marble creates the perfect contrast between soft and stony in this plush bedroom—and provides a great backdrop for snapping Instagram pics, of course.

06 of 18

Think Monochromatically

nightstand ideas

 Devon Grace Interiors

Look again—this trompe l'oeil nightstand isn't actually floating, but its sleek metal base disappears against artfully gradient-painted walls, adding a feeling of levity to this distinctive, charcoal-hued bedroom.

When working in a small or darkly colored space, items that have thinner legs or are suspended on a metal frame, like this one, can keep the room from feeling overly crowded or "heavy".

07 of 18

Bring in a Drum Shape

nightstand ideas

Gold A La Mode

"Drum"-style accent tables are more common than ever these days—we've even snagged a few in the outdoor section of our favorite big box stores. While they don't offer much in terms of hidden storage, they're a great (and often super-affordable) way to add texture, dimension and unique materials to your space. Try propping a few in a guest room, where side-table storage isn't such a priority.

08 of 18

Choose a Statement-Maker

nightstand ideas

 Katherine Carter

Just because they're called "side tables," doesn't mean they have to play second fiddle. Picking brightly colored nightstands (or doing some DIY and painting them yourself) adds an unexpected, playful pop of color that brightens up the whole space. The finishing touch for putting side-tables center-stage? Statement lighting hung dramatically overhead—now they're ready for their close-up.

09 of 18

Mix and Match Furniture

nightstand ideas

 Katie Hackworth

Forget the age-old rule that beds must be flanked by matching nightstands—a more eclectic look is in. This stately bedroom makes use of a vintage-looking square chest in lieu of the traditional pairing—and we love the character it adds.

10 of 18

Use a Chair Instead

nightstand ideas

Katie Hodges


For single-occupant bedrooms (like children's rooms), there's really no need for two nightstands. Replace one with a chair to create a perfect perch for laying out the next day's clothes, or reading a book before bed.

11 of 18

Bring in Baskets

nightstand ideas

Katie Martinez

When it comes to side tables that don't offer much in the way of discreet storage, baskets are a bedside's best friend. Tuck a unique oversized option underneath or in a cubby to quickly conceal books, blankets, and odds-and-ends (without kicking your existing nightstand to the curb).

12 of 18

Add a Touch of DIY

nightstand ideas

 Modernly You

Natural leather drawer pulls are one of our favorite five-minute DIYs for upgrading a simple piece of furniture. Even the most simple and understated side table looks great when you swap out standard hardware for this unique artisan-style accent.

13 of 18

Welcome in Nature

nightstand ideas

No Longer Wander

Channel a natural, boho-chic look by using a tree stump as a bedside table. The bark-stripped surface can be painted or washed in subtle color (like this white version) to mix with your decor and show off the natural character of the wood.

14 of 18

Choose an Armoire Instead

nightstand ideas

Reagen Taylor

Short on space? A nightstand doesn't always have to be an *actual* nightstand. A chest of drawers, dresser, or even desk placed by the bedside saves square footage and works just as well for resting a few nighttime necessities.

15 of 18

Be Smart About Storage

nightstand ideas

 Reena Sotropa

We're all in favor of using wall shelving to add to or augment side-table storage. In this tight space, only one nightstand with drawers could fit—so some additional room for your most reached-for essentials was a necessity. Try playing around with this idea by using a single hanging shelf at nightstand-height, in place of a piece of furniture, too.

16 of 18

Use Vertical Space

nightstand ideas

 Rikki Snyder

Wall-mounted nightstands are the epitome of cool. Not only do they let you vacuum underneath with ease (a major life-saver for anyone with pets...), but they epitomize a sleek, midcentury-tinged aesthetic that we love. (Best of all, you can combine them with our aforementioned basket trick.)

17 of 18

Build It In

nightstand ideas

 Whittney Parkinson Design

Two surfaces are better than one. A refined wall of built-ins joins forces with an old-school folding camp chair to create space for anything a nightstand would normally hold. (We love the clever task lighting extending from the shelves, too.)

18 of 18

Consider a Headboard Meets Nightstand

nightstand ideas

 Design: Brady Tolbert for EHD, Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Headboards with built-in nightstands are back in a big way...and we're *so* not mad about it. While this style is a throwback to midcentury trends, this version is actually a DIY (color us impressed). Whether you opt to ambitiously try it yourself, or just purchase a pre-made headboard with built-in shelving or drawers, we think this statement-making style adds major panache to any bedroom.