Sunday, October 2, 2016

28 UHeart Organizing: Nightstand Styling Tips

The last time Karen stopped by, she shared some of her "no fail" bookshelf styling tips, and they were quite popular with many of you. It seems that you all liked to hear about specific styling formulas, even if they just act as a starting point to jump from. It's nice to have a baseline of ideas and tips, and then utilize your personal style and eye to take things to a place that feels just right for you.

Because she received such great feedback last time, she is stopping by again today to share another quick and easy step-by-step method any of us can utilize; this time for our nightstands. We all have them, and I find that mine is always turning into a drop zone that I am re-styling and re-organizing frequently. Once again, I am inspired to go give the surface some fresh breathing room, and after checking out Karen's tips, hopefully you will feel the same.



Hello lovely iHeart readers! It's always a pleasure to visit and chat with you about all things organized and pretty. Today I wanted to follow on from my previous post about how to style a bookshelf, and give you some tips for styling a bedside table.

I recently did a makeover of my master bedroom in seven days. It went from being an incredibly plain and drab room, to a light and serene space filled with colors and objects I love. (In case you couldn't tell, my favorite color is aqua. And this is the first time I've really indulged that love. Now I'm wondering why I waited so long!)


I styled my bedside tables simply. That's because in good design, form (looks) should always follow function. Bedside tables have some key functions in the bedroom. Here's how to make them both practical and pretty.



START WITH A LAMP

The first element of functional design to consider is your lighting. A bedside table needs a lamp! Lamps create a soft glow that is much more relaxing and inviting than those harsh overhead lights. I rarely ever turn my overhead lights on in the bedroom. I much prefer the warm ambience of lamplight.

A lamp is a chance to make a real decorative statement. For this room I chose curvy glass bases that have a traditional, almost art deco feel. The colour is so pretty, especially set against the fresh white of the bedside tables and mirror.



VARY THE HEIGHT OF OBJECTS

It's important to consider height. You don't want to add a second object that's exactly the same height as your lamp, or your eye won't know where to look. Instead, vary it by including objects that are tall, medium and short.



ANCHOR WITH ART

Next, think about anchoring all the objects on the bedside table by placing a piece of artwork or mirror behind them. This creates depth by drawing your eye to the back. It also helps unify everything in front of it; they all become a part of one story, instead of looking like separate objects plonked down beside each other.

You can simply lean your artwork, or hang it low. Don't worry about obscuring part of the picture. Choose something simple or abstract enough that it doesn't matter.



ADD A JEWELRY RECEPTACLE

It's a good idea to give yourself a place to store earrings or other jewelry that you take off as you get into bed. I used a pretty carved wooden box to keep my surface clutter-free.

Everything I used to style these bedside tables, I already had around the house. What do you have that could be repurposed to hold trinkets? What about a pretty glass dish from the china cabinet? A teacup? A tea-light holder?



INCLUDE A NATURAL ELEMENT

Try adding something organic. It could be a succulent, a small air plant, a potted orchid, greens clipped from your yard or some fresh flowers in a jar. There's something about a natural element that brings a sense of softness to hard edges and breathes life into a space.



LEAVE NEGATIVE SPACE

The bedside table is a much-used space, and I don't want mine filled with clutter. I want to have room to put a glass of wine there if I'm reading in bed (now that sounds heavenly, and believe me, does not happen often enough), and a place to lay my book down when I'm done. I need room to charge my phone and a place to put the baby monitor at night.

So as you add decorative objects, make sure you also leave some negative space. All that means is space without anything in it.


Let's take a look at my last Master bedroom, which had a totally different feel. See if you can pick how I used those tips:


Here are those tips again, if you'd like to see the list all together. And remember, they're just tips; not hard-and-fast rules. However, they're a good place to start if you feel like you need a helping hand.
  1. Start with a lamp
  2. Vary the height of objects
  3. Anchor it with an artwork/mirror (either leaning, or hung low on the wall)
  4. Add a receptacle to hold earrings or jewelry
  5. Include a natural element
  6. Leave some negative space

Simple, right? Decorating doesn't have to be complicated. I hope you find those tips helpful as you style your own bedside tables. And if you want more down-to-earth decorating advice, take a look at the free course I'm offering that teaches the simple step-by-step process used by decorators the world over to create beautiful homes. It's easier than you think!

Thanks for having me, Jen! Wishing you all a house full of sunshine!


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Hi friends, I’m Karen from A House Full of Sunshine. Do you see that grin I can’t wipe off my face? That’s how thrilled I am to be here! I live in Australia where I’m blessed to be a stay-home mummy to my three little people. I’m also a part-time interior decorator and a former teacher of Creative Arts. Basically, I’m happiest when I’m squeezing every drop of creativity out of life – whether that means decorating a room, inventing a fun new activity to do with the kids, thinking up pretty organizing solutions or putting together a DIY project. I believe life is meant to be beautiful, and home is an expression of the heart. My blog, A house full of sunshine, is the place where I share my adventures in creative home-making with kids. The coffee’s on and the welcome mat is out – I’d love to see you there!

28 comments:

  1. Thanks Karen! I was just roaming around my bedroom and half staring at my nightstands thinking "blah, so boring." Can't wait to use your tips to amp up the space a bit.

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    1. Awesome, Peggy, so glad you're feeling inspired! xo

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  2. So pretty! I love the jewelry box and the aqua!

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    1. Thank you Emily! <3 It's fun having a pretty space filled with the colours I love best! xo

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  3. Love these ideas. My delimma is that my bedroom is small. Between two windows & three doors plus the size of the room it's difficult to arrange. I have my bed angled in a corner between the two windows & have room for only a small round table on one side. I occasionally browse Pinterest looking for ideas on how to improve it but I rarely find a room with the bed angled the way I have mine.

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    1. I don't have room for a nightstand/bedside table so I bought some cube boxes (basically boxes with no top or bottom) and I put these on the wall by my bed. I have my reading glasses in a little pouch on a cup hook screwed into the corner of one cube, my reading book goes inside.
      A picture stands on the top of the middle one and inside are my night time meds. The last one has a small clock on top and a small vase with flowers.
      My light is clipped onto my headboard so I can read at night.
      In my old home I used zig zag shelving instead of cubes.
      Hope this gives you new ideas for your dilemma Jenny.
      Best wishes, Lucy ~ England

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    2. Lovely colour and the lamp is a gorgeous shape.

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    3. I love those ideas, Lucy. And thank you for those kind words!

      Jenny, it does sound like a tricky layout to work with, but I think using a round table like you've done sounds like a good solution. Circles fit in spaces where squares just don't. You may also be able to use a wall sconce instead of a lamp to save some space on that table. Good luck with it! xo

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  4. My night stand is currently super functional, but I think that even just adding some greenery in there might make it a bit more attractive - thanks for the advice!

    - Natalie
    www.workovereasy.com

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    1. You're so welcome, Natalie! It's amazing how much difference a little bit of nature can make in a room. xo

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  5. Thanks for all the great explanations about why you chose those objects. I didn't know you needed to vary the height of things on the nightstand. I'll have to look at mine and see if I did that. I also like the idea of negative space because I need a place to set my cell phone.

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    1. You're welcome Brenda, I'm so glad you found this helpful! xo

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  6. We're (slowly) working on a bedroom refresh and this is so helpful!!

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    1. So glad to hear that, Diana! All the best with the room refresh! xo

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  7. I love the way they look (minus the leaning art trend, I hate that!) butwhenever I try it I just get annoyed with having too much stuff! Now I have a lamp and a very small dish, thats it!

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    1. Sure, the leaning look is not for everyone. (I like it because I'm lazy, lol.) You can get the same effect by hanging an artwork low on the wall, which saves you space on your nightstand as well. And yes - I'm all for less clutter! Function first. You may even find you like using a wall sconce or hanging pendant instead of a lamp, to keep your surfaces really streamlined.

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  8. I adore Karen's style and I LOVE those lamps!

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  9. Love your bedroom and absolutely agree with your tips. Thanks!:)

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  10. Great ideas! I just love your nightstands. Where did you purchase those?

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  11. That lamp is gorgeous! It really adds to the room :) xo

    www.studentpaperie.co.uk

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  12. My heart just melted when I saw this room! I want my room to look like this. You make it look so sophisticated. Where did you buy all these? xo

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  13. Function over looks. How in the world to people style a night stand and don't have a clock or box of Kleenex!! Oh I know...they aren't pretty...but function over looks, right? Except when you are taking pics for a blog!

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    1. Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for your comment but that's not necessarily the case. I use my cell phone as my clock (and I don't know many people who use traditional clocks next to their beds any longer), and keep my tissues in a nightstand drawer to reduce clutter on the stand itself. No need to be upset, these are just some friendly and helpful ideas. :)

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