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Nightstand Before and After

April 26, 2013


One of my favorite design blogs is Style by Emily Henderson. Last month she had a nightstand styling contest for her readers. I didn’t enter the contest, but it got me thinking about the current status of my own nightstand, which wasn’t looking so pretty. I’m talking about numerous hair bands, receipts, remotes, empty hand lotion bottles, etc. Emily totally inspired me to give my nightstand a makeover. And I did not purchase any new items to do it–I went shopping in my own house.

To help get you started, watch Emily’s short video where she styles 3 different nightstands. In the video, she shares a few guidelines for styling nightstands. First, she recommends that your nightstand is roughly the same height as your mattress. When choosing items for your nightstand, you need something with height (usually this will be a lamp), something horizontal (like a tray or stacked books) and something sculptural, quirky or unexpected. Sounds do-able, right?

Check out this post to see some of the pictures from the nightstand styling contest (am I the only one who loves getting a peek at people’s homes?) and this post announcing the 2 winners and more of Emily’s favorite entries (with reasons why she liked them).

Here is my nightstand before and after the styling. I’m not a design expert and this is far from perfect, but it is a nice improvement and a step in the right direction.


The before: tv and lighting remotes, receipt, picture frame, hair bands, empty hand cream, multiple water glasses, alarm and lamp.

Here’s what I did:

1. Removed the tv remotes (I kept the lighting remote), trash, hair bands and switched the picture frame.

2. Added a silver tray, candle and a (perfect!) tulip seashell my husband found on the beach. The tray makes for a great place to put my jewelry that I remove at bedtime. I also added fresh flowers that are in an antique pitcher from my grandma. (I love this blue pitcher!)

Going back to Emily’s guidelines–I’ve got the lamp to give the table some height, the silver tray to ground everything, and the flowers and shell for my sculptural elements. The accents on the table are all meaningful to me. (I know the alarm clock and remote are not very pretty to look at, but they get a lot of use and need to be out.)


nightstand: antique dry sink

lamp and silver tray: Home Goods (neither are recent)

candle: World Market (recent)

blue pitcher: antique (thanks again, Grandma!)

bedding: West Elm sheets and duvet

bed: Crate & Barrel Brighton

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