20 Nightstand Ideas to Try From Traditional to Trendy

white nightstand

Nicole Dianne Photography

Your nightstand should be a place of calm—a gorgeous place to set just a few carefully selected items that you need within arm’s reach in the quiet hours of the night. 

But nightstands also need to be functional, with plenty of drawers to hide those items that aren’t display-ready or shelves to corral your latest stack of Goodreads recommendations. Maybe your bedroom is short on square footage and you need a bedside solution that makes the most of a small space, or perhaps you've decided to use your nightstand as a style statement to draw in color and detail.

Whatever you need in your bedroom, here are twenty of our favorite nightstand ideas, from timeless and traditional bedside tables to clever storage solutions to multitasking furniture for spaces that need to do double duty.

  • 01 of 20

    Use Bedside Bookends

    nightstand with books and bookends

    Nicole Dianne Photography

    “When space is at a premium, we opt for functional sconces rather than lamps on nightstands. Not only does it help get the light closer to where you are reading, but it opens up space to keep your favorite books on your nightstand too, paired with a gorgeous set of bookends,” says Ashley Macuga of Collected Interiors. The bookends are an extra place to add a styled moment.

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  • 02 of 20

    Add a Simple Side Table

    side table as nightstand

    Rikki Snyder

    There are no hard and fast rules about what you can and can't use as a nightstand, and this simple wooden side table makes for beautiful bedside decor in this warm bedroom from Becca Interiors. Its round silhouette is unusual for a nightstand but it works thanks to its smaller scale and practical second shelf.

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  • 03 of 20

    Do Double Duty

    twin beds with nightstand

    Raquel Langworthy

    This eclectic and colorful twin bedroom from Britt Design Studio not only proves that red, green, and pink works outside of the holiday season, it also pushes the boundaries of two design rules: first, you can place furniture in front of a window, and, second, you don't need a separate nightstand for every bed. This functional nightstand with a drawer and a shelf makes the most of this cozy space.

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  • 04 of 20

    Turn a Nightstand Into a Table of Treasures

    low profile nighstand

    Costa Christ Art

    Urbanology Designs created a playful children's room using muted yet funky colors, including olive green, mauve pink, and dark orange. A standard nightstand wouldn't have seemed right, but this low-to-the ground toy chest does the trick—and offers plenty of space on top for treasures.

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  • 05 of 20

    Use a Desk

    desk as nightstand

    Madeline Harper Photography

    A favorite multitasking nightstand idea is using a desk to make the most of a small space. Books, a charging station, a glass of water—there are already so many areas a desk and a nightstand overlap.

    Anastasia Casey of IDCO Studio explains, “In lieu of a traditional nightstand, I love using a desk for a bedside table. With so many people still working from home, having an additional workspace is such a luxury. To balance the desk on the other side, use an oversized table lamp to add visual weight."

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  • 06 of 20

    Style a Boho-Inspired Bedside

    nightstand in a boho room

    Tim Furlong Jr.

    "In my view, a nightstand must have a drawer, a space for books or baskets, and room for a lamp and alarm clock to be functional.  Once those requirements are met, the world is your oyster in terms of style," says Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors. In this space, she used a vintage walnut nightstand to help ground the light and bright boho-style textures of an airy neutral room.

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  • 07 of 20

    Fill It With Joyful Objects

    nightstand with books and clock

    Nicole Dianne Photography

    Ashley Macuga of Collected Interiors explains her bedside thought process: “When styling your nightstands, always begin with an object, picture of piece of art that you love. There is nothing more soothing than ending your day surrounded by objects that give you joy."

    That means you should display your favorite piece of art or splurge on the cut flowers for your nightstand—don't reserve these items for your main living areas. You spend a lot of time in your bedroom, so treat yourself.

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  • 08 of 20

    Go Green

    plant stand nightstand

    Tina Ramchandani

    This green multi-level bedside table resembles a plant stand more than a nightstand—and it has room for a pop of greenery because of the space-efficient sconce hanging behind it. In this eclectic bedroom, Tina Ramchandani Creative combined patterns with saturated color, and the nightstand plays a starring role.

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  • 09 of 20

    Go High and Low

    wood nightstand

    Andi Morse Design

     Andi Morse of Morse Design used a warm, midcentury nightstand with two drawers to contrast the cozy white linens of this bright bedroom. Because the nightstand has a low profile, a tall blue ceramic lamp was brought in to help balance out the visual height.

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  • 10 of 20

    Try Black

    black pedestal nightstand

    Matti Gresham Photography

    This black pedestal nightstand from Urbanology Designs makes a statement by blending into its backdrop. It has a look that's more modern art than bedside table, yet it practically becomes part of the dramatic black wall behind it. A sconce frees up space on top of the nightstand for extra styling.

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  • 11 of 20

    Make Storage Savvy

    three drawer nightstand

    Emily Kennedy Photography

    These petite, three-drawer nightstands are a clever idea in spaces that don't have ample storage. Samantha Struck of StruckSured Interiors explains, "These side tables were selected to provide a landing space for books and found objects, while also providing concealed storage for all cluttered items we like to keep nearby."

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  • 12 of 20

    Go Light and Bright

    white nightstand

    Shannon Friedman Interiors

    A nightstand full of drawers can still feel light and bright. In this bedroom by Shannon Friedman Interiors, a white nightstand with gorgeous trim and shiny brass hardware blends in beautifully with the classic bedding and intentionally styled bedside vignette. A slim profile lamps leave plenty of room for necessities.

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  • 13 of 20

    Try a Minimalist Nightstand

    minimalist nightstand

    Cathie Hong Interiors

    The sleek, minimalist nightstand featured in this Cathie Hong Interiors nightstand is the type of piece that can be used all over the room. It slides up to a sofa or chair perfectly, and has just enough room for your current favorite book and a cup of tea. And, with its barely there lines, it doesn't distract from bold design choices.

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  • 14 of 20

    Turn It Into a Library

    nightstand with books

    Afro Bohemian Living

    This cozy bed from Mani of @afrobohemianliving has a simple stool, without drawers or shelves, as its sculptural bedside table. It has minimal surface space, but it's not the only piece working as a nightstand. The floating shelf is home to a library of books, just an arm's length away.

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  • 15 of 20

    Use a Chest of Drawers

    dresser as nighstand

    Katie Merkle Photography

    When storage is at a premium, a bedside chest of drawers is here to step in. This bedroom from Folding Chair Design breaks up the monotony of two matching nightstands and uses a small chest on one side. When there's no room for a full dresser, this is the perfect spot to store pajamas and comfy clothes.

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  • 16 of 20

    Try a Floating Nightstand

    floating nightstand

    Tina Ramchandani

    A floating nightstand adds a bold look in this bedroom by Tina Ramchandani Creative. In a dark gunmetal gray, it takes on almost a steel-like appearance but, because it's defying gravity, it doesn't appear weighed down. Instead, it provides just enough storage space but keeps the look modern and light.

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  • 17 of 20

    Go Retro With Cane Cabinets

    cane nightstand

    Jacob Snavely Photography

    A double-door cane nightstand is a light, textured foil to the navy bamboo bed in this nautical bedroom by Curated Nest Interiors. Usually nightstands have drawers or shelves, but the double doors give this bedside table a simpler, more minimalist look that seems like a nod to retro record cabinets.

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  • 18 of 20

    Stick With the Classics

    black nightstand

    Pablo Enriquez Photography

    Sometimes you can't do any better than the classics. In this bedroom from GG Interiors, a classic two-drawer nightstand vignette is complete with a ceramic gourd lamp and retro alarm clock. It feels decidedly old school and decidedly perfect.

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  • 19 of 20

    Leave Space for Styling

    white nightstand

    Emily Bolt Photography

    In this Caroline Brackett Studio of Design bedroom, a stunning glass lamp takes up precious real estate on a timeless wicker bedside table. But, by choosing a nightstand with an extra shelf below, there's still extra room for styling with books and beautiful ceramics. Plus, the white nightstand is a welcome neutral against the vibrant accent colors.

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  • 20 of 20

    Put on a Pedestal

    marble nightstand

    Venjhamin Reyes Photography

    This is nightstand as art. Studio London Co. chose a dramatic black and white marble solid pedestal for this moody bedroom's nightstand. There's room for very little on top, but who cares when it looks like it belongs in a gallery? The modern light fixture mimics the shape and stone of the bedside table, creating the perfect sculptural piece.