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Rest Assured: A Guide to Finding the Perfect Bedside Table

While a bed is probably the most important component of your bedroom’s design, nightstands are a close second in crucial bedroom furniture. They add an element of both style and practicality to your space. But they definitely aren’t one-size-fits. Nightstands and bed frames come in all sizes, shapes, and styles, which makes finding the perfect pairing a bit difficult—not to mention time-consuming!

But don’t worry. We’re here to help! With Modsy 3D online design, you can try on different nightstands of all shapes, sizes, and styles. And our designers are pros at guiding you on the best options for your space and needs, so you can feel confident in what you choose.

But there are also some great considerations and rules of thumb to keep in mind which can help you in the process. Read on for our complete nightstand guide to help you choose the right bedside table for your space.

nightstand guideEarly Considerations

One of the first things to consider on your quest for the right nightstand is deciding how many you want—one or two. Most bedrooms have two, especially if two people share the bed, so each person has a surface for a light and anything they want to keep nearby. But remember—they don’t have to be a matching set. For couples with different styles or different needs from a nightstand, you can go for mismatched nightstands.

The size of your room will help dictate how many nightstands to include. While you want your nightstands to work for your needs, you won’t want to go for a pair only to have it overwhelm the space and make the room feel nonfunctional.

If one side of your bed is flush against the wall (common in kids rooms or smaller spaces) or if it’s just you in your room, you can definitely get by with just one nightstand.

campaign style nightstnadTypes of Nightstands

The next thing to consider is what type of nightstand you’d like. There are many different sizes and styles—from a traditional nightstand to a simple side table, a bedside chest, or even small dressers or a wall-mounted bookshelf for a 2-in-1 piece of furniture! It all depends on what you need from your nightstand. For a deep dive on styles and what you need, check out our full guide on different types of nightstands.

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nightstand size guideNightstand Sizes

Nightstand dimensions are another important consideration. You want one whose scale fits within your bedroom and that’s proportionate to your bed frame. This means thinking through the height and the overall size of any given bedside table. An easy rule of thumb when choosing nightstand height? Find one that’s around the same height as the top of your mattress.

Keep reading for a brief nightstand size guide, with a few specifics on how to choose a nightstand that suits different bed heights.

If you have a low bed…

The top of your mattress will usually measure around 18-22 inches off the ground. You’ll want to look for a nightstand that’s similarly low-profile, at around 16-18 inches tall.

Stylist Tip: If you can’t find a low nightstand that you love, you could try a bedside table alternative, like a stool, a short side table, or even a mini ottoman.

bedside table

If you have a medium-height bed…

It’s probably about 22.5-25.5 inches from the ground to the top of the mattress (25 inches is typical for most standard beds). Choose a nightstand that’s approximately 23.5 inches high for the perfect fit.

Stylist Tip: Choosing a nightstand style with an open base is a great way to help keep the bedside feeling open and spacious.

bedside table

If you have a tall bed…

You’re looking at a bed where the top of the mattress is 30-33.5 inches off the ground. This means you’ll want a tall nightstand, too—one that’s at least 28 inches tall, or even taller to ensure that it’s easy to reach to grab something from your nightstand.

Stylist Tip: Tall beds, as well as king-size beds, are pretty substantial in scale, so you can even pair them with a small dresser, instead of a typical bedside table, for added storage.

wood nightstandNightstand Materials

Once you’ve landed on how many nightstands to include in your room, what type of table you’re looking for, and what size suits your bed frame, you can move onto more stylistic choices—the first of which is the material. There are a ton of nightstand materials out there, and this goes hand-in-hand with the style of your nightstand (which we’ll cover next) and the overall style of your bedroom.

Wood is the most common material used in bedside tables. While they require a bit of care (you’ll want to make sure you use coasters!) they can add rich texture and color to your space.

Other popular nightstand materials include metal (for a more industrial look), glass (for something more contemporary or glam), stone (like concrete or marble), wood laminate, or even acrylic.

The material you choose all depends on the look you want to achieve. It’s important to ask yourself if you want it to match your other furniture or create some contrast in your space. It’s also worth considering how easy it is to clean. For example, glass is easy to wipe down, but it also shows smudges and dust really easily. And if you like to rearrange or are a renter and move every year, it’s worth considering how heavy it is.

nightstand stylesNightstand Style

As we mentioned, nightstand styles go hand-in-hand with the materials. And there are a lot of styles out there! And don’t worry—there’s a nightstand out there for every interior design style. So, whether you’re a mid-century modern lover, gravitate toward glam, or can’t get enough of industrial style, there’s a nightstand to suit the look! Do a deep dive into nightstands that go with every style by reading our guide to nightstand styles.

earth tone bedroom with woven baskets above upholstered bedOther Considerations

Here are a few final important things to consider for your new nightstand or bedside table!

carved wood bedside table next to cloth headboard bedStorage Space

Other things to consider? Your storage and surface area needs. If you want to use your nightstand as another piece of storage in your bedroom, look for a nightstand with drawers or cabinets. This not only gives you the space you need—but it also allows you to close a drawer or door to hide any clutter! You could even opt for a small dresser instead of a nightstand for more storage, or if you have a small room and don’t have room for both.

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nightstand guideSurface Area

When it comes to surface area, consider what you’ll place on top of your nightstand. If you like to keep a collection of objects and necessities on your nightstand—from a table lamp and alarm clock to a pile of books, a glass of water, fresh flowers, and framed photos—you’ll want to opt for a larger table. But if your room is smaller, you’d rather have more floor space, or you prefer a clean and minimal tabletop, go for a smaller nightstand.

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victorian bedroom with black spindle canopy bedNightstand Alternatives

Finally, ask yourself: Do you even want a nightstand? There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to bedroom design ideas! While you probably want some sort of surface at your bedside, there are plenty of nontraditional routes you can take. You can find some of our favorite nightstand alternatives, full of ideas on what to try instead!

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Our Best Tips For Decorating Around A Canopy Bed

The ultimate bedroom luxury, canopy beds are gorgeous statement pieces that take any style space to the next level. They’re large-scale pieces, so they’re ideal in a spacious master bedroom or a guestroom. But even in large spaces, canopy beds can be tricky to design around given how much height and room they occupy.

If you’re looking for canopy bed ideas for your bedroom, first decide on the style you want. There’s a wide range of canopy bed frames available, from ones made with wrought iron to solid wood pieces. You’ll also want to think about whether or not you’ll hang fabric curtains with your frame, which can influence the look and feel of the canopy bed style you choose. From there, you can move on to the interior design part and start thinking about the canopy bed decor you want above and around it.

To help guide you along, we rounded up our best tips for decorating around a canopy bed. We’re here to help make your adult canopy bed dreams come true! Read on to find our answers to some of the most common design dilemmas with canopy beds.

Still not sure if a canopy bed is for you? See what the pros and cons are in our bed frame buying guide and get inspiration for layouts from our gallery for bedroom design ideas.

How do I lay out a bedroom with a canopy bed?

Generally, you can arrange your canopy bed in the bedroom just as you would any other bed frame type—against the largest wall, between windows, tucked away in a corner, etc.

Just be sure to pay extra attention to height with canopy beds. If you have a low or slanted ceiling, consider placing your bed under the highest ceiling point, or you can opt for a bed with shorter posts.

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Here are two easy layout ideas to try:

Layout Tip #1: Centered In The Room

Canopy beds put emphasis on the symmetry and balance of your space, so if you’re not sure how to set up your bedroom, we always recommend this classic layout approach.

You’ll want to center your canopy bed along largest wall and keep the headboard against it. This gives you an easy foundation to arrange the rest of your bedroom furnishings. Go for pairs of furnishings, from armchairs for the foot of the bed right down to matching table lamps and pillows. It will play out a symmetrical look, but it also makes for a layout that’s sophisticated, functional, and perfect for a master bedroom.

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Layout Tip #2: Floating Off A Wall

If you have the space in your bedroom, you can have a little more fun with your canopy bed placement. A chic layout approach is to have your canopy bed floating off the wall.

Floating simply means placing your bed away from the walls—either in the center of your bedroom or at an angle for a more dramatic effect. One of our favorite ways to add even more drama to canopy beds is to give them curtains. If you happen to have floor-to-ceiling bedroom windows, floating a canopy bed with sheer curtains (or just any light, opaque fabric) near them will give the bed a luminous look and make your space feel like a luxurious hotel suite.

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adult canopy bed

How do I choose nightstands to go with a canopy bed?

This is a frequently asked question and understandably so! It can be hard to find the right bedside table when it comes to canopy beds given their towering scale.

The good news is that it’s pretty much the same as looking for nightstands with any other bed frame. Size, shape, and material all are factors at play. But there is one design rule of thumb: Go with matching nightstands or don’t have nightstands at all. Mismatched bedside tables have no place in a bedroom with a canopy bed because it throws off the visual balance.

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Here are two great tips for finding nightstands for your canopy bed:

adult canopy bed

Nightstand Tip #1: Choose By Size

As with any bed, choosing the right height nightstand is probably one of the first and most important factors to consider. This will vary depending on the size of your canopy bed.

For starters, remember this golden rule: Your nightstand should be equal height or a few inches lower than the top of your mattress. Also, your nightstands should be substantial in size and proportional with the size of your canopy bed. Because canopy beds are so large and tall, you want bedside tables that don’t look puny next to them.

We often suggest solid nightstands as opposed to open styles to visually balance out the large open canopy frame—especially if you’re going with a more sculptural design, like an arched wrought-iron bed.

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eclectic bedroom with modern canopy bed

Nightstand Tip #2: Match Materials

An alternative approach is to tie your canopy bed frame and nightstands together visually based on common materials or finishes. This is perfect for canopy beds that feature unique materials and details.

Here, the canopy bed has a black frame and brass accents and nighstands were chosen to match that aesthetic. This is a great way to create a more polished and cohesive look in the bedroom since the matching materials will make the bed and nightstands feel like a set.

Another way to connect materials is if you’ve decided to hang curtains with your canopy bed. Depending on the fabric you choose, you can pick your nightstands based on the color and texture of the material. For instance, a blue fabric might inspire you to go with bedside tables that have painted blue drawers or knobs.

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How do I hang art over a canopy bed?

This is another frequently asked question we get about canopy beds! Hanging art above a canopy bed will create an instant focal point in the bedroom, but it’s more tricky than a normal bed since it has to be placed just right. If not, your entire bedroom will look off-center.

The good thing is that you do have a defined and contained space to work with. Try to think of the bedposts as a picture frame for the art you’re hanging. There are a few approaches you can take.

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Here are two ways to mix art with canopy beds:

monochromatic green bedroom

Art Tip #1: Framed Focal Point

The easiest way is to center art between the back posts of a canopy bed. This does two things. First, it turns the area above the bed into an instant focal point in the bedroom; second, the art acts as a makeshift decorative headboard. This is a more formal way to showcase artwork, so it’s ideal for any master bedroom.

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Art Tip #2: Spanning Art Wall

For canopy beds that don’t have a boxy frame, you can, well, go outside the box. Hang a series of art pieces extends from inside the bedposts to the outside of them, so that the works span across the wall behind the canopy bed. This creates a dramatic gallery wall effect in the bedroom that feels less formal but is nonetheless captivating. If you need some bedroom art inspiration, check out this awesome list of ideas for what to hang on the wall above your bed.

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How do I add lighting around a canopy bed?

There are a few ways to do this. First, consider the type of lighting you need: Is it one overhead light above your canopy bed? Or do you want something more ambient? Or is it directional/task lighting that’s missing in your bedroom? No matter the lighting, it’s an essential interior design element to consider when decorating around canopy beds.

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Here are a few tips on incorporating different lighting sources:

Lighting Tip #1: A Central Chandelier

The great thing about canopy beds and chandeliers is that they’re practically made for each other—they both add a sophisticated and elevated look to the bedroom. If you love the idea of one statement hanging light in the master bedroom, center it over your canopy bed for a bold and balanced feel. Just make sure the chandelier doesn’t hang too low—at or just above your canopy bed top is an ideal level.

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adult canopy bed

Lighting Tip #2: Flanking Sconces

Sconces, like canopy beds, draw the eye up in a bedroom and emphasize symmetry. A pair of sconces above nightstands flanking your canopy bed are highly functional. They free up surface area on your nightstands and they also serve as practical reading lights. If you’re adding fabric curtains, consider mounting sconces inside the back posts of your canopy bed.

With sconces, you also don’t have to match them to your canopy bed. In fact, sconces that contrast with the bed’s material will help add depth and interest to your bedroom.

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Lighting Tip # 3: Bedside Table Lamps

The most traditional bedroom lighting option is table lamps. With canopy beds, we recommend two of the matching lamps that are decently sized and scaled so that they look proportional to the bed. In this space, the canopy bedposts are tall, so short lamps would look odd. Instead, the taller table lamps help balance out the lower-profile of the platform canopy bed design.

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adult canopy bed

How do I keep the canopy bed from overtaking the bedroom?

This is a common concern! Canopy beds have a lot of presence. It’s easy for one to overwhelm a bedroom. Which is why it’s key to round out the spaces around the bed with equally bold nightstands, art, lighting, and other furnishings and accents. Hanging solid-color fabric curtains (or using sheers for bed curtains) can also help ease the impact of more substantial wood or metal canopy beds.

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Here are two clever ways to balance the focus in your space:

adult canopy bed

Design Tip #1: Open Up Your Space

Flank your canopy bed with matching mirrors, pendants, and bedside console tables (if you have the space). Adding these captivating elements to your bedside will bring a formal touch to any master bedroom. But they will also even out the focus so that they have equal visual impact as the canopy bed. Also, mirrors will help open up the look and feel in the bedroom, so definitely consider them for above your nightstand, especially if you have a substantial solid-wood bed.

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Design Tip #2: Play Up Negative Space

If you have a more streamlined and slender canopy bed, balance can simply be leaning into a more pared-down look. This is a very stylish use of negative space, where the emphasis is on the minimalist, openness of the bedroom. While there’s very little decor and the room is largely neutral, the windows and the view of the outside become the art. The overall simplicity perfectly balances out the slim bed frame.

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Design Challenge: 1 Nightstand, 3 Ways to Style It

nightstand ideasAhh nightstands… They are a smart, if not obvious addition to any bedroom. Not only do they make your space feel more put-together and polished, but they also offer much-needed shelving, storage and surface area in a super convenient location – right next to your bed. They can even be a great way to add some personality to your bedside if you share with a partner.

To help inspire some nightstand ideas for your bedroom, we challenged our design team to pick one nightstand and style it in three different ways. We love the beachy elegance and the handwoven raffia detail that’s sure to add both texture and storage to your bedroom. But don’t be fooled, this nightstand works surprisingly well in rooms of all styles – from rustic, to classic, and even eclectic.

Ready to give your bedside an upgrade? Read on to see some of our favorite nightstand ideas in action!

rustic nightstand ideasRustic

For this design, we wanted the nightstand to be the star. To get the look, embrace a clean aesthetic with a neutral color palette and minimal decor. This lets the textures be the star so you create a room that stands out! The seagrass of the nightstand pairs perfectly with the subdued cane bed frame and the two pieces come together to create a space rich in depth and dimension.

No need to crowd your nightstand with vases and frames. We’ve styled this room with a delicate carafe and single candle to keep it simple and sleek. The beauty of a space like this comes from the understated elegance. Bold art helps to ground the scene and balances the dark blue hue of the nightstand. Hanging artwork next to the bed frame is a great alternative if you’d rather not hang it above your bed (those of you living in earthquake zones, take note).

Bonus Tip: Combining prints like we did with the geo-floral artwork and tribal pillowcases gives a rustic space a cool, eclectic feel.

classic nightstand ideasClassic

If a classic, coastal escape vibe suits your tastes, this might be your perfect nightstand solution! Flower motifs are essential in a classic space. Let florals bloom with flower pillowcases and art featuring classic floral patterns that complement your nightstand. We added a fine-china inspired lamp that helps bring in a splash of blue and an eye-catching pattern.

Nothing says “classic” like a blue and white color palette! The deep blue wall color ties all of the individual elements together, especially the blue stripes in this hand-woven jute rug – one of our favorite pieces for spring. And a pop of yellow in the wall art adds warmth to balance the blue mood. Natural elements give the room an earthy feel and we love the woven texture of the headboard and jute rug.

Bonus Tip: Keep a stool nearby for a handy place to take off/put on shoes, drop your bags or sit with a beverage and enjoy the view!

eclectic nightstand ideasEclectic

This design style is perfect for risk-takers and those who want a bit more personality at their bedside! The perfect eclectic nightstand setup is all about finding balance. Design elements like a gallery wall or a statement rug pair well with more toned-down elements like a white bedspread and neutral accent pillows.

Smartly arranged art and thoughtful accessories on top of the nightstand are also essential. When picking art for a gallery wall in an eclectic space, go for pieces that have a variety of subjects, styles, and even frames. Portraits mixed with still lifes are a striking combo and cover all your art history bases!

If your nightstand, like ours, has an open shelf, take full advantage of the storage space by using baskets. They help coral clutter, keeping your bedside tidy and put together. The extra baskets in the corner tie in with the eclectic theme and also provide space for knick-knacks and extra pillows.

Bonus Tip: Who says all nightstands need a table lamp? Make use of all the surface area by incorporating a floor lamp instead. Just be sure it’s the right height to match your bed and nightstand to make for an easy reach when you’re ready for bed.

Need help coming up with great nightstand ideas for your space? Sign up for a Modsy design package, and get expert design ideas styled in your exact room in 3D!

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