The Free Thing Home Stagers Do to Make Your Bedside Table Look Nicer

published Jan 7, 2021
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My old bedside table was the pride and joy of my bedroom. I bought it from a friend whose college roommate custom-made it as part of a design class. Something about it being the only one of its kind felt super special, almost like it had a life of its own—in more ways than one. That’s because my miniature white nightstand seemed to be the easiest surface in my bedroom to accumulate clutter. 

Of course, decluttering your bedside table is one surefire way to make it look nicer, but it’s the getting there part that’s the toughest. How can you dress it up nicely (and at no cost) so that it never ever looks messy? According to Janelle Hughes, co-owner of KJ Design & Mortar Styling, the single best way to upgrade your nightstand is incorporating nature like flowers and plants.

“Bringing nature inside really helps to just bring light into [the space],” she says. 

One of the many perks of this design trick? It’s free, since there are loads of plants waiting to be picked outside your door. “I always tell clients to shop around their house,” Hughes says. For starters, she says to check your pantry. “Mason jars can double as vases on a bedside table,” she says. “Also just pretty glasses that you have, they can be used to house flowers that you find in your yard.”

You don’t have to stick to only flowers. Bunches of greens, small branches off a tree, or pieces of driftwood can even make for whimsical decorative accents, she says.

“I think sometimes we forget that as human beings it’s in our nature to want to be in nature,” Hughes says. Not only does this bedside table hack allow you to bring nature inside, but it also gives you time to go outside and center yourself.

“We all are dealing with a lot at this time, and we are overwhelmed with information…and nature is the reminder to slow down and just appreciate the small things in life,” she says.

Something Hughes loves to do with her own daughters is go outdoors with the purpose of finding interesting plants, rocks, or sticks. They even take the opportunity to make a DIY project out of it by painting random rocks they find.

“I tell them, let’s see if we can find a striped [leaf] or let’s see if we can find a heart,” she says.

Credit: Chloe Berk

Hughes explains connecting with the outdoors can truly help you find meaningful, custom pieces to add life inside your home. “Really everything we live with and that’s existing in our home in some way, shape, or form is derived from nature,” she says. 

Be it the vitamins you keep forgetting to tuck away or the pile of books you keep meaning to read, leaving many objects on your nightstand can contribute to stress. According to Hughes, objects hold energy and your bedroom should be low frequency—a place to unwind.

Whether it’s a bunch of freshly snipped greens in a mason jar or a small bowl of dried driftwood, waking up next to pieces of nature can make your bedroom feel like a retreat. Seeing objects so delicate will make you think again before you leave items cluttered on your nightstand. 

“There’s just so many things that you can do to really create pretty, meaningful, thoughtful collections that then have a story behind them—something that you can remember how you found it, how you discovered it, and why you chose to bring it into your space,” Hughes says.