When designing your bedroom, one of the key decisions is whether your nightstands should match your bed and other furniture. The traditional approach is to have all matching furniture sets. However, mixing and matching different styles of nightstands is an increasingly popular trend that allows you to add visual interest and personality to your bedroom.
There are good reasons for both approaches. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for your space. Here are some tips on how to decide if your nightstands should match or not.
Reasons to Have Matching Nightstands
- Cohesive look. Having matching nightstands that coordinate with your bed and other bedroom furniture creates a unified, pulled-together look. The matching elements visually tie the whole space together.
- Easier to style. It’s simpler to style a bedroom with matching furniture. You don’t have to work as hard to make mismatched pieces look cohesive.
- Traditional aesthetic. Matching bedroom sets provide a more classic, elegant look. This works well for formal bedroom styles.
- Cost-effective. Purchasing a full matching furniture set is often cheaper than sourcing eclectic, one-of-a-kind nightstands.
- Symmetry. Two matching nightstands on either side of the bed create visual symmetry, which some find more aesthetically pleasing.
- Easier to find. It’s usually simpler to find a pair of matching nightstands compared to two stand-alone pieces you love.
If you prefer a coordinated, uniform look or a more traditional style, matching nightstands are a great option.
Reasons to Mix and Match Nightstands
- Unique personality. Mismatched nightstands allow you to reflect your personal taste. It’s a simple way to add originality and character to your bedroom.
- Visual interest. Contrasting wood tones, materials, shapes and sizes create a focal point and make the space more interesting to look at.
- Functional. If you need different storage functions on each side of the bed, mismatched nightstands can fulfill those needs.
- Layout issues. If you have an awkward space, non-matching nightstands provide flexibility to work with the room’s dimensions.
- Save money. Purchasing single vintage or secondhand nightstands can cost less than a matching set.
- Easy to update. You can refresh the look by switching out just one nightstand rather than buying a whole new set.
If you want to reflect your eclectic taste or pursue a more modern, non-traditional look, mismatching your nightstands is a great idea.
Tips for Mixing and Matching Nightstands
- Choose a focal point piece. Anchor your mismatched nightstands with a statement piece on one side of the bed. This can be antique, with a unique shape or material like concrete, metal or stone. The second nightstand should complement but not compete with the statement piece.
- Repeat design elements. While the nightstands themselves may vary, pull them together through repeated colors, materials, shapes or time periods. For example, both could have round legs, hardware with an antique brass finish or linen fabric.
- Mind the size. Be mindful of the scale and visual weight of each nightstand. A dainty, skinny table looks odd next to an oversized chunky piece. Mix slim and wide or short and tall.
- Vary textures. Contrast glossy and matte finishes or pair polished metal with woven seagrass for tactile interest. Just don’t have too many competing textures.
- Mind drawer placement. Make sure at least one nightstand has accessible drawers for practical use. The second could be open shelving or other creative storage solutions.
- Consider the bed frame. If your bed frame is ornate and eye-catching, opt for simpler nightstands so they don’t compete. For a basic metal bed frame, choose one statement nightstand and one complementary piece.
- Add layered lighting. Incorporate table lamps, sconces, or pendant lights above each nightstand to tie the arrangement together through cohesive, layered lighting.
- Incorporate art. Hang matching art above both nightstands to create a unified look. This also draws the eye across the entire bed area.
- Add greenery. A pair of matching potted plants, like succulents or air plants, can help eclectic nightstands relate to one another.
- Style consistently. Use similar bedding, pillows, and accessories on both sides to achieve balance. This helps the mismatched nightstands feel cohesive.
By following these guidelines, you can thoughtfully mix and match your nightstands for maximum style impact.
Should Nightstands Match the Bed?
Beyond matching to each other, do your nightstands need to coordinate with your bed frame? The answer is: it depends.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Size of the bedroom – In a spacious bedroom, you have more room to play with contrasting styles. In a smaller space, it’s best if the bed and nightstands relate to each other more closely.
- Style of bed frame – For a sleek, low-profile bed you have more styling flexibility. But if your bed is very ornate, overly flashy nightstands will compete rather than complement.
- Color palette – If you want to strictly adhere to a calming neutral palette, the finishes of your bed and nightstands should coordinate so one doesn’t stand out too aggressively.
- Usage – If you’ll actually use your nightstands frequently, make sure at least one coordinates with your bed aesthetically since they are in such close proximity.
- Existing pieces – If you already have a bedframe you love, choose nightstands that enhance rather than fight with it.
Some good ways to relate nightstands to your bed frame include:
- Repeat a color found on the bed in one or both of the nightstands. This could be bold bright or a neutral like black.
- Incorporate the same finish whether it’s polished chrome, distressed wood, or glossy lacquer.
- Mirror the lines and shapes found in the bed, like a similarly rounded or tapered leg.
- Pull out an accent material like leather or stone on the bed and use it on the nightstands.
- Coordinate the time period or style of the bed and nightstands. For example, pair mid-century teak with retro-inspired nightstands.
While they shouldn’t outright clash, contrasting your nightstands and bed can look amazing. So don’t feel pressure to always match them directly. Use the same instinct you apply when coordinating your outfit – some matching elements help it come together, but contrasts make it more interesting.
Approach mixing and matching nightstands to your bed thoughtfully. Pay attention to details like visual weight, textures, shapes, and colors. Repeat design elements for continuity. Factor in your goals, lifestyle, and space. With creativity and careful selection, mismatched nightstands can become a fun focal point rather than a distraction.