I love a good nightstand vingette:

Style at Home
My favorite!  Love the scale, crisp white & silver, plus the artwork

Living Etc.
Great lamps and nice pop of yellow

West Elm
Great balance of soothing colours and
nice contrasting shapes (square lamp, rounded vases)

Living Etc.
So simple but elegant - a unique vase with a single flower

I always struggle with curating a nightstand because I like things to be practical.  Practical for me involves a place for books, my glasses, something to drink, etc., and decorative items can get in the way.  And I tend to knock them over while frantically trying to turn off the alarm.  As a result, sometimes my nighstands look naked.  But I'm slowly learning to style tables in a way that looks pretty but is still functional.  For me, this means:
  1. A nice, big lamp
  2. Ideally a two shelved table (top for "pretty" & bottom for "stuff")
  3. One or two larger scale decorative pieces
So, for me, something like this is too cluttered:
West Elm
Pretty, but no room on that table . . .

Keeping in mind the first few photos of nightstands I love and my newfound "rules," I made an addition to the guest room nightstand which, if you recall, was pretty much just a lamp & a clock:


I aimed to add one more element (groupings of three!) and looked for a piece of the right scale and colour.  Happily, I found one in my mom's curio cabinet.  Haha.  She actually took it from me, years ago, but it is mine again!


I like it!  The vase adds a bit more colour and interest to the nightstand (especially with some cheery Costco flowers!), but still provies guests ample room for a stack of books, cellphone or glass of water:

What does a nightstand need to make you happy?  What are your styling tricks?