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How to Style a Bedside Table with Target Finds (And a Tour of Leslie's Bedroom)

A brand-new bedroom for under $150.
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According to Instagram, I am the last person on Earth to figure out how to style a bedside table. In the past, it's always been an after-thought: My eyeshades and whatever book I'm reading just hang out with my water glass till nighttime. On Jonah's side, you can expect to find a haphazard pile of anywhere from five to ten library books. Practical? Yes. Aesthetically pleasing? Not even close, and it was starting to get to me. On a particularly productive pre-work morning, I scrolled across yet another beautiful bedside table and, within minutes, was in the car en route to Target. No Studio Mcgee bowl or Magnolia Home vase was left unturned, as I referenced the screenshots of inspo on my phone. Below are a few tips I gathered, and the items I bought:

1. Use a tray to corral objects. I didn't realize how sad/sparse my alarm clock and noise machine looked on my table until I corralled them in this stone tray and added this decorative canister.

2. Add some greenery. This feels so obvious now that I'm writing it, but adding some fig leaves from a tree in our yard to this white vase made such an enormous difference. 

3. Incorporate art. Many of my favorite bedside table shots include a small piece of leaning art. While I'll be keeping a lookout for something painted to add contrast to the photos above the bed, I included a photo I took a few years ago in Sequoia National Park (it was so misty in the park, the photo naturally looks like it was adjusted to black and white!).

4. Books plus candle equals gold. In nearly every Instagram image of a bedside table, there's a stack of books with a candle on top. (I know you know what I'm talking about.) And it looks great. Every time. I created a stack from some literary journals, with a Casaluna candle on top.

5. Fill empty space. I'm not a fan of knick-knacks, which might explain why our bedside tables looked like nobody used them (see the before shots below!). Adding this wooden bowl to Jonah's side made it feel warmer and more lived-in, without looking messy.

Scroll down for more sources!

My side, after (Magnola Home Jar, Marble Tray, Casaluna Candle)

My side, after (Magnola Home Jar, Marble Tray, Casaluna Candle)

My side, before (so sad and stark!)

My side, before (so sad and stark!)

Jonah's side, after

Jonah's side, after

Jonah's side, before

Jonah's side, before

General Sources

Urban Outfitters 'Amelia' Nightstand
The Inside Modern Platform Bed in Queen in Emerald Velvet with Brass Legs
Parachute Linen Sheet Set
Parachute Sham Pillows
Parachute Throw
Hearth and Hand Throw Pillows
August Sage Reversible Throw (gifted)
Alarm Clock
Electrofan Noise Machine
Big Sur images are from film I took, framed by Framebridge

My Side

Casaluna Candle
Studio McGee Stone Tray
Hearth & Hand Canister

Jonah's Side

Project 62 White Vase
Gold Bookend
Decorative Wooden Bowl

P.S. See my last two bedrooms here and here!

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.