Bedroom Decorating Dilemma

Hey, friends! I have a question for you! Should your bedside tables match? Or is the symmetric look too matchy-matchy? What do you think? This is something I’ve been contemplating a lot lately, especially since I’m trying to make up my mind about some choices in our own bedroom. The room is on the cozy side, with just enough space to squeeze in our queen bed and two nightstands, and since I already have a dresser filling in as a bedside surface, right now I’m torn between ordering its twin or keep looking for something similar but not quite the same…

Café Design | Design Dilemma

 Nathan Turner

Café Design | Design Dilemma

In general, I think both looks can be beautiful and interesting at the same time, and maybe the matching look is slightly easier to create as you only need to find one piece that you love, and then buy a pair of it. Be it as it may,  I tried to draw inspiration from my ¨bedroom file¨ , looking at some of my favorite bedrooms, but no good luck in helping me decide. I noticed that there is no pattern in my preference, officially I love both looks. But what I did notice was that in the bedrooms with different side tables, I prefer certain choices over others. For example:

  • I can go with mismatching nightstands, as long as they have approximately the same height, similar shapes and similar visual weight (thin, delicate vs bulky)
  • even if the nightstands are different, the table lamps or sconces should match!

So I divided my bedroom file into three different categories ( I know what you’re thinking 🙂 )

1. Different tables, different finishes

Bellow are some instances where not only the two bedside tables are different, but they have different finishes and different visual weights: a bulky dresser on one side and a more slender silhouette on the other. The key is to balance out the more delicate piece of furniture with a pouf, basket or a chair.

Café Design | Design Dilemma

Lauren Liess

Café Design | Design Dilemma

Rita Konig

2. Different tables, same finish 

Below is a perfect example of different surfaces used as bedside tables,  sharing the same finish. The lamps are slightly different yet they end up at the same height. Their difference compensates for the difference in height between the two side tables. Clever!

Café Design | Rising Star-William McLure

William McLure

Café Design | Decorating Dilemma

3. Symmetric ( left side is a mirror image of the right side )

Bellow are some of the bedrooms that I like and that have identical nightstands, identical sconces / table lamps. Who doesn’t love symmetry, right?

Café Design | Design Dilemma

Café Design | Design Dilemma

Café Design | Decorating Dilemma

What do you think? Do you like to match your nightstands? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this 🙂




  1. Dallie
    June 9, 2016 / 6:49 am

    I think symmetry (No. 3.) is my favorite, it gives a visual feeling of balance and order in the room, and it helps to give to the room a reference point, for example, the bed. Nice job Cafe Design! 🙂

    • Eva Contreras
      June 9, 2016 / 10:58 am

      Thanks for letting me know your favorite, Dallie! I agree about the visual balance of a symmetric room, my OCD tendencies will probably thank me if I go with this one 🙂

  2. June 9, 2016 / 8:47 am

    Thanks for the shout out! Great post and great visuals. Agree with tou that matching or not less important than matching in scale amd proportion. Matching lamps make sense if tables are similar in height and size; otherwise make them completely different. Eg., A traditional table lamp opposite a contemporary floor lamp might be fun.

    • Eva Contreras
      June 9, 2016 / 11:04 am

      Thank you for stopping by, Frances! I haven’t thought of combining a floor lamp with a table lamp until now! What a neat idea, thank you for suggesting it!