How to style a small space

Three elements to tie your bedside stand or other small space you're decorating together

Levels—or depth—is your friend when it comes to working with a small decorative space.

Small space styling by catsup magazine

a patterned purple houndstooth background holds a small, terracotta pot painted green holding a disposable lip balm that looks the same as a regular one but it says "Biodegradable Tube". the flavor is juicy blackberry and a catsup logo that looks like a green flower is placed so as to "bloom" from the end of the lip balm tube "how to style a small space" breathes as a gif

A good place to start is:

A trinket dish or small crate

The color and style of the bowl will set the tone for the space. Are we going fun and whimsical with a light, colorful, glass bowl?

Or more sophisticated with a ceramic catch-all and darker base lamp.

That lamp I mentioned?

Tall figure

A tall lamp is strongly recommended. The white space on your dresser or whichever area you’re decorating matters as much as the items sitting on top. If you completely cover this or reach a too-large ratio, you risk the decor looking like clutter.

Stay open to lamps that double as jewelry or stationary holders, or other multi uses like alarm clocks. A vase can replace a lamp if one is not needed for this look.

So we’ve got your necessities in a small enclosure (miniature wooden crates provide a great versatile, gender and decor style ambiguous flair).

Something artsy

Choose your tchotchke! Ceramics, wooden figurines, an analog aroma diffuser, the zine you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t yet, a notebook for great ideas (they’re all barely legible)… Have fun with whatever you choose for this element but make sure it’s something that speaks your personality. Sure, the small box contains your lip balm, rings, and condoms but they aren’t immediate reflections of your life experience or who you are. And yeah, the lamp may have been handsculpted to resemble your favorite anime scene—holy fuck you’re talented why are you listening to me?

If your bedside stand is already absolutely reachable and pleasing as it gets, other examples of small areas to utilize these simple yet transformative decorating elements are on top of mantels, short shelves, small tables, entryway tables, and guest rooms. Happy decorating!

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