Interior Design

Bobby Berk explains why you should never match your nightstands

The Queer Eye star has shared the secret to mixing wood in the bedroom, including what to avoid

nightstand tips
(Image credit: Future)

Nightstands are a bedroom essential, but Bobby Berk has a way to make them less of a functional necessity – and more of a statement. 

Sharing his interior design tips via his blog, Bobby discussed the art of mixing materials – particularly wood – and how creating a contrast with tones will transform your space. But how does this impact your nightstand? Here, the designer explains all. 

‘I always recommend mixing up materials when pairing your bedroom furniture,’ Bobby shared when asked if wooden nightstands need to match.

Nightstand in a bedroom

(Image credit: Future / Jonathan Gooch)

1. Mix and match your nightstands

He expanded on the common nightstand design mistake, sharing that a ‘mix and match approach will feel a lot more unique (and interesting) than a matching bedroom set.' This is because it allows you to create a contrast. Nightstands are the perfect way to make a statement as you can place different shades of wood, so they sit symmetrically opposite one another. 

2. Choose the right wood for your nightstand

And, as Bobby Berk emphasizes, it is important not to choose woods that are similar as they ‘tend to look a design mistake when placed together.’

‘Instead, try pairing lighter and darker together, whether it’s brown, grey whitewashed, ebony, or any type of finish,’ he says. ‘For a walnut dresser, I would recommend nightstands in medium oak or black, both of which are distinctly different and provide plenty of contrast.’

Nightstand in a bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

Plus, Bobby Berk is not alone in his observations. K&H Design's co-founder, Katie Glaister, similarly explains the importance of choosing the right wood for your room. However, rather than choosing contrastable colors, Katie suggests choosing different stains and finishes. 

‘When combining different wood types in a bedroom, it’s important to think about tones and grain,’ she says. ‘To create a scheme with layers and depth, you could use similar tones for the floor and joinery whilst choosing woods with different grains.’ 

In the image below, Katie has used the same timber – a heavily grained oak – for the bed joinery, but she has chosen a lighter American oak rush for the telephone bench – to create a similar effect.  

Nightstand in a bedroom

(Image credit: K&H Design by Simon Brown)

‘By choosing oaks with different stains and finishes, you can create an eclectic, brought-together solution,’ Katie adds. 

Has Bobby Berk’s bedroom idea changed the way you use your nightstands? We’re experimenting with new shades of wood at the next available opportunity.  

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.