How to Style a Dresser in 6 Easy Steps

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A dresser plays a key role in your bedroom and second to your bed it is likely your next largest piece of furniture. So, clear off the clutter, give it a good dusting and get ready to learn how to style a dresser that merges style with functionality.

It’s easy to learn how to style a dresser and only takes a few distinct pieces to create a designed dresser top you can be proud of. You want to think style as well as functionality. It is a dresser, by the way, and you want to think about blending organization and style together. There are plenty of dresser decor ideas out there so let’s get started.

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Dark wood dresser with mirror, lamp, books and vase with greenery


Decor Tips for a Dresser

A dresser top can hold a blend of practical and whimsical items, but the key is to not crowd the area too much. Jewelry boxes, candles, and plants can add personality to a space while keeping the overall purpose functional. Dressers aren’t just for decoration; they are essentially for storing your clothes and personal items, but they should not be an after-thought when it comes to how to decorating the dresser top.

dark wood dresser with vase and greenery

How to Style a Dresser

I scored this Pottery Barn Dresser on FB Marketplace for $350 and it’s still sold in stores today for $1800 plus fees so I felt it was a pretty good find. However, styling a bedroom dresser was something I really worried about before now because we didn’t really have a dresser in this space. I have designed two different dresser tops so you could see a variety of items used for styling. They each include key elements of dresser top design and the main difference is one has a mirror as its anchor piece and the other has a pice of art for the anchor piece.

You would think this would be an easy, straight forward design project, but it can be overwhelming to think about all the elements you might need to decorate a dresser top.

1. Gather Supplies for your Dresser

Before we can style your dresser we must have something to style with. It’s like a painter painting a masterpiece without his brushes. It’s best to gather a variety of items even if you do not use all of them; you want to have a library of pieces to play around with to see what works. 

Even the best top designers gather several pieces and try different decor items to see how they work and fit together. You won’t know until you try and experiment with a variety of pieces.

Thrift stores are great places to score a mirror, desk clock, vases and candle holders. In fact, using thrifted items is a great way to create a curated look instead of looking like you picked everything up off of the Target or Pottery Barn store shelves. Remember…this design project does not need to break the bank. 

Items you will need to style your dresser:

  • Large Mirror or Artwork
  • Lamp
  • Vase
  • Tray
  • Books
  • Greenery or florals
  • Candles
  • Jewelry box
  • Framed photos
White lamp on a dark wood dresser

2. Begin with a Clean Slate

Remove EVERYTHING from your dresser first. Dust it, clean it and show it some love! By removing everything you can really see the space and determine what you need. 

Careful not to just shift items around and add pieces here and there; remove everything from the dresser. Lay it on your bed or the floor and take inventory of what you want to re-use or put in storage (or donate).

books stacked with a clock on a wooden dresser

3. Use an Anchor Piece to Style Your Dresser

The first item you will need for your dresser is a large anchor piece for the overall design. Decorate a dresser with a mirror or large artwork. Before you add candles and vases filled with florals the space must be anchored; this will help as you fill in the rest of the space.

If you have a floor mirror in your bedroom you may not need or want a large mirror for your dresser. A piece of art would be more suited for a dresser if a large mirror is elsewhere in your room. 

A television could also be a substitute for a piece of art. The Samsung TV is great for this purpose. This framed TV can display lovely art on your wall when the television is not in use and you would style around it as you would a piece of art. 

The anchor piece on a dresser is key; determining this piece first will ensure that all the other elements fall into place and it makes decorating easier.

dark wood dresser in bedroom with painting, lamp and vase with greenery on top

4. Add Tall Items on Either End of the Dresser

Once your mirror or artwork is in place you will want to add additional height by using lamps, vases or tall jewelry boxes. These items will need to stand to the side of the mirror or artwork instead of directly in front. 

On one side of the dresser you could place your lamp and the other side possibly a vase with greenery or florals. Make sure the vase and lamp aren’t exactly the same height so the eye has a variety of heights to look at. Play around; don’t be afraid to try something because it might just work! 

brass lamp sitting on top of books on top of a wooden dresser

5. Add Mid-Size Pieces to the Dresser

By adding a mid-size piece it bridges the gap between high and low. This can be a plant, a stack of books or framed photos. You can even lean a framed print against the mirror or artwork to give a nice layered appearance and it contributes to your mid-size piece on the dresser. 

Other mid-size pieces could be: 

  • Stack of books
  • Small vase
  • Bowl
  • Candle
dark wood dresser with painting and vase with greenery
vase with greenery on a wooden dresser with mirror

6. Use Greenery or Florals for Texture and Color

Every room needs a little green. The final component to a well-designed dresser is something living, or at least looks like it’s living. Real or faux is fine just make sure to incorporate florals or greenery. Plants have a way of breathing life to a space; green leaves, delicate florals and wispy branches have a way of creating movement that draws the eye and creates interest. 

Blue vase with greenery sitting on top of a dresser

Final Thoughts on How to Style a Dresser

Following these simple six steps should ensure you create a dresser that is style and unique to you. Remember to shop your home first as you never know what you might have in the storage room or laying around somewhere else you might be able to use. Careful to not overthink it, have fun and create a styled dresser top that you can be proud of. Enjoy!

blue vase with greenery on top of a dresser

How to Style a Dresser in 6 Easy Steps

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