How To Style A Dresser The Easy Way

If you are not careful, your dresser can become a catch all centerpiece that is an eyesore in your bedroom. Although they are meant to hold much more than clothes, many people struggle with how to style a dresser. Whether you want to keep it simple or use the place for strategically keeping your  jewelry organized, I have the perfect ideas for how to make the most use of your dresser space.


Does the dresser style matter?

Before diving into the best tips for styling your dresser, let’s take a look at some of the dresser styles that are most commonly purchased today. Understanding these will come in handy when picking and choosing what to put on top, and how. First, there is a unique difference between a dresser and a chest of drawers.

Typically, a dresser has dimensions that are wider and shorter whereas a chest of drawers are known to be crafted taller and more narrow. Dressers will have more space on top because they are meant for getting “dressed” in front of. Therefore, you’ll most likely see one accompanied with a mirror. A chest of drawers is more about conserving space, especially with its narrow shape. This is important to take into consideration for decorative and storage purposes. 

The most common purchased dressers are:

  • Horizontal dresser
  • Double dresser
  • Combo dresser

With these in mind, let’s look at some ways to style the dresser of your choice!

What should I put on my dresser?

First, before you decide what to put on your dresser, I recommend starting with a clean slate. When you have a clean surface, you’ll be able to see the exact amount of space you have to work with and begin visualizing what you’d like to use that space for. Once you have the space cleared off, brainstorm the design style you’d like to go for.

This is the second largest piece of furniture in your bedroom and so you have room to play with accents of different shapes and sizes.

Here are a few ideas for using that space on top of the dresser:

  • Houseplants (real or fake)
  • Photos
  • Books
  • Candles
  • Decorative boxes
  • Jars
  • Trays
  • Vases

I am a big fan of plants or floral arrangements on dressers because its a nice touch. I prefer my plants to be fake, BUT if you have a plant you absolutely love and can keep alive, go for it!

Like I mentioned before you’ll need a mixture of pieces. Decide what item will be the largest focal point, like a mirror (attached to the dresser or on the wall)or large artwork. Pick 2-4 mid size items like floral arrangements, vases, boxes, etc. And finally, decide on the smaller, lower pieces like trays and valets.

Overall, what you decide to put on it should be determined by your needs. If your dresser has a mirror and you’ll be using that space to put your clothes on every day, then it may be ideal to use for accessories or smaller decor items.

Decorating a dresser without a mirror

If your dresser doesn’t have a mirror, all decorating isn’t lost. In fact, you can choose to decorate the wall where the mirror would be.

I actually prefer not to have a mirror on my bedroom dresser. Some people opt to put their TV on top of their bedroom dresser. It’s convienent and easy. I’m not one of those people who believes the bedroom is not a spot for TV. I have a TV in my bedroom, it’s just not on my dresser.

So just how do you decorate a dresser without a mirror? There are many ways to style your dresser and I think removing the mirror opens up more options!

Opt in for a big painting from your favorite artist or a few small picture frames hung in a decorative way. This is the perfect way to display a mini gallery wall. Fill the frames with pictures of your significant other, children, friends or memorable events like vacations or weddings.

You can also hang your TV in that space or add some wall shelf units to provide extra storage.

These wire baskets have a farmhouse feel to them and are perfect for mounting on the wall above your dresser.

Another option to take advantage of this unused wall space is to use functional decor such as this metal display organizer.

Once you’ve decided what to put on your wall, then begin to add the key pieces (and/or accessories) to the top of your dresser.

If you are wanting to add more light to your room, consider adding a small lamp to your dresser. Keep the light low or high according to the type of lampshade you purchase. A white lampshade will expand light while a neutral style shade – like beige or gray – will keep the light dimmed.

You can also use a portion of your dresser space for housing your most used toiletries, such as your favorite lotion or body spray. Some gals like to keep their last-minute makeup products on the dresser for easy grab-and-go. If you are wanting to keep more than just a little bit on top of your dresser, then check out these organization ideas.

Dresser top organization ideas

Keeping the inside of your dresser organized is one thing; however, if you want to keep the top clutter-free, then these are some must-consider organization ideas for your dresser top.

Sorbus Makeup and Jewelry 6-Drawer Display CaseOrganizer

Whether you’re a beauty beginner or glam guru, you now have a place to display your essentials. This makeup organizer by Sorbus is a stylish way to store your beauty collection. It features six drawers total (both small and large) with a sleek clear view. It has plenty of space for items as small as your lipstick or as large as your variety of brushes.

Shabby Chic White Wood Storage Drawers

Although this is ideal for helping keep a desk organized, especially withs spaces for envelopes, cards, labels, and the like – it can also be used to keep your dresser organized. Instead of storing cards, pictures, etc., consider using it to store keys, pens, and any other loose items that would otherwise keep the space cluttered. 

Plastic Two Drawer Compact Storage

Crafted from sturdy plastic, it features a streamlined, minimalist design that’s perfect for almost any dresser. Each of the two drawers features a track to help keep it from falling out, and is sized at 6.5″ x 7″ x 5″. This means you can store small items like earrings up to medium-sized items like necklaces. 

Rotating Makeup Organizer & Carousel

Looking for an ultimate space saver for your makeup? Turn your loose makeup into your very own beauty counter or use this case as a jewelry box to complete your look from head to toe. It has a large storage capacity, rotates for easy access, and helps keep down the clutter – win, win!

Rustic Wood 6 Drawer Organizer

Add a unique look to your dresser with this apothecary wood organizer. A quick and easy edit for any busy console table or dresser, this six-drawer desktop organizer corrals jewelry , sticky notes, and odds and ends in rustic style. This organizer is crafted of solid wood and sports a classic apothecary design. Each of its nine drawers is fitted with metal label plates that are perfect for categorizing clutter.

Valet Tray

A quick search for the word valet tray will bring back lots of options, which is no wonder because they are the perfect catch all for your keys, phone, daily jewelry, etc. There are several styles to choose from, these are just a couple of my favorite.

Lilly Pulitzer Women’s Vegan Leather Jewelry Organizer Valet

Umbra Geometric Prisma Tray

Umbra Two Tier Tray


I love using decorative boxes to hid junk on dressers plain and simple. That box might be super cute but remove the lid and who knows what you’ll find! Functional storage that is pleasing to look at is a win/win.

mDesign Soft Textured Fabric Stackable Home Storage Organizer Box 

mDesign Stackable Home Storage Organizer Box with Bamboo Lid Cover 


Take the guesswork out of how to style a dresser with the ideas mentioned above! I’d love to hear from you. What are some ways you organize your dresser? Let me know in the comments below!

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