Avoid these 4 mistakes when styling your dresser

Dressers are one of those pieces of furniture that are a must-have in any bedroom.

Dressers also called a chest of drawers, or simply, a chest – are as functional as they are styling opportunities. (Well, they are only as functional as your bedroom has an available corner that is dying for it, if not, it’s a whole lot of clutter).

The dresser gives you plenty of extra storage in your bedroom. There are very few pieces of clothing that cannot fit snuggly in a drawer. The surface above the dresser is also a fantastic place to style and add more personality to your bedroom.

Despite this function and style, amateur home stylists like you and I will often make several rookie mistakes when styling their dressers. Here are five of those common mistakes and what to do to fix them:

1. You don’t style the wall above it:

The first place to style when styling your dresser is the wall above it. The reason is so that it anchors the ensemble and gives you a reference point when styling: all that you do from here on out will be informed by this wall’s styling.

Don’t leave this wall blank:

To fix this mistake: The most functional and stylish piece to style your dresser’s wall with is a framed mirror. Use the dimensions of your dresser to guide your mirror’s style. Since the dresser is rectangular, then a round mirror will naturally complement it.

The diameter of the mirror should be at least three-quarters the dresser’s dimension. Ensure that you centre it as you mount it. If the dresser is too wide, then have a mirror coupled with another piece of rectangular artwork, perhaps a mounted picture or artwork (not framed though, since too many frames will clutter the visuals of the ensemble).

If your dresser is too tall, then have the framed mirror or picture lean against it then complete the styling with other pieces described further in this story.

2. You don’t add height to your short dressers:

The dressers that have only three levels of drawers can sometimes appear stumpy and frumpy. The mistake that you could make is to live with this awkward-looking stumpiness and not add height – and elegance – to your dresser.

To fix this mistake: 

There are two ways to fix the stumpiness of a short dresser. One is to add some clearance between the floor and your dresser, which means having tall legs. But this is a feature that can only be incorporated while the dresser is being crafted, so if your artisan didn’t incorporate the tall legs, well then, your styling will have to make up for it.

To add styling height to a short dresser, then style it with tall accessories such as a tall table lamp, tall candleholders, tall statuettes, tall vases, and tall potted faux plants…. You catch my drift.

Make sure, though, that your tall accessory is not taller than the mirror behind it. Also, give some thought about where you place it vis-a-vis the mirror. If you place your tall accessory to the right, then have a medium-height accessory to the left, that way, the eye can travel from right to back and then to left.

Dressers also called a chest of drawers, or simply, a chest – are as functional as they are styling opportunities./Shutterstock

3. You don’t add some thoughtful storage: 

Another mistake that you may make when styling your dresser is that you don’t add some functional storage next to the styling accessories.

The top of your dresser is a fantastic place for everyday jewellery such as rings and earrings, watches and eyewear. You can also place your keys and phone there, chargers and ear pods.

To fix this mistake: 

Incorporate some functional storage on your dresser. Hand-woven sisal baskets are very hardworking storage options that can hold an assortment of everyday pieces. Plus, they are quite stylish and textured, paying homage to the African aesthetic.

You can also craft a small wooden box in a rustic finish, one that has compartments for further organising these everyday go-to’s. Acrylic storage boxes are also a must-have. Ceramic bowls have also proven to be quite versatile for organisations.

While on this point, it’s also important that you don’t add so much storage that you end up with a cluttered dresser top, it will take away from all the hard work you’ve put into styling it. You will know that your dresser is cluttered when you can’t see the surface.

4. You don’t keep the styling interesting:

Styling a dresser is not one of those things you complete and then forget. No. You need to keep things interesting and fresh by playing around with the placement and choice of your accessories. Don’t make the mistake of styling once and leaving it as is for several seasons. Perhaps the only accessory you won’t change is the mirror styling the wall behind it.

To fix this mistake:

Swap things in and out of your dresser as the seasons in your life dictate. You can move some accessories from your living room and dining room and bring them to your dresser, as long as there is a cohesive theme in your home’s styling palette, then everything will fit just about anywhere.

You can also buy new pieces and put the existing ones in storage, to be swapped out later. Also, don’t be shy to style in reflection to Christmas or Valentine’s Day, your birthday month and other special anniversary dates in your life.

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