Illustration: David Wyffels

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Leave 2 inches between your nightstand and your bed—easy enough to reach for a glass or water or the alarm clock.

The ideal nightstand depth is 25 inches or less—any deeper and you might hurt your shoulder when rolling out of bed!

Think about scale. The larger the bed, the bigger your nightstand can go. King-size beds have the heft to stand up to a two-door cabinet, a three-drawer dresser, or even a drop-leaf table—if you’ve got the space go for it. For a twin or double bed, “leggy” tables and narrow three-drawer dressers (no more than 24 to 32 inches wide) work best.

Don't worry too much about matching the nightstands—sometimes it’s more interesting to choose two styles that contrast but complement each other.

Dream Home

Text excerpted from DREAM HOME Copyright © 2016 by SB Publications LLC. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.