5 Tips For Perfectly Styling The Top Of Your Dresser

What does the surface of your dresser look like? For many, the flat surface can quickly become a messy spawning ground for spare change, dust, and even straight-up trash, like old receipts or mail. Using the space more thoughtfully, however, can become a tasteful highlight of your room that makes you feel calm and happy when you see it.

The perfectly decorated bedroom can be hard to nail down. According to Snazzy Little Things, that difficulty stems from the challenge of the necessary balance of form and function that bedrooms present. Likely the next largest piece of furniture after your bed, the dresser tends to be a big focal point in the bedroom. Therefore, special care should be taken to keep it presentable, or you risk making your room look more cluttered and chaotic. What should you put on top of this hallowed space, then? Below, we run down our best ideas to keep the top of your dresser looking its best.

1. Cut the clutter

First and foremost, your dresser will never look nice if treated as a dumping ground for hair ties and pocket change. According to Mayo Clinic, clutter can make you feel more anxious and result in concentration difficulties. For ease of mind and a good night's rest, your bedroom must be free of clutter as possible, including the top of your dresser.

To start, take everything off your dresser and clean it well. If your dresser is made out of wood, you can use our guide for the best ways to clean wood furniture. If not, a simple dusting and some all-purpose spray for any stubborn spots will work wonders. Next, evaluate what you found on your dresser and plan accordingly. Which items need to stay, and which could have a better home elsewhere? Is there some container that could hold some things to make them look more attractive? Consider jewelry boxes, vintage cigar boxes, ceramic dishes, and any other nice vessels you might have lying around that can be used to corral your necessary clutter. Finally, make a conscious effort moving forward not to use your dresser's surface as a landing pad for random objects.

2. Try a tray

Now that you've gotten rid of the extra stuff cluttering the top of your dresser, it's time to add the necessary objects back to its surface. Before piling things back onto it willy-nilly, take some care to style the objects for maximum visual appeal. A tray can be useful in achieving that by grouping items and maintaining a thoughtful, clutter-free flow.

According to MHM Professional Staging, arranging items on a tray will instantly make a space look more ordered while simultaneously giving your objects a more distinguished place of purpose. Different looks can be achieved depending on your chosen shape and color. Use it as an opportunity to add variety to your space — go for a round tray if there is a lack of curved lines or a neutral hue if bright colors are already plentiful in your room. To keep things clean and not too crowded, maintain some space on the tray.

3. Consider symmetry and balance

One of the most important things to remember while arranging objects on your dresser is the interior design concepts of balance and symmetry. Without them, visual chaos reigns. According to The Interior Editor, balance can generally be achieved by employing symmetry, asymmetry, or radial balance. Symmetrical balance is created by mirroring furniture and other objects on either side of a focal point, while radial balance involves creating symmetry radiating from a circular focal point.

For the top of a dresser, however, it is more likely that you will want to employ asymmetrical balance. Rather than mirroring décor exactly, asymmetrical balance is created by arranging objects by their visual weight. For example, a tall item on one side of your dresser could be matched by two or three slightly shorter objects sitting on the opposite side. Asymmetry is all about creating a harmonious mix of sizes, colors, and textures that balance each other out throughout the space. For the most visually interesting results, experiment using both symmetry and asymmetry.

4. Anchor it with art

Now that you've created balance on the surface of your dresser, you might notice that something still feels visually off. The answer lies in the wall above it. Without something above the dresser to balance it out, it might look too heavy and out of place. You are good to go if you already have a window or mirror in that space. However, if you have a blank wall staring back at you, it's time to hunt for the perfect thing to tie your space together in this prime piece of wall real estate.

When it comes to what to add above your dresser, you could choose a piece of art, a gallery wall, a mirror, a shelf, a hook to display a favorite hat, or whatever else tickles your fancy. For the best results, consider the size ratio of the object(s) you choose to hang. According to Under The Roof Decorating, you'll want to opt for an item or grouping of items that is about ⅔ the width of your dresser top, mounted 4 to 8 inches above it, depending on the height of the objects on top of the dresser.

5. Breathe some life into the space

By now, your dresser has transformed into a lovely and functional space that adds to your bedroom's overall sense of calm. Why not combine it with fresh flowers or other natural elements if you haven't already? According to a Harvard study, adding flowers into a room provides a noticeable mood boost, via The Harvard Crimson. Why not treat yourself to a bouquet? In addition to their mood-lifting effects and pleasant smell, a vase of fresh flowers will elevate the top of your dresser, making it look chic and unique.

If you'd rather incorporate nature into the space by different means, try adding a potted plant, crystals, or other natural stones, seashells, or wood. Regardless of what natural materials you choose to add, invoking nature in any space will help make it feel calmer and more appealing to be in. Finally, admire your hard work! Seeing how great an intentionally styled dresser top looks will encourage you to think twice before letting it become a mess again.