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How to Style a Dresser with Five Beautiful Ideas


Learn how to style a dresser with tall dresser decor ideas and tips for long dressers, odd windows, and wall-mounted TVs.

Dressers and tall chests can be tricky to decorate.  Here are some lovely examples that showcase pretty vignettes with various styles.  Scroll down for tips for creating a perfectly styled dresser.

Five Beautiful Dresser Vignettes to Recreate

If you are new here, howdy! I’m a retired military spouse who moved back to Texas after being gone for 19 years.

I perfected the art of rental decorating and overcoming challenges in small spaces for over fifteen years but now am tackling homeownership with a new set of challenges!

Our family of four lived in some of the most beautiful coastal towns in the US and Japan which have influenced my colorful and global style with DIYs and furnishings in our one-story 60’s ranch-style home in Fort Worth.

How to Decorate a Tall Dresser Two Different Ways

Our current master bedroom had a complete makeover two years ago and the tall dresser styling is my favorite to date. You can read all about the DIYs and see more in my Parisian inspired bedroom article.

  • Start with a vertical mirror or piece of art.  Lean it against the wall if it is larger. If the scale is on the smaller side, hang it up a few inches to give it more height.
  • Layer in a smaller piece of art (or two) on one side to add to the width.  This can be a small framed art or decorating accessories like a stack of books with a decorative item on top. Overlap the frames or decor a bit so there isn’t a gap between the large centered piece.
  • Balance out the other side with a sculptural piece like a figurine or vase that is a different height. Books are a great way to add more layers and elevation in any vignette.
A Parisian inspired bedroom showing how to syle a tall dresser with a woman's bust, large bird art, and a plant.  A woman is leaning against the dresser and blue and white DIY curtains match a blue and white area rug.
How to Style a Dresser
A tall dark dresser is updated with brass pulls and looks beautiful styled with a woman's bust, chinoiserie planter with aloe plant, and a vintage bird art print next to blue and white shibori curtains.
A Pretty Dresser Vignette
The view walking into the master bedroom with blue and white decor on white walls.  A vintage gold mirror and beautifully decorated tall dresser is in the corner.
DIY Tall Dresser Ideas

Here’s a similar example but with natural decor and more items. These are the first DIY tall dresser ideas I ever shared at Up to Date Interiors and it is still a beautiful and stylish option. It also includes a DIY oyster shell mirror and paper ranunculus stems.

Follow the first three tips above and then do a couple of additional steps.

  • Take a step back and see how your eye moves around.  You will probably want to fill a little more of the negative space.  Keep smaller items in groups of three or five and various heights.
  • You won’t know until you try!  Rearrange, take away and add things, don’t be afraid to experiment. 
A tall wood dresser is styled with a DIY oyster shell mirror, a woman's bust on a stack of books, vases, and art.
DIY Tall Dresser Ideas
The top of a tallboy dresser decorated with a shell mirror, a woman's bust, and vases.
How to Decorate a Tall Dresser

How to Decorate a Dresser Around a Window

This dresser vignette is more on the minimalist side letting the natural light and window be the main feature. If you had an oddly placed window behind your dresser, don’t fight it! Here are some tips for letting it shine.

  • Use whatever little wall space you have. Hang medium to large art pieces on the wall around the window if there’s enough room or even carry it to the side of your furniture.
  • When you do place art on one side, balance out the other with a couple of taller pieces on the dresser leaning or standing up.
How to style a chest of drawers that is front of an oddly placed window.  A beautiful cream french provincial dresser is in front of a window with botanical art, lucite sculpture, brass crane, and minimal decorating.
How to Decorate a Dresser Top in Front of a Window
A close up picture of a dresser vignette in front of a window with a white dresser and khaki green walls and white sheer curtains and blinds.
How to Style a Dresser in Front of a Window
Botanical art balances out an off centered window over a white french provincial dresser with an acrylic sculpture and brass crane accessories.
Use a Little Wall Space

How to Decorate a Dresser with a Wall Mounted TV or Table Top

When we moved the dresser from under the window (picture above), it went under a premounted TV stand that the previous owners had left so we decided to use it where it was at.

I actually enjoy working around these sorts of obstacles even though I would have placed the tv more centered and a little lower if I had installed it.

So don’t move your tv just yet! You can create a beautiful dresser vignette with these tips.

  • Fill the wall space around the tv with art to create a gallery wall. If the tv is centered, place matching pieces symmetrically. Otherwise, place all of your art or wall hangings on the floor.
  • Use a piece of cardboard or something for a tv template and start playing with an arrangement on the floor until you get something you like. Notice that the tv or dresser is centered on the wall but I keep the eye moving with a laundry basket on the side and some extra art over it.
  • When you have a statement gallery wall like this or even one large piece of art of your dresser, you can still style the top of your dresser with more decorative items.
  • I love starting with a couple stacks of books, trays and jelelry boxes on top, and then a tall item or two at each end.
  • I always look at how I’m filling the negative space on the wall and sometimes let things overlap. That’s a style preference you might enjoy!
A small wall mounted tv is surrounded by art above a white dresser on a white wall.  Lots of decorating accessories and blue and white rug with upholstered bench at the foot of the bed.  A round laundry basket with lid brings a little warmth to the room.
Mounted TV Art Gallery Wall
White frames and matting keep a gallery wall around a wall mounted tv light in the bedroom with bright white walls.
White Frames and Matting Keep it Light
Pops of pink accent a white dresser on a white wall with an art gallery and blue and white rug.  A cute pink lotus tassel hangs on a knob.
Pops of Pink

Decorating around a small tabletop tv.

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m going to use a government-issued furniture dresser but here it is! We were stationed overseas for four years so I had to make what little decor we had to work with the military base loaned us. And I’m pretty proud of my dresser styling skills here!

Of course, the same decorating rules can be applied to any dresser and it just shows what intentional and eclectic styling can enhance any piece of furniture.

  • Place the tv on one side of a long dresser and a lamp or other large accessory on the other side.
  • Use a tray or stack of books (or layer both) to corral small decorating items in the middle.
  • Hang art around the tv and bring it down close to the dresser top to fill most of the negative space. Make sure everything is spaced evenly. Start with big pieces, then medium, and add the small ones last.
  • Think outside the box with gallery walls. If it can lay flat, if will probably look great on a wall.
A walnut government issued dresser is decorated with art around a small table top tv, floral lamp, and decorating accessories.
How to Style a Chest of Drawers with a TV
A close up view of a wood dresser top with a white lamp and floral lamp shade on a stack of black books next to a gold tray with a picture and star.  A threshing basket, large cross stitch, small gold watercolor, and birch tree print hangs on the wall.
My Mother Cross-stitched the Lord’s Prayer
A tall vintage mirror leans on a white wall next to a wood dresser with a small tv and gallery wall.  You see a dog's reflection in the mirror.
A Full-Length Mirror Next to the Dresser as Part of the Vignette

Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

How to Style a Small Chest of Drawers

I’m adding a sixth example for you to show that sometimes less is more! I’m using my daughter’s three-drawer dresser that she has had since she was born. It had gone through a couple of paint makeovers but the mint green and gold bee are my favorite.

  • Keep it simple and focus on what’s above the dresser. A small picture arrangement that is a little bit less than the width of the dresser can be enough. Try an odd grouping of items or a small gallery wall with same-sized frames in an even number like four.
  • Add a table lamp on one side of the dresser.
  • Try a lamp, plant, and decorating accessory on one side, and one large decoarting item on the other depending on how much negative space is left on the wall above it.
A beautiful mint painted dresser with a gold bee is in front of mint green bird wallpaper under a chair rail with peach wall paint.  A marble and brass modern lamp is on the side and three wall hangings.
A Small Chest of Drawers
A mint dresser with a modern lamp, small plant, and cookies are in front of bird wallpaper.
Minimalist Dresser Styling
Mint dresser top has a cute plant in a pink planter, pink cookies, and modern table top lamp is in front of bird wallpaper with pink upper walls and two framed photos.
Dresser Top Decor

Keep in mind that the wall decor and dresser decor should be similar with how many pieces and spacing. You don’t want minimal wall decor and a busy surface. Stay consistent and it will look well-designed!

Check out this round-up of gorgeous dresser styling from Dream Decor and dressers under windows ideas from Decor Pad.

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