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Nestle is a white space generator built for Stylus. It makes it easy to maintain consistent vertical rythm and inner spacing. Since the web isn't purely vertical, Nestle includes a robust grid module that ties in seemlessly.


$ npm install nestle


Be sure to import Nestle into your main.styl or equivilant file (at the top, preferably). Adjust the path of this import depending on your setup. If you're using Express be sure to require nestle

@import 'nestle'


To begin using Nestle, place the nestle() function somewhere in your project. If you plan on using @extend to utilize various Nestle classess inside your custom classes, place this mixin high enough in your code to allow for this.

nestle(ratio, shift, steps, dev, bg)
  • ratio — sets ratio for white space scale (default 1.5)
  • shift — adjusts ratio relative to base font size (default -2.5)
  • steps — number of steps in the scale (default 6, like h1-h6)
  • dev — elements are rendered with backgrounds for easier configuration (default false)
  • bg — color used for dev option (default teal)


The nestle() function generates CSS classes that define padding for the element it is applied to and sets spacing for child elements, including grids.



This class may be applied directly to the element that gets padding, but extending it inside your custom elements may give you more control.

.pad-1 { padding: 2.756em }
.pad-2 { padding: 1.837em }
.pad-3 { padding: 1.225em }
.pad-4 { padding: 0.816em }
.pad-5 { padding: 0.544em }
.pad-6 { padding: 0.363em }


This class may be applied directly to the element that defines a new nesting context, but extending it inside your custom elements may give you more control.

.nest-1 * { margin-top: 1.837em }
.nest-2 * { margin-top: 1.225em }
.nest-3 * { margin-top: 0.816em }
.nest-4 * { margin-top: 0.544em }
.nest-5 * { margin-top: 0.363em }
.nest-6 * { margin-top: 0.242em }


Since it would be strange to only have vertical rythm and spacing control, Nestle comes with a rubust horizontal grid system built in. It's best to think of this as a reusable module with a few key components. These components consist of:

  • .grid — this element recieves all modifer classes and when the grid has spacing it counteracts the inevitable outer gutters that a grid produces. .grid can be modified by various subclasses (e.g. .grid.spaced):

    • .spaced — horizontally spaces colums and ties into the nest level set by the nearest .nest-x parent
    • .auto — will divide column width equally across total width of grid (does not work with .col.min and .col.max)
    • .inline — causes grid to collapse to its content width
    • .align-top — columns vertically align to the top
    • .align-middle — columns vertically align to the middle
    • .align-bottom — columns vertically align to the bottom
    • .height-full — fills height of parent
  • .grid-items — this element contains the group of elements that you want to be presented in columns.

  • .col — this element represents the grid column and has two sub-classes:

    • .min — column will collapse to minimum width that its content allows
    • .max - column will expand as far as other columns allow
<div class="grid">
  <div class="grid-items">
    <div class="col"><!-- content --></div>
    <div class="col"><!-- content --></div>
    <div class="col"><!-- content --></div>


Applied directly to HTML:

<article class="pad-1 nest-1">
  <header><!-- content --></article>
  <div><!-- content --></div>
  <footer><!-- content --></footer>

Using @extend:

  @extend .pad-1, .nest-1