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Tomek Buszewski
Tomek Buszewski

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Default styles in Storybook with Styled Components

Recently I was building a Storybook for my new project. While I enjoy the encapsulation it provides, global styles such as resets are still a common thing. Even though it doesn't change much, I still wanted to have them in my every Story.

Global reset

My global styles are created using styled-reboot, an addition to Styled Components. It's a configurable Bootstrap reset – something I was looking for a quite some time.

The code itself looks pretty simple:

import { createGlobalStyle } from "styled-components";
import reboot from "styled-reboot";

import design from "./";

const options = {
  bodyColor: design.brand("violet"),
  bodyBg: design.brand("white"),
  fontSizeBase: "8px",
  linkColor: design.brand("base"),
  linkHoverColor: design.brand("base"),

const GlobalStyle = createGlobalStyle`

export default GlobalStyle;

This gives us a component that we can place similar to every other. For example, like this:

import GlobalStyle from "../globalStyle";

const App = () => (
    <GlobalStyle />

Great stuff, but how can I use it within my Stories?


I use Storybook as my prime environment for developing UI. So it's obvious I want it to reflect the actual outcome as much as possible. Incorporation of global reset is a must here.

My first approach was to simply add <GlobalStyle /> component to each story, like this:

storiesOf("UI", module)
  .add("Button", () => (
      <GlobalStyle />
      <Button type="button">Hello</Button>

While this certainly works, it gives me an additional overhead. I have to remember to include the reset, import it every time etc.

I am too lazy for this. I had to figure out something better.

Then I remembered the Decorators option Storybook provides!

Decorators are wrapper components or Storybook decorators that wrap a story.

Intro to Addons

So, writing such decorator is the only thing left.

Writing the decorator

All of the additional code for Storybook lies within config.js file, mostly in .storybook directory (if not stated otherwise). Mine was looking like this:

import { configure } from '@storybook/react';

const req = require.context('../../', true, /\.stories\.tsx$/);

function loadStories() {
  req.keys().forEach(filename => req(filename))

configure(loadStories, module);

Simple scanning for stories. So, next thing is to add the decorator.

import { addDecorator, configure } from '@storybook/react';

import * as React from 'react';
import GlobalStyle from '.../ui/globalStyle';

const req = require.context('../../', true, /\.stories\.tsx$/);

function loadStories() {
  req.keys().forEach(filename => req(filename))

const withGlobal = (cb) => (
    <GlobalStyle />

configure(loadStories, module);

Let's talk it over.

First, we import addDecorator function, it will be responsible for applying our add-on to the system.

Second, we import React, as we will create a little bit of JSX, and the style created earlier.

Next step is creating the decorator itself. Simple function with one argument. I wrapped it in React.Fragment which allows for using multiple children without creating extra DOM elements. If you're using React in version lower than 16, consider div as a neutral wrapper.

The last step is to apply the decorator using addDecorator.

Simple as that. What is super important, is to declare the configure execution as the last command.

Now, additional CSS code will be added to each of your Stories without any further edits.

Top comments (2)

catkav profile image

This was very helpful, thank you! I tried this approach and it mostly worked however the styles on buttons are being overridden by user agent styles in Storybook but not in my app, would you know why this is happening or a way to resolve it?

dpagey profile image

This helped a lot, thanks!