How pretty is your bedside table? Is it arranged perfectly as above or is it a mishmash of objects? A pile of half-read books, a lamp, some magazines, scattered earrings, maybe a phone charger? While you might think that you need to have some serious time on your hands to care about things like ‘styling your bedside table’, a few quick and easy tweaks can make the world of difference to your bedroom – and therefore your bedtime routine. Want your bedroom to be an oasis of calm where sleep is much-beloved friend? Then look no further, your bedside table is where to start…..
Let’s start with the basics. The Table. While it almost certainly depends on your taste, your room, the space you have available, there’s much to be said for having a table with a shelf at the bottom. As you can see from the above photos, it offers extra room for magazines, books, those Very Important Things you simply can’t live without. However, there’s much to be said for enforced minimalism. In which, case a simple tray table (as below) can work perfectly if you prefer to have one – rather than five – books next to you at night. The main thing to think about when buying a bedside table is its height in relation to your mattress – neither too high nor too low. And, remember – your bedside tables don’t have to match. Whilst symmetrical tables are the norm, mismatched nightstands can be very chic, just look at the bedroom of London-based Fashion Editor and stylist Kim Hersov who has used desks either side of her bed, but with different lamps and accessories.
It would be lovely to fill every room in your house with flowers, but I grant you, such a habit would be expensive. However, flowers do make a bedside table – just look how in the picture above, the industrial hardness of the table fashioned from repurposed mailboxes is softened by the vase of flowers. If you don’t want to buy fresh flowers on a regular basis for your bedside table, then how about a small plant? I recently added a small orchid to our bedroom and it’s made a world of difference.
Only the tidiest person has just a lamp and a clock by their bed. If you tend to accumulate ‘things’, then I love the idea of using The White Company’s nesting trays (pictured above) to keep smaller items – jewellery, glasses, a watch etc – in place by your bed. Alternatively, for rings and earrings, you could use a pretty dish. Another clever idea is to use a wicker basket to store things on the shelf by the base of your bed…
One of the best ways to set an atmosphere in your bedroom is with a candle. Not only do they smell divine – and with the right scent, help relax you – but they also look very pretty. And, when you’ve finished with it, you can clean it out and use it as a small vase (especially the Diptyque ones, which are exceptionally lovely). If you don’t trust yourself to blow it out at night, then you could always resort to using a pillow or room spray to provide a soothing scent…
WHO NEEDS A TABLE?
Of course, you could think, tables? They’re so old hat. In which case, how about this swing by the bed, which I assume is fixed to the wall, otherwise it’s basically, well, useless. Another idea is to use old wine boxes as a cheap nightstand (as seen in the picture below from Lark & Linen). Either creosote to a dark wood colour or paint. You could even wallpaper them if you wanted to make a statement.
Sometimes, when you’re too tired to start a new book or wade through your current not-so-great-but-I-AM-going-to-finish-it one, there’s nothing lovelier than picking up a much-thumbed old friend. Something easy to read and familiar. Both Natasha and I are big fans of Agatha Christie – Natasha, in fact, has just finished Sophie Hannah’s new reimagining of Poirot, The Monogram Murders, and recommends it heartily. I am also something of a fan of PG Wodehouse for bedtime – Natasha (she is a literary fiend) has just given me a copy of Sebastian Faulks’ homage to Wodehouse, Jeeves and The Wedding Bells, which I am to read soon. Alternatively, you could always plump for Austen – the Vintage Classics versions of her novels are a very pretty bedside table addition – or Letters between Six Sisters – the letters of the Mitford Sisters.
Do leave a comment or tweet us and let us know your bedtime reading suggestions. Or perhaps, you prefer a coffee table tome to flick through before hitting the pillow? Do let us know!