Unread books, magazines, snacks and other personal debris can really pile up on a bedside table, but remember, it is also the perfect place to indulge your sense of style, writes Carol O’Callaghan.
Your bedside tables can be your very own little styling project, and less likely to be sabotaged by family piling stuff on the sideboard you organised last week.
Bedside lockers, as such, are out of fashion, with other furniture double-jobbing as alternatives. I’ve repurposed a vintage dumb waiter on castors, passed on to me by a relative, and what a great bedside table it makes.
Two roomy shelves play host to a lamp, a clock, two scented candles, an ever-growing pile of books, a selection of hand creams, a rock crystal, and quite often a cold cup of tea left abandoned in favour of sleep.
Admittedly, it’s tidy, although hardly Instagram worthy, but as I’m partial to a pretty vignette, a research session threw up some tips on how to get it looking its stylish best.
Pinterest has more pictures that we can cope with and offers lots to imitate, if that suits: See https://www.pinterest.ie/lonnymag/bedside-table-ideas/ or https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/bedsidetables/ — or just dive in and see what you come up with.
Take everything off the table and wipe it down. If it looks shabby, a lovely tray will cover it up and also herd together small items which would otherwise look untidy (cups, hand cream, watch, and phone). Sostrene Grene’s AW19 collection has plain trays in neutral shades (€4.18).
The lamp is usually the largest object and ought to be placed first. If space is tight, opt for a small base or try something like the streamlined Agent floor lamp from Light in Douglas West (€169).
Few bedside tables are without a book or magazine so make them earn their keep, stacked to give height with a little vase of blooms or a ring dish for interest. Take a look at American blogger Liza Rollins’ way of doing it at http://theeverygirl.com/5-ways-to-decorate-with-books.
Photos of loved ones is another option. Go higher and hang art on the wall just above the table, or a mirror where a dressing table isn’t needed. For inspiration for something a little offbeat, take a look at the Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic brass panel frame (€12) at Dunnes Stores.
It’s impossible to talk about bedside tables and not include candles. In addition to providing soft lighting, fragrance can add to the atmosphere. Give this some thought, however, as minty aromas are fresh and zingy to promote alertness, whereas lavender aids in relaxation. Penney’s Baby Girl range has the Flower candle with lid (€4.50).
Don’t be alarmed
By now we all know the advice about keeping phones with their sleep-disturbing blue light out of the bedroom. While that may not be practical, at least eliminate the digital clock and its vividly illuminated screen.
What about a regular clock instead with hands which go around soothingly? The Wideboy alarm clock from Harvey Norman comes in a retro design (€50).
A little plant like an elegant fern sucks in carbon dioxide and gives back oxygen. Perfect for cold nights ahead to freshen up the air when windows are shut tight. Gardening blogger Plantedwell.com has 30 plant suggestions to help aid sleep. https://plantedwell.com/best-plants-for-bedroom/
Partial to a bedtime beverage? Have a favourite coaster to protect the table surface and add another styling dimension.
It’s hard to buy them individually, but if you’d like a set, Carrig Donn currently carries a range depicting Impressionist paintings (€10 for a set of six).
A touch of bling
Metals are trending massively, so try something in a silver, gold, or brass finish in the tray which is herding smaller bits and pieces together, or in the base of the reading lamp, or a decorative box where watches and jewellery can be stored at night.
The Spiral brass side table from Meadows and Byrne offers both metal and the bedside table itself (€169).
So now your styling project is coming to a close, does the result look a little flat? A colour pop might be the very thing needed unless the aim was for pale and interesting.
Have fun playing around with different coloured items. https://www.sessions.edu/color-calculator/ shows how to find a colour which works with the main colour in the room. There’s no commitment: If you don’t like it, just remove it.