In one of her less iconic episodes when she was wearing her hair long, straight and fabulous, one Miss Carrie Bradshaw said “Home is where my blow dryer is”. Similarly, for most of us, our nightstands are where our phone chargers are. A convenient little space to dump things after a long, tiring day. And sadly, often a neglected part of a well thought out decor plan, whilst the coffee table, bookshelves and couch fight for their rightful space in the limelight.
However, your bedside table can be so much more – a calming space to help you unwind and de-stress, the perfect little reading nook to ease your transition to the land of the nod, a chance to surround yourself by some of your favourite memories and mementos or even the last stop on the beauty bus for the day.
Taking a few cues from my bedside vignettes in the UK and back home, here are a few tips on how to make coming home to your nightstand less of a chore and more of a treat:
Choose a bedside table with at least one drawer to hold unsightly objects like medicines, wires and TV remotes or for more personal objects like a personal diary or dream journal. Tuck phone wires out of the way in the daytime and keep the top free for pretty objects that don’t pull down the overall feel of the room or make it look messy.
The lamp is everything
Seriously, though. The lamp is the focal point of the whole table, so make sure you choose wisely. It needs to be in proportion to your table so that it isn’t too small and disappears into it, isn’t too big that it overwhelms it, but is just the right size to still accommodate other objects on the same surface. When in doubt, opt for a clear lamp base. White, chrome and gold are great options, too. As for me? I’m working my way up to this totally awesome pineapple lamp.
Find your inner zen
Or just choose calming colours that make you feel like you have. I personally don’t believe in the ‘healing power of crystals’ but I do believe that they add a serene, organic vibe to a room and come in lovely pastel shades. Plus they’re totally on trend at the moment. I bought mine at Colaba, but you can also score some here. Other ways to zen out and transform your nightstand into a soothing, tranquil space would be to find a scrumptiously scented candle to place on the table and make a nighttime ritual of lighting it for 5-10 minutes before bedtime. In a few days, your body will make the connection between the warmth of the flame and the smell of the candle and will send a signal to your brain to shut down for the day, relax and prepare for rest.
Upgrade your basics
Instead of a boring old regular plastic alarm clock, treat yourself to a cool retro metallic one instead. Or throw out your run of the mill bottle of mineral water and opt for a jug and a glass or a pretty glass bottle to make the space look a little more chic. PS here’s looking at the ugly complimentary eye mask you got on your last long flight. Its time to replace it with a chic one like this, or I might have to stage an intervention.
Make it an indulgent space
Treat yourself to a great smelling body lotion, lip balm or eye cream by your bedside. Slathering them on before your head hits the pillows makes the winding down experience more pleasurable and gives you something to look forward to. Plus waking up to smooth skin, moist lips and bright eyes is always a plus, right? Oh, and in case you’re not a fan of the greasy stuff, a pretty hair brush achieves the same results.
Show off your favourite reads
Move over bookshelf. The nightstand is a great place to show off your inner bookworm. Pick books that you’re currently reading, favourites you love going back to over and over, one from your childhood for old time’s sake as well as any collectibles you just can’t get enough of. Remember to keep your soothing colour palette in mind while selecting which ones to display.
Add a little flair
Everyone who’s anyone on Pinterest and Instagram are elevating their bedside tables with a fun piece of art. For real cool-girl appeal (and to avoid upsetting your landlord), skip drilling holes in the wall and instead, just casually lean a piece of art against the wall. Keep in mind your colour palette and overall size when picking a picture. Mine is a black and white framed picture of children playing in Bombay that James took on our first photography date. It reminds me of home and of that wonderful day and makes me happy each time I look at it. Pick a picture that makes you feel the same. Having trouble? Check these out.
Make some room for your baubles
I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day, I end up taking off all my jewellery and leaving it all over my bedroom. It often falls off surfaces, breaks or gets lost, which isn’t ideal now that I’m in my twenties and wearing wedding and engagement rings. So I’ve taken to putting them on display in a jewellery dish or inside a little jewellery box by my bedside to make sure they stay safe. Artificial jewellery also makes for a fun display item – drape a funky statement necklace over a boring lamp shade or have one framed to instantly amp up your nightstand’s chic quotient.
Personalize, personalize, personalize
Every little item on my nightstand relates to a memory or a person. The big silver alarm clock was a gift from the friend who helped me name my blog. The Egyptian queen was a gift from my favourite aunt who passed away this year. The pearl jewellery dish is a actually a nut bowl and was given to me by my dad’s family when they moved home. The little silver box used sit on my grandmother’s nightstand and as a child, I was fascinated with how it opened on both sides. Most of the other items were bought on fun shopping trips with my mom. And the little pair of gold mojris? Well, for now, lets just say I’m obsessed with little baby shoes. Ahem. The point is, whether you go down the traditional route of picking a photo frame or you choose to display your memories in other creative ways, just make sure your nightstand is full of happy thoughts, calming vibes and loving people – the ultimate secret to a good night’s rest.
What’s on your bedside table? Share it with me in the comments below or show me a picture on Instagram / Twitter by tagging @bombaybubble.