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  • Writer's pictureElisha Rickward

How to find the perfect bedside table

Not sure about you but I may have done a wee bit of shopping over lockdown. With my predilection for stretchy pants and comfort I stayed well away from trawling fashion sites and not surprisingly turned my energies to closer to home (well actually it may come as no surprise but all of my purchases were for the home…). Most were small little things that I buried in amongst crowded things like the bookcases so that they went largely unnoticed – or if not possibly attributed to a lucky find when I was clearing the cupboards for the seventh time.

Not so small however are my new favourite thing – my bedside tables so I had to take ownership for purchasing those because they well demand attention...

I am usually very decisive in knowing what I like (or rather what I really don’t like) but choosing good bedsides were challenging. I was confident in the look but I just wasn't sure if they would overwhelm the space. Would they be too big for the space?

Like any good decorator I measured not once, not twice but three times to make sure they would fit (not with the scheme I was confident about that) but literally would they fit the space and not make it feel over crowded (there was literally a few millimeters to spare between the corner of the room, the bedsides and the bed). Knowing that fortune favours the bold I hit the BUY NOW button and held my breath until they arrived and were in Situ and boy was I glad I pushed myself – because they look fantastic and I love them. Equally as wonderful they are actually chest of drawers (not bedsides as was worried they would be too small) so the storage is in added boon.

Given my decision paralysis I thought it might be worth doing a deep dive into what to look for in selecting a bedside table – I know it can be challenging to find ones that look good AND function well.

Things to consider:

Ask yourself what vibe is going in your room (or what are hoping to achieve). Are you yearning for a relaxed coastal vibe (ever popular here in Australia), a minimalist sleek barely there piece or something that demands attention and screams look at me?

Inspiration Image:

Shop the look:

Inspiration Image:

Shop the look:

Inspiration Image: Neale Whittaker via Homes to Love

Shop the look:

Inspiration Image: Suzie Anderson Home via Pinterest

Shop the look:

Look at the materiality and finish of the other furniture in your bedroom. You definitely want variety in a space – no matchy matchy catalogue shopping here thank you. If your bed is in a timber stain think about a different material finish for your bedside table – for example a rattan, a painted finish or bone inlay. Better yet if you have a material bedhead the world is your oyster.

Consider the size of your bedroom. A small room can easily look swamped by large wooden bedside tables in a dark black or deep timber stain for example. Similarly bedsides with a number of drawers will tend to look more substantial and voluminous than a sleek piece with a single drawer that is just big enough to hold a few things you like to keep handy – like eye cream, ipad charger for late night Netflix and if you are unlucky to have a partner that snores – earplugs!

Images: via Pinterest

Think about function – what do you need to store close by? What is essential vs nice-to-have? Ideally you want a bedside that is large enough to hold on its top a lamp, a glass of water, phone and its charger (eye roll) and if you are old school a book or two. Then we get to other ‘stuff’. If you have a lot of stuff, you’ll need drawers (and ahem maybe multiple drawers). If you are taken with a Marie Kondo way of life you might get by with a slimline bedside without drawers: remember you can always consider storage boxes or baskets that can sit below or beside them.

This brings me to scale – think about the size of the bedsides in proportion to the beds they sit next to. Streamlined bedsides are one thing but teeny tiny bedsides next to a large King Sized bed (particularly the generous padded hotel style ones) are my pet peeve – do not do this! It will look like you are a contestant on The Block who is down to their last dollar. Too small is never a good idea and too low to the ground is problematic if you have small bedside lamps… otherwise they won’t cast the light where it is most needed.

Image via Pinterest.

The scale of this light and bedside against the large bed looks all wrong in my humble opinion.

Image via Homes & Garden UK found on Pinterest.

Again the proportion of this bedside against the statement bedhead and tall lamp is wrong. A larger bedside would definitely look better here and there seems to be adequate room.

If you are worried that your room is cramped (or just a small room) you might like to consider having a custom shelf or box that is mounted to the wall and raised off the floor. Not only will this free up floor space but will enable you to see more of the flooring – creating the illusion of a bigger room.

Image Credit: via Pinterest

lIf you are really tight for space you might also like to think about having hanging lights or wall mounted options to create more space next to your bed – of course this will likely entail an electrician (or push you towards becoming fan of an e-reader so you can read in the dark).

Image Credit: www.

So bottom line think not only about the style you are after but also what you like to keep handy (or hide away from prying eyes).

And no your bedside tables do not need to match (in fact can look quite fabulous if they don’t!) though the OCD in me will always push for a pair…

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Jun 01, 2022

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