Nightstands for Modern Bedrooms

There are many considerations to bear in mind when choosing a bed stand. Most of us put a great deal of time and effort into choosing the bed and mattress and treat the nightstands as a kind of afterthought. This is a pity because the right nightstand can add a lot of personality and style to a bedroom.

A generation ago, everyone went out and bought a “bedroom suite”. This made life easy because it provided a matching headboard, bed stands and dressing table with very little thought and effort. But they were so boring. Modern bedrooms shun this look of uniformity and shy away from looking like an overdone hotel room. The nightstands no longer need to match the bed and everything else in the room. Indeed, they should not. They don’t even have to match each other.


While there are no longer any rules set in stone when it comes to choosing a bed stand, there are some guidelines that allow you to be creative yet still end up with a beautifully decorated bedroom.

Whether you choose to clean up some old pieces from a yard sale or purchase two brand new night stands, the main thing is to have fun and be creative while keeping in mind a few practicalities.


What Size Should Your Nightstands Be?

A rule of thumb is that the nightstands should be the same height as the top of your mattress. The norm is to have one on either side of the bed. This provides a practical, easy-to-reach surface as well as a uniform look. It makes it easy to reach your coffee mug or book and to turn off the alarm. However, if you have a futon or other low-profile bed, the bed stands can even be as low as the platform base.


If your headboard is oversized, the bed stands can be higher than the mattress surface, but no more than half the height of the headboard.

Don’t push the nightstands right up against the sides of the bed but keep them a few inches away. This allows space for the bed linen to hang down over the edge. It also prevents you from accidentally bumping yourself when you sleep on the edge of the bed.


Regarding how wide and deep the nightstands should be, there really are no rules. It depends on what you prefer and on the proportions of the other furniture in the room. For instance, if everything else is heavy and large, then narrow, spindly night stands will look out of place. If in doubt, rather go for something larger, as tiny night stands usually always look wrong, especially with a double bed.


How About the Top?

For practicality, the top of the bed stand should have enough space for a small reading lamp, an alarm clock or your mobile phone and perhaps a glass of water and a book or two. Avoid cluttering the surface, though.


If you tend to collect a lot of items try to think out of the box a little. What about putting those framed photos on the wall? Have you thought about wall lights above the bed instead of table lamps? How about drawers or a bookshelf for all the books?


What About Storage Space?

First, you need to take stock of the items you normally keep on your bed stand. Then divide them into what is there out of habit (photos, piles of magazines) and what is there because you use it (glass of water, reading glasses, mobile). Then look for bed stands that will suit your needs. Find other places for your habitual stuff, and you’ll immediately have decluttered the space considerably.


If you tend to accumulate loads of stuff, then perhaps you should look for nightstands with drawers and a shelf. Shelves are great if you have attractive items to store such as a pile of books. They can also be fitted with a small basket to store items out of sight. Also, drawers can be used for the least attractive items such as reading glasses and medicines.


If you’re a rare individual who has little on their bedside table besides a lamp, then you could go for a sleeker design with just a table top and no shelving or drawers.


Which Material is Best?

The material you choose for your nightstand will have a significant effect on how your room looks and feels. Traditional bedrooms look great with wooden nightstands with iron or brass handles. Contemporary styled bedrooms look better with metal or glass night stands or those made from painted wood.  Consider the items you’re going to put on top of the table. If you have heavy lamps or ornaments, then you’ll need something reliable and sturdy to support the weight.


How to Pick the Colour?

The colour of the bed stands needs to coordinate with the rest of the room, but you can go lighter or darker. Lighter shades are going to reflect the light so will bring extra light into the room. This goes for nightstands made of glass, metal or painted wood. Dark colours absorb the light, creating a warm, cosy effect. For instance, dark wood or black nightstands will tastefully complement a bright bedroom.


Working Together While Not Matching

As we said earlier, it’s no longer necessary to have all the furniture in the room matching, but it should still create a cohesive effect. For instance, if your bed is heavy, dark wood then perhaps a pair of brass bed stands with open legs would fit in well. If you have an upholstered fabric headboard, then heavy wooden bed stands would probably work with it. The look of wrought iron beds is softened by tables covered in tablecloths with a glass top. White, wooden country-style beds pair beautifully with wicker bedside tables.


You Can Please Everybody

Lastly, remember that if you share the bedroom with a partner, you also need to take their needs and style into account. We love the modern trend of mismatched bed stands because it's much easier to cater for different needs. One partner might accumulate books and paraphernalia by their bedside while the other is prefers it neater. In this case, consider a dresser on the one side with drawers for all odds and ends, and a small, elegant table on the other side in the same style and colour. This side could just hold a single lamp. Remember, you can always poach one of your partner’s drawers!

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