This is a subject I return to again and again. Most of the ones I see are just awful and it seems you agree with me. It’s a question I am asked almost more than any other. Sometimes there just isn’t room for furniture on either side of the bed and, it seems to me, that the overwhelming majority of bedside tables fall into the twee, shabby chic painted furniture variety or the modern, boxy characterless mass-produced variety. And we do not want either of those. Not at all.
So let’s try and address that with my current pick of some of the best around at the moment . The first thing I would say is you do need to be disciplined. The reason many of us want storage is because it’s just a handy place to stuff rubbish and keep it off the floor. Last year I changed our bedside drawers after finding four tubes of half-used handcream, three notebooks, a few chargers belonging to indeterminate objects, several pens, and a lipsalve.
So do bear that advice in mind and in the meantime, here are some of my favourite options around at the moment. Or you can just use a chair, as the model Ruth Crilly has done above ( after reading the chapter in my book on this very subject). We have a couple of vintage stools by the bed as well as wall lights for reading, which frees up more space.
So pictured above is a not terribly good picture of one I put into a show flat I have designed in Wembley (more on that to come and rest assured the bed linen will have been ironed by that stage!) It’s the box beside table by joined + jointed. It’s such a simple design and yet there’s a drawer for the things that don’t look pretty – all those scrunched up tissues and lip salves and an open space to tuck your pile of books into.
And just check those dovetail joints…. It costs £280 and comes in either walnut or oak. Trend tip? Walnut is the way to go at the moment.
Coming in at exactly half the price but more than half as nice is this stool with magazine holder underneath. It’s not leather, although these days we don’t need to apologise for that as veganism is becoming a proper choice for interiors design as well as diets. I rather like this one which costs £140 from La Redoute. It’s simple, holds quite a lot of books and means you will have to be tidy since there is no drawer.
Now for those of you who do want something with more storage, although I defy you to actually open the door and put things in and take things out on a nightly basis. I reckon this is a junk store waiting to happen but then maybe you are less slatternly than me. The white one isn’t in stock yet but there is a grey one if you can’t wait and it costs £165 from Design Vintage. I like the fact that it’s old school locker in shape but made from wood. There is a single shelf across the middle.
Pretty and practical and before you start it comes in grey too so should work for everyone. This is a series of three trays that you can stack to the height you want. Each one is topped with two wooden semi circles which means you need only remove the front half to gain access to the things below – there’s a video if that’s not clear. I think it’s rather clever and this would definitely be on my shopping list if I was shopping for bedside tables which despite the epidemic levels of DDE (decorating domino effect) in this house appears to be literally the only thing I’m not shopping for. It’s £199 from made.com.
Finally, this simple black stool. Because it sums up what we were talking about the start – an end to clutter and storing of rubbish. And because it’s a beautiful piece of work that will last for ever – move it from the bedside to sofaside. Or sit on it when an extra person turns up and needs a place to rest their wine or their bottom. On balance I’d probably buy this one too – it’s by Galvin Brothers and it’s £220.
So that’s my current top five. No doubt we’ll be back again in a year to see more. Do you like any of these?
I have decided to start a monthly newsletter with a little more lifestyle rather than just the interiors. I will be sending an email to existing subscribers directly after this update so you can update your preferences if you would like to receive it or not. Or you can update here right now. I will be including a little more behind the scenes stuff from shoots and press launches – things that don’t always make the blog but are still interiors-related. In addition to that there will be stuff about where I went (this month it’s LA, Lisbon and Leeds (!) as well as book updates, what I ate, where I went, shoes I bought, books I read – that sort of thing. It will be sent out on the first of the month and, of course, you can opt in and out any time you like. Let me know in the comments if you fancy and if there is anything you would particularly like to read about.