What connects an outdoor toilet to an underrated piece of bedroom furniture that’s perfect for holding your car keys?
Let’s find out.
You wake up one Victorian evening.
It’s pitch black, you can’t see the fingers in front of your eyes.
Rolling over, you feel a bloated, heavy stomach.
Nature is calling and its knocking won’t stop.
Back in the good old days, when there were no electric lights, no running water, no sewage systems, only outdoor earth toilet closets – you get the picture – there was the widespread use of a chamber pot for indoor toilet use, generally at night.
So, picture the scene if you can.
You wake up one Victorian evening. It’s pitch black, you can’t see the fingers in front of your eyes.
You roll over and can feel your bloated, heavy stomach.
Nature is calling and its knocking won’t stop.
There’s no sewer system yet so you pause and think for a bit.
You realize your chamber pot’s around here somewhere. But where?
You’ve been through this fuss and bother before before, it’s always in the last place you look.
You’re bursting now, things are getting desperate.
As your hands fumble around in the dark, they glide across the table beside your bed and sparks your tired brain into gear. Of course.
The table beside the bed.
Or as your friends call it the nightstand.
You do your business.
The goods go out the window.
The chamber pot goes back into the bedside table, waiting to be discovered by someone you pay good money to.
Perhaps, you think, they deserve a little extra after that one.
What is a Nightstand?
It’s a small table that sits next to your bed, often it’ll have drawers built in so you can store tissues and a Bible.
They’re only needed at the same time ocassionally.
If you come in from work and throw your keys anywhere that will take them, only to desperately scramble on all fours at 7am the next morning then think about a bedside table dish.
Get the right one they can look amazing sitting next to your bed and it gives you an area to store the essentials.
It’s not something you have the chance to think about until it’s suddenly a very real concern.
Your options range from zero to two.
Most people will stick with two to keep everything looking symmetrical but anymore than two and I don’t think I’m the guy that can help you.
Now for the fun part. Lighting. You’re pretty much guaranteed to put at least one lamp on your nightstand.
They’re the best way to add task lighting your your bedroom. What that’s going to do is make it cozy and inviting.
Make sure the bloody lamps match the bedside table or it’s all done for nothing.
All of the elements throughout our homes need to look great as well as work.
It’s all about the details.
In this case (as with all lighting) we need to make sure the color of light that the bulbs emit promotes the right colors of the walls and surrounding decor.
Modern bedside lamps are typically chrome.
To keep the proportion of the lamp in line with the bedside table, make sure the lamp shade isn’t wider than the table its sitting on or the table is going to look like it hasn’t been working the legs out enough at the gym.
Leg day, never skip it.
Also, you’ll just bash into it and break it before the end of the month, then you splurged all your money for nothing.
Matching the bedside light to the opposite side with any wall lights that are providing overhead light can make you look like the wise and experienced person you are, you bloody genius, you.
Our aim with the height of the bedside table and bottom of the lamp is to be able to see the interface where they sit against one another.
Jump into bed and lie with your head flat to the left or right to visualize it.
Make sure no one can see you do this or you will be labelled as a weirdo.
Back to today and most of us are lucky enough to own bathrooms without a chamber pot in sight.
So, what are bedside tables used for now?
Nightstands house all manner of items, some as personal as the humble chamber pot. Here are some of them:
You’re not as open-minded as you think you are and there’s always more room to improve your creativity.
Research from the University of Toronto found that those who regularly read fiction books scored more marks on their open-mindedness because they got to experience more through the books.
Those who read live longer too.
Reading improves many aspects of the brain including, vocabulary, thinking and concentration.
Improve your life, get a book and sit it on your bedside table
When you’re made of 60% water, you need to get it topped up or you’re going to die.
Before that happens, keeping yourself hydrated is going to make you less moody, allows your to exercise further and you’ll lose more weight whilst you do it.
If you’re like me and you have bad joints then drinking water is like putting oil in a car, you’re going to have a spring in your step.
Keeping a notebook is going to take you to the next level as a human being.
How many times have you had ideas float into your head, especially when you’re lying in bed, with no opportunity to record them?
This is going to be your todo list for life now.
I’m not talking about the shopping, I’m talking about ideas on how you’re going to improve your life.
If you have an idea for a business, write it down and flesh out your plan.
It’s time for world domination.
We all know that look at our phones in bed is a terrible idea if we want to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.
I don’t know about you but I always need more shut eye, there’s never enough.
The white light from our phones, tablets and laptops keep us wired and ready to run a marathon which is usually a terrible idea when you’re staring at the ceiling, praying to a merciful God for rest.
We’ve all got busy brains, it’s an unfortunate part of being sentient animals.
Let’s try and fix this shall we?
It’s time for some meditation.
I know I’ve just said not to use your phone in bed so do it in the morning.
You can find tons of highly rated guided meditation apps help you relax, ready for the rat race that lies ahead.
Types of Nightstand
Not all bedside tables were made equally, there are different styles for different people. Chests, cabinets and nightstands – we’ve got ‘em all!
Everyone loves mid-century modern furniture at the moment.
They have organic forms and everything stands on hairpin legs to give an airy appearance.
Chest of Drawers
Do you have an unhealthy obsession with underwear? Good.
The bedside chests are going to be your trusty sidekick.
They have three or four drawers and store your secrets.
Bedside cabinets are great for those with a healthy obsession with underwear, they have one drawer and a larger cupboard underneath.
Bedside tables are all about the design, there isn’t a lot of function to them other than you literally being able to hold everything.
They’re awesome for bedrooms that don’t have the luxury of a lot of room. A smaller room means smaller furniture.
The bedside table material is going to be made from wood nine times out of ten.
There are no rules saying you should match both of the
What is a bedside table used for?
How Tall Should a Nightstand be?
The height of the bedside table is an important one that needs answered.
Typical nightstand dimensions rely on your bed.
If you don’t know the height of your bed because you haven’t bought it yet, it’s probably best to wait a little bit longer until you have.
The bedside table should be approximately flush with level of the mattress. You’re allowed one or two inches above or below, it’ll still look great.
You need to be able to reach over to the glass of water when it’s three in the morning.
I used to have chest of drawers and bedside tables at every night under the sun.
It was my own fault when I’d punch phone off into a very loud oblivion.
I’ve now learnt the error of my ways.
If you’re looking for a tall nightstands, for whatever reason, then you’re in good hands.
There are a number of retailers who specialize in tall nightstands: Wayfair, Target and Etsy (among others) all sell higher than standard measurement nightstands.
Nightstands With Matching Wood
There’s talk about matching different types of furniture but what actually goes together?
Below are a list of different species of wood that you can match you bed, wardrobe and bedside tables.
- walnut and maple
- white oak and walnut
- cherry and maple
- red oak and white ash
- mahagony and cherry
- mahogany and curly maple
Using white bedside tables to complement many different style of interior
Should Your Nightstands Match?
A common question.
Most people do choose matching nightstands but there aren’t any hard and fast rules on the matter.
If you’re following a specific design style then it’s more likely you’ll follow the rule of having two symmetrical nightstands.
It’s not to say that you can’t mismatch if you’re following other design styles but they typically stick to a more rigid set of principles.
Should Nightstands Match Your Headboard?
There are a lot of factors that make up both nightstands and headboards, enough that it’s unusual to get exact matches.
If you take another look at the images in this article, you’ll see that they’re different in each one.
A couple of tips though.
Especially is you prefer nightstands and headboards made from wood…
Make sure the undertones of the wood are similar and that you match the size of the grain.
Large grain is more casual and narrow grain is more formal.