How to set-up a functional nightstand, without the clutter.

We thoughtfully select our bed, mattress, pillows and covers. After all, we spend roughly a third of our time in our beds, and want to create a comfortable and supportive environment that encourages rest. Yet, there is one piece of bedroom furniture that is often forgotten. (Think best supporting characters to your bed’s starring role!) Selecting and setting up a nightstand may seem simple enough. However, these small bedside tables do more than just offer a place to set your glass of water during the night. Nightstands should anchor your bed, enhance your bedroom style, help achieve a set of balance in the room, and provide the desired functionality.

Consider style and scale

Nightstands should complement the style of the bedroom. Choose a bedroom suite to ensure the right fit—both style and size—between your bed and nightstands. If you don’t like the matchy-matchy look, simply select a set of nightstands that will fit with your existing furniture and décor, helping to achieve the desired style of your boudoir.

Along with style, it’s important to consider the scale of your nightstand. Small nightstands with drawers can provide the necessary storage when space is at a premium, while wide nightstands offer plenty of room for desired items and the proper scale for large footprints. Consider also the height of the nightstands. Whether you choose a chest of drawers or a less traditional piece, like a vintage tray, the nightstand should match the height of your bed (reaching roughly the height of your mattress or a few inches above) for both design aesthetic and ease of use.

Clutter-free serenity

Nightstands should encourage a serene sleep environment by keeping clutter to a minimum. Keep the nightstand clear, with just the essentials for a restful evening and night’s sleep within an arm’s reach. A small clock, lamp, novel and a coaster for a glass of water can be kept on the nightstand top, while other items can be stored on shelves or drawers. Choose a nightstand with ample storage for all those little extras you like to keep close. A traditional three-drawer nightstand allows clutter-free storage, with the privacy you need, while a nightstand with shelves can allow storage with a modern feel. If you like to eat or work in bed, consider a nightstand with a pull-out tray for extra-convenience that can be easily tucked away when no longer in use.

Extras function for today’s world

In today’s world, nightstands are just as likely to house e-readers as they are paper books, and creating a place to store and recharge smart phones is a must. Consider a nightstand with a built-in charging station for convenience that won’t add clutter. Gadget friendly nightstands may include a drawer with a built-in power outlet with USB ports. Can’t find the charging station (or other item of interest) in the dark? A nightstand with a built-in touch nightlight can add a gentle glow during the night, without consuming the space of a table-top lamp.

By considering style, scale and functionality, you can select the nightstands that will complete your bedroom suite, help minimize clutter and support restful nights.