a bit on the side ~ bedside tables

vintage chair as bedside table

Oh my goodness, it is pouring with rain here today. And freezing cold!  It’s a good excuse to stay inside and catch up with the blog world while trying to ignore the sounds of Eva creating havoc in the kitchen in the pursuit of a chocolate sponge roll.

It seems that if ever there is one piece of furniture that my clients are often searching for, it is a bedside table. Where can you find a nice one? It can be something of a quest.  There certainly are a number of awfully chunky, predictably ordinary (and ugly) ones around. Personally, I cannot bring myself to spend money on something that, even though it may fulfill a purpose, is at best, cheaply made and nasty.  I’d rather look at furniture or items that may never have been intended for use as a bedside table, but just happen to look great and fulfill a new role beside the bed admirably at the same time. Give me an old wooden crate any day over an ugly, dime a dozen bedside table – at least aesthetically, it’s usually more pleasing! When you are open to using atypical pieces in unexpected ways, suddenly there are hundreds of potential bedside ideas, and they don’t have to break the bank either. Here are a few ideas from bedrooms both at our beach cottage, and here at home.

This chippy old yellow chair, in the image above, is Indian, and, to be honest, could be a little on the fragile side if subjected to too much weight, so it is ideal repurposed beside the bed! A mix of bedlinen ties the colours together and adds to the relaxed feel of this guest bedroom.

cafe table as bedside table

Folding metal cafe tables – both the round shape and the height make them great as bedside tables. This is our bedroom at the bach, and I love the change of shape which contrasts beautifully with the rectangular bed and the lines of this bedroom.

cafe tables used as bedside table

They are big enough for me to cluster a little bedside vignette of lamp, some found beach treasures and flowers alongside my bedtime reading stack, and the result is both pretty and practical.

vintage drawers as bedside table

Sometimes you come across special old pieces that you just have to have, even if at the time, you have no idea where it will go, or what it will hold. This was definitely the case for me when I stumbled upon these amazing old drawers, complete with their old labels. At the beach, the girls use them to store all their not-so-secret secret stuff.

vintage drawers as bedside table

Definitely not designed as a bedside table, I believe they are some kind of medical cabinet, but they are absolutely perfect in their new upcycled role.

old school chairs used as bedside table

So long as it’s steady and the right height, old chairs and stools make great bedside companions.
Bentwood chairs, old wooden school chairs, tolix stools – all work well. And you can usually find single, orphaned chairs and stools quite easily. Milly uses these cute old school chairs beside her bed. I confess that some days they are almost completely hidden they are so crowded with her bits and pieces. I try and turn a blind eye to it most days. Maybe if she catches sight of this image she will remember what they look like beneath the jumble!

Personally I love mismatched bedside tables in a bedroom. I think by mixing rather than matching, the result is a more eclectic, unique look and a little bit of whimsy will keep everything from looking too uptight and prescriptive. Decorating that is just a little unpredictable, and therefore so much more visually exciting. Nothing matches, and yet it all goes together in a perfectly imperfect mismatched kind of way.

Amanda x

(photos & styling Amanda Holland for perfectly imperfect living)

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