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This morning I woke up to eight inches of snow on the ground, a horrible reality I discovered seconds after stumbling out of my warm bed and into the cold glare of the window. Normally I like to smash things when the weather in Utah shows such disrespect for the calendar, but the first thing I did after dropping my oldest off at school was drive to the nearest florist, grab the most colorful flower I could find, and shove it into my face to muffle the crying.

Then I brought it home and placed it in a vase on the nightstand next to my bed. So that if I woke up the following morning to more snow I could close my eyes, press my nose to its petals, and pretend that Mother Nature really was a corporation I could sue.


It’s too bad that it took this snowstorm to remind me what a flower or two next to the bed can do for my mood, especially when my nightstand is my favorite part of the room.


We have a beautiful upholstered headboard and bed linens fit for a king, but I really like a horizontal surface where I can dump my jewelry and arrange a few treasures.



What about my dresser, you ask? That’s part of the bedroom that I rarely show people, the part that I haven’t had the time to make what I want it to be. That part also includes The Pile of Neon Infant Toys Next To The Door, My Husband’s Boggling Collection of Media Equipment, and Where The Awful Dog Sleeps.

(For you animal lovers who are unaware of the pets in my home, I adore The Awful Dog despite her awfulness. Please reserve judgment.)

We found these nightstands (probably originally intended as end tables) at a local antique shop and paid about a hundred bucks for a set of two. Evidently, they fit my mid-century aesthetic, but I also love how they feel used. They’re a little rough around the edges and show their age: the perfect foil, I thought, to a set of incredibly modern, sateen linens. Ones we routinely let The Awful Dog roll around on.


And oh, how many times I have changed my mind about those linens. Was it twenty? Thirty? I don’t remember, just TOO many times I’d buy a duvet cover, sleep on it a week and then be totally sick of the design. My husband likes to refer to this as My Boggling Collection of Ugly Duvet Covers.

When I found this set, however, I knew I’d found love. But it took months of tearing through magazines and browsing design portfolios before I could visualize what I wanted. Speaking of inspiration, I’ve combed through some of HGTV’s photo galleries and found some incredible bed/nightstand combos. You’re going to love these vignettes:

A contemporary white leather bed by Lori Dennis.

Bold green bedding and a tulip nightstand by Erinn Valencich.

A mid-centry setup by Kenneth Brown.

Vibrant pink bedding by Andrea Avram Rusu.

What does your nightstand look like?

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Design Inspiration

20 Responses

  1. This is greatly inspiring as my current nightstands are U-G-L-Y. My grandmother had these same tables as you. I always liked the look of them. Hopefully your Spring comes soon and you won't have to make a psuedo season in your bedroom.

    Also, I have come to learn that the cutest dogs are the biggest terrors. I say that in a loving way, of course.

    • C&E says:

      I agree with your cute dog theory! The little terrier mix that decided to adopt us will look at us with the cutest expression on her face after having just chewed a hole in the rug (we never put expensive rugs in dog areas now)! How can you stay mad at a face like that?

  2. @dooce says:

    Yes, she is cute, and the biggest terror. We love her markings and always tell people that her face inspires the way we decorate.

  3. HeatherB says:

    I'm in dire need of a new duvet/sheet set and a new nightstand. This is exactly what I needed to get me motivated. Not to mention that I refuse to buy pretty flowers for a butt ugly piece of furniture. Seriously everything in my apartment is horrid and with each viewing of a design site or blog I come one step closer to keeping my eyeballs intact.

  4. @CharliesApt says:

    Great night stand. I love the vintage shape it has. My grandma used to have a pair like these. I'm thinking I should have kept them!

  5. you says:

    I love/covet your duvet cover and linens. They somehow marry crisp with cozy.

  6. @moggitgirls says:

    Love the mixing of old with new, gives it character…

  7. joanie says:

    These table were always referred to as "step-tables" in our neck of the woods. My mother had several of them. She also had "drum tables"…..two-tiered round tables.

  8. @mjbutah says:

    I love Coco. Very Nommable ears. My bedroom is a work in progress, and it's okay as long as I don't look at my husband's piles of "things the kids can't touch" which includes his ski poles, ski boots, googles, flip camera, power tools, poker chips, and whatever cola he has purchased for the week. I push as much of that as I can under the bed.____Actually my whole house is a work in progress. I am a hopeless decorator.

  9. Lynn says:

    I have a chinoiserie tea cart on one side of the bed and an old army trunk on the other. Neither that user friendly as bed side tables, but they look cool. :)

  10. Sanity Fair Blog says:

    Great color combo – I'm really in love with yellow plus anything right now, but especially gray. My current nightstand is an antique side table I inherited – with twisted spindle legs and a dark brown finish. Since I have a very high bed, the extra height is actually perfect. And I get to live with a piece of family history too!
    LOL – and if you figure out a way to litigate mother nature, let me know. :)

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