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Size Matters in The Bedroom… For Bedside Tables


Bedside tables are the personal assistant of the bedroom.  They keep what you need close and convenient saving you time and effort.  No bedroom is complete without one or two.   Today we do so much re-purposing with fun table or chest finds, we hardly call them the plain vanilla nightstands anymore.  Just as organizational skills are vital to a good assistant, size matters for the bedside table.  When scavenging a flea-market, browsing an antique or furniture store for some interesting bedside tables, what is the right size?First imagine sitting in bed, swing your arm to the side to set down a glass of water.  Too low and you’ll spill.  More than 4-5″ too high, just feels weird.  Ideal table height is within 1-3″ above or below the top of the mattress.  As you are swinging your arm around the table should be deep enough to comfortably place the glass to the side but forward of your body, not behind it.   To give you a number a minimum of  19″ deep is a good starting point, over 24″ it becomes a tripping hazard.This bedside table is completely useless due to the angled bed placement. (Reason #25 why angled beds are a bad idea.)

When it comes to width the best rule of thumb is proportion.  Tables look best when they are in proportion with the bed.  If you look at these tables below, the combined width of two tables are almost equal to the bed.   Designer diva Bunny Williams used equal sized non-matching tables with a pair of lamps – perfection. 

Last two photos: Pieter Estersohn for Architectural Digest and Canadian House & Home

What is your bedside table preference?

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