Creating a beautiful life is something each of us has within us the power to do. We can intentionally create the life we desire. It doesn’t happen overnight but each step brings us closer to our vision of a life well-lived.
A “beautiful life” will look different for each of us because we aren’t all drawn to the same things. However, I believe we all desire:
1. A little peace in a hectic world
2. Intimate times with people we love
3. Time to dream and pursue our hobbies
4. Daily routines and rituals which nurture us
5. Our homes to be a place of beauty and comfort
Today I’d like to show you a small step I took which encompasses all five of these.
The bedside table. It holds the items we need while in bed. A lamp, the book we are reading, tissues, our phone and any number of other items. In a way, it’s one of the most utilitarian pieces of furniture in a bedroom. Have you ever stayed in very small hotel room which only has a bedside table on one side? Have you been the unlucky person who gets the side of the bed without? No lamp for reading. No place to put your book or phone. No clock. That’s when you realize the importance of the bedside table.
In my recent efforts to declutter and redecorate my home I’ve fought the “I don’t know where to start” and “There’s so much to do” demons. I’m trying to focus on one tiny area at a time. Tunnel vision, you might say. I’m more of a big picture type so this is a challenge for me. But I’m making progress!
I decided to take a serious look at my bedside table and see what I could do to make it more functional and prettier. My personal rule for the changes I’m making around the house is to start with what I have before purchasing anything new. In a way, it’s a two-step process. First I clean, organize and decorate an area with things I already have. Then I make a list of new items I might like in order to take it up another notch. One by one I’ll add those new things but I’m not letting the absence of something new prevent me from fixing up an area.
Here is the before photo of my bedside table:
I removed everything, dusted and then gave some thought to what was on the table.
- I need a lamp, of course. This and the matching one on my husband’s table were purchased very inexpensively about 25 years ago. I think we are overdue for an upgrade. But remembering my rule about using what I have, this will do for round one of this little fix-up project.
- We may be amongst the last folks to still have a landline but there are a couple of valid reasons we do. This phone (which happened to have been sitting on my desk when I took this photo) is old but has better sound than the newer ones we have downstairs. It’s not attractive but there’s not much I can do about that.
- The tissue box with back scratcher stuck inside. Sheesh. Not very decorative. But hey, it’s winter and my skin gets dry and itchy.
- I’m embarrassed to say how long that book has been sitting there only partially read. By the time I drag myself to bed at night I’m often too tired to read anything other than Facebook.
- The control for my side of our Sleep Number bed.
- A candle. Stuck in the corner and never used.
- A tube of lotion.
- I swapped out the tissue box for one in the guest bathroom and put the back scratcher in the drawer of the nightstand.
- I moved the phone to the back corner and brought the candle forward.
- The Harper Lee book is still there but I added one that I’ve read before and can enjoy little snippets of when I’m too tired to focus.
- The rose was given to me at the restaurant where we ate our Valentine’s Day dinner. I think I may start keeping a single flower here all the time.
- I put some matches in a little shot glass so they would be handy for lighting the candle.
- I added a small glass for water and a tiny notebook and pen for those late night ideas I don’t want to forget.
What you don’t see here is my cell phone and that’s one of the changes I’m making. I am now charging it across the room so I’m not tempted to use it at bedtime. There is substantial evidence that the blue light from a cell phone screen interferes with melatonin production and one’s ability to sleep well. I suffer from insomnia a lot of the time so this is something I’m going to change.
In fact, my struggle with insomnia is part of the reason for this bedside table re-do. It’s all part of my new bedtime routine.
- Turn down bed and spray pillows with homemade lavender linen spray.
- Light the candle.
- Turn on some music on my phone across the room and set it to go off after a certain amount of time.
- Read awhile.
- Blow out candle.
- Snuggle with David and hopefully fall asleep at a reasonable hour.
So that’s Phase One of this project. I do have a few items I’d like to purchase for my bedside table at some point in the future, though.
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- A clock. We got rid of our clock radio years ago as part of my effort to decrease the amount of light in our room at night. We have a small battery-operated alarm clock on David’s side of the bed but I’d like one on mine, too. Especially since I am not keeping my phone nearby anymore. I’d love something pretty like this:
2. A lacy placemat for the tabletop. Our bedside tables are actually antique end tables which belonged to David’s grandmother. I think they are pretty and I like the fact they have a drawer. They are in pretty good condition but there are some worn areas on top. I keep a crocheted placemat on top but I’d like new ones. Isn’t this pretty?:
Update: These placemats are no longer available. Here is a nice alternative.
3. And isn’t this tissue box holder adorable?:
Update: Sadly, this adorable tissue box cover is no longer available. Here is a lovely alternative, though:
4. A crystal carafe would be a lovely way to have water nearby for a sip or two during the night. And I wouldn’t have to worry about swallowing a moth or some other little creature.
I did a little Pinterest search while writing this post and found a couple of good pins:
So that’s the latest project in my quest to create a beautiful life. What about you? What’s on your bedside table? Is it merely utilitarian or have you created a little place of beauty beside your bed? Feel free to share a link to a photo in the comments or email me. I’m always interested in seeing what others have done.
Have a lovely day and remember – you can create a beautiful life, too.