7 Modern Nightstand Options

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By Miyoko Ohtake / Published by Dwell
Once a locker for a midnight loo, the bedside table has taken on a far sweeter function—and a score of forms for holding big dreams, and small specs, till the morning light.

Before the advent of plumbing, a nightstand was more than a repository for bedside treasure. It held something of a quite different nature: a circular chamber pot, nestled behind the doors of what was then referred to as the commode.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 1 of 27 -

Photograph by Peter Belanger

We’ve since forgone the ceramic bowl—–and often the cabinet doors and drawers as well—–and today’s bedside tables need only live up to the literal interpretation of their prosaic title. "It could be a desk on one side and a round table on the other," says interior designer Philip Gorrivan, "just as long as some sort of surfaces flank the bed."

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 2 of 27 - Oslo Side Table by Andrew Moe for Studio Moe, $550

Oslo Side Table by Andrew Moe for Studio Moe, $550

For Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda, who does half of his reading in bed, the essentials are shelves, drawers, and ample tabletop space. He stocks his nightstand with notebooks, pens, bookmarks, a letter opener, a task lamp, glasses, Altoids, and, of utmost importance, a flask filled with cognac. Despite his analog approach, Dirda easily imagines nightstands equipped with audio inputs that would allow him to plug in earphones and watch a show without waking his wife—–that is, if he watched TV.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 3 of 27 - Series 11 Nightstand by Blu Dot, $699

Series 11 Nightstand by Blu Dot, $699

Dirda’s futuristic fantasy is not far off: With lamps, laptops, phones, and clocks all requiring regular juicing, bedside tables now need to accommodate clunky cables and cords. "You don’t want your table to look like a mess," says designer Francis Cayouette, whose Mandal nightstand includes a compartment in the back for power cables and a drawer in the front to store less techy toys. Thankfully, a hole for a bowl is no longer needed.
 

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 4 of 27 - Table 915 by Alvar Aalto for Artek, $1,460

Table 915 by Alvar Aalto for Artek, $1,460

To see more bedside tables, please visit the slideshow.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 5 of 27 - Reve Bedside Table by Niels Bendtsen for Design Within Reach, $850

Reve Bedside Table by Niels Bendtsen for Design Within Reach, $850

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 6 of 27 - Prismatic Table  by Isamu Noguchi for Vitra, $630

Prismatic Table by Isamu Noguchi for Vitra, $630

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 7 of 27 - The Crate by Jasper Morrison for Established & Son, $179

The Crate by Jasper Morrison for Established & Son, $179

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 8 of 27 - The glass-and-polyester Delta table, designed by Barber Osgerby in 2008, from $2,090 at Established & Sons.

The glass-and-polyester Delta table, designed by Barber Osgerby in 2008, from $2,090 at Established & Sons.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 9 of 27 - The maple-veneer Modulicious Bedside Table, $399, from Blu Dot.

The maple-veneer Modulicious Bedside Table, $399, from Blu Dot.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 10 of 27 - The Eames Wire-Base Table by Charles and Ray Eames, $179, from Herman Miller.

The Eames Wire-Base Table by Charles and Ray Eames, $179, from Herman Miller.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 11 of 27 - Corks by Jasper Morrison for Moooi, $356 for low Cork, $347 for high Cork

Corks by Jasper Morrison for Moooi, $356 for low Cork, $347 for high Cork

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 12 of 27 - Blow Up Table> by the Campana Brothers for Alessi, $305

Blow Up Table> by the Campana Brothers for Alessi, $305

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 13 of 27 - Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 14 of 27 - 012 Bedside Table by De La Espada, $995

012 Bedside Table by De La Espada, $995

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 15 of 27 - TaTu Side Table by Stephen Burks for Artecnica, $440

TaTu Side Table by Stephen Burks for Artecnica, $440

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 16 of 27 - The Crate by Jasper Morrison for Established & Son, $179

The Crate by Jasper Morrison for Established & Son, $179

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 17 of 27 - The Eames Wire-Base Table by Charles and Ray Eames, $179, from Herman Miller.

The Eames Wire-Base Table by Charles and Ray Eames, $179, from Herman Miller.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 18 of 27 - Platner Side Table by Warren Platner for Knoll, $930 for metallic bronze base with bronze glass top

Platner Side Table by Warren Platner for Knoll, $930 for metallic bronze base with bronze glass top

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 19 of 27 - Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 20 of 27 - Rian End Table by Semigood Design, $1,200 for table without lipped edge, $1,325 for table with lipped edge

Rian End Table by Semigood Design, $1,200 for table without lipped edge, $1,325 for table with lipped edge

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 21 of 27 - Componibili by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell, $160

Componibili by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell, $160

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 22 of 27 - Corks by Jasper Morrison for Moooi, $356 for low Cork, $347 for high Cork

Corks by Jasper Morrison for Moooi, $356 for low Cork, $347 for high Cork

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 23 of 27 - Defile Nightstand by Jesse, $1,030

Defile Nightstand by Jesse, $1,030

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 24 of 27 - The maple-veneer Modulicious Bedside Table, $399, from Blu Dot.

The maple-veneer Modulicious Bedside Table, $399, from Blu Dot.

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 25 of 27 - Reve Bedside Table by Niels Bendtsen for Design Within Reach, $850

Reve Bedside Table by Niels Bendtsen for Design Within Reach, $850

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 26 of 27 - Series 11 Nightstand by Blu Dot, $699

Series 11 Nightstand by Blu Dot, $699

7 Modern Nightstand Options - Photo 27 of 27 - The glass-and-polyester Delta table, designed by Barber Osgerby in 2008, from $2,090 at Established & Sons.

The glass-and-polyester Delta table, designed by Barber Osgerby in 2008, from $2,090 at Established & Sons.