7 Modern Nightstand Options
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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.

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.”

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.

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.
 

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.

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

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

Prismatic Table  by Isamu Noguchi for Vitra, $630

Prismatic Table by Isamu Noguchi for Vitra, $630

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

012 Bedside Table by De La Espada, $995

012 Bedside Table by De La Espada, $995

TaTu Side Table by Stephen Burks for Artecnica, $440

TaTu Side Table by Stephen Burks for Artecnica, $440

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

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

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.

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

Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

Mandal Nightstand by Francis Cayouette for Ikea, $69.99

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

Componibili by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell, $160

Componibili by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell, $160

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

Defile Nightstand by Jesse, $1,030

Defile Nightstand by Jesse, $1,030

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

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

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

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

Series 11 Nightstand by Blu Dot, $699

Series 11 Nightstand by Blu Dot, $699

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.

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