Style at Home: Bedside manner: Have your clutter and clean it too


With all the chaos and uncertainty in the world today, I have found myself craving simple comforts and trying harder than ever to relax. This means I have been spending more time in my most favorite place… my bed. While my 4 year old might be a little confused as to why I get so excited at 7:30 each evening it’s because I know that by 8 – OK, 8:45, we have lots of books to read and stuffed animals to gather– I can be in my own comfortable cocoon.

However, for me, with comfort often comes clutter. My nightstand turns into a neglected library overrun with books I’m too tired to read, and my glasses seem to get lost among the fray of water cups, phone chargers and decorative tchotchkes when I need them the most (though I maintain that my glasses have the ability to move on their own). To keep what I deem necessities within arm’s reach – what’s the point of relaxing if I have to stand up to retrieve something? – and to keep my husband from disappearing under a pile of decorative pillows and design magazines, I knew I had to make some changes.

In truth the changes are for me also – I spend so much time enjoying and coveting beautifully curated bedrooms and bedding, and yet I was willing to ruin the flow of my room with all my beloved stuff! Luckily, I was able to pinpoint some stylish solutions that allow me to have my clutter and keep my space clean, too.

First things first, I needed a spot to keep my growing collection of summer reads and magazines, because keeping them in a precariously balanced pile was getting too risky. I like to see my books out and ready to go, even if I’m not yet ready myself to dive in. By using your lamp – chances are you already have one by your bedside – and a stylish jar or container you can create bookends that have a practical use as well. This keeps your books at hand but cleans up your tabletop for more of life’s necessities, like a hydration station.

Running around all day I feel like I never drink enough water, and without fail my body realizes this in the middle of the night. I find water bottles to be an eyesore in a bedroom and since I am focusing on aesthetic in my “me” area, I instead like to keep a nice simple glass and coordinating pitcher by my bedside. The right pitcher and glasses set won’t take up much more room than a typical bottle and offers a pretty alternative that won’t seem out of place with the rest of your bedside goodies.

Life (and my tabletop) is full of odds and ends, from jewelry to glasses and cellphones, all of which are very easy to blindly knock over during the night. Say no to a chaotic nightstand by adding trinket trays as an end of the day catch-all. Trinket plates and trays are a great way to add another design element to your bedroom. With countless styles, colors and shapes, it is easy to find one that fits for your needs. Small changes like this have stopped me from overcrowding my tabletops.

It’s not realistic to think that all our personal items will be put away and out of sight at all times, and I wouldn’t want that, anyway. I like having my creature comforts around me – I feel it is those touches that create the energy of a “homey” home. A little planning and a few functional accessories show us that a few simple steps can make your table look neat, chic and organized without sacrificing any items or character. Now I just need to figure out how to hide four more pillows on the bed without my husband noticing…do you think he’d pick up on a few more on a foot of the bed bench?

Adapted from Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at [email protected].

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