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Photography by design sponge

Bedside tables are essential. No one wants to reach across the bed or all the way down to the floor to hit the snooze button on their alarm clock (iPhone) in the morning. Sleeping in aside, bedside tables don’t have to be actual nightstands at all. Unconventional pieces can be used in lieu of traditional bedside furniture to mix things up in an eclectic way. 

Chair

Chairs already offer a flat space for sitting, so why not let bedside items rest on their seats? Heights and styles of chairs vary, so stylistic options are a plenty. Depending the style of the chair, a lamp can even rest on top.

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Photography by planete deco

Stack of Books

Books usually go on night stands anyway, so it makes sense to forgo the latter entirely. Piling novels, coffee table books, or even magazines will add personality to any room. Displaying the spines of beloved literature can also tell a colorful story.  

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Photography by apartment therapy

Drum

Music aficionados can appreciate the beauty of a drum not only for the sound, but also the physical construction. Bass drums are well suited for fans of metallics, whereas wood based Djembes are an excellent option, too.

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Photography by digs digs

Tree Stump

Look no further than the great outdoors for something in lieu of a nightstand. Tree stumps add an organic touch to the indoors, but definitely don’t go all Johnny Appleseed and start chopping down trees. Reclaimed wood that’s treated properly can easily be found on the web.

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Photography by bliss at home

Desk

Most desks usually house all of the nightstand necessities like lamps, books, and picture frames, so why not snug one up to a bed? 

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Photography by brittany ambridge

Cabinet

Short and tall, cabinets and armoires are a functional alternative to a nightstand. Trinkets, books, and even clothing can be stored (or displayed) inside the cabinet while candles and lamps can rest on top.

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Photography by brittany ambridge

Dining Table

If the space allows, using a traditional dining table as a side table adds an unexpected element in the bedroom. A larger table top, whether it’s round, square or rectangular, can allow for ample storage, and even a seating area. 

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Photography by lily z design

Tray Table

Tray tables might bring back memories of TV dinners, but they can be functional and stylish when placed next to a bed. Filling a tray table with bedside essentials like books, an old-fashioned clock, and sturdy lamp will make it appear less temporary. 

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Photography by jacquelyn clark

Ladder

Without running the risk of making a bedroom look like a construction site, the right ladder adds an interesting visual element. Using organic materials like wood provides ample storage and draws the eye up, especially next to a low bed. 

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Photography by lonny

Vintage Suitcase

Trunks and suitcases not only have history, they also have hidden storage. Low cost trunks can usually be thrifted and spruced up by topping them with fresh flowers and colorful elements. If the luggage is in bad shape, a few coats of spray paint can hide damage from years of use.