We are fortunate enough to have a fairly large master bedroom, which has its own walk in closet and ensuite. (While the bedrooms are very generous, it’s a real pity the family areas are small.) This master bedroom also functions as my home office. Thankfully, it is large enough for the both functions to co-exist without being claustrophobic.
Our master bedroom runs the entire width of the home. It is a long room, punctuated at one end with a floor-to-ceiling window, and at the other end, a door leading into the walk in closet & ensuite. We designated the ‘bedroom’ side of the room towards the bathroom and walk in closet, while I work towards the window end.
I love working in that spot as we back onto Australian bush and the view directly to the right of my desk is of the bush, in all its rural, quiet, peaceful and bird-life-filled beauty.
Obviously, the master bedroom is filled with both bedroom AND home office furniture. Since I dislike traditional office furniture, my desk, chair, console and storage cabinet don’t look like office pieces at all.
You’d be forgiven thinking this post is about office furniture. Or about sharing functions with one space. But no.
This is about books.
It’s not even really about bedside tables. BOOKS.
Here’s the thing. I
need to read love reading in bed.
I am a librocubicularist. And proud.
Before I sleep, I find it extremely relaxing delving into a pretend-someone’s world. (… a small, pretty cottage on the brutish Scottish coast or a small, chic NYC apartment.) When I put the book down, I drift off to sleep with imagined scenes in my mind’s eye. You know, escapist style.
Up until about six months ago, this meant mountains of
romance feel-good fiction fighting for space on my small bedside table, along with a lamp, hand lotion, glass of water and spectacles. It also meant books on the floor in small piles. (Despite my birthday gift from sweet Mr Husband last year, a Kindle Paperwhite.)
I truly admire more-OCD readers who manage to keep their reading material in neat little piles, arranged according to piles.
*I suspect this is more for photo-taking rather than everyday practice.
This, however, is not me. I do not have the gene to compulsively keep things super-neat. Rather, I get bees-in-my-bonnet every fortnight and then neaten the piles of books.
And since I actually like to read the books, I wasn’t going to bind them up into a beautifully presented book-night-stand like:
I have roughly 50-70 (who’s counting) books that I rotate-read (I read pretty fast) and I like them nearby.** I’d wanted a mini library in my bedroom for some time now and when I saw two electrical cable reels for the taking at a local electrical supplies warehouse six months ago, I knew I had my maybe-solution. My brother in law turned them into a custom two-tiered bookcase for me. It now holds roughly 50 books.
**I also have bookshelves in other rooms for other material too… gardening, cooking, other fiction, decorating, childrens etc….
But the problem is that the reel isn’t the best bedside table. You can’t put anything that relies on cords on the surface, which turns like a lazy susan; including lamps, phones and my Kindle. The cords get tangled as you turn the bookcase plus David needed to strengthen the entire unit with a wooden base so nothing comes up the middle hole in the reel. So it didn’t really clear up space. I still needed a bedside table.
While it isn’t cluttered spatially (see there is plenty of space between pieces), it looks cluttered because there are too many different styles/periods of furniture in a relatively small square-footage of space. And each piece is
dark striking in colours and textures.
Something needed to disappear.
A Clear Solution
This was my inspiration:
It means I can have a pile of 5-6 currently-reading-books and yet, keep my bedside table paraphernalia. I can still have my lamp, my phone, my Kindle, tissue paper box and my hand cream. Most importantly, the reel-bookcase can stay!
The clear Lucite side table disappears and does not add to the clutter. In fact, the clarity of the acrylic adds and reflects light. Had the same item been in smoky material, the lines would have added clutter to the space.
But this is only available from Crate&Barrel. Since I have to buy a pair, that would cost me AUD$630.00. Add to that is a US$500 shipping fee. That means more than a thousand for bedside tables, way above my budget.
This next one was sweet but didn’t allow me to put many books in the unit and I didn’t want to pile books under it, on the floor… Because it’d be … well, on the floor.
There are also a lot of glass side tables that create a cavity like this one:
But, no. Because the floor.
The minimal frame and glass
Since budget is a factor, I cannot afford to “buy different things until you find something that works” because you never recoup the cost you outlay and in Australia, not many places let you “try before you buy”.
So I have been thinking and rethinking my options and near-decisions. Surface-ly° speaking, the Peekaboo is smaller than my current teal bedside table. It’s about 3cm shorter in length and width than my current one, which is already pretty squeezy with what I seem to need to fit on it! 3cm seems minute but when you deduct a 3cm strip length-ways and width, it adds up to being a fairly sizeable chunk!
°It’s a word.
I did find this and I like it very much for a close contender:
It’s larger, so yay for me. The brass finish frame and glass shelving is minimalist enough to diappear whilst the items on the side table is allowed to be highlighted instead. Perfect top shelf for trinkets etc while I’m able to still fit my books and lamp. To add to that, there is a West Elm in Australia!
Plus the brass frame picks up the metal of my gorgeous art nouveau lamps I scored at the Rozelle Markets some months back!
At AUD$400 a piece, that is also more than we can justify right now.*** And it also means the cable reel might have to go someplace/one else.
***[Home ownership is so damn expensive! Especially when you buy an older home. Everything needs updating. Everything needs attention. And being together for more than a decade means the appliances Mr and I started out with are starting to need replacing. Sigh.]
The backup option
Then there is the Camboni side table, AUD$249/ea. Glass with a green tinge. Very modern style. The glass shelf means I can store the Kindle and the crossword puzzle book on a separate level!
It has a slightly larger surface space, but is 10cm lower than the Peekaboo acrylic one. I also have a feeling that the lines, the type and colour of glass will create too much of a spatial presence than I’d like.
Other bookworm friendly bedside tables
If you don’t have the same concerns as me, but would love to have a librocubicularistic bedside table, these are some options:
Long Live the Librocubicularist
I like the transparent and reflective quality of the Peekaboo but the West Elm terrace is most practical.
Are you a bookworm? Do you read in bed? What bedside table has worked for you?