Buying guide: Bedroom furniture
No bedroom is complete without the proper bedroom furniture -- nightstands and a lamp or two. Here are some practical considerations when making your purchases.
Bedroom furniture: Nightstands
Tabletops should be big enough for bedside necessities like a lamp, alarm clock, telephone, eyeglasses and a water carafe and drinking glass.
For an uncluttered tabletop, a drawer and perhaps a shelf offer storage for tissues, books, a pen and paper, remote control, and emergency candles and matches.
For additional display surface for extras like photographs and a vase of flowers, use wall-mount shelves or nesting tables beside a nightstand or along a nearby wall.
If space is limited, choose floating shelves (mounted to the wall beside or above the bed) instead of tables.
Bedroom furniture: Bedside lamps
Narrow candlestick lamps and wall-mount light fixtures, like sconces or swing-arm lamps, free up space on nightstands. If you can't wire lights through the wall, hide cords with wire covers, available in various colours to match your light fixtures or walls.
Choose lighting that you can turn on and off without getting out of bed; select lights with a dimmer for optimum TV viewing or to create a romantic setting.
If you read or work a lot in bed, opt for task lighting like pharmacy, gooseneck or swing-arm lamps, which adjust to illuminate only one side of the bed.
To avoid looking directly at lightbulbs, the bottom of lampshades for table lamps and wall-mount lights placed beside the bed should be between shoulder height and eye level (which will be relative to your position in bed). You should also consider the height of your headboard, if you have one; for instance, if you have a high headboard and prefer to read lying down, mount swing-arm lamps to the wall beside the headboard, with light focused on the page.
Opaque lampshades with a narrow top and wider base are ideal for reading because they focus light downward; shades for lamps not used for reading should have a wider top to disperse more light throughout the room.
Incandescent lighting sets a warm, relaxing mood; white halogen lighting suits reading but is best paired with an adjustable lampshade to reduce brightness; frosted lightbulbs filter harsh light.