Clairmonte Mirrored NightstandClairmonte Mirrored Nightstand

Hang wall-mounted reading lights close to the sides of the bed or above it (about 6 inches from the edge of the mattress or headboard). Place them at a point that makes sense for the position in which you read: sitting straight up stretched out on your stomach etc. You want the beam to shine directly on the page not at an oblique angle. For maximum flexibility choose articulated reading lights that you can adjust to suit your height and your reading position. Go for a style that focuses light in a narrow beam rather than diffusing it over the surrounding space.

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Mirror NightstandMirror Nightstand

Not all table lamps are created equal for reading. Ideally the base of the shade should sit level with your eyes when you're propped up in bed and the shade should direct light toward you rather than channeling it up or down. Floor lamps also are an option but they compete for space with nightstands so it can be harder to make them work.

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Freestanding BathtubFreestanding Bathtub

The nudist. It's not always practical to unleash your alter ego when it involves shedding all your clothes but there's no reason you can't do the next best thing and bathe au naturel alfresco.

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Pottery Barn NightstandPottery Barn Nightstand

The nightstand next to your bed is one of the most essential surfaces in your bedroom. It provides a home for books photo frames and sleepy-time necessities like eye masks and earplugs. Most of us opt for the classic version: a small square table with a drawer and a matching counterpart on the other side of the bed. But this functional area doesn't have to be so well square. Swapping out that classic nightstand for a piece of non-bedroom furniture can add personality as well as function to your bedroom. Here are unique alternatives to the classic nightstand. The best part about these options? They are common enough pieces that you may already have them on hand. If not you'll be able to pick them up for a reasonable price at a garage sale or flea market.

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Toddler NightstandToddler Nightstand

Consider the furniture layout. Your bedroom's architecture should take your furniture into account. Bedroom floor plans usually have a bed wall — but what about dressers nightstands TVs chairs and a desk? Work with your architect or designer to make sure there is enough space beside the bed for nightstands and ample circulation so you can access three sides of the mattress.

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Slim NightstandSlim Nightstand

Squeeze in a micro shelf. Think there isn't even room for a shelf? Think again. When a bed has to be squeezed into an alcove it can seem as if there isn't any room for bedside storage but this teeny-weeny shelf attached to the side of a closet is a clever solution. The curved edge is a safer option if space is tight and the shelf is close to the bed out of necessity. Admittedly displaying a vase of flowers here may not be terribly practical if this room is used every day but this dinky shelf would be the perfect size for a phone or alarm clock.

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Bathtub Water HeaterBathtub Water Heater

Although marble is often thought of as a traditional material this freestanding white marble tub has a distinctly modern look. The circular design flows with the bathroom's curved exterior wall. The round shapes contrast nicely with the angles on the doors and floor.

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Bathtub NicheBathtub Niche

The self-made billionaire. Do you feel like you're living the wrong life? That really you'd be better suited to a jet-setting existence staying in top hotels across the globe and never lifting a finger to cook or clean? In the meantime why not make your own home a little more luxurious?

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Cream Colored NightstandCream Colored Nightstand

Squeeze in a micro shelf. Think there isn't even room for a shelf? Think again. When a bed has to be squeezed into an alcove it can seem as if there isn't any room for bedside storage but this teeny-weeny shelf attached to the side of a closet is a clever solution. The curved edge is a safer option if space is tight and the shelf is close to the bed out of necessity. Admittedly displaying a vase of flowers here may not be terribly practical if this room is used every day but this dinky shelf would be the perfect size for a phone or alarm clock.

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