On my bedside table...

* This is a collaborative post

I’ve realised lately that bedside tables are a very personal item, and more so than you’d think a piece of furniture could be. I mean it sits there alongside your bed, hopefully looking pretty but more importantly providing functionality whether that’s for a glass of water, your book, your jewellery, your teeth (no I’m not quite there yet!) or whatever.

But it seems there’s more to it than that. What we have on our bedside tables could affect how well we sleep. Looking at mine, I think I’m doomed…



When Furniture Village got in touch about this post my first thoughts were that it was just as well they hadn’t seen my bedside table, and then that it would be good to put my money where my mouth was, and actually do some decluttering.

I’m sure you can see from the photo above, that I like to have ‘stuff’ around me. And equally you can see from the photo below that MOH doesn’t so much. I think my bedside table drives him a little bit bonkers though…



So what did I discover?

If you read my post on Monday, this is the bit that’s a little embarrassing. I’m always proud of being a good ‘packer’ which is especially useful when having a small bag and plenty of clothes for a weekend away, and give me a suitcase and I can get more in it than most people. Seriously. And it’s a good skill to have.

However, perhaps not on my bedside table. Although i couldn’t help but feel a hint of embarrassed pride at how much had accumulated with relative ease.

There was a pile of books and notebooks, most of the books I’ve still not read but still want to. There was part of a crochet project, which I’d stowed there hurriedly in a last-minute pre-Christmas tidy up. I’d hoped to finish it before Christmas but didn’t quite manage it and haven’t touched it since.



As well as the books, there was a much larger pile of magazines, and on a range of topics.



I’d even branched out and started to store shoeboxes next to my bedside table. Only two have shoes in, and one contains a handbag. The other two I was keeping in case I needed them, yeap you’ve guessed it to put more stuff in.



And there was quite a few dust bunnies. Now even for me, there was little point getting this far and failing to have a thorough clean, so it was this part that had MOH asking if I was well. How rude. But anyway with the cleaning done, it was time to reload.

Reloading my bedside table

I started off with the completely clutter free version. And while it was tidy, it wasn’t me.



It didn’t seem right to me, to not make better use of the space below the table. And so, as I still have ambition to read those books, I decided to add those back. But then the pretty box didn’t fit, so that was removed, and I realised another rethink was needed.



But there was still the magazines to do something with.  On my first sort through, the pile on the right in the top row were the only ones destined for the recycling bin.  Even I knew that wasn’t going to work, and so a couple of the other piles joined that.  The craft magazines found themselves a new home in the bookcase, as did one of the other piles which I’m hoping to use in a craft project or two.



Which meant that the final pile made it back onto my bedside table. And the patterned box, which I wasn’t sure quite what to do with found a new home on the top of the table. So along with notebooks, and stuff, I’ve a thing for boxes, so having a stack of them here makes me happy.



So while I might not have stayed with the completely clutter free version, I’ve found a version that works for me. It is still much clearer than before, you can see the floor and the shoeboxes have moved into the spare bedroom, ahead of a clear out of my shoe cupboard. MOH is impressed, and I think he’ll be taking a look at his own bedside table now, as he’s not used to mine putting his to shame!

What are the essentials for your bedside table? And are you a clutter free fan or a reformed hoarder?

* This post is sponsored by Furniture Village but not endorsed by them. Any opinions or views expressed are personal to the author.

On loving maps, and the fear of wallpaper

Fear, it’s a funny thing isn’t it? And before I go on I should let you know the fear isn’t actually the wallpaper, but more of being a little bit scared of something new.  And in this case, the actual putting it on the wall part, as that’s something I’ve not done before, or unsupervised anyway; dad was a decorator by trade and so I've never needed to know. I'm sure he tried to teach me on more than one occasion, but...  

But I do like maps.  

A lot.  

I can't tell you the number of rooms and room sets I’ve seen online, in magazines and in real life that I’ve pored and lusted over. I think maps have a timeless charm, they're full of intrigue, the unknown and the anticipation of adventure.  So when the opportunity arose to work with Wallsauce, who create made to measure wallpaper murals I jumped at the chance, immediately forgetting how much wallpapering was an unknown, because, well because, maps! 


But which to choose?

Despite overlooking the actual wallpapering - again, our brain's are funny things - I knew exactly which wall my map would go on.  For maximum impact it needed to be a wall without pictures, or obstructed by furniture and so the obvious choice was the curved wall which encloses our spiral staircase. 

When I told MOH he immediately shook his head, not only because he's also a wallpapering novice but because if you can choose any wall, of course you'd choose a curved wall, wouldn't you.  Well, yes dear.  And so of course, it's going on the curved wall, but which one.

It's not as simple as just wanting a map though, oh no.  There's many to choose from on the Wallsauce site, and if maps aren't your thing then there's plenty of other mural options to, and you can even upload a photo of your own.  I didn't even go down that option as I've way more pictures than its possible to choose, and of course, maps!

Grabbing a cup of tea, I settled in for a map browsing session. 

  • I'm a classic kind of girl, deep down and so was immediately drawn to the Classic World Map (see below left), MOH nodded but deemed it safe.  I disagreed and as I've said before classics are classic for a reason.
Classic World Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

Classic World Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

18th Century World Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

18th Century World Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

  • MOH is more of a traditionalist and was more taken with the 18th Century World Map (see above right), which while attractive, I thought was a little dark for the space we had.  And on closer inspection I spotted that part of the Americas had yet to be discovered and I wanted a full map on our wall.

So that was two discarded, although I still had the Classic Map on my reserve list.  Next I tried a different tack, not a world map, but London.  We live in London and so I thought that might work.

  • The vintage map (below left) was a real contender, although I was after a bit more detail so then I saw 
  • The detailed map and I was smitten.  It's just my colours too, but as we live where the plant is in the picture (below right) and being a confirmed South London girl, after some consideration I thought I'd want a bit more South London on my walls.
Vintage map of London  Image credit: Wallsauce

Vintage map of London
Image credit: Wallsauce

Detailed Map of London  Image credit: Wallsauce

Detailed Map of London
Image credit: Wallsauce

So it was back to the drawing board - or website - again.

My next couple of choices took a completely different approach, and rather than a traditional map they're both a more modern take.  I knew they might take some work to convince MOH (the traditionalist, remember) but while I'm a classic kind of girl, I do also like a modern touch - they say opposites attract, don't they?!

So while I liked both the Fly Away Map and the Colour Splash World map (both pictured below) they didn't fit my brief, which I didn't know I even had.  I briefly waved them in front of MOH and he even looked quite impressed, I decided though to save the campaign for either of these for another day, and most likely another house. 

Because as the best advice goes, you need to know when to open negotiations, don't you?  (I think the advice is actually about choosing battles, but I prefer my less confrontational version)

Fly Away Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

Fly Away Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

Colour Splash World Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

Colour Splash World Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

All of these maps are works of art in their own right, and would enhance the right space.  In the end though while these were all contenders our choice isn't one of these - you'll have to wait to see what we chose in the next post - sorry, for being a tease!

Choosing a finish for our wallpaper

I’d seen on the website there were three different finish types: textured peel & stick, classic paste the wall and premium paste the wall.  Not knowing where to start, I decided samples would be the way forward.  My wallpaper-putting-up-phobic self thought the peel & stick approach might be an option.  I've used wall stickers before successfully, but realised that before they'd been a much smaller surface area, so a whole wall length might not be the same.

When the samples arrived, I'll admit to rethinking the whole map thing and just going with a zing of colour instead, but I think not having the actual design (or designs) we were considering helped as it was easy to focus on the finish and feel of each sample.

Samples from Wallsauce, the same but different - trust me

We decided against the peel & stick finish, as MOH also thought it might not be as easy as we first imagined, which left the classic and premium options.  As you'll have realised by now, I'm no wallpaper expert and nor is MOH, but to us we preferred the feel of the premium sample, it feels lighter and more pliable. 

I've no idea if that will help us or not, but I don't think we'll have long to find out as the Wallsauce website says that orders are shipped in 1-2 days, which doesn't give us long to swot up on techniques, so if you've got some wallpapering tips or tricks that you swear by, now would be a really good time to share them with me...

* This is a collaborative post, but all views are my own.

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Lighting a dark corner of my bedroom

Even before we redecorated our bedroom the mirror and space I use for my dressing table was a long way away from natural light, and despite the overhead spotlights often darker than I'd like for putting on my make-up. It was easily fixed of course with a table lamp, and once that was in place everything was fine.

That is until the lamp stopped working.  The last time I turned it on, it wouldn't turn off unless I pulled the plug from the wall, so that was pretty frustrating. But it made me realise I needed to replace it with another lamp, because since then we've decorated our bedroom in more dramatic colours.

The light needed to be functional and direct light upwards so that I stood a chance of applying my make-up in a non-Alice Cooper like way, and so when I dried my hair I could see what I was doing. A lamp with a shade wasn't going to help me much and so my hunt began. It turned out it was easier than I thought.

As I quite quickly spotted this light - the Claudia 2 Way Modern Touch Table Lamp - by Iconic Lights, and thought it'd be just the thing. And it is. The finish is Black Chrome, and if I'm honest I'd not heard of that before, but luckily it goes well with the darker, more dramatic decor and is what I hoped it would be. Shiny like chrome, but black. But not too black.
Iconic Lights Claudia 2 Way Modern Touch Table Lamp in Black Chrome

Oh, and in case you're thinking wow that's tidy (and for the record so am I), it's not. The majority of my make-up and other paraphernalia is in one of the top drawers and out of sight. I know where everything is, well the stuff I use regularly and I much prefer it this way, as it means I can pretend I'm tidier than I actually am!

Here's it lit up.

And the light turned on

And despite knowing it used touch technology, of course the first thing I did once it was in place was look for the switch!  Thankfully though I'm past that now and have programmed myself to touch the base three times to get it to the bright setting I like. There's low and medium too, as well as off.

I expected the base to quite quickly be full of make-upy, smeared finger prints - but it isn't, in fact it's hard to spot any, which is just brilliant!

The base of the Claudia 2 Way Modern Touch Table Lamp

I was impressed that it arrived with bulbs so I could use it straight away - and a spare bulb - how often does that happen? When I'd ordered it MOH's first question was about which bulbs it took. I had no idea - it's G9 btw - I just hoped that it would be a useful and stylish addition to the bedroom, and stop me from scrabbling around with plugs to turn the broken lamp on.

I've been using it for two weeks now and I it's definitely both stylish and useful.  The lack of fingerprints are a bonus too.

A close-up of one of the lights

And I think it looks just right in this space, don't you?

Lighting a darker corner in my bedroom

The Claudia 2 Way Modern Touch Table Lamp is available from Iconic Lights for £25 in three colour ways - black chrome as I have here, polished chrome and antique brass. And that seems very reasonable to me.

* I was sent this lamp to review as part of my role as one of Iconic Lights' approved blogging ambassadors, but all views and opinions are my own.

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