If you think about it, the bedside table serves a very distinct role. What other piece of furniture comes to your aid if, in the middle of the night, you get a case of the sniffles, want a glass of water or... you know... need to access something from the "naughty drawer"?
However the fact a bedside table has its unique uses can also be its downfall in the style stakes. Fact: a box of tissues, a half-read book, two water glasses and a jar of ginseng tablets all covered in a fine film of dust do not a Vogue Living shoot make.
So is it possible to have a bedside table that's both stylish and functional? According to Jen Bishop, founder of Interiors Addict, the answer is yes.
"Firstly, make sure your bedside table has drawers or doors on it," Bishop told The Huffington Post Australia. "I know it sounds obvious but many bedsides don't have any storage, which means you can't hide those less than pretty essentials like tissues, eye drops, pens, mail, baby's dummies... the list goes on! If you don't have storage, have a great bowl or tray you can throw your little things in."
Bishop says simplicity is key when it comes to your bedside table, but recommends having a few key pieces to help pull the look together.
"A gorgeous coaster (marble or gilt-edged agate) for your water/coffee is always good," Bishop said. "As is a bud vase for a touch of colour from a single flower or a small bunch.
"I'd also recommend a great lamp and a good book (or artfully arranged stack thereof). Although bedsides are a great styling opportunity, try not to over-complicate things."
A cute coaster can help jazz up your obligatory glass of water.
When it comes to mistakes people make when it comes to their bedside tables, Bishop says it often has to do with the selection of the table itself.
"Not considering storage [options] can lead to everything looking messy, or not considering the size, shape, height and style of the bedsides in the context of the bedroom and everything else in it," Bishop said.
"When choosing a bedside, make sure it's high enough and not too big or too small in relation to your bed. If in doubt, go bigger if you have the space. Make sure there's enough storage, that the top isn't going to scratch or wear easily.
"Don't think you have to have two matching bedsides. In the right context, two mismatched bedsides can look really cool. Personally, I hate the sort of bedsides where you can't hide wires (from your lamp or whatnot) because you can see through them. That can ruin a good bedside for me."
As for what Bishop herself has on her table?
See more bedside inspiration below, or follow Jen on her Instagram account.