do it yourself

Clearing up my cluttered nightstand

Oh my, how time flies when you’re extremely busy. Been buried with work and work and even more work, so I have neglected this blog for quite some time. Every day that passed that didn’t allow me to post here made me itch so badly for a DIY or decorating project to calm my frayed nerves. Yep, I’m always on edge when working. And yet work allows me to provide for my family and spend on a few luxuries (like some spray paints I’d been meaning to use in a couple DIY projects I’ve added to my growing list). So I slog. on.

ANYWAY.

As I’d been very busy, I didn’t realize how fugly-dudly-messy my nightstand had become. Well, it’s really just a small surface—enough for a few books, our wireless phone, maybe a glass of water.

So this is what my nightstand looked like this morning:

I promise you, I’m working on my photo-taking skills.
A closer look at a really bad photo and a really messy table. Why do I even do this?
A closer look at a really bad photo and a really messy table. Why do I even do this?

That tall pile of books are all the books I’d said I’d read—from over a year ago. The couple sculpture was a honeymoon gift from my in-laws. There’s also some cosmetics on there, a tall bottle of water that I really should bring to the kitchen, and of course, the phone.

So I went to Pinterest to look at how I can fix my nightstand in a decorative and appealing way. Now don’t get me wrong; I love Pinterest.

Let me rephrase that.

I’M OBSESSED WITH PINTEREST. The thing though is that, depending on your current mood, EQ, and stress levels, Pinterest could either be a source of inspiration, or, disappointment and depression. Disappointed that your current state in life is nothing at all like the images one pins, and depressed because you know your current state is not going to change unless you do something about it (in my case, I couldn’t, for the longest time, because of—you guessed it—work.)

But then they always say you are what you think, right? Cogito ergo sum, was it, that someone famous said? So I told myself, BY GOLLY I’LL DO SOMETHING ABOUT MY LIFE ON MY NIGHTSTAND, and cleared up that damn cluttered table.

Well...almost cleared it. And wiped it down too as it was dusty as h*ll.
Well…almost cleared it. And wiped it down too as it was dusty as h*ll. And will you lookit that dirty lamp shade? (I totally didn’t need to point it out, but I did, para unahan ka na *evil laugh*)

I stashed my cosmetics inside the drawers—that’s what those drawers are for, to keep those loose stuff that you don’t really need to see on the table—returned some of the books to our library, and wiped down the table top because it hadn’t been wiped in 100 years. Gross, I know. And I’m sorry.

Now, I saw this illustration over at Pinterest. (Just so you know, I pin obsessively here.)

Courtesy of roomsinteriordesign.blogspot.com
Courtesy of roomsinteriordesign.blogspot.com

Cool idea and formula. But because our night tables are so small, we use wall lamps (this one from Ikea). I looked for other inspirations for wall-lamp-using-nightstands, found these lovely ones:

Image from housetweaking.com
Image from housetweaking.com
Pin2
Image from decorpad.com

How I wish my own nightstand looks this way. But let’s be real. (And this is what this blog is all about, being real.) More than half of the images we see on Pinterest, in design and decor magazines, and home lifestyle shows are staged. I’ve worked long enough in the print publishing industry to know that for a fact. Real life shows us that no matter how much we make our spaces Pin-worthy, they will eventually be filled with all the things that fill up our day-to-day lives. And you know what? That’s okay. Just as long as you follow your own system of clearing up every once in a while, put some sort of order in your life that makes sense to you, then you’re good. Everything doesn’t have to be Pin-worthy.

(I’ll admit that while I meant every word I said in the paragraph above, I’m partly saying this to justify the other fact that I can’t $#^#!$^@^!@  make my space look Pin-worthy. End of quick-release rant.)

Also, since I didn’t have the time nor the budget to get really nice-looking tabletop decor worthy of its place on my esteemed night table, I just looked around for something at home that was nice-looking and—more importantly—functional to put on there. This is the design rule that I try so hard to follow: To decorate with things that also have a necessary function. (Sometimes I don’t follow this rule, because, well, some things are just too pretty to not buy and display. You know what I mean, right? Right?)

And this is what I came up with.

The cleared-up table
The cleared-up table (oh, and new sheets)

On there are a tiny plant (the name of which, naturally, escapes me), a small Marks & Spencer plate that I got from my in-laws’, a miniature ceramic container that I think I got from my MIL from one of her trips in the Middle East (I think), and a reduced pile of books I should be reading at night instead of Pinterest. I couldn’t yet think of a way to camouflage the cord of my Arstid wall lamp, so I used a blue bull clip to hang this small print that I got from Pencasso Project on it instead.

Notice that I used books whose spines somewhat lifted off colors from the calligraphy print? No? {*insert disappointed but polite laughter here*} Oh well.

A clearer view of the calligraphy print
A supposedly clearer view of the calligraphy print (I try, guys, believe me, I try)
The Marks & Spencer plate
The Marks & Spencer plate
The tiny plant whose name I'll never know (unless you educate this ignorant plant parent. Anyway, I've had it for months now and while it's not exactly looking it's healthiest, it's survived, and to me, THAT'S WHAT MATTERS.)
The tiny plant whose name I’ll never know (unless you educate this ignorant plant parent. Anyway, I’ve had it for months now and while it’s not exactly looking it’s healthiest, it’s survived, and to me, THAT’S WHAT MATTERS.)
A slightly more bird's eye view of the tabletop
A slightly more bird’s eye view of the tabletop (I’m really just wasting your time now…) (And notice how I am completely not including the lampshade in the photo anymore? Dirty lampshade problem SOLVED.)

So that’s it. The exercise, to be honest, took a while, because—DUH I TOOK SO MANY BAD PICTURES—but it’s cleared my brain somewhat too. I always love seeing a clean, organized, and pretty space. Here’s to hoping this lasts (that plant too), at least for two nights!

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