A BEDSIDE table is one of the most useful pieces of furniture in our homes, but more often than not it is taken for granted– left as a dumping ground for piles of magazines and coated with coffee mug stains.

The unkept state of this much-used little item can do nothing for the look of your bedroom. Such a messy state of affairs probably means that you’re not compatible with your bedside companion. If it’s overflowing with possessions, it’s probably too small and maybe has too few or no drawers.

Your bedside table may have other failings. A table that’s too low can also be downright irritating. Leaning down, bleary-eyed to pick up clocks or cups inevitably leads to spills, breakages and possessions rolling under the bed never to be found again.

So end the nightmares and find the perfect sleeping partner. Toby Ash, creative director for furniture company New Heights, advises: “Walnut and oak are extremely popular at the moment, creating strong yet sophisticated looks.

“We’ve seen a breakaway from the very minimalist look over the last year. Clever detailing and subtle style references to movements such as Art Deco, arts and crafts, oriental and Scandinavian furniture are becoming more popular to create a bedroom with more personality.”

Don’t restrict your choice to tables that match your bedroom furniture, as set beside a plain-styled bed or upholstered bedhead an individually chosen bedside table will add character.

If you love the luxurious rooms you’ve enjoyed in holiday hotels, John Lewis’s Hotel range, from £195, could appeal. It features slim, streamlined dark wood furniture which would suit an Eastern look.

Creating a light, airy atmosphere is easy if you echo Scandinavian or New England style with white painted furniture.