The new year is here, and with that comes resolutions galore. One of my personal goals for 2021 is to cut back on screen time before bed, as I’m guilty of scrolling through Instagram or quickly checking my email when I should really be logging off for the night. So what’s step one? Ensuring that my bedroom is a soothing place to unwind! 

While I’m unable to revamp my entire space, I decided to start small and tackle my nightstand. I wanted to turn it into an optimal area to corral items that will help keep me off my phone and prepare me for a good night’s sleep. And with a few goodies from some of my favorite stores, I was able to create a setup that’s personal, peaceful, and practical. Want to know how I did it? Read on!

Personal Touches:

I wanted my nightstand area to reflect my tastes and interests rather than look like a cookie cutter display. As a proud Maryland native, I was thrilled when I spotted a colorful print of my home state at Lou Lou. I popped it into an ornate gold frame that I already had on hand, and I love the cheerful touch it adds to my bedroom. 

Maryland Heart Print, $20, Lou Lou

Rather than turning to Netflix or my never-ending group text, I’m going to make more of an effort to relax with a book before I turn the lights out. Amazon Books is full of titles on every single subject you could imagine, and I picked up a few that will not only keep me occupied before bed but will also teach me valuable skills (cooking and cocktail making!) and reflect my interests (home decor all the way!). 

Cocktail Codex, $25.49, Amazon

Old World Italian, $26.49, Amazon

Welcome Home, $16.49, Amazon

Peaceful Touches:

Lighting a candle is one of my nightly rituals, and my all-time favorite scent is Volupsa’s Capri Blue, which I’ve been burning for years. I was pleased to discover that Francesca’s Collections sells many versions of this exact candle; I opted for a simple white tin to keep the top of my nightstand looking more simplistic. This smell is so soothing and immediately calms my mind, which is extra ideal pre-bedtime. 

Volupsa Capri Blue Candle, $22, Francesca’s Collections

I love picking up eucalyptus stems or affordable bouquets to keep by my bed, and I’m all the more excited to include these elements in my space now that I can display them in the charming white terracotta vases I picked up at Terrain. In my opinion, these vessels double as fun decorative pieces even when they aren’t filled with flowers. 

Matte Terracotta Bud Vase, $20, Terrain

Practical Touches:

I like to always keep lip balms and lotions within reach of my bed, but as someone who can’t stand clutter, I didn’t want to just set these items out in the open. When I found a pair of sweet woven jars at Serena & Lily, I knew they would make the perfect accent piece, as they’re equally stylish and functional. The jars have room for plenty of my nighttime essentials and complement my nightstand’s wicker-style drawer wonderfully. 

Woven Bathroom Storage Baskets, $60, Serena & Lilly 

I often catch myself remembering to-dos or brainstorming ideas for projects as I drift off to sleep, but reaching for the Notes app on my phone often ends up leading me down a social media rabbit hole. While at Paper Source, I picked up a thick memo pad with a cute cover that I’ll be able to keep right on top of my nightstand for any last-minute thoughts that come to mind. I love that each page features a different motivational quote, too, as I could use a little extra inspiration while checking my first 2021 goal off my list.  

A Great Thought a Day Notepad, $12.95, Paper Source

Sarah Lyon is a freelance writer and interior design enthusiast who currently lives in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared on websites including Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest Clever, Lonny, and MyDomaine. Additionally, Sarah’s own spaces have appeared on Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, Houzz, and Her Dupont Circle apartment was featured in both the spring 2019 print edition of Small Space Decorating and the January 2019 print edition of Washingtonian Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @sarahlyon9.