• Gail MLT

A bedside (table) story #2

Another bedside table story for snoops.




I have a bit of a confession:  I am a bit of a snoop.  What I mean is, I have always looked with interest on the personal environments of others as a way to learn more about someone.  To be clear, I’m not opening drawers and going through medicine cabinets: I’m just looking about me at what is in plain view, such as what is on bookshelves or hanging on walls.  You can imagine, then, how validating it was for me a few years back to discover the work of social psychologist and University of Texas at Austin professor Samuel D. Gosling and his book Snoop: What your stuff says about you.  With all this in mind, I thought it might be fun to introduce bedside tables as a regular feature – and make snoops of us all! 


Our second beside table story belongs to interior designer, Geraldine B.  If you crave more surface area than a traditional small bedside table allows, you'll appreciate Geraldine's decision to use a chest of drawers beside her bed.


As we self-isolate at home and practice social-distancing, concerns about the coronavirus/Covid-19 are disturbing the sleep of many of us.  A good book is an age-old distraction and, as luck would have it, Geraldine's bedside table offers an excellent option: author Sharon Penman’s historical novel, Time and Chance.  As Geraldine notes, “Reading often places your thoughts in another realm: right now mine are in the 1100s with Eleanor of Aquitaine.  I've seen real castle ruins and to read descriptions (with literary license) of rooms, clothing, food and drink just sort of boggles the mind.  Better at nighttime than stewing over the news!”


We agree! Now, to our questions:


Does the Limoges asparagus have a story?

The asparagus was a gift from my old boss, who gave me the opportunity to get into and know the design business.  This was back in 1987 when the decorating field was smaller and led by great tastemakers, like Brunschwig & Fils, Colefax & Fowler, and Fortuny.  She went to France and I handled the business while she was away.  The asparagus was a souvenir. 


There is a small celadon dish with a number of objects.  Is that a penknife?

Celadon is a favorite color. The penknife belonged to my husband.  I never wanted to use it on him.  It was there before all the Swiss Army and Red Cross versions became widely used. Are the shells and coral from any place in particular?

The shells and pearls were tiny finds after the loss of my son... My eye happened upon them and I believed they were a sign from him to me.  They’re from all over: the Caribbean, China, his high school…


Tell me about the Russian icon.

The icon is a First Communion gift from a godparent.  It was on a wall on the Hill -- the house where we lived for almost 30 years: a big, airy contemporary place surrounded by woods and visited by deer, fox, turkeys, rabbits -- but ended up here on the chest.

Beneath the flower tea light is a book with an Italian marbleized cover.  Do you keep a journal?

No journal, the small portfolio contains photos of my son.


I see something that looks like an Air France ticket sticking out of the book. Are you planning a trip?

The Air France bookmark may have been from a wine district tour I took last spring or from an earlier tour. The flowers are obviously faux and good dust collectors!

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