Here is a staged photo of a home in a magazine: . . . Note the bedside table.
Here is a real life bedside table, totally unstaged.
And another, unstaged:
I recall my first inkling that something was amiss when, as a ten year old, I accompanied my parents as they looked at model homes in subdivisions around San Diego. As I toured the tiny (8x10) bedrooms I wondered aloud, "Where is the dresser? And the dirty clothes hamper, and the trash can?" There would be a bed, maybe a bedside table or nightstand, a desk and chair, a cute rug. All of it just as trendy and new as could be. But I recognized that it wouldn't look like this when people actually lived in the home because it lacked the accoutrements of real life.
I've given up trying to have a magazine photo worthy nightstand (or bedside table). It's just not possible. I clear off the surface and it looks all beautiful, then I do some living and items just migrate to the top where they are within easy reach as I'm going to bed or getting up in the morning.
Someday I'll have a dedicated guest room where I can stage a beautiful table with just a lamp, a pretty doily, and a vase of flowers. Otherwise, I live a real life and need real things beside me.
How about you?