Give collections and mementoes pride of place.
"The bedside table should contain something personal," advises designer and homeowner Tommy Smythe. "In my case, it's a framed telegram my parents sent to friends announcing my birth." He also displayed a gold mantel clock, alligator-skin travel clock and enamel alarm clock, from tall to short, for a touch of whimsy.
For more inspiration, check out our photo gallery of Tommy Smythe's Houses.