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Next To My Bed: James Vela

Welcome to our latest installment of Next to My Bed, a feature on Hill House Home's 40 Winks Blog that takes an up close and personal look at what some of our friends keep next to their bed.

If you're on the hunt for something super specific and delightfully vintage when it comes to jewelry, there's no better man from the job than James Vela, founder of Vela NYC. A former magazine vet (he worked at Vogue and Elle) and native Texan, Vela has become a go-to for collecting vintage and antique pieces spanning the Georgian era to 1970's. Let's find out what he keeps next to his bed. 

What side of the bed do you sleep on?

No particular side – I’m a heavy sleeper and happy to snooze anywhere I can.

What can you not sleep without?

A pair of earplugs and a fresh pillow.

What is currently next to your bed? 

Two antique wooden accent tables I use as nightstands. Both were scored at a Housing Works thrift shop years ago and are perfect for holding the right amount of clutter by my bedside.

What do you keep on your side table?

A few of my favorite things! A lamp, trinket dish with jewelry, speaker, stack of vintage Popeye magazines and a candle that I refuse to burn (removing the lid is good enough).

 What is the strangest thing that's next to your bed?

I place any jewelry I was wearing during a particular day on a trinket dish. This usually includes a mourning ring from the 1700s. These were made to commemorate the death of a loved one during the Georgian era.

What would you not be able to sleep without?

I love my bedroom and along with being surrounded by the things that bring me joy, a pair of earplugs and my iPhone are pretty essential.

Do you keep any electronics next to your bed?

A speaker, laptop and an iPhone. It’s a terrible habit, but I’m usually on my laptop or iPhone until the wee hours of the night.

What is your nighttime routine in 5 steps or less?

A nice warm shower or bath followed by my skincare routine. Once snuggled in bed, it’s time for an episode or two of Veep while periodically checking my phone. I’m a midnight snacker, so I usually end the night with a cup of mixed berries.