Then I got married and redecorated. The elephant trays got moved to the guest room. So, I tried ceramic coasters with cork in the middle (too loud if I missed the bullseye — and I always missed), round Ikea cork trivets (not pretty and had the potential for the bottle to fall off if I placed it precariously on the edge).
My next idea was to paint a roll of cork white and cover the entire surface of the nightstands. But as my husband and I were strolling through Micheals looking for cork, we stumbled upon rolls of EVA foam. It was already white — no painting needed. Eureka!
Covering nightstands with EVA foam eliminates the need for coasters, protects the finish from spills, and dulls the sound of clinking water bottles. All you have to do is cut it to size. The easiest way to do that is with a rotary cutter, metal straight edge, and cutting mat.