A magician always has a favourite trick, and I’ve decided decorators do, too. Mine is a simple one that never fails to amaze my audiences: sawing an end table in half to transform it into two nightstands.
How do I love this DIY? Let me count the ways.
1. It’s inexpensive because you either already have a crummy old end table in the basement, or you can buy for a few bucks at a yard sale or thrift shop.
2. It gives a new life to something that might end up tossed or ignored.
3. It takes up far less space than full-sized end tables or store-bought nightstands.
4. It’s easy to do, and takes nothing more than a circular saw or jigsaw — maybe even just a hand saw, if you’re into old-school tools.
5. And, finally, it gives you a set of perfectly matching nightstands that make any bedroom look more finished.
So when I was working on a secret bedroom makeover for a client and she mentioned that we needed nightstands, it took no time at all to find a set of heavy wooden end tables in her basement. They even had little drawers so we decided to chop both tables in half so we could use the ends with the drawers. (She’s already musing which bedroom is going to get the other halves — two matching nightstands, just without the drawers.)
Once both tables were cut in two, it didn’t take me long to paint the ‘good’ halves with some beautiful navy blue paint. (Midnight Blue by Fusion Mineral Paint.) Then I used my drill to widen the hardware hole in the tiny drawers. The original knobs had been plain wood and utterly forgettable.
We were replacing them with bright brass drop pulls (EDVALLA, $6.99 for a two-pack at Ikea). The gold looked stunning against the deep blue paint, and I was reminded, once again, that it’s always worth it to spend money on pretty hardware.
Everyone always thinks these nightstands will be mounted to the wall with clips or screws, but they actually don’t even need it. They sit firmly on their two front legs, and the back just leans into the wall — like me doing a wall sit, ouch, at the end of my Zumba class.
My client loved the nightstands and was equally giddy about the way the brass glinted against the navy paint. They looked way better than anything we could have bought, and we’d spent about $20 total on them.