True story: for a little while, my night stand was a toilet. And I loved it.
When we were living with my inlaws for a few months between moving back to Ohio and buying our current home, on my side of our bed was an antique commode. It was along the lines of this one, but prettier and more ornate. And it didn't currently have a chamber pot in it. :-)
|Courtesy of Ivy House Columbia, through My Buy Auctions|
Anyway, I loved the uniqueness of it, and reusing something unexpected for a practical purpose. When we were looking for night stands for our room, I wanted to steer away from brand new furniture store buys for a few reasons. 1) I wanted something quirky. Like a toilet, but taller ;-) 2) Used wood has a warmth to it that takes a while to acquire. 3) I knew we'd never match the dresser and chest from our old set that we were keeping in our room (the bed and single night stand from that set are in the guest room). 4) It's hard to find wood furniture that's not painted or blonde, cherry, walnut, or espresso! We just wanted an oak/maple-y color to go with the other wood in the room. Didn't have to match, but the same family. 5) I knew there was plenty of gently used furniture out there that would cost us SIGNIFICANTLY less than something brand new. It's like a car... if it's gently used and in good shape, let someone else take the depreciation hit ;-)
Our requirements were that they be fairly tall (around 28-32 inches) because our bed is on the high side, and that they have some storage. We found mine quickly, but scoured a local peddlars' mall and the internet for something for Ethan. We finally found something at a store called Home2Home, which has both retail store leftovers and consignment furniture and decor. It's pretty, it's tall, it has a ton of storage, and it's the right tone of wood. New, it probably would've cost in the ballpark of $300... we got it for $75. Can't hate around 75% off!
As for mine, we had driven around our town all day, looking at garage sales - there is one specific weekend in June when we do "community-wide" garage sales, so it was a particularly good time to look. As we were cruising by yet another house, I yelped and pointed and Ethan pulled over. I didn't know what this thing was, but it was tall and the pricetag was right!
I hopped out and started exploring it... it was reasonably clean, just a few minor scratches on the top and very sturdy. Then I noticed the top was hinged and realized it was a sewing cabinet. (It's fairly obvious, I'm just a little slow on the uptake sometimes, haha!) I opened the top and opened the front and noticed the curved piece of pressboard-type-stuff would make it so that I couldn't really use it as storage... but it looked like that piece wasn't secured in there, so it would probably be removable. I was chatting with the homeowner who was selling it, and she said that she'd reduce the price to $10, since I'd have to put some work into it. I thought that was awesome, as $15 seemed totally fair to me! I hate haggling and almost definitely wouldn't have asked for a reduction, but I gladly took it ;-)
Sure enough, the curvy piece came out easily, and I gave the whole thing a good bath in lemon Pledge. We went to Lowe's and bought a $5 piece of plywood that we had cut to the size of the inside of the cabinet, as well as some L-brackets and a knob. We screwed two L-brackets into the sides of the cabinet, toward the front, and used those and a ledge at the back to support the plywood shelf. Then we added the knob to the front swingy door, and I had a totally cool, repurposed night stand! The storage inside isn't huge, but it's enough to hold my Kindle, random cords, and some nighttime low blood sugar snacks.
I think these two nightstands are really contributing to the warm look I'm aiming for in decorating our bedroom haven, and I'm so glad I took the chance on an "unusual" piece of furniture and some TLC :-) These sewing cabinets are readily available at yardsales and antique/vintage malls, just waiting to be snatched up and repurposed!