The nightstand next to your bed is one of the most essential surfaces in your bedroom. It provides a home for books photo frames and sleepy-time necessities like eye masks and earplugs. Most of us opt for the classic version: a small square table with a drawer and a matching counterpart on the other side of the bed. But this functional area doesn't have to be so well square. Swapping out that classic nightstand for a piece of non-bedroom furniture can add personality as well as function to your bedroom. Here are unique alternatives to the classic nightstand. The best part about these options? They are common enough pieces that you may already have them on hand. If not you'll be able to pick them up for a reasonable price at a garage sale or flea market.
Step stool. A repurposed step stool is a smart budget-friendly and space-saving substitute for a night table. Whether designed for a child's room the kitchen or the garage stools often have small proportions that are good for small spaces. A typical step stool measures 15 to 18 inches wide and about 21 inches high making it a good fit for many beds. Tip: Since a table lamp might take over much of the surface area of your step stool consider installing a wall sconce above it instead. That way you'll have room on the stool to place books reading glasses or a vase. If your bedroom allows space pair the stool with a similar-size furniture piece on the other side of the bed.
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Tool chests are not just for the handy. They can be a solid piece of furniture with ample storage. Their typical sizes — 18 to 48 inches wide and in a variety of heights and depths — can easily fit the space next to a bed. Most tool chests come in a glossy color — red and black being the most common — and can be purchased for less than $100. Or perhaps you have one in your garage just waiting to be repurposed. Either way a tool chest is a multifunctional storage piece that can add character and quirk to your bedroom. Tip: Try a tool chest as a nightstand in a kid's room. The bright colors multiple drawers and small scale can add useful storage and a pop of color to your child or teen's room.
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This easy styling trick is perfect for renters or decorators short on time. You don't need to mount oversized art — just lean the frame against the wall. This has the bonus of adding to the relaxed effortless feel we're going for in this room. I like to work with oversized prints and frames as they're a little bit unexpected and draw your attention.
Warm modern. Keep a clean minimalist look from being too cold with a stroke of fiery red or orange. Here a wide striped bedcover echoes the color in an oversize painting. If a painting of this magnitude is beyond your current budget consider stretching a length of bold fabric on stretchers meant for canvas (find them in art stores). Choose a simple platform-style bed and slim task lamps then fill out the room with a healthy potted plant and a vase of flowers.
Dapper gent. As polished and tailored as a bespoke suit this look is based around handsome materials like wool wood and leather and traditional menswear patterns like a windowpane check and plaids. Furniture with clean lines and neatly tucked bedding keep things looking fresh and modern while a monogrammed accent injects a bit of personality.