I think I have just experienced a right of passage into adulthood. For the first time ever, I own real, grown-up, perfectly shabby nightstands!
I know! Right!
You see, my budget has always dictated the use of frugal creativity in decorating my home. Because of this, I have always been content to use non-traditional pieces as bedside tables. Stacked baskets, round side tables or a tower of suitcases, all of which spoke to my flea market, shabby loving heart. However, of late I have found myself longing for a bit more convenience in the form of real, grown-up nightstands.
Bedside tables went on my shopping list about a year ago after we rearranged the bedroom to prepare for some updating that the Wildman and I wanted to complete. After living with the new layout for a period of time, it became apparent that while the Wildman shares my love of unique decor, he is not quite as prepared to live with the slight inconvenience that these unique pieces can sometimes present. Bottom line–he REALLY wanted drawers! So the hunt was on!
After combing a plethora of antique stores, vintage shops/sales and flea markets over the last several months, I had found nothing that was suitable for our needs. While I was not hung up on the need for the nightstands to match, I did want at least two drawers in each. Because of the height of our bed, they also needed to be taller than many traditional bedside tables. Every time I found something tall enough it would be too wide to fit comfortably in the space. I was thwarted at every turn! (Don’t you just hate it when that happens!😏)
It became increasingly clear that I needed to take a more traditional path to solve our bedside dilemma. To get what we wanted from a regular furniture store we were either going to have to make due with inferior quality or break the budget. Have I mentioned that I am a touch frugal? Once I have a number in my head it is almost impossible to get me to waiver from that price range. After all, spending too much for the nightstands would mean sacrificing what we wanted to do with the rest of the room. Solution? I headed to local consignment stores.
Our local consignment stores tend to skew in style towards more modern. Since this is not really my taste, I don’t put these shops on my list of regular haunts. But, remember, I was getting desperate! My favorite consignment shop that was on my list to check regularly is about 30 minutes away and had closed back in November to move to a new location. Construction delays had kept their doors closed for months and as of March, their social media posts had ceased to even try to estimate when they would reopen. On a whim, I tried one more time to find out an opening date and, voila, when I called they had just reopened two days prior! Woo hoo!!!!
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So with spirits high, I grabbed my neighbor to head out on this adventure with me. It took me about 4 minutes to find two of these beauties. Though a bit traditional for my style, they were well constructed solid wood pieces with just enough dings and that fell smack dab at the top of my “What I’m willing to pay” price range! I pulled the tags and headed to the register!!!
After removing all of the hardware they each got a coat of Magnolia Home Trim and Cabinetry semi-gloss paint in True White that I had left over from painting the fireplace. I then used my very favorite shabbying tool, my Black and Decker Mouse Sander, to sand back edges and corners. (See a demonstration video here!) To add a more old world touch to these pieces, I sanded all the way back to raw wood in some places and let the original cherry finish show in others.
Meanwhile, between painting processes, the hardware got a base coat of Rustoleum’s Metallic Finish Spray Paint in Oil-Rubbed Bronze to knock down the shiny brass look. I then followed up with a light coat of Rustoleum’s Universal Finish in Oil Rubbed Bronze to deepen the color and give the hardware dimension. The two finishes come out two slightly different shades. The metallic finish was still too bright for me and needed a spritzing of the universal finish to darken it up a bit. Finding appropriate hardware that is totally rusty may be in my future, but for now, this finish is a nice inexpensive rustic option.
The Wildman is the waxing genius in our house so he worked his magic with a coat of Minwax Finishing Paste Wax in clear. The hardware was put back in place and, there you have it! Two very grown-up shabby nightstands!
I have to say that I LOVE having sizeable drawers!!!! It keeps our bedside areas looking so much tidier! On a side note, I originally considered removing the bottom apron on the tables and attaching bun feet to make them look a little less traditional. However, when I examined them closely, they were so well constructed that doing this would have been time-consuming and we would run the risk of damaging the surfaces right above the apron, so I abandoned the idea. Flexibility is key when upcycling furniture!☺
Some thoughts on consignment shops.
1–Like vintage stores, each will have its own design personality so you may need to shop several different ones to find those that align with your design vision.
2–These situations are generally a bit higher in price than vintage shops, but I tend to find that the overall quality and condition of the items on the floor is also greater. You may still find steals like the $35 desk we found for the Wildman’s office at the same store that I found the now shabby nightstands, but as a rule, you will pay for the higher quality and the fact that these items have typically been very well cared for.
3–Location of the store can be a great indicator of the types of furniture they will carry. The shops in my town rarely have many good vintage or antique pieces, however, my favorite consignment shop is located in a town that has a larger number of older homes so it is more likely to have at least some selection of older pieces.
4–Drop by often! As with most second-hand situations, sometimes you find a treasure trove and sometimes you come up empty.
Oh, oh! I almost forgot to tell you! Did you happen to notice the reading material on my nightstand?
You see that gorgeous red fan light–it’s one of the Wildman’s creations from his site, NewEdisonVintage.com!!! It is being featured in the upcoming issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ 100 Ideas–Flea Market Style! This is our advance copy, but it should be on newsstands in the next few days! So exciting!!!
Now that perfectly shabby nightstands are marked off my list it is on to the next project. I think it will probably be flooring. Truthfully, I get a little intimidated (and tired😬) when I think of moving all of the bedroom furniture! Yikes! I’m feeling a nap coming on!
Hugs ’til next time!