Before and After: End Table to Floating Nightstand

And here I am using my legs like a sucker!

– Homer Simpson

Before we start, check out our sidebar — House of Hepworths featured our vanity table makeover this week! Color me DELIGHTED. If you don’t already visit regularly, hop over to HofH for great ideas. The Hepworths just moved, so I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with their new place. Thanks again, Allison!

Now to the matter at hand…

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A storage bed is a fine and noble thing. When it has drawers right up to the headboard, though, it complicates bedside table logistics. On Kev’s side, we decided to “float” a nightstand by attaching it to the wall. A wall-mounted nightstand would provide a landing place for books (and tea and glasses and cats and implements of destruction) while allowing unfettered access to the bed drawers.

Instead of starting from scratch, I perused Craigslist for something to convert. Many end tables and nightstands are available from ol’ Craig, but few were the right size or met my semi-stringent criteria:

  • A single drawer box, with the surrounding frame screwed or bolted together (rather than stapled or glued).
  • Wider than deep (to snuggle against the wall).
  • Enough solid wooden construction to be able to drill through…
  • …but not too heavy.

Here’s our criteria-meeting, fifteen-dollar winner:

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Clearly, the first task was de-rosing. I applied wood filler where needed, then sanded the whole thing and primed it.

Siro-79-136To make the table as unobtrusive as possible, I painted it the same color as our bedroom walls, Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth Green. It took three coats to cover up those roses, even with the primer. After poly on the exterior, I spraypainted the inside of the drawer black (just for kicks), then I installed the new drawer knob. The Kev’s other mission in life (besides Ben, me, the house, and about 40 other things) involves fossils. He saw this ammonite knob by Siro Designs at Lowe’s about a year ago and liked it, so when I started working on his nightstand, I picked one up.

Then I de-legged the table. You’d think this would have come earlier, but I kept the legs through the painting stage, because they gave me a built-in drying rack. No fancy de-legging plan here, just a gal and her trusty reciprocating saw…

bsdeleggedD’oh! Should have started sawing from the front! Since I didn’t, I ended up having to touch up the finish post-de-legging. The drying-rack aspect of leg-having was worth it, but I learned a valuable lesson about saw direction!

We considered a few different options for mounting the table to the wall, including L-brackets, cleats and super-long screws. The beefiest parts of the table did not line up with the wall studs for any of these options. Kevin had the great idea to add a wood mounting plate across the back so we could screw it in wheresoever the studs turned out to be. He cut a piece of wood to span the back, and we notched out around the frame. Then we screwed that piece to the table.

As long as it doesn't show, I'm a surgeon with this sawzall!

As long as it doesn’t show, I’m a surgeon with this sawzall!

In place on the back

Set in place on the back; we screwed it in at the edges.

Instant installation flexibility!

checking walls

“Just checking the walls…”

With the plate attached and studs located (a la Basil Fawlty — we really need to buy a stud finder!), we leveled the table at the same height as the vanity table on the other side and screwed that puppy in! We used two of what my dad would call “long-winded” screws for the stud (three-inchers), and anchor bolts to secure it through the laths in several other places. You wouldn’t want to sit on it, but it’s plenty solid for its purpose.

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Add the drawer and there you go! The before again:

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And the after:

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Kevin has enough room for his stuff, and there’s still complete access to the drawers. I like how it keeps the floor clear — I could see doing this even in the absence of storage bed motivation.

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All in all, finding the right table in the first place (and finding the stud in the second) were the trickiest parts. If you don’t mind wandering around Craigslist (and already own a stud finder), it’s a fun project. Give it a try and let us know how it goes. (And remember not to saw back to front!)

Update: Apartment Therapy readers, thanks for stopping by! See how this project held up long-term (short story: pretty well overall).

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17 Responses to Before and After: End Table to Floating Nightstand

  1. Janet says:

    Great floating night stand! I came to see what you created after reading the article about floating built-ins on Apartment Therapy. I love your bedside table – the drawer makes it so practical! Great design!

    • Stacey says:

      Thanks, Janet! It’s one of my favorite projects — it wasn’t too hard, but it has been so useful. So glad you stopped by.

  2. Lisa says:

    AWESOME idea! Now off to find a table…

  3. OMG, you did an awesome job. Love this sooooo much!

  4. Char Watson says:

    I was looking for ways to build a floating night stand and came across your idea! It’s perfect and doesn’t cost a fortune! Loved your Basil Fawlty reference. One of our favorite characters! Thanks again for the excellent idea!

    • Stacey says:

      Char, thanks for your nice comment — if you build one, please send us a picture and tell us how it went. Really appreciate your stopping by! Good luck with the project.

  5. Edna says:

    I really like the hanging night stand DIY project.my husband and. I was trying to come up with an easy night stand project,for a Christian camp for kids.to go between bunk beds in a dorm roomroom for the kids to have a lamp, a place for glasses &A bible or books,This would be perfect and easy to do.Thanks for sharing your ideal.

  6. Tami says:

    This is truly a brilliant idea that I am definitely going to try. I was going to cut a round side table in half and make 2 nightstands but this is far more practical especially if “stuff” mysteriously appears AND grows on your nightstand…as mine does! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Your side table is so cute… and such a good idea for people with those pesky drawers under there bed! I am including it in a post about non-traditional bedside tables tomorrow! Just thought you should know 😉

  8. Amy says:

    This is awesome! Just wondering, how did you go about mounting it to the wall?

  9. Pingback: 5 Bulky Furniture Pieces You Could Eliminate for Sleeker, DIY Alternatives – Pioneers Discovers

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