3 Smart, Space-Saving DIYs That Will Convince You to Ditch Your Nightstand

published Aug 19, 2022
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Before: Crowded beige bedroom

As far as bedroom furniture goes, there’s one piece that’s most important: your bed, of course. So while that gets central billing, other pieces — like dressers and nightstands — might take some wiggling and some re-jiggering in order to fit within the confines of your square footage. That’s especially true in small bedrooms, where floor space is at a premium. Here’s some good news: You don’t have to sacrifice your clothing storage in order to squeeze in a spot to stow a bedside lamp, alarm clock, and book, among other late-night and early-morning necessities.

The secret to having it all? DIY nightstands. By making your own bedside tables, you can customize something that fits your space exactly. DIYs and semi-DIYs also give you some extra flexibility in creating nontraditional furniture that might fit your needs better (see: floating furniture). Even if you’re not an experienced DIYer, a nightstand is something you can totally take on by yourself or with the help of a pal. Here, three great ideas to get you started.

A Double-Duty Headboard

For this small bedroom redo, designer Jordan Miranda gave her client a custom headboard that doesn’t just look good — it’s functional, too. The slatted wood headboard features two slim shelves tucked into it on either side of the bed, offering just enough space for a glass of water or a book before bed. Wall-mounted sconces offer extra reading light without taking up any precious table space.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Here’s another example of a headboard with built-in shelves from Emilie and Brook’s minimalist, Scandinavian farmhouse-style studio. This time, the shelves take triple-decker form for added storage potential.

A Built-In Ledge

If you want to go really minimalist — like, no furniture or shelving in sight minimalist — this option’s for you. Puno and Daniel created this bedroom feature in their LA loft using materials left over from their kitchen renovation. Thanks to a matching paint job, the bump-out they constructed completely blends into the wall behind it, making it look like a handsome architectural feature — but there’s room on top for a lamp and even some decor.

A Wall-Mount Drawer and Shelf Combo

Even if you stick with the same size and shape of a classic nightstand, there’s a lot to be said for getting it off the floor and onto the wall. For one, it makes space underneath for easy access of other bedside necessities — think slippers, yoga mats, or anything else you might want to pull out first thing in the morning. And even if you don’t use that space for storage, having open access underneath makes a bedroom feel just a little bit airier — and makes it just a bit easier to clean, too, since you’ll never have to move anything aside to be able to sweep or vacuum. Take a look at this IKEA hack from DIYer Marcus Merta to see just how big of a difference axing the legs of a typical nightstand can make.