Looking at a cookie-cutter nightstand may lull you to sleep. But wouldn’t it be more fun to count your sheep by a table that reflects your style? Try this idea if you’re into a more classic, romantic look.


Romantic nightstand step1

Start with a simple side table. Ours is one of a pair that we found at an antique mall. Covered in bright turquoise paint when we spied them, we thought an off-white antiqued look would do better to highlight the dainty detailing. Here’s how we gave them a new look:

What You’ll Need

Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand all surfaces of the table and wipe thoroughly with a tack cloth.

Spray one coat of primer on the table. Let dry.

Spray on one or two coats of Ivory Bisque. Let dry between coats.

Use medium-grit sandpaper to sand all areas where a distressed look is desired.

Wipe thoroughly with the tack cloth.

Antique the surface with Early American gel stain. Let dry.

Spray on one or two coats of finish sealer, letting dry between coats.


Romantic nightstand step2

Next, add a favorite portrait or travel photo (opt for one that conjures thoughts of romance, perhaps) in a brushed silver frame and a vintage-style alarm clock. On the bottom shelf, a short stack of illustrated books is ideal for relaxed browsing in bed.


S Romantic nightstand step 3

Over the nightstand, hang a delicate glass or crystal chandelier. Add a pretty candle to imbue the room with fragrance.


Romantic nightstand chandelier

If you have the option to hardwire it, a dimmer switch is the way to go so you can adjust from brighter task illumination to a low ambient light.


Romantic nightstand step 4

Increase the warmth that books bring to any space with another volume or two and top the stack with a glass and silver tray to hold your favored pieces of jewelry.


jewelry bowl on top of a stack of three books

Of course, it helps if your jewelry inclines toward the romantic (pearls and rhinestones, anyone?) but everyone needs a spot to stash gems or pocket contents at the end of a long day, no matter what your style.


Romantic nightstand step 5

Pull together the small elements on top of the table with a pretty vintage silver tray.


Romantic nightstand tabletop jeweled clock, vase of flowers in white and pink, a teal candle and a silver framed picture

Add a cut crystal bowl of fresh flowers and your romantically styled nightstand is complete.


nightstand dressing steps in animation


If a midcentury nightstand is more your style, check out this one.

© Caruth Studio

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