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The Bedside Tables

One of the major remaining projects in our new apartment has been the issue of bedside tables. Several years ago I acquired a cute little savaged piece at the Melrose Flea Market in LA. Perfect height. Perfect amount of drawer space. Decently attractive. While Alex's night stand has always been a bit of a problem area. Mainly because in the past his side has been semi-hidden from the public eye which allowed me to avoid the situation altogether. Those days are over. Our new, slightly bigger bedroom showcases both bedsides equally and I've been getting antsy to balance things out. Not to mention we were in desperate need of some serious drawer space.

My first choice was of course to find vintage pieces, but with very specific criteria and dimensions my searches were continually coming up empty handed. (Any recommendations for fabulous Austin flea markets, antique malls, junk stores would be much appreciated!) Ready to get the show on the road and realizing that my budget was not giving me much to work with, I did what I said I'd never do again. I turned to Ikea. (note: I'm definitely not anti-ikea. I think a lot of their glassware and ceramic pieces are great. I'm just not a huge fan of their furniture.) However, I did some quick research and determined that the RAST DRESSER for $34 would be the perfect blank canvas. I initially wanted to add hairpin legs to the bottom and create a faux mid century feel. But quickly discovered that those trendy hairpin legs are extremely expensive to ship. So no luck.  I shifted to Plan B: Industrial inspired side tables on caster wheels with unfinished raw wood tops.

Here is how it all went down. Please forgive the mediocre iPhone photos. 

The ikea assembly manuals assure you the process will be quick and simple. Painless. Have a question? Just call the store and they will provide you with all the answers. 

This is a lie. And most of you probably know that from personal experience. However, I have discovered that the key to assembling ikea pieces is having a good drill with a large variety of attachments. Not having to use those tiny metal twister tools makes all the difference!

And then we stained... 

Let me start by saying neither Alex or I had any past experience with staining wood. And over all it was a rather simple on-taking.  Apply in a circular motion and have your dry rag handy to quickly and smoothly wipe away the excess. Do this at least twice or until you have the desired shade.   

I'm pretty pleased with the way the stain came out. Mostly even and a nice dark color. But I'm not sure if I love it. I've decided to "live" with them for the next few weeks but I think I may end up painting them white. Or black? We'll see.

The top and bottom! It's important to note that I had extra wood specially cut for the tops and bottoms at Home Depot. The RAST dresser does not come with a bottom, which I needed to attach the caster wheels. So I stained and attached the bottom planks, then placed the caster wheels appropriately and screwed those in. Once that part was done, we flipped the tables up right and placed the unfinished, raw wood planks on top. I haven't actually screwed the tops in because, as I mentioned, I may end up painting them, in which case I would leave the tops unpainted. Also, I plan on shining up the tops with linseed oil.

Over all this entire project cost me roughly $150 total. Two (matching) bedside tables with plenty of drawer space for under 200 bucks? I'm pretty proud!

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