Back when Gabe and I were first dating, he had one bedside table, and it was essentially a single drawer on the floor by his bed. As we got more serious, he began to trust my eye for home-y things, and I helped him pick out some simple but matching AND off the floor bedside tables:
However, once we were married, I wanted something with more storage and more style, but I didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars.
I found the solution in an Ikea Hack idea: remaking the simple, pine RAST dresser into a beautifully, Restoration Hardware Inspired, faux-finished trunk with nailheads.
Here's what we started with:
I loved this simple chest for a few reasons. First, it's real wood. Second, it was large enough to offer some seriously upgraded storage, but small enough to still look like a nightstand. Finally, it was super afforable. $35.00 each. You just can't beat that.
To begin my transformation, I purchased two small cans of paint in neutral slightly warm greys. I did the darkest and lightest shades on the paint chip, so that I knew the tones would compliment each other while still standing out. I also picked up a stiff-bristled brush (think broom head), some nailhead strips (got mine at Joann's) and some upscale drawer pulls (silver rings from Home Depot).
After we assembled the nightstands, I painted each one with the lighter grey. After they dried, I mixed the darker grey paint with a glaze (50:50 ratio) and used a regular brush to put a light layer on, then the stiff bristled brush to take it off in a lightly striped pattern.
After that dried, I did the same thing, but pulled the stiff brush perpendicular to the first run, creating a linen look. After they dried, we added the nail heads and drawer pulls! For $150 all told, we have two amazing new bedside tables.