I’ve been searching for the perfect pieces for our house since we moved in and sometimes it can be a bit difficult due to the shape and size of the older rooms in the house I also like to sometimes sit with a space before I decide how I want to design it. I always feel that if I throw some furniture and décor into a space to just fill it, I find myself wanting to do something totally different a few months later. Our bedside tables have been an issue for me since we moved in. After the construction on the house last year – where we moved the bathroom door and the made a master closet – we switched our room from a larger space to a space that’s a bit of a tight squeeze with our king-sized bed. It gives us an attached bathroom and beautiful master closet in this old house but the bedroom itself is a bit of an odd bird.
The sloping ceiling and the multiple doors in the small space leaves very little room for bedside tables. For a while, I felt like we could live without them. But after a few months with no place to put my phone or a glass of water, I started searching again.
I needed something small. The bedside tables could be no more than 15 x 15 inches. I also wanted something that was real wood and felt a bit more natural, without going too far into the country design space.
As you may be able to tell, I love modern farmhouse design mixed with some traditional pieces and a touch of mid-century straight lines. 🙂 Basically, I take a bit of everything, throw it all in and see what works. Sometimes I find natural wood tones can veer a little too far towards traditional country for my taste.
But the problem was really the size for the bedside tables. Everything I found – vintage and new – was too large.
Don’t discount off-the-shelf items
After a few months, I finally found some tables that had the clean lines I love. They were also small enough to fit our space. I bought two of the tall Chloe Accent Tables from World Market. The surface space is a 13 X 13-inch square and it’s 30 inches tall, which is taller than the average bedside table. However, they work for us because our bed is fairly high.
(If you like the size of these but they’re too tall for you, there is one that’s the exact same style but shorter here.)
Perhaps the best part of these tables is the price point. They are only $34.99. The shorter table, which you can find here, is just $29.99. These both would also make perfect plant tables and I might get more of them for that too.
However, these tables were really the wrong color of wood. They were finished with a mahogany finish, which was really much too dark for me.
But I didn’t let that stop me. Instead, I decided that we would refinish them and I knew this was something we could do because our table in the barn was the same color, the same wood and the same finish as these side tables.
Refinishing the bedside tables
We had purchased it over nine years ago from World Market and had recently refinished it too. We had lived with that dark mahogany finish on it for years. Nine years ago, dark wood was on trend. But when we needed a table in the barn, we knew the time had some to strip it, sand it and get it to a color that we love.
After a few weeks, it was done. You can see it here in the holiday table post all decorated and in the photos below.
So, we set out to do that same thing to the side tables and I adore how they turned out! You can see the whole process in the video below. Make sure to scroll and check out the before and after too!
If you’re looking to do a similar refinishing project, here’s how we did it:
Remove the top layer of stain and finish from your furniture piece using a furniture stripper. I like this one because it is biodegradable. Furniture stripper can be some nasty stuff so make sure you’re comfortable with whatever you’re using.
Always make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area. This one says you can use it inside but I still did it outside and wore a face mask and gloves.
This was the most intensive part of the project for us. Admittedly, Kevin did most of it. He also decided to forgo the electric sander and do most of it by hand – for the side tables AND the larger, dining table.
Since all of these tables had really straight lines, and the finish came off fairly easily, this worked well for us.
Because we wanted to leave the tables natural, we skipped a step here that you might want to do. We didn’t use any new stain and instead we went straight to sealing the tables to protect them.
I wanted a sealer that wouldn’t change the finish of the tables – the color or the sheen. We tried one and I wasn’t happy with it. I ended up sanding the tables down again lightly to remove it. It turned the tables a bit yellow and a bit darker. I would not recommend it and will keep searching for one I do recommend.
Beside table results
That said, we still think it’s a big improvement from how they look before. What do you think?
Thank you for visiting today! I hope you’ll come back again soon. For more farmhouse projects, click here.