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Thread: Feedback requested on my nightstand design

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Chicago suburbs, IL

    Lightbulb Feedback requested on my nightstand design

    My current project is to build two nightstands for my bedroom. Both my wife and I wanted a nightstand that has a sizable top to hold a lamp, an alarm clock, a glass of water, and maybe a book. Since we both read a lot, we also wanted a lot of storage to hide away all the piles of books and magazines that currently end up laying on the floor. I haven't decided yet if I want to make the nightstands a cabinet with a single door, two drawers, or some combination of the two. Since I haven't decided yet, the pictures currently only show the carcase. The overall dimensions are 26" high x 19" deep x 23"wide.

    I started with a basic shaker design. While I really like shaker furniture, we wanted something that wasn't quite so plain for these pieces. The first change I made was to put a compound curve on all four legs. I thought about splaying the legs out a bit at the bottom, but in the end I decided against it. As pictured, the top of each leg is in the same plane as the bottom of the leg. In addition to the compound curve, I also tapered the last 2 1/2" of each leg. It tapers down to 3/4" x 3/4".

    In the view pictured below, you can see that I curved bottom stretcher on the front of the cabinet. The curve starts at the top of each leg taper. At it's widest point, the stretcher is 2" wide. At it's narrowest point, it is 1" wide. I kept the bottom stretchers on the other three sides of the cabinet a straight 2" wide (no curve).

    I thought a rectangular top was a bit dull, so I added a curve to all four sides. I tried to keep it subtle; over-doing the curvature on the top could become gaudy. The top has a 1" overhang at it's corners and a 1/2" overhang at it's mid-points.

    The pictures that I've shown here are my first cut at a design. I'm still playing with it. I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions that you all have that might help to improve the design.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Hi Dave ,
    Personally, the design looks very nice, well thought out and has good proportions to it. The choices you have made with the slight taper at the foot and the bottom rail curve and their join up point with the legs are appealing. It is a very nice piece and should work well.
    My only concern thus far is the top. I understand your desire to add interest but when I think of night stand and the dark, and all the scary things that come out at night corners that are acute /less than 90 become another scary thing to avoid, However, it usually takes me only one good "Whack" to remember....'Note to self'...Don't do that!!!!!!!
    Good luck and keep us posted with your progress.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    San Antonio, Texas
    I like it, Dave. Not too ornate, but it still looks elegant. Personally, I think it would look better w/drawers, but that's JMO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    I really like the shape. Shaz brings up a good point about the bump-factor, but he's right - it really should only take once to remember where that corner is :P

    It harkens some asian styling in the curves. I especially like the shape of the legs.

    I think a drawer in a nightstand is VERY useful. My nail clipers go in there. So does my mini dictionary. I really don't know what else I'd put in my nightstand besides that, though.

    I wonder about the placement of the bottom shelf (sunken like it is). I run into this problem a lot with frame and panel stuff myself and wonder what drove your choice to sink it instead of having it up flush with the rails of the panels? This leads me to a deeper overall question about frame and panel construction but I'll start a new thread for that... (Seen here:
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    If you're looking to hide all the magazines and such that collect on the floor, i'd put a door or drawer on it, or you'll have a very cluttered looking beautiful new night stand. Perhaps it could be a tilt out "bin" (easy to operate while you're laying in bed) for your reading material. Slant the bottom up as it extends back from the front to help the magazines and books store flat against the front. Hinge it at the bottom - install a pull near the top.
    Perhaps you could build the lamp into the unit, so there's no chance of it falling off.
    Looks like a nice project.
    Paul Hubbman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I think you did a nice job...they look "right" to me! If you and your wife are both happy, I'd proceed.
    Got Wood?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
    Given the interesting shape of the top, how about rotating the legs a little so that they point out along the diagonals that are implied by the pointy corners?

    If you're expecting to store a number of magazines, consider some vertical separators (remember how those round black plastic music disc things used to be stored?) to stop them flopping around untidily.

    A small drawer would be useful to store all those little items that seem to be needed - tissues, spectacle case, pill boxes, sex-toys etc.
    So do I type something witty here?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Southern Louisiana
    i like em too, quite nice

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