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.