Side Table Struggle

I am on a hunt, but my prey is elusive. I’ve been searching and searching, but nothing comes in to view. Why, oh why can’t I find affordable side tables that I like and are the right kind of functional?

Right now, the nightstands in the bedroom are white metal Eero Saarinen Tulip table (cheap) knock-offs from Target. We’ve had them for a couple of years, and although they are a fun style, I have never been particularly happy with them. The tabletop is ridiculously flimsy (I got what I paid for) but still, putting pretty much anything on the table causes it to bend at an angle. Even alarm clocks and simple lamps cause the tables to bend awkwardly. I am also unhappy with the size of the tabletop. All Joe can fit on his is his alarm clock and lamp. Clearly not adequate.

So for the past handful of months I have been on the unsuccessful search for attractive, functional, affordable side tables. I want a drawer, or a shelf, or both. I want a sturdy table with a large-enough tabletop. I want something that will compliment our current bedroom furniture. I want something that won’t break the bank. It seems like it should be easy, but it is really not! So far I have found nothing that appeals to at least a majority of these desires. And I am getting so frustrated! It is like if I find one that fulfills two or three of my criteria, it fails the last one. And the one that they normally fail is the factor of affordability. It is just mind-boggling to me the prices for side tables, even at places that are usually known for their cheap furniture. Factor in that I need a pair of tables, and I get head-bangingly frustrated with the whole thing!

For example, this table is absolutely gorgeous. Nice size, has a drawer, would match our current bedroom set:

Hudson Table from Williams Sonoma Home

Cost? $1790 for two. Uh, no. Not going to happen. Ever. Even if it is handmade. I just can’t do it.

This one is nice. The color is okay, if not my favorite. It is functional and fairly neutral. I like the shelves:

Metropolitan Side Table from Pottery Barn

Cost? $249 each. Less expensive, but more than I want to spend. I like something that looks nice, but to me, side tables are primarily functional, and I am not really willing to spend twice as much on side tables than our bed cost.

This next one has both a drawer and a shelf, which I like; and it comes in white, my color preference:

Narrow-Leg Storage End Table from West Elm

Once again, though, they are $249 each. One wouldn’t think this should be this hard!

This next one is more in my price range – $99.95 each:

Harvey Nightstand in Carbon from CB2

However, this more industrial aesthetic is not one I am usually drawn to, and I feel the proportions might look off next to our more traditional-styled bedroom set. The color is also not my favorite, and I am very nervous about buying another metal nightstand since the current ones are metal and are unsatisfactory.

If I wanted to go match-y with night stands, then this stand would work as it is from the same line as our bed:

Hemnes Night Stand from Ikea

And it fits our price range, as it they are only $59.99 each. But they are way too tiny; the top surface is really minuscule and the scale is completely off when matched with the bed it is ostensibly meant to match.

So what is the answer? Side tables that are perfect are too expensive; the ones I can afford aren’t right. Trawling Craigslist and Goodwill have both proven unsuccessful. Does anyone have sources/ideas I have not thought of yet?


Monday Link-Around 3/21

Weekly round-up of goodies that have caught my eye on the internet!

Yellow Patterned Stairs

Fabulous stairs from thehousehome – I’m not sure if these stairs were decoupaged, stenciled, or hand-painted, but I love them!

grey inspiration from the style files – Something about soft dove gray appeals to me very much. The tones here are gorgeous, but my personal preference is for more pops of color to contrast.

Swedish Cinnamon Butterhorns (Kanelbullar) from The Cilantropist – These crescent-shaped cinnamon rolls look positively scrumptious! My mouth waters just looking at them.

The U.S. Map Pillow Tutorial from kiki creates – I think I am going to have to make a series of these for our house, since we have lived so many places. I am picturing a grouping of maybe 5 on our couch in different bright color-ways. Maybe I could use cotton instead of felt, and use some fun and funky patterns!

Recycling Glass Insulators into Pendant Light from *Remodelaholic* – This project uses power tools that I don’t foresee owning in the near future, but the idea is certainly lovely.

before & after: katie’s bright and modern nursery from design*sponge – The nursery is lovely, but I am completely obsessing over the multi-colored, multi-sized alphabet on the wall. I don’t think this design is nursery-specific, and I really want an alphabet wall!

Monday Link-Around 3/14

This is a quick roundup of interesting articles and posts that caught my eye this past week.

Tulip Fields

Tulip Fields from junkgarden – Aren’t they just gorgeous and inspiring?

Weeknight Bolognese from Annie’s Eats – This meal really does sound easy, and I love that it is a Bolognese sauce that doesn’t use Italian sausage since I’m really not a fan.

50s Wallpaper by Sanderson from Design*Sponge – As I am quite enthusiastic about 50’s design, I find this exuberant wallpaper quite lovely. I certainly can’t imagine entire rooms done up in these papers, but as an accent wall they would be fun!

African Violets from good bones, great pieces – I love this cute little setup of violets. I regret that I have a terribly black thumb because this is adorable.

Collecting: Class Pictures from poppytalk – I like this display of vintage and antique class photos very much. I think the fact that they are all similar scale and black and white make the collection seem unified in a way color pictures would not.

Backyard Scrabble from junkgarden – Giant backyard Scrabble board? Yes please!

Needle-felted Venus Fly Trap from in words and pictures – I’ve long been fascinated by carnivorous plants, but my previously reference black thumb prevents me from enjoying them. This project is a nice facsimile of the real thing, and completely un-kill-able.

Tips for Sewing Your Own Duvet Cover from Apartment Therapy DC – Handy little guide to making duvets. I will not give up my down comforter, so many cute comforters are off the table for me. Using sheets to make a personalized cover is a great solution to limited duvet cover selections.

A triceratops!! from going home to roost – Neat neon dino-shaped planters. I think Joe would love this.

Friday’s Quick Pick: Framed Pucci Scarf from good bones, great pieces- A great idea for framing a scarf as artwork. Since I enjoy the look of scarves, but am not a scarf-wearer at all, this is a lovely solution.

Monday Link-Around 3/7

This is a quick roundup of interesting articles and posts that caught my eye this past week.

Dare to Choose a More Colorful Neutral from Houzz – Great article about the basics of color and how to go beyond bland beige.

D.I.Y Kokeshi Display from Poppytalk – Incredibly simple and adorable way to display a prized collection. I cannot wait to try this one out!

D.I.Y. Rosette Embellished Pillow from Living with Lindsay – I’ve been admiring this exact pillow that she finds inspiration from, but it really is a very particular color. Now I know how I could do it myself in a fabric I actually like!

The Sexiest Before and After. Like Ever. from Centsational Girl – A simple, step-by step instruction on how to patch a hole in drywall.

And one from a little more than a week ago: Spice Racks as Bookshelves from the style files – Such a cute idea; childrens’ books displayed parallel to the wall. Both useful and artful.

Etsy Roundup: Carnival

I decided to try out a new feature where I pick a theme and create a “collection” of items related to this theme on Etsy. So, today is the theme of Carnival. I wanted a cool kind of retro feel to this collection; a little bit nostalgic, but not too washed out. I wanted to make the collection reflect the exuberance of a carnival.

"The Carnival"

Top Row (L to R): Coney Island Notebook by Ciaffi, Admit One Wooden Cuff by ruthmikos, Popcorn Soaps by LoveLeeSoaps

Middle Row (L to R): Aqua and Orange Fabric Garland by PaisleyHandmade, Panoramic Ferris Wheel in Barcelona by bomobob, Vintage Acrobat Circus Pendant by Arete

Bottom Row (L to R): Funnel Cake Bobby Pins by lepetitebonbon, A Carousel Ride Vintage Necklace by ABoxForMyTreasure, Confetti Dot Paper Straws by HeyYoYo

It has been a long time since I last did a “Desired Doodad” post. I guess there have not been many things I have seen over the past few months that have had me saying “Oooh, someday I want that!” But this changed the other night when I was looking at Etsy for the first time in a long while. And this necklace absolutely caught my fancy.

Swinging Girl Necklace

Swinging Pinup Girl by MarKhed on Etsy (I highly recommend checking out the rest of the shop as well. So many wonderful things!)


I just adore this necklace! I am always looking for simple, understated “everyday” jewelry that would look gorgeous with my usual T-shirt and jeans or with a nice dress. This piece certainly fits the bill. I love the simplicity of the silhouette which keeps the necklace graphic. The smaller scale of the necklace keeps it from being overbearing. The whimsy of it just makes me grin. I think I may have to save up my pennies for this one…

Pantone Fall 2011

So, remember how last year I did a ton of posts about the Pantone Fall 2010 colors? Well, the Fall 2011 palette has been released here, and I think that they are quite lovely.

Fall 2011

I like that the more firey colors are allowed to shine–for the past couple of seasons the blues and greens have played a central role; it feels right that it is the “hot” colors’ turn. I also like the richness of the palette, compared to last fall’s more muted vintage-y tones, this palette feels far more glamorous and luscious.

The downside for me is that “Honeysuckle” was named the color of the year. Really? I know corals have been popular for a couple of seasons, but not a fan of this overtly pink version. I find Honeysuckle to be too aggressively girly, too over-the-top. In my opinion, “Emberglow” is a more interesting color with a wider-range of uses. But that’s just me.

Anyway, instead of doing the very time-consuming mood boards, this season I am just going to play around a little bit with the colors and see what interesting combinations I can come up with. One nice thing about the palette this year is the ease of the neutrals. Both Coffee Liqueur and Nougat have a casual feel to them that makes them work well with any palette. Oddly enough, while playing with the palette, I found that Quarry (although thoroughly blue) also makes a wonderful neutral.

So first, the calming color combinations.  These palettes are more soothing, more mainstream. They have a natural, casual coolness about them. I could see these palettes being used quite successfully in a home.


“Beachside,” as indicated in the title would not look out of place in a summer cottage on the beach somewhere. I feel it has more of an “East Coast” beach feel to it.

"Calm Forest"

“Calm Forest” is also very neutral and casual. It really embodies the French Country aesthetic, and maybe even a little bit “shabby chic”

"Peacock Park"

“Peacock Park” is based in those lovely neutrals, but throws in the rich luxury of “deep teal.” Neutral but with a touch of glam.


“Vintage” has an old-fashioned feeling to it. Slightly antique, a little bit feminine.

Now, for the more bold colors. Harder to successfully pull off in a space, but very fun!


“Cedar” and “Emberglow” alone together look old-fashioned. Put some “Phlox” with them, and the trio reads as bold glamor.

"But I Am A Lady"

“But I Am A Lady” just reads “modern girly” to me. The yellow undertones of bamboo mixed with the aggressive pink of honeysuckle could be cloying, but the intensity of the colors make it modern.


“Bold” is just over-the-top eighties-style glamor. Probably not something I would like to live with, but appealing nonetheless.

So, good palette for Fall 2011? Is Honeysuckle a good annual pick?