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Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Unique Nightstand

Unique Nightstand Ideas: Transforming an Antique Wooden School Desk Chair

Discover the charm of repurposing an antique wooden school desk chair into a one-of-a-kind nightstand.  Explore creative ideas and tips to transform your bedroom with vintage character and functionality.  

When it comes to decorating our bedrooms, nightstands are often an overlooked element.  They can be much more than a place to rest a lamp or hold a book though.  If you're looking to add a touch of charm and uniqueness to your bedroom decor, why not think outside the box and consider using an antique wooden school desk chair as a nightstand?  Today we will explore this creative idea and provide you with inspiration for incorporating a vintage school desk chair into your bedroom design.  

Unique nightstand idea

I recently had someone ask me if I share my entire house here, and I was quick to respond, no.  I do not.  In fact, I work on projects just for me that I do not share here too.  Some would say it is a missed opportunity to share my work, but sometimes I forget, or I decide not to post some of my ideas for various reasons.  

When a friend recently told me that she spent a whole lot of hard earned cash on a night stand, I decided I needed to share this project with you.  A nightstand can come in many different shapes and forms.  Sometimes you just need to think outside the box and spend little to no money in the process of decorating your home.

I love a good auction, in fact most of our furniture have come from auctions.  I love the older goods of the past, and not so much the furniture of the present.  I like furniture with curly cues, and and curves, carved details, but then there are those times I see something and I think... hmm... I can see this in a completely new light too.  

When we were cleaning out my husband's childhood home we came across so many things, and in true Cara nature, I wanted to save all the things!  Only, as I have mentioned, we have a smallish cottage that I had already filled with so many goodies.  We had to let a lot of it go, but then I began to get really sick and so we just packed up things into totes and brought them to our home to be sifted through for another day.

One item I brought home with us was this 1940's vintage wooden school desk chair.  I had no idea how I was going to use it, but I knew I would come up with something.  

Uncover the Charm of Vintage:

Antique wooden school desk chairs hold a certain nostalgic appeal that can bring a sense of history and character to your bedroom.  Look for chairs with intricate carvings, aged patina, and beautiful craftsmanship.  The imperfections and signs of wear tell a story and add unique charm to your space.

1940s wooden school chair desk

Since we had no room, and I later considered letting it go, it ended up on our back porch.  The heat and humidity made the varnish peel up so when I went to clean it up with an idea in mind, it took little effort to get it down to the bare wood.

Painting a wooden school desk chair

Incorporating a Modern Twist:

While the antique school desk chair brings a vintage feel to the bedroom, you can add a modern twist to the overall design.  Consider painting the chair in a bold color that compliments your bedroom's color scheme or applying a distressed finish to enhance its vintage aesthetic.  This juxtaposition of old and new will create a visually striking and unique nightstand.  

We know I am not usually a fan of painting furniture since I am always afraid of ruining a piece, but I decided to try my hand at painting this lovely.  My original plan for this historic blue paint color was to paint the doors in our home, but I quickly found the color was just too dark.  We need light and bright here, not dark.  

Vintage school desk chair

I took my time painting our school desk chair if you can believe that.  It was a difficult process for me to be so patient, but I kept myself busy with other projects while I waited for the paint to dry.  

Repurpose a school desk chair

I even decided to leave our wonderful artwork on the underside untouched.  I like to keep some details in their original nature.  

Make a school desk chair into a nightstand

Fink, whoever you are, I have your desk!  I laughed when I found this on the underside of the desk.    

Styled nightstand with baskets and trophy

Since the matching nightstand to this set is in our bedroom, I decided we needed another one for the spare bedroom, and so our desk turned nightstand had a new home.

Unique nightstand

Assess the Chair's Functionality:

Before repurposing the chair as a nightstand, ensure that it can fulfill its new purpose effectively.  Consider the height of the chair in relation to your bed to ensure it will be at a comfortable level for reaching your belongs.  Check if the chair has a storage compartment which can provide convenient storage options for books, journals, or other bedside essentials.  

I placed a basket on the shelf under the chair with goodies for guests, then placed several old books on top of the seat so we could elevate our lamp for easy reaching from the bed.  The height of our lamp nearly matches the nightstand on the other side of the bed.  

Oops, I see a tag peeking out from our comforter.  Ah, life... it happens.  😉

Nightstand unique

Pairing with the Right Accessories:

To create a harmonious look, pair your antique school desk chair with complementary accessories.  Here are some ideas to consider:

  • A small lamp with a vintage-style shade will provide warm and cozy lighting
  • Stack a few books or place a tray on the seat of the chair to hold a glass of water 
  • Decorate with a small potted plant or vase of fresh flowers to add a touch of nature for your yourself or guests
  • Hang a vintage-style clock or wall art above the chair to tie the whole look together

I opted for vintage books and a dictionary I grew up with.  Many words were looked up in that dictionary throughout my childhood.  Whenever I would ask how to spell a word, I was told to look it up.  At the time, I would groan, but my mother thought it was best for us to learn the proper tools in finding out information we wanted to know.  

Unique ideas for nightstands

See my helper, always my sidekick in all I do around here.  We placed our home planetarium projector on the desk top to have the night sky flash on the ceiling for guests.  It is so soothing to lay in bed and look up at the stars in the privacy of your own home.  We enjoy it anyway and so does Bentley if you can believe that.  

A few books were covered in tartan plaid wrapping paper for a more masculine feel in our spare bedroom.  I fell in love with the pinecone lamps from an online auction and knew they would be perfect in here.  They screamed masculine campy vibes to me for some reason.

Unique nightstand ideas

Overall, I was pleased with how this project turned out.  You can make anything a nightstand in your bedroom without having to spend a lot of money.  Ideas to turn into nightstands: plant stands, lowboy dressers, a chair bench, desk, suitcases... if you can dream it, you can make it happen. 

Additional Functionalities:

Aside from serving as a nightstand, the repurposed school desk chair can provide:
  • A writing surface, you can use it as a small workspace for journaling, reading, or doing homework.
  • Attach a wall-mounted shelf above the chair for added storage space or display opportunities.
  • Utilize the chair's storage for keeping bedside essentials, such as charging cables, books to be read, or even pup treats.
  • Place a clock on the desk so you or guests can keep track of time, drape additional blankets on the seat, or use the shelf underneath to also house blankets or other necessities.     

As you can see, the possibilities are only limited with what you can come up with when thinking of repurposing a vintage school desk chair in your home.  What do you think about our repurposed school desk chair as a nightstand?  



Don't forget to pin!
Before After Nightstand

Would you like to comment?

  1. Great idea to use a desk as a nightstand! I love the color you painted it! It's so cute and functional too! Blessings, Donna

    1. Thank you Donna, I had intended the historic blue paint for our doors, but it was just too dark so I knew I needed to come up with a new idea. I was hesitant to paint this piece, but decided why not? I am glad I did, it brings a bit of school house whimsy to our spare bedroom.