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The mini-redo

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The past few times I’ve changed addresses, I have—to varying degrees, but always somewhat meaningfully—redecorated. There have been new rugs and cabinets, wall-mounted bookshelves, custom-made headboards, dining room tables, and the chairs that go with them (without really “going” with them, of course). There have been accent tables and Womb Chairs and visits to John Derian—oh, so many visits to John Derian—for vintage Moroccan rugs and whatnots.  It was all loads of fun but not un-pricey, and it has left me with no shortage of very acceptable furniture. So this time around I decided there was no need for another go at it: change of any sort felt unnecessary; excessive, even.

That was before I moved. Now that I’m here, I want to switch out everything. The sofa, the club chairs, even the living room lamps—which I can’t have had for more than two years, because I wrote about them here—all seem like worthy candidates for elimination. And yet stay they will, because truly, to get rid of all this very nice stuff would be a crime, and besides, it’s easy enough to throw a few new smaller-scale pieces into the mix if it’s excitement that you’re after. Like for instance: this clever planter, into which I plan to put an actual plant that I will not kill, as God is my witness.

steel stools

The kitchen counter’s got room for a couple of stools, and I’ve wanted an excuse to buy these cute steel ones from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply  since my friend Ceridwen tipped me off to them months ago.

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The one room that has worked out perfectly—and to which I do not care to change a stitch—is the bedroom. It was a delight in its old iteration, and I’ve tried my best to execute it exactly the same way over here. Sadly, however, my rather large gray nightstands no longer work logistically (blame a cumbersome central A/C unit) so I’m looking for something slightly more scaled-down. My first inclination would never be to go with a white piece for something like this—my brain’s hardwired to consider certain kinds of white furniture very teenaged girl’s bedroom and prissy—but the room itself is all whites, grays, and black, so it makes a certain sense. My official home design guru Stephen has given this one a thumbs-up on the condition that I go to West Elm first and see what the quality’s like in real life, but I’m curious: what do you guys think?

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Posted on January 17th, 2014 20 Comments

20 Responses

  1. Tara says:

    I like the nightstands. I think the shape is sophisticated enough to steer clear of the teenage girl vibe.

  2. cedar says:

    The nightstands are cute, although in my experience the quality of West Elm casegoods is not impressive. They are great for some things; bedding in particular, but not anything with a drawer.

  3. Natalie says:

    I haven’t field tested them, but I very seriously considered that night stand last year. When I checked it out at the store, it seemed sturdy enough: mostly made of wood (if not entirely…), joins at the corners looked solid enough for the use that a nightstand drawer gets.

  4. holly says:

    Do you know there’s a DWR outlet in Secaucus, NJ? I got that planter for $50. The sales staff is super nice/1

  5. I think that night stand is retro enough to not even entertain the notion of “teenaged girl”. Go for it.

  6. mlinky says:

    The night stand is great, and not at all twee.

  7. Viajera says:

    I like it too. And if you wanted, you could replace the pulls with something much spankier. (Assuming the 24 inch height will work, which is a pretty common height I think.)

  8. emmah says:

    You might like this post on hard to kill houseplants!

  9. Sioux Bioux says:

    Great nightstand & it is on sale. Drawers reduce visible clutter. Just be sure it can accommodate a lamp. However, i am a big consignment shopper and I have seen some great quality things…. nightstands included, at half that price.

  10. yha says:

    I have these in the acorn finish and I have to say they’re not the highest quality but totally sufficient for looking good (thus making me happy) and serving the bare function of space for a book, glasses and a pen. I agree you ought to look at the white finish in person as white finishes can run the gamut.

  11. Baeski says:

    I have the night stand in a different finish. It looks great, and the quality is ok. The drawers are a bit difficult to operate and they are quite shallow, but overall it is a good night stand for the price.

  12. Larissa says:


    This Eames option is divine- looks great stacked with magazines and books if no drawers are required! I have a floor lamp beside the bed.

  13. I have the WE MCM nightstand in Black, which is really more a deep slate-y gray in my guest room. They’re quite fab!

    The Hip Haven Bullet Planter is available directly from the manufacturer in a wider array of colors: http://www.hiphaven.com/retro-bullet-planter-by-hip-haven/

    • Viajera says:

      Interesting, and it also comes with different stand finishes. Glad I’m not the one who has to make up my mind!!! too hard.

  14. kiki says:

    I like — and it’s nice that they have legs so there’s a lighter feel. Sometimes night tables can be heavy and boxy which is great in a bigger room, but sometimes less is more, if I may with a cliche. Totally agree on quality assurance requirements

  15. Haiku Jew says:

    Kinda country-cute/though a little too pricey/try an antique mall.

  16. Alison Nelson says:

    I love these night stands!

  17. Gina says:

    Hi Kim! I have these nightstands (got on sale), in this finish, and like them. I doubt they will last for more than several years. Am swapping out the knobs for these from Anthropologie, which pick up on the black and brass antique bedside lamps we have: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/974140.jsp?cm_vc=SEARCH_RESULTS

    Love the blog!