One of the best parts of making over a room is deciding on what new-to-you things you are going to bring in. We aren't made of money, so bringing in new furniture and decor has to be done on the cheapity-cheap. It's not always fun when you can't afford exactly what you want, but I actually enjoy the challenge of making a lot out of a little.
These are the night stands we have now:
They're not the worst looking thing in the world, but they have seen better days. Since they are made from that wicker material, they shed and are starting to show wear in the spots where the drawers pull in and out. They have a really small, uneven surface so it's not ideal for an alarm clock or drink of water. We've had them for over 6 years, so I would say we have gotten our money's worth out of them.
One thing we have decided to do in our new room is get rid of our bed frame. Those extra inches that the headboard and foot board add take up space that we'd rather have for being able to comfortably walk around our room. The bed with the frame we have is kind of tall, so these nightstands worked great. Their height matched the height of our bed. Now that the bed is going to be lower, the nightstands need to be lower as well.
As my husband knows all too well, I have expensive taste. I can walk into any store and pick out the things that cost the most. Whether it be a dress, a piece of furniture, makeup, or electronics - I go straight for the things we can't afford. So neither of us were surprised when the style of furniture I have been wishing for lately is on the pricey side (for us, anyways.)
I love the clean lines, tapered legs, and the drawers of these nightstands, but if I had $362 laying around I wouldn't be spending it on ONE nightstand. The ones from Urban Outfitters were the cheapest I could find to buy from a retailer. Even the lowest priced one at $149 is just not doable for us. That would put us at $300 just for side tables and there is no way that was going to happen.
Once I figured out I wasn't going to find what I want from a retailer, I turned to Craigslist. I have such a love/hate relationship with CL. With a bit of searching and luck, you can find some really nice stuff. Without any luck, you can find a ton of overpriced black lacquer and gold 80's furniture. Plus, all the Craigslist serial killer/theft/predator stories always scare me. That's why I make my manly man husband go pick up stuff I buy.
The first thing I did was buy a Craigslist app for my phone that lets you set up alerts when new items matching your search criteria are listed. I think it was $.99 or $1.99 in the app store. I set up quite a few search alerts - "side tables" "end tables" "nightstands" "night stands" - anything that I thought people might list a nightstand under. I found a few sets that I liked, but when I contacted the sellers, they had already sold their items but had not taken their listing down. That's annoying.
Wednesday night Anderson and I were watching Survivor (does anyone else still watch that show?) and I got an alert for a new listing. When I looked at it, I knew it was exactly what I wanted, but the listing was for a king bed frame and two nightstands. The seller specified that he wanted to sell it as a set and the price was $90 firm. We have no need for a king bed frame (plus it was really hideous), so I knew I was going to have to make a good offer to get only the tables. I emailed him right away to offer $60 for only the nightstands. Could I have got away with less? Maybe, but I didn't want to take the chance of him getting a better offer. Plus $60 for 2 night stands seemed like a steal after looking at those expensive $362 ones. After a bit of back and forth, he agreed to sell them to me. Anderson picked them up the next day and they await their new home in our room.
Eeeeeee! They are really similar to the ones I had been looking at, and they are in almost perfect condition. No scratches or water stains, wobbly legs, or weird smells. They even match the dresser we already have. I am so excited to have real, grown up night stands.
Moral of the story: If you are willing to wait, search, haggle a bit, and risk your husband's life in making him go pick up random furniture from potential serial killers, you can find something you love that will work for you.