I'm Bri Garbani, a designer + photographer living in San Diego, California. It's here that I express my passion for dogs, design + DIY through writing + photography. If you like what you see, you'll want to check back often as I have a constant need to create + Native Blonde is my prime creative outlet.

Nightstand Makeover

Nightstand Makeover

Recognize this nightstand? Hopefully not after its makeover!

Oh, Ikea. How I just love seeing your furniture hacks, and alas, the time has come for me to give it a try as well. After searching high and low for a small nightstand to use in the guest house at a reasonable price, I kept coming back to this little guy and thought that the proportions were perfect; however, the design was a bit on the boring side. He had good bones, was tall, dark and handsome – and solid wood where it counts – but he really needed some personality to add to his masculinity.

So I gathered my tools which consisted of a hand sander and sandpaper, wood stain, spray paint, painter’s tape, some scrap paper for over spray protection and a ruler.

And of course, I made a trip to my local Ikea to purchase the nightstand. Once it was assembled I started by simply pulling out the drawer, removing the stock knob and sanding the face of the drawer until the dark brown/black coating was removed and the wood grain was able to shine through. Two coats of a stain/sealant combo that I had on hand from a previous project were applied, and once it was dry I reassembled the piece with the addition of the new leather and bone drawer pull. What a score – I didn’t even have to drill a larger bolt hole in the face of the drawer, it’s like they were made for each other!

I ordered the new drawer pull off of Ebay after I came across an old image from its past life at Anthropologie where it was no longer available. I originally tried making a simple leather pull myself, and it was lovely, except I was having a bit of trouble locating a proper bolt that was aesthetically pleasing enough after visiting two hardware stores. So I opted to purchase the handle instead, and I’m so glad I did since it was the design I was aiming to recreate but with the bonus of the bone material component.

Next it was time to gild those gams. If my nightstand is a boy, can he have gams? Why not! A good scuffing with some sandpaper on the taped off areas before I spray painted helped the paint adhere better to the surface. Practically brass, right? And once it was dry, that meant my project was done!

Dutch being completely unhelpful - she may be part cat.

Isn’t he handsome? Since he is a tall, thin guy, I opted to add a wall sconce of the plug in variety (less permanent than hard wiring through the wall) hanging just above him to highlight his manliness and save on surface space. This project was extremely simple to do, and quick too. So if you’re thinking of doing something similar (and maybe you’re slightly ashamed to still be buying Ikea like I am), then sprucing up an existing piece with a few personal tweaks might just be what you need. I’m so pleased with the outcome of my nightstand project that I’m actually proud to say that it’s Ikea, just a much more handsome interpretation.


Tassel Wall Hanging

Tassel Wall Hanging