Here’s Why This Furniture Staple Actually Makes the Best Bedroom Nightstand

Here’s Why This Furniture Staple Actually Makes the Best Bedroom Nightstand

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to decorate them, to the fascinating history of them, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!

As a small-space dweller, I’m all about pieces that go above and beyond the call of duty. A vintage brass trunk that not only looks stunning but can also serve as storage for my off-season dresses? Sign me up! A rolling kitchen island cart with lots of interior shelving to accommodate my glassware obsession? Yep, I’m in.

Because I’m always looking to maximize storage space where possible, the nightstand situation in most of my apartments has been a little outside the box. Don’t get me wrong: I most definitely love the look of traditional, matching nightstands on either side of the bed. Personally though, I’ve found that bedside tables with one or two small drawers just don’t make the most sense for me — a person who may not be a maximalist but definitely isn’t a minimalist either. In most apartments, I’ve opted to place a desk or vanity on at least one side of the bed in order to properly fill the room and accommodate all of my beauty products, stationery supplies — you name it.

However, everything changed when I started to realize how adorable small, three-drawer dressers can look when placed next to a bed. Whether you pick up a piece from IKEA and give it a bit of a makeover or splurge on something high-end, so many petite chests like these can be found out in the market. Three-drawer dressers offer loads of storage space compared to the average nightstand, and opting for two of them may even eliminate the need for a larger sized dresser in your bedroom altogether!

I recently bought two three-drawer dressers of my own from One Kings Lane to use next to my bed, and I love the look. That said, I did consult a bunch of photos of similar setups before going all in on this purchase. In studying bedrooms with three-drawer dressers next to the bed, I found the key when using these types of pieces as nightstands is to ensure that they don’t overpower a space.

Three-drawer dressers are generally taller than the average nightstand, and to ensure that everything will appear in sync in your bedroom design scheme, consider your bed size in relation to the pieces you plan to purchase. My bed is relatively high off the ground and features a tall headboard, so it can handle larger than average nightstands being placed next to it. If you happen to own a platform bed or are without a headboard, for example, this may not be the setup for you. In some spaces I came across online, everything just looked off-scale and clunky. So definitely do your due diligence and evaluate your existing pieces before placing an order.

Now that the above disclaimer is out of the way, I have to say that I couldn’t love my bedroom setup more. I wanted my room to have a sort of Parisian, hotel-like vibe with vintage touches, and I think the nightstands play into that vision wonderfully. I use the drawers to store everything from sleep masks and pillow mists to my never-ending collection of greeting cards and desk supplies. It’s so nice to not have to cram all of these things into a storage bin in the back of my closet!

One other note about nightstands: I absolutely love having a matchy-matchy setup in my space now, but you definitely don’t need to purchase two identical dressers to go beside your bed if that isn’t your jam. What I will advise, though, is that if you’re going to go the mismatched route, it’s best to opt for one three-drawer dresser and one smaller nightstand. Choosing two bulkier pieces that happen to be mismatched is likely to overwhelm your sleep space too much. If you can only find one three-drawer dresser that you love or that falls within your budget, don’t hesitate to pick it up. Then just go ahead and incorporate a one- or two-drawer counterpart that falls within the same color family. Super-simple, sure, but it’ll work like a charm and give you all the extra storage you need!

8 Inspiring Rug Layout Ideas to Help You Break Out of a Bedroom Decorating Funk

8 Inspiring Rug Layout Ideas to Help You Break Out of a Bedroom Decorating Funk

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to decorate them, to the fascinating history of them, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!

Your bedroom should be the comfiest room in the house if it’s where you go to rest and recharge. Blankets, bedding, and your mattress will get you 90 percent of the way there, but the last 10 percent of cozy is earned with a just-right rug

You want a rug that’s both soft to walk on and serene to look at. You want a rug that keeps the noise down and the style high. Above all though, you also want a rug that’s perfectly placed in your personal space. Turns out plenty of configurations can work, depending on the size of the room and the look you’re trying to achieve. If you’ve ever been at a loss as to how to style a rug in a bedroom with wood or tiled floors (or you just want to give your wall-to-wall a little facelift), hopefully, you’ll find a solution among these eight smart area carpet layout ideas.

Placing a large rug horizontally under your bed is a design move that’s sure to bring extra warmth to a spacious room. By pushing the rug all the way up against the wall, you’ll not only ground the bed frame, but you’ll also makes your side tables and accessories look like they’re hanging together, too.

If you have a queen- or king-sized bed, you’ll need a rug that’s at least 8-feet by 10-feet to achieve this look. Remember to factor in the width of your nightstands and whether the rug has a border or not before deciding what size to order. When in doubt, bigger is always better for this particular layout.

Pull the rug under your bed away from the wall so the night stands sit directly on the floor, and you can save a little cash by choosing a medium size rug (think  5-foot by 8-foot, give or take) while still enjoying the visual glory of a grounded bed frame. 

Before you skimp a tiny bit with this trick though, consider the size and shape of your bedroom. If it’s rectangular, choosing a larger size might be worth it because you can cover more of the frequently-traveled floor space in front of the bed, keeping your feet warm as you walk around the room while protecting your existing flooring from wear and tear.

Want to step out of bed onto something soft and cozy without covering up too much of your flooring? Flank your bed with runners or small area rugs to strike a balance. To pull off this look, slide each runner up to the side of the bed so it doesn’t look too floaty in space. Keep in mind that without furniture to physically hold the rug down, it will shift around on the floor easily. So do yourself a favor, and choose a grippy-style rug pad to hold it in place. You also might consider stashing carpet tape in your nightstand drawer, so you’re sure your rugs are always safe and secure.

On a budget? One small rug at the foot of your bed is really all you need, and you will need it there if you have a bench or seating you wish to keep from sliding around when you pull on the covers in the middle of the night. To make the most of a smaller style, go for a bold pattern that catches the eye or try a round or unique shape to balance a boxy bed frame.

If your room is on the long and narrow side, you can upgrade to a full-size area rug for the space in front of the bed frame. Visually, this helps define a larger space by creating two zones. Audibly, this setup dampens more sound so you can sleep without being woken by your partner changing or your dog pacing around the foot of the bed.

When your bed is tucked into a corner, placing a medium-sized rug adjacent to it can make the room feel wider and more sophisticated, at least in comparison to the lonely “rug island in the middle of the room” alternative. For apartment dwellers in particular, this layout is also a great way to cover up old or cold flooring, since it can help disguise a large surface area. 

From interesting shapes to complementary patterns to contrasting textures, layering rugs in a bedroom makes so much decorative sense, particularly if you’re more of a maximalist.  To nail the look, start with a larger rug layout (like the anchor or half on, half off layout configurations) then add a smaller rug layout idea (like the at the foot or the symmetrical split) on top of it. When in doubt, throw down a small sheepskin as your top layer. Everybody likes walking on what feels like clouds. Everybody. 

Last but not least, what do you get when you put one-half of the symmetrical split and the right in front layout ideas together? A t-shaped (or l-shaped, depending on how long your rugs are) configuration that can be quite striking, especially if you choose something bold in pattern and color, just like the red carpets shown here. As is the case with some of the other ideas discussed above, this can be a great strategy if you’re looking for maximum noise absorption in a noisy apartment, for example, or if your original flooring is in serious disrepair, and you want to cover a lot of surface area.

This Unexpected, Small Space-Friendly Bed Is Suddenly Trendy Again

This Unexpected, Small Space-Friendly Bed Is Suddenly Trendy Again

Erica Finamore


Erica is a New York-based home decor enthusiast who, yes, puts her books in rainbow order. Her work has appeared in Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Refinery 29, Cosmopolitan and Real Simple and others. Erica has a lot of stuff and a tiny apartment, so she is well versed in organization and space-saving hacks. In her free time Erica likes to hunt for New York’s best pancakes, do craft projects and take long-ish walks with her shaggy dachshund, Leslie Knope.

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I Love This Old School Furniture Brand’s Small Space-Friendly Bed, and You Might, Too

I Love This Old School Furniture Brand’s Small Space-Friendly Bed, and You Might, Too

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Gothic Cabinet Craft is not a household name in most of the United States, but here in New York City, it’s something of an institution. When I moved to the city in the late 1990s, no one bought furniture by mail, and the nearest IKEA was in New Jersey. With multiple storefronts in the city, Gothic Cabinet Craft was a go-to for young transplants (back when young people could afford to live in downtown Manhattan!). While its stores were a far cry from chic, Gothic sold simple, wood furniture at reasonable prices. In those early years, I never bought anything from the company, but that’s because I inherited a hand-me-down Gothic Cabinet Craft captain’s bed from my mom, who had it back in her single days in New York City in the ’70s. For reference, that bed frame is still in use at my sister’s home and has survived at least 10 moves!

Founded as a single store in 1969, Gothic Cabinet Craft has grown and changed with the times and now offers e-commerce, but the family-run business has never made over those showrooms or tried to seem hip or cool online, which is frankly refreshing. Gothic Cabinet Craft also sells bookcases, desks, and tables, but they’re best known for their captain’s beds. A captain’s bed is a wooden bed with large storage drawers embedded in the base. Those drawers happen to be a major space saver, and because they’re built into the bed, they’re much easier to use (and less dusty) than makeshift under-the-bed storage. For larger-than-twin beds, Gothic’s bed platforms are split into two pieces, which also makes your bed easier to move if you like to switch up your bedroom layout regularly or find yourself relocating sooner than you might think. 

We liked our original captain’s bed so much that my husband and I upgraded to a queen Gothic Cabinet Craft bed when we moved to our current apartment with a tiny bedroom. Our six-drawer model gives us almost as much storage as an extra bureau, without taking up any additional storage space. I’m not the only design pro who loves this old school company either. My friend Ashely, a craft and interiors stylist, recently bought a birch Gothic captain’s bed for her guest bedroom and joked that it was Donald Judd-esque when she shared the room on Instagram. Interior designer Gunnar Larson opted for a double-decker model in his Brooklyn apartment. “The storage is so handy, even when you don’t think you need more storage,” says Larson. Like me, Larson and his wife use their drawers for everyday clothing, but he notes you can also use the bed drawers for your seasonal switch out instead. 

When it comes to style, Larson says, “I originally viewed many of Gothic Cabinet Crafts products as a little more traditional or something I would source for a cabin, but then I dug a little deeper and discovered their beds with simple lines could be way more modern with the right finish.”

Larson ended up using the ‘Winter Sky’ finish in both a client project (shown at the top of this story) and his own home (shown just above), and the variety of choices is part of what Larson loves about Gothic. ”I love how you can pick your wood: birch, maple, pine, oak, and finish,” he says. “It can be a real game changer, giving you truly something custom and uniquely you.” While I wouldn’t call these pieces “budget” exactly, you can also save by buying an unfinished version and painting it yourself, if you like to DIY. When you think of how long these solid wood pieces can last — and that additional storage they offer — Gothic’s pricing actually feels appropriate. In some cases, this bed can even double as your only bedroom dresser, so for a twofer, the total cost feels about right.

My love for Gothic Cabinet Craft runs so deep that I am about to buy another one for my son. As his wardrobe and toy collection have grown, we need more storage space in his bedroom, and I know from experience that a captain’s bed is an ideal solution. Now I just have to pick a wood and finish!

Laura Fenton


Laura Fenton is the author of The Little Book of Living Small. She writes about home design and sustainability, and is a regular contributor to Apartment Therapy. Her work has been published in Better Homes & Gardens, Eater, New York Magazine, and Real Simple.

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