Friday, April 23, 2010

Have a Seat (But Not To Sit On)

Nearly everyone I know has a JOKKMOKK dining set from IKEA (as well as an EXPEDIT bookshelf, but that's not a part of our post today). I had one, Vanessa has one, Brian has one, Elena had one before she moved to China, Dave has one... I'm not talking smack about it, no way. It's an awesome set: a table and four chairs with a medium wood finish for a very reasonable price. The only reason I got rid of mine was because I inherited an antique table instead. I love you IKEA, but blood is thicker than an allen wrench. (In this metaphor, anyway.)

But I just couldn't get rid of one of the chairs. It's such a USEFUL chair! Solid wood, very sturdy. I kept it and used it in the closet area of my old studio to throw clothes onto that I didn't feel like folding. Of course I also used it as extra seating when I needed it, and I pulled it out every time I needed a stepstool. Even upon moving to my one bedroom, I still certainly couldn't get rid of it! This time, I got to try a configuration I've loved in magazine pictures: chair as nightstand.

My current favorite bag, my favorite shawl, and my favorite JOKKMOKK chair

Chair-as-nightstand has such a carefree and shabby chic vibe to it. It's less formal and more haphazard, almost romantic. If I were into Twilight, I could imagine that creepy fucker Edward sitting in it and watching me sleep. Er... nevermind. Ew.

Having a chair double as a nightstand is ideal in a TAA for a few reasons. First, a single chair can be bought for next-to-nothing on Craigslist or at a thrift shop, and though nightstands come in varying widths, most chairs are fairly narrow and should fit in even small spaces. But the reason I like using them is because anything that pulls double duty saves space. Your chair can hold your books and alarm clock until you need it to seat an extra guest at the dinner table, or until you need to reach something on the top cabinet shelf. You get multiple uses out of it, all depending on where you choose to drag it.

From Aesthetic Outburst

From Domino via This Is Glamorous

From Apartment Therapy

Now, how to put this delicately? Oftentimes a lady (or gentleman, I don't judge) will have a few personal items she needs to keep tucked away in her nightstand drawer. (Or if you're my friend Queerie Bradshaw [uh, NSFW], a single drawer will not suffice!) So how to get the look of a chair-as-nighstand while keeping your private items private? Simple! A chair with a drawer!

Apartment Therapy: San Francisco has a great roundup of chairs with drawers already built in. But if you're a DIYer, you can follow Kate Pruitt's how-to on Design*Sponge here. Her end result is fab!

So what say you? Do you like chairs as nightstands, or should I make like Potsie and "sit on it?" (I am WAY too young for that joke.) Feedback is always welcome in the comments. And don't forget, you can always email me at tinyassapartment (at) gmail (dot) com, become a fan on Facebook here (actually, I think you can only "like" me now, but it's the same thing), or follow me on Twitter.


  1. I'm so glad you featured this! Along the same lines as your night stand, a few weeks back I bought an old chair at an antique shop, painted it, and now it sits in my teeny apartment as a stand for my record player and records. Plus I just used it for extra seating last night when I had friends over. Chairs have so many uses in TAAs!

  2. I think you have singularly given me the best actual laugh out loud blog reading moment in about a billion years, with the edward/chair quote.

    Your blog is sensfuckingsational. I live in a big australian farmhouse that in no way relates to needing to reevaluate living for being in a tiny arse apartment, but your blog is compulsory reading, because you do showcase so many excellent ideas.

    And your writing style is just magnificent.

    Keep up the amazing work!

    Lee in Australia.

  3. I did a similar thing with an old chair--but instead of putting in a drawer, I made a shelf to sit on the spindles between the legs for a little extra storage up off the floor.

  4. Danielle and Landshark: Both of your repurposed/made-over chairs sound really cool! Damn do I love a good chair -- they're so useful! I'd love to see pics if you guys have 'em.

    Lee: Thank you so much for your kind words. I seriously needed them today! :-) Of course space saving lessons don't only apply to those living in small spaces. I'd be interested to see if you took a small space idea and applied it to your big space!

  5. I am very pro 'chair as a nightstand'. We had one in our flat (2 places ago). We are now in such a TAA that there is literally not room for a chair. I managed to eek a magazine holder in the space...that's it. But anyway, I didn't have THAT ikea chair, but the ivar chair which is cheap as chips. And it got used in every way possible as you suggested...stepstool etc.

    I always thought it would be so nice to have a bud vase of 'wildflowers' sitting on top of a book but I soon found that the reason I live in a TAA is because I don't live in the country close to any said wildflowers and instead in the center of a city. durr. One day!

  6. The chair with a drawer is a brilliant idea. I need a full set of them for my bedroom. And I can think of many other playful uses for a sturdy chair like that in the bedroom.

  7. PillarBoxPost: Hm, if there's no room for even a chair as a nightstand, perhaps a shelf instead? And I gotta say, I love "cheap as chips!" My Yank self has never heard that one before!

    Queerie: I bet you can think of MANY uses. But I think that's content for your blog, not mine. :-P

  8. I actually ended up repurposing the whole set actually. See, I already had a LARGE table whose chairs were shot AND was in need of a desk with a LOT of writing space... So, the chairs got painted white with chocolate seats to match my existing table, and the table from the set became my "desk" that I'm typing this from right now! A win-win! And on top of that I was able to score a vintage 60's chair for FREE to set up at the "desk"! Yay for repurposing! Yay! Check 'em out, if you'd like over here or here. Feel free to ignore the shite quality of the pics...
    Oh, and I'm glad I wasn't the only one that Edward was a... well, you know. I spent the movie yelling "Your dad gave you MACE! He's a stalker! USE IT! GAH!" sorry. got a little worked up there... lol.

  9. I love this idea! I've been using a stack of vintage embroidered suitcases as a table for awhile, stashes all my linens and summer clothes away!

  10. I very much love this idea, but I started doing it after I saw it on one of my favorite tv shows. In Sex and the City, in Carrie's bedroom, one of her nightstands where she had her old school telephone on.

  11. this is soooo cool! i love your version - tres chic!


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