After we made our awesome headboard, Tony and I were on the hunt for cool bedside tables. We searched craigslist and thrift stores, but didn’t find anything even remotely suitable. Then I checked out the Ikea website and found this:
It’s made of solid, untreated pine and is a really nice height and width. Plus, shockingly, it is only $40! Tony and I thought it might be fun to stain or paint ourselves, so I asked my parents to get me two for my birthday and they did (thanks, parents!). As far as I know, these are the first brand-new pieces of furniture that Tony and I have ever owned.
Before I delve into the tables, I need to share some philosophical musings about our lack of new furniture. I generally care about the environment. Caring about the environment can, at times, seem expensive. For instance, I wish Tony and I bought all organic food to prevent more pesticides and herbicides from from getting spewed all over the earth. I wish we used exclusively eco-friendly shampoo and soap. I wish we had an electric car. Plenty of intelligent people have written about green-washing, and how gross it is when companies use a token, eco-friendly cause to hide behind. I agree with them. However, I tend to think that there’s a bigger problem with the green-living movement, and that’s the de-emphasis on the reusing and reducing part of this familiar triangle:
It makes sense that companies would promote recycling above the other components, because companies– even good, legitimately eco-conscious companies– want to sell stuff, and reducing and reusing lead to fewer sales. I’ve met lots of people who care deeply about the environment, but demonstrate that caring only through the stuff that they buy. This seems like cognitive dissonance to me: yes, eco-friendly purchases may help the planet in some ways, but almost never as much as not adding additional crap to the planet would. Not buying stuff at all, or buying used stuff, seems like such a simple way to help the earth. I’m pretty sure that we don’t hear that message often because it doesn’t benefit any large corporations.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, and I also realize that I’m a total hypocrite. My last post was about buying new pants, for God’s sake! And we made our headboard so that’s basically equivalent to buying a new piece of furniture, right? Even though we try to be conscious of it, I know Tony and I buy way too much new crap that we don’t need. We definitely could spend less money in other areas and more on organic food. But at least we lived comfortably for five years without buying new furniture and hope that, with the exception of these tables and headboard, we can continue with that trend. In conclusion, let’s all try to stop buying so much crap, ok?
Alright, now back to these brand-spanking-new tables!
I put them together myself, which made both me and Tony really proud. The first one took a couple hours, but the second was much faster. The above is one of them without stain. The Ikea website says you can leave them like this but, eh, it looks really unfinished to me. Tony’s dad has done a bunch of (awesome) wood-working, and he recommended Minwax stain. After much deliberation at Home Depot, Tony and I picked cherry:
We also got a semi-gloss polyurethane to put over the stain, because we like things a little glossy.
The stain went on really evenly. It turns out the cherry is a pretty midrange stain without too much red or yellow. I really like how it turned out!
Here’s the whole bedroom:
Nice right? Here’s a pre-headboard before:
And here’s the earliest before I have, from after we took up the shag carpeting:
If you want to read more posts about how we fixed up this bedroom, you can click on the D.I.Winos tag below. If you don’t want to read more posts about how we fixed up this bedroom, congratulations! I’m pretty sure we’re done in here and so there won’t be any more posts about that subject.