Thrifted Thoughts: Graphic Side Table

Can a boring, boxy, bedside table be transformed into a show-stopper?

Of course… All it takes is a good idea and a little bit of elbow grease!

A graphic, geometric pattern can do wonders. They key is choosing the right piece to receive it.

This piece could not be a more perfect candidate for a bold makeover. The flat, smooth surfaces are ideal for getting creative with tape & pattern.

Inspired by this photo, my idea for this piece is to flip the design and introduce a graphic pattern to the three flat exterior surfaces of the end table and leave the drawer front and shelf interior as one solid colour.

Stripes always make a bold statement and can be applied so many different ways. I can’t get enough of what I call checkerboard stripes. It’s not chevron, it’s not a traditional stripe, but instead an alternating stripe, like pictured here and here.

The pattern could be laid out vertically, horizontally, or diagonally around the outside shell.

Let’s talk colour!

White creates crisp contrast against any other colour and works well in just about every room, so let’s start with that. Paint the entire piece out in a fresh coat of white paint.

Next, use Frog Tape to lay out your pattern. It’s more expensive, but totally worth the extra coin to ensure that your paint doesn’t bleed.

Introduce a vibrant colour that coordinates with your décor to make a bold statement, or keep it simple and use a soft grey or beige to make a subtle statement.

As an alternate, there is always the option of laying out your pattern with tape first, before any painting begins, to crate a combo of white & natural wood. Once the entire piece is painted out, removing the tape will leave voids of natural wood, revealing your pattern.

Lastly, top off your creation with a single piece of new hardware. Install a clear glass (or Lucite) handle or knob that will let your graphic paint job take centre stage.

Do you have a boring, boxy piece that could be livened up over a weekend?

2 thoughts on “Thrifted Thoughts: Graphic Side Table

  1. I think I might be dissappointed with the plans to apply paint. What I LOVE about mid-century pieces is their simple lines, functionality that does not intrude, and a celebration of what it natural–in this case it looks like teak, that if lightly sanded out of most blimishes, then either teak oil or lemon beeswax buffed in would just bring out the beauty of the piece that has proven durable this long in it’s simplicity. For a contemporary touch, why not line the drawer with a color bright felt? You might even consider adding a shallow false bottom there, for discrete storage–another way to apply your creative skills.

  2. I don’t know… there’s Mid-century with gorgeous simple lines, and then there’s mid-century mass produced boxy stuff that can definitely benefit from updating. I think a tongue in cheek nod at modernism with a checkerboard pattern can bring something this cheap and stuffy looking the kind of pizzaz it needs. But then again, I’m an artist/painter and think a brush can fix just about anything! Come to think of it, maybe that’s why my husband won’t let me near the car. ; )

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