Nightstands with Hutch Top
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but our house is definitely NOT huge. Because we live in southern California, we are not expected to have wardrobes for four seasons, because we only have two seasons: Spring and Summer. Honestly, I like it that way, but I want the STORAGE that one gets when living in a part of the US with four seasons. We lived in Virginia before we moved home to So Cal, and our house was gigantic. It was literally twice the size of our house in San Diego County, and it had storage galore! I loved that house!! Our decision to purchase our home was based on location. We wanted to purchase a house in this school district. Secondly, the land had to function based on our family’s activities, so we needed a pool and a barn. No point in buying a house if the land wasn’t fully fenced to keep the kids, (some with special needs), horses, and dogs safe. Lastly, we looked at the house. It had the bare minimum: a kitchen, three flushing toilets, and five bedrooms. The rest is an endless project. One easy way to gain more storage was replacing our tiny nightstands. I love the look of our old nightstands, but they just didn’t offer much in the way of storage.
After we ordered the Tarva nightstands, from Ikea, we put the teenagers to work reading the directions and building. Y’all, if you don’t have teenage boys, you should borrow some!
Sons are better than husbands because you can boss them around, and if they don’t obey, you can threaten to take their phones! (I wouldn’t really take their phones, because I’d much rather text chore reminders from my bed. “Don’t forget to empty the dishwasher before you go to bed.” Or, “Please let the dogs out one last time before you go to bed.” I digress.) I asked the boys to skip the base with the little legs. I wanted the bottom of the nightstand to sit directly on the floor, because I like the surface of my nightstand at the same height as or slightly below my mattress. Also, I didn’t want to have to clean under the nightstand. I wanted the look of a built in, not furniture. The Tarva three-drawer nightstand is 29 7/8” wide by 30 ¾ high if you do NOT add the Ikea base and legs. My mattress sits 32" above the floor. So the height was perfect!
Once the nightstands were assembled, I built hutches to give them a built-in lookand add more storage. Rather than start a design from scratch, I just modified a version of the bookcase I designed years ago. I’ve marked up my SketchUp screenshot below to show you how my brain works, and to demonstrate the changes I made.
I used my table saw to cross-cut a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood to two 4’x4’ squares. Then I ripped each of those into 12” strips. Once I had eight 12”x48” strips, I cut four of them into 12”x24” pieces to form the top and the shelves for each.
I also cut cleats to keep my hutches square. Again, I used a lot of scrap lumber, and because I planned to paint my pieces, I could mix and match. I used 1”x4” pre-primed pine, because I had it laying around. If I had needed to purchase new lumber, I would have gotten 1x3.
I used my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to cut ¾” pocket holes into the top piece of each hutch. I like to hide my pocket holes as much as possible, so when I assembled my pieces, I faced them up, toward the ceiling.
I decided I wanted adjustable shelves, so I used my Kreg Shelf Pin Jig kit, (say that five times, fast!), to drill shelf pins holes, but this step is completely optional. You can add as many or as few shelves as you want, and you don’t need to drill shelf pin holes.
I used 1”x2” to trim out the sides, and crown molding on the top. Then I set my project back up on the tailgate of my truck, and started to paint.
I did not put a back on my hutches because I had just painted a feature wall the same color. I did, however, attach these hutches to the studs in the wall, so they don’t tip over in the middle of the night. That’s just not a happy way to wake up.
And that's it! You're done!
Materials: Below are links to the tools and products that I use, but you can use any brand. I encourage you to get the best tools you can WITHIN YOUR BUDGET! Chop Saw https://amzn.to/3AL7iPy Table Saw https://amzn.to/3BbQO4i Palm Sander https://amzn.to/3BeLWM5 Drill https://amzn.to/3AFmD40 Kreg Pocket Hole Jig https://amzn.to/3TT4Orl Wood Glue https://amzn.to/3qbXRUk