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A guest room has a slightly different requirement for night stands. You do NOT want drawers or doors which help the guests forget things inside the cabinet. (Also, you probably don't need the drawers to hide medications or playthings.) But you may need storage for extra towels, spare blankets, etc. that you want your guests to find.
Although we can build any configuration you want, we have found that there are often too many things for the top of the nightstand, particularly in a guest room where there are not "other" storage areas for chargers, spare glasses, and so forth. Therefore in addition to the top, just above the height of the bed (22 inches), there is an open shelf 5½ inches lower, just below the height of the bed. That shelf has no back - an electrical power strip with multiple outlets is mounted at the back of that shelf, and clock and lamps are plugged into the strip, in addition to the toys (and the chargers) that the guests bring. The open back allows cords to enter the back from the top, or to be plugged in from the shelf. They are about 18 inches wide and 15½ inches deep. If you have a queen size bed in a smaller bedroom, you may prefer a width less than 18 inches. See these night stands as installed.
$400 each, $750 for two
This set of night stands was designed to go with a Maple bedroom set, built with solid Maple, and stained to match the rest of that bedroom set.
Traditional nightstands have a couple drawers, or one drawer at the top and a shelf below. Our son complained that there were too many things for the top of the night stand, and suggested a shelf at the top for the extras like kleenex, books, phone, watch, pager, jewelry, remote controls, and glasses that don't fit on the top with the lamp and clock radio. And drawers below for private storage. Everyone seems to have fallen in love with this design.
$500 each, $900 for two
The carcase is 27 1/2 inches high, 15 1/2 inches deep and 16 inches wide. The top has a bevel and round-over combination edge to reflect the design of the bed.
Each drawer is about 7 inches high, with baltic birch plywood sides joined to the solid maple front with dovetails. Hardware is a pewter color metal.
These walnut night tables are finished in satin polyurethane, and are here waiting for the choice of handles. The top shelf goes about 80% of the way back, leaving room for wires to drop down inside the night table.
$500 each, $900 for two
The legs run from the floor to the top, a feature that I decided to change for the dresser and chest of drawers. The unit is solid walnut. Since there was concern about the durability of the top (unfounded, but whatever...), we had a piece of glass custom cut to fit.
The unit is 28 inches high, 17 inches deep and 18 inches wide. The top has a minimal 1/2 inch overhang, with a bullnose edge.
We now recommend a lacquer finish rather than polyurethane.
Each drawer is about 6 3/4 inches high, with baltic birch plywood sides joined to the solid maple front with dovetails. The shelf is 5 1/2 inches high. Hardware is antique brass colored metal.
Width: Many bedrooms have a wall designed for the bed and nightstands. Often this wall is only about 8 1/2 feet long. Allowing 60 inches for a queen size mattress (66 inches or more with bed and bedding), this leaves a maximum of about 3 feet for two night table. So the width needs to be no more than about 18 inches, and perhaps even a little less. (Of course, this may also be the distance the bed is away from the wall, so it doesn't need to be a lot less if a separate night table will be on each side of the bed.
Many commercial night tables are 22 to 25 inches wide, but many bedrooms will not have room for two of those tables beside the bed.
Height: Typical height of the mattress above the floor is 24 to 30 inches. Many commercial night tables are 28-30 inches high, so the clock or other items on the night table are easily visible from the bed. These night tables can have three drawers or shelves. Some people prefer that the top of the night table be slightly below the level of the bed, to reduce the chance of bumping into it while asleep. These night tables are as low as 22 inches high, and typically only have one drawer with a bookshelf underneath, or two drawers.
Drawers, doors, and shelves: Any configurations is possible. Traditionally there is at least one drawer at the top (but a shelf at the top with drawers below seems to make more sense). If there is a top shelf, you may want it to be partially open at the back so that telephone and other wires can be dropped out the back. A drawer should be included for private storage. Some units have multiple drawers, others have a single bookshelf below the drawer, or even doors to cover the storage in the lower section. If a night table will only be used in a guest room, you may prefer to only use shelves, without drawers or doors, to reduce the chance of forgotten items.
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