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Last weekend I showed you all how I upholstered my scratched up headboard, so this weekend I want to show you how I installed our nightstands and wall lights.

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Since the bed frame we bought was so low to the ground (and not the espresso color that I wanted), the nightstands we had were too tall (and espresso colored), so those are in the guest bedroom with our old bed. They, as goes the general rule of thumb, line up with the top of our old mattress. Finding nightstands that line up with the top of our new mattress, at about 18.5 inches, wasn’t going to be easy. In thinking about it, I really liked the idea of floating shelves anyways, and I thought that would be a nice way to keep the wall feeling open. Then I could find a way to install lights on the wall, rather than having table lamps, and I could really tailor the whole look.

These are the items I settled on at Home Depot and the final look I created, but you can obviously change it up any way you wish. With a bigger budget I definitely could have gone for a more ornate set up, but for less than $50 I’m very pleased with my simple, clean creation.

You’ll need:
2 wooden shelves (Home Depot, $5.98 each)
4 wall brackets for shelves (Home Depot, $1.67 each)
2 Make-a-Lamp Kits (Home Depot, $11.97 each)
2 wall brackets for lights (Home Depot, $0.97 each)
2 low lumen light bulbs (Home Depot, $2.97)
Optional: 1 can spray paint (Home Depot, $3.87)
Drill or screwdriver and appropriate screws
Level and measuring tape

I started by just wandering around Home Depot. I love that store. It makes you feel like you can do anything. And it’s the one place, besides the grocery store, where people don’t hassle me. I can just stand in an aisle and think for 20 minute, making up my own mind. Which is probably why it makes it a bad place for people like me. I’ll end up staying there for half a day and come home with just about everything under the sun. Oops.

Anyways, I first landed at wall brackets, checking out prices. The ornate ones were just too expensive for me, so my cheapest option were the simple white ones, nothing special. But I was ok with that, and anyways I’ve got an 18-pound cat that likes to jump on things he’s not supposed to, which means I needed some heavy duty brackets. Right there I decided I would go with a minimalist look, all white to blend in with the wall and leave the headboard to shine as the focal point. I picked up larger brackets for the shelves and smaller matching ones to string the light bulb through. For the shelves, I chose two-foot long unfinished wood and lightly spray painted them white, just a few coats but not enough to completely hide the wood grain.

Then came deciding where to place it on the wall. I ultimately opted to go higher than the top of the mattress because my shins have already taken enough of a beating on the bed frame, and since both cats can already reach our feet from the floor, I didn’t want to tempt them with breakable things on shelves within reach. So, I picked a number: 22 inches. I marked the wall 22 inches up, two spots 8 inches apart to put the brackets (for a 24 inch shelf). Then I screwed them in, using a level to keep it all…well, level.

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Before screwing the shelf to the brackets, though, I worked on the light, since I wanted to run the chord behind the shelf.

Putting together the lamp kit was definitely the hardest part. I had to take apart another lamp to see how to connect the wires, since the instructions on the back weren’t exactly clear. To me at least. But I got it! And I didn’t electrocute myself. Win.

In keeping with the minimalist look, I opted for no lamp shade. I really wanted to use Edison bulbs, but they happen to be $10 a piece, so for the time being I chose cheaper clear, low lumen bulbs, as close to the 305 Edison’s that I could find. I strung the unconnected wires through a hole in the top of the bracket, so that the bulb would hang down, and then I attached all the pieces. Real technical, I know. I ran the chord down the back of the light bracket and between the shelf brackets, then screwed the light bracket into the wall.

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Repeat for the other side, and that was it!

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Price per nightstand (plus spray paint): $9.56
Price per wall lamp: $14.43
Total: $47.98

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Come back next weekend, and I’ll show you how I’m turning two crates and some dowels…

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…into a wine cabinet. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this edition of homemade!