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Purple’s Picks: Mid-Century Modern Nightstands

purple picks - mid-century modern nightstands

You’ve finished reading Philip Roth for the evening—where do you put your novel down? And what about all the Connie Francis records stacked around your turntable?

Enter the nightstand, the storage you can reach without leaving your platform bed. These are our top picks for mid-century modern nightstands (plus a couple you can make yourself).

Custom-Made Mid-Century Modern Nightstands

These Etsy sellers embrace the ethos of mid-century modern with clean lines, natural wood, and those classic mid-mod tapered legs.

Mid-Century Style Walnut Nightstands

Mid-Century Style Walnut Nightstands

Bold, solid colors like the splash of red on these drawers are a mid-mod specialty.

[Etsy/TheHuntVintageLA]

Solid Oak Nightstand

Solid Oak Nightstand

Gorgeous tapered legs let this beauty float off the ground of your bedroom (which is possibly covered in a large-print rug?).

[Etsy/ALuisy]

Oak Open-Shelf Nightstand

Oak Open-Shelf Nightstand

Storage for just one novel—will it be Flannery O’Connor? Kurt Vonnegut? Mary McCarthy? The spare storage helps enforce order.

[Etsy/MoWdwrk]

Mid-Century Modern Vinyl Console / Nightstand

Mid-Century Modern Vinyl Console-Nightstand

If your bedroom is also your mid-mod listening hideaway, you can store the entire Esquivel discography right here.

[Etsy/WoodVibe]

What Makes a Nightstand Mid-Century Modern Anyway?

From the 1940s-1970s, architects and furniture designers rediscovered the beauty in clean lines, natural materials, and open space. They wanted to connect spaces with nature, rather than having the home be a space isolated from the outside world.

A mid-century modern nightstand is likely to be made of wood, rather than man-made materials like plastic or steel. Many feature open drawers and shelves—to the mid-century modern way of thinking, your belongings should be part of your living environment, not tucked away in a storage space.

Hairpin or tapered legs are a nearly universal feature of mid-century modern nightstands. In fact, one easy way to give an existing nightstand a mid-mod vibe is to replace the legs. You can buy individual tapered or hairpin legs on Etsy.

Vintage Mid-Century Modern Nightstands

These pieces will give you the true mid-century modern feeling because they actually come from the bedrooms of the 1950s and ’60s. Put the revolutionary work of that era’s innovative designers on display.

Pair of Mid-Century Modern Cherry Night Stands by Edmond J. Spence

Pair of Mid-Century Modern Cherry Night Stands by Edmond J Spence

The rich, gorgeous cherry wood and tapered legs make this a mid-mod masterpiece.

[1stdibs]

Pair of Baptiste Nightstands

Pair of Baptiste Nightstands

A low-profile nightstand with clean, stark lines and the revolutionary simplicity of drawers without handles.

[1stdibs]

Paul Frankl Cork Clad Nightstands by Johnson Furniture Company

Paul Frankl Cork Clad Nightstands by Johnson Furniture Company

Many mid-century modern designers turned away from new manufactured materials like plastics, embracing new uses for natural materials. This cork nightstand is a snapshot of mid-mod design in full flower.

[1stdibs]

DIY Mid-Century Modern Nightstands

If you’re a DIYer, mid-century modern is the decor style to embrace. The simple materials and construction make mid-mod furniture pieces relatively simple for beginning woodworkers. And a nightstand is a perfect beginner’s piece.

Beginner’s Nightstand / End Table

A simple, clean DIY nightstand with mid-mod flair. All the cuts can be made with a circular saw.

[YouTube/Modern Builds]

Nightstand with Ebonized Oak


The geometric pattern on this nightstand uses a tool mid-century modern designers wouldn’t have been able to use—a laser etcher. Is that cheating? We won’t tell if you don’t.

[YouTube/Crafted Workshop]

Looking for more mid-century modern inspiration? Check out our top mid-century modern beds.

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