What do a lazy Susan, IKEA tray, and utensil holder have in common? Normally, absolutely nothing, but in designer Malcolm Simmons’s Washington, D.C., bedroom, these things are all part of one luxe-looking nightstand. “I’m of the mindset that if I can’t find something that I want or need at a store, I’ll just go ahead and try to make it myself,” says Simmons.
The idea to combine these common objects all started when he went on the hunt for a second side table for his bed. Backstory: His main nightstand is a large, boxy sewing table, so he wanted something for the other end that would help balance out all the sharp corners and provide some contrast to the wood. It also needed to be thin and low-profile to fit in the tiny nook. “The marble lazy Susan was the most expensive piece at around $100, but given the uniqueness of how it turned out, you’d think it cost $400,” says Simmons, who walks us through the genius DIY, below.
Marble lazy Susan
IKEA Glattis tray
30-inch-long iron pipe
Marble utensil holder
Four split ring hangers
Two floor flanges
Drill with diamond bit
Black spray paint
Step 1: Hide Imperfections
The iron pipe is the thread that connects everything together, but Simmons wasn’t loving the printed numbers on the side of the bar, so he decided to coat the thing in matte black spray paint and let it dry so it looked more like a proper table leg.
Step 2: Bottom’s Up
The most challenging part of this project is drilling into the two marble pieces. In order to make a dent, Simmons bought diamond-tipped drill bits. With the lazy Susan flipped upside down on the ground, he connected the pipe to it using a floor flange with four screw holes. It was only relatively stable at that point, so he added superglue around the edges to really make the two pieces stick. And yes, if you’re wondering, the top surface does still spin, which is a handy function when you’re in bed and your phone is just an inch or two out of reach.
Step 3: Give Yourself Room to Spread Out
Next up: the brass shelf, which Simmons positioned in the middle of the pipe. Again, he used a drill to cut out a hole that matched the 1-inch-thick diameter of the pipe. To help it float in place, he buffered it with two split ring hangers (one above, one below). “It kind of filled the space,” he says, noting the 32-inch-tall table was looking too long and skinny before he decided to add the second tier. “It needed some more heft.”
Step 4: Stand Your Ground
Finally, he drilled a hole into the bottom of the utensil holder (flipping it upside down), once again applying adhesive to the rim and adding a ring hanger to hold it in place. “It’s not as sturdy as it can be, but I’m still experimenting,” says Simmons. All in, the inventive project cost around $150—but it looks like he spent a small fortune.
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