B and I bought two nightstands on Craigslist. Cost of both: $20. But, clearly, they needed some work.
Here is a photo of one of them before:
You can see the color. And those non-matching wooden knobs.
And, especially with our walls and bed, you can tell they just did not match. Something had to change.
After much debate, I decided to paint the drawers a gray color that was one shade lighter than our walls. I also found these little lamps at Target for super cheap ($9.99 for the lamp base, $6.99 for the shade. Not bad), and extra nice: They have the on/off switch NOT on the cord, but, instead, near the light bulb. Great for a nightstand light. I decided to also add some dark slate to the top (also pretty cheap- just over a buck per piece). The slate was very dusty looking. It might look complimentary in the photo, but it wasn't. It was dirty-looking.
So, I decided to oil the slate. It did turn it darker, but it looks GORGEOUS up close. And so: Here we have our final product:
The new hardware (the knob) is the same pack of knobs we got for the desk. $20 for a pack of 10 knobs. The desk needed 8, and then one each for the nightstands. Perfect!
Yes, we added no color. But, now we can add color on top the stands, as pillows on the beds, and on the walls with art. So, we're ok with the gray. Definitely an improvement!