When designing a child’s bedroom (or any bedroom) that is often cramped for space, consider a desk side table! In fact, we created a console table desk for our little girl’s space with a few simple tricks.

A bedside desk is an excellent use of space because it’s a piece of furniture with two functions. We love any type of multipurpose furniture that can do double duty in this house!

A console table desk as a bedside nightstand in a little girl's white bedroom.

This post was originally shared October 23, 2014 and updated with fresh content and details September 15, 2021.

When we first moved into our St. Louis home, our oldest daughter was in need of a real “big girl room” and it was so much fun to create that space for her.

However, we were on a little bit of a budget, and I had already learned the hard way that toddlers are super hard on furniture. (Just take a look at the chew marks on their cribs if you don’t believe me!)

With that said, I knew that I wanted to make a minimal investment in this room. I quickly realized I was in love with the look and practicality of a bedside table desk, and that seemed like such a great fit for this space at the time.

A console table can easily be turned into a bedside table desk for a little girl’s room by shortening it just a touch – read the directions below! This makes the perfect nightstand desk, because little ones don’t need much space in a bedside table – just enough for a cup of water and other bedside essentials.

Read on to see if this look might be right for you! And if you want to see how this bedroom has evolved over the years, don’t miss this Pink and Cream Tween Bedroom.

A bedroom with a bed, desk and a chair

Why You’ll Love a Desk as a Nightstand

  • Space-saving
  • Great storage
  • Grows with your child
  • Saves money – two pieces of furniture in one!

Love finding inspiration for children’s bedrooms? Check out my five favorite kids bedroom ideas, as well as teen desks and bean bag chairs!

Great idea for kids' bedrooms - a desk that doubles as a night stand {made from a console table}

Console Table Desk

So, the search began! I considered Craigslist, but didn’t find any pieces I loved even when I set up a search. Learn how to search Craigslist here!

Honestly, I was also worried that Chris wouldn’t be too pleased if I brought home yet another piece of furniture that needed to be painted! If you’re a fan of furniture makeovers you know exactly what I’m talking about – sometimes an old piece of furniture is hard to resist.

Learn about the best paint for furniture here, as well as the best furniture paint color that matches our Pottery Barn pieces perfectly! .

Eventually, I thought about what I loved about these pieces and realized they’re similar to console tables. A console table is a narrow, taller piece of furniture often meant for an entry hall or to slip in behind a sofa.

I found a console table at HomeGoods for just $119, and asked Chris how much effort it would be to make it shorter. “Not much” he said as I took a breath in relief.

Great idea for small spaces - a desk that doubles as a night stand

How to Make a Console Table into a Desk

To tailor a console table {or any piece of wood furniture}:

  1. Measure the height you want (in our case, it was 3″. I referred to other children’s desks to determine height).
  2. Using blue painter’s tape, tape the legs where you measured to prevent splintering/chips. (You should be cutting through the tape later)
  3. Remeasure & mark your height drawing a level line, on the tape.
  4. Using a circular saw, slowly cut along the line. Remove tape.
A little girl's bedroom | functional furniture & a pretty vignette

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a console table be used as a desk?

Because a console table is generally narrower than most desks, consider your needs. If this isn’t a desk where you need to stretch out, a console table works well as a desk. It can also double as a nightstand desk!

Of course, if you’re looking for a more traditional computer desk, a console desk might be a little too narrow for you.

Is a console table the same height as a desk?

A console table is generally fairly long in width, shallow in depth, and around the same height as a table or desk.

What is the height of a typical desk?

Generally, desks tend to be around 28 to 30 inches tall. This can work beautifully as a bedside table desk.

What is a standard nightstand height?

A nightstand is generally anywhere from 24-28 inches in height, depending on the size and scale of your bed.

For more detail on the perfect nightstand height, come see our new primary bedroom nightstands!

The piece of furniture fits all of the standard requirements for a night stand. I added a clock since Adalyn is learning how to tell time.

In fact, she knows if the hand has yet to reach the 7, that it’s not time to wake. There are some glories to your little ones growing up, aren’t there?

A Side Table Vignette | How to style a desk that doubles as a night stand

Do you have a piece of furniture you love that serves multiple purposes? I’d love to hear from you!

Learn all the secrets and techniques for how to measure furniture, and get it right the first time!

More Furnishings and Decor

A Side Table Vignette | How to style a desk that doubles as a night stand
5 from 1 vote

How to Customize the Height of a Console Table

Take a new piece or furniture or one you already have and cut it to a shorter desired height. In this situation, we took a console table and turned it into the perfect desk for a child's bedroom.
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 1
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  • 1 wood furniture


  • Measure the height you want (in our case, it was a 3'. I referred to other children's desks to determine height.
  • Use blue painter's tape, tape the legs where you measured to prevent splintering/chips. (You should be cutting through the tape later.)
  • Remeasure and mark your height drawing a level line on the tape.
  • Use a circular saw, slowly cut along the line. Remove tape.


Blue Painter's Tape
Circular Saw
Tape Measure

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    1. I wish I could help you, it’s Pottery Barn Kids. You might be able to get a wood sample from them and take it to a paint store for a color match.

  1. I just love, love the light fixture. It is simply gorgeous and exactly what I’ve been looking for!! I’ve been looking for a classic, gorgeous light for 3 years!! Do you mind sharing the source? Thanks so much!

    1. Craigslist – I see them all the time. Search brass chandelier or brass crystal. Asking price varies significantly, but I wouldn’t pay more than $250. I paid $200 for this one. You can also set a craigslist alert so that when one pops up, you’ll know! Happy hunting!

  2. I love this idea! I did the same thing in my daughter’s room last year. I found a vanity/desk at a garage sale and paid $25 for it. My husband and I changed the fabric on the chair for her and she sits there all the time!