When I moved into the Burrow, the only coffee table I had was one I’d had since I was about 15. It started as a small TV cabinet. It was from Ikea, was gray, had a shelf, and was simple and wonderful in its own right… but I wanted something different for the main room in my new old house.
Since the Burrow is so small and doesn’t have a real foyer, I thought something round would be the best option, particularly considering space. I also wanted something that could be used for storage of blankets or pillows. I kept my eyes open for something cheap I could purchase, however, everything I liked was SUPER EXPENSIVE (of course…..).
I decided to look for something to build instead.
I considered building the top out of planks and using a router to make it round, but as I walked through my favorite shop on earth, Green Oak Antiques http://www.greenoakantiques.com, I found an old bar table – you know, one of the tall ones with the metal bases? Now – the height of the metal base would never allow me to take home the whole table so after some negotiation and the acquisition of a screwdriver, the owners allowed me to just purchase the wooden top!!! It was THE most perfect size and thickness and… I LOVED IT.
This beautiful solid wood, 3″ thick table top with rounded edges cost me $70, but honestly it is worth much, much more. I took a power sander to it for a good hour or so to remove the varnish and even out any bumps, nicks, and splinters. There was also some gum to be scraped off : ) One of the things I loved about it were the scratches across the top – it had such a cool aged look that I just wouldn’t have gotten with new wood.
Now… I like simple things. Plain, simple, non-complicated things. That’s why, when I made a trip to my trusty Lowe’s, I found great joy in four cheap, plain square coffee table legs. I could have chosen fancier ones with turns and details, but I just wanted this piece to be… well… simple! I measured and drilled some equidistant holes, screwed the legs in, and then reinforced them with small angle brackets. Here you can see Junie B supervising my work:
Once the legs were all secure, I used a scrap piece of plywood I had lying around from previous projects and started to work on the shelf! I cut it as a square to fit the legs. Then, I cut notches in each of the corners to wrap around the legs. I measured how low I wanted the shelf to sit down on the legs and attached it with the same size angle brackets I used previously.
I really love how the base of this table turned out, but it would be absolutely nothing without that glorious top. However, it looks unfinished.
I got out the trusty dark walnut stain and the trusty black paint and I went to town!
All in all, this table cost about $90.00 (however, I only purchased the top and the legs, the rest of the materials were left overs). Had I purchased this table from a store? It would be a couple hundred.
Moving from a rectangle coffee table to a round one was an excellent way to open up space in my front room and the storage shelf is the perfect place for a large basket to keep blankets and pillows!
It doesn’t take a lot to make something to drastically change the functionality of your space! I am incredibly pleased with, and proud of, my bar top coffee table!
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