Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The $10 coffee table

I know. I know. I said I would catch you up on the stairs tonight. I know. Winces. I’m kind of at the mercy of others when it comes to this one, which I hate. I am not used to people helping out with my DIY projects, and while it is wonderful to have the help – it also means I have to be more patient than usual, which I am so not good at. ;)

Anyhoo, I should be able to show you a close to finished product next week. (Crossing fingers.)

So I figured I would finally share my coffee table project for the family room. I showed you back on the rug post how large our old table was. I absolutely LOVE this table – I got this and a matching end table from Bombay Company years ago. (Can I get a moment of silence for BC? That place rocked.)

It served us well – we could eat off of it, drag choo choos across it, do puzzles easily. It was just so. incredibly. huge. It measures three feet across. HUGE:

Our family room is actually quite large, but as I’ve mentioned, the changes we made to it when building created very little wall space, so the furniture all floats. I love the layout and suggest it all the time – making and “L” with your sofas/chairs in a long room creates a cozy and warm space.

But cozy and a three foot wide coffee table don’t mix. So I was on the lookout for something new, and a few weeks ago I came across this beaut at Goodwill:

Wow, isn’t it fantastic? :) I know, it’s not. It wasn’t. But it was only $9.99. And as soon as I saw it, I knew it could work for what I had in mind. It was labeled as a desk, and was actually quite tall. (You can see how much taller it was than the sofa above.)

Because I heard on HGTV once that your coffee table should be about two inches lower than your sofa, and since HGTV is decorating gospel, (OK, only most of the time) I took this baby out to my fanfreakingtastic compound miter saw and cut down these legs:

Oh yeah, I did! I stuck that baby right under the blade and cut them off! Buwahahaha!! I think I took about four inches off each leg. (Then I added little cushions to the bottom of each one to protect the rug.)

Because the top was beyond fixing with paint, I knew this table would work perfectly for my plan. It’s actually a laminate veneer on top and the sides, but I didn’t mind the color of it at all. I considered painting it, but painting laminate is not a quick job, and I wanted to keep the contrast of the table against the rug. So how the heck was I going to make it work?

I was going to upholster this bad boy:

I turned it over onto the foam and just traced it. (Foam courtesy of Goodwill, a find a few months ago. It’s also served as coloring book for my son as you can see.)

I wanted to tuft the top of the table with buttons and wanted to make sure everything was symmetrical. I realized I could just use the middle point of every square and then one in the middle for five buttons. I just drilled into those points:

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Then I upholstered the top with batting (Goodwill again, score!!) and fabric using my staple gun:

At this point I lost steam a bit and let it sit for a good week. Something just wasn’t sitting right with me.

There are three things that are extremely important to me when I decorate our house. The first is the project or item must be comfortable. Second, it has to be something our son can play with/around/on and third, it must be something that I will not FREAK OUT about when our son is playing with/around/on said item.

And this only had one of the three – it sure was comfortable when we propped our feet on it! ;) But as I watched my son playing on it, I realized why I was hesitating to finish it. The choo choos didn’t roll quite as well on this one. There was no way you could set a drink on it. And if you did, I would be over in the corner, biting my nails, breaking out in hives.

Beyond all that, covering the raw edges underneath was going to take more work, and I wasn’t positive how I was even going to do that.

Sooooo…I took it all apart. It took longer to take apart than it did to put it together. Gah.

I had a new brilliant idea – I would use some beadboard I already had and just cover the top. But I wanted a different look than just planks of the beadboard laying across it. Beadboard can get a country feel real quick if you’re not careful how you use it – and as much as I look a country/farmhouse look, it’s just not our family room. :)

So I figured it out – I used miter cuts on the beadboard and started from the outside and worked in, creating a square design:

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I was in luuuurve.

To finish off the edges, I added some “fencing” molding – only $2 for an eight foot piece. After living with it for a day or two and getting stabbed by the corners, I quickly realized I would need to sand those down:

It worked perfectly!

I filled in all of the nail holes (I used the nail gun to attach it to the top of the table) and any gaps with spackle:

Sanded it down and primed, then painted:

I got a creamy paint to use on it, but after the first coat I realized it would be too light. So I used the wall color from the family room, mixed a little in to make it a bit deeper, and I couldn’t be more pleased!

I put the drawer towards the sofa so we have easy access to the fifty billion remotes and my bloggy necessities. ;)

Oh yeah, and another spot for me to frantically throw toys when I can’t take stepping on one more itty bitty thing.

We had a large basket on the top of our old coffee table for the remotes, and it fits perfectly under the table. I wanted to be able to slide it easily on the rug without it snagging, so I hot glued some of my mini-moving men to the bottom:

I never used the little ones anyway and it did the trick! This baby flies! And yet another spot for itty. bitty. teeny. tiny. toys. They breed.

The whole coffee table ended up costing $30 -- $10 for the table, $10 for additional beadboard and $10 for the paint. In the end, $30 is still way, way, WAY less than I would ever spend at a furniture store. AND I absolutely love it!:

Before, with the old table, old rug, same cat:

After…ahhhh….

Now, just a few more (potential) changes to this room and I am done! (Still can’t decide if I can part with my beloved drapes, even though I think they may be too much now.) I’ll show you the mantel next week!

Stay tuned for another great giveaway this weekend!

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