Wooden Coffee Table

Bench It

Are you on a tight decorating budget? Or do you simply desire a new look for your living room or den? Then an innovative coffee table could be the perfect solution.

Begin your design search by scouting secondhand shops and estate sales for items that can be transformed to meet your needs. Also, look around your home and explore different ways to use existing accessories. Add life to an old piece such as a battered wooden box by covering it with a tapestry panel or needlepoint rug. This quick fix gives character to the piece and brings a fresh look to the room.

Urn Table

Urn It

Would a rustic table work best? Maybe a classic table with clean lines, such as the urn table shown at left, would complement the decor nicely. The proportion of the coffee table in relationship to a nearby couch, love seat, or set of chairs is important to think about when selecting the piece. The tapestry-covered box shown below was too small for the large sofa it accompanies, so we added a picnic basket with an ivy plant to one end to lengthen the look of the table. This gives the illusion of greater size and balances the scale of the grouping.

Coffee table draped with tapestry beside a plant

A Tough Fit

If a narrow living space is a challenge, consider using a bench as a coffee table. At a local flea market or antiques store, look for an old bench with character. Accessorize by tucking plants, urns, or baskets underneath.

Wooden Box draped with tapestry


It is not unusual to see an old trunk or box used as a coffee table. By adding a tapestry panel or needlepoint rug, you can create an upscale look. Have glass cut for the top of the piece to protect the fabric and give the table a finished look.

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