A coffee table is not only useful but it can be a wonderful focal point in any room. However, finding a unique piece that fits your living room can be a never-ending task. Charity shops and flea markets can deliver amazing finds but all too often it's the right shape but too high, or the right height but the wrong colour. Turning to large furniture shops isn't any better as you run the risk of ending up with the same coffee table as Dawn from work. Not good.
The solution is simple; create your own. It's easier than you might think. All it takes is a little imagination and a drop of elbow grease. We've put together our top 10 coffee table designs to give you a notion of what you can achieve. Don't worry if you're not a master of DIY decor, we have ideas that require little more than a hammer and a few nails.
1) Wine crate coffee tablePut four wooden crates on top of a large square of plywood and voilà, you've got yourself a wonderful rustic coffee table (with a bit of extra storage thrown in). Stain it, paint it, sand it down... it's up to you what effect looks best in your home. Add some caster wheels to the bottom so it's easy to move about. Plus, you have a bit of space in the centre for a vase of flowers or some potpourri.
Talk about giving something a new lease of life, this reclaimed window coffee table not only looks fantastic, it's practical too. Build yourself a frame, attach the window with some strong hinges and you're done. Make your table truly unique by adding a handle for easy opening. Or, why not try a little découpage inside using your favourite prints?
Tree stumps are easier to come by than you might think. Visit your nearest lumber yard, or simply take to the internet. After all, one person's rubbish is another person's fantastic coffee table. Once you've found your dream stump, sand the top down, then add wheels to the bottom. The wood's natural pattern will continue to look amazing year after year.
4) Factory cart coffee table
Antique factory carts are all over the internet at the minute, but the prices can be ridiculous. Recreate the look by building a wooden top using reclaimed wood (such as an old pallet), then add wheels to the bottom. Caster wheels work fine, or if you look online you can find old fashioned-style ones for not a lot. Try painting the wood in a dark colour, then go over the paint with sand paper to give it a vintage look.
5) Luggage coffee tableIf you've got some old suitcases cluttering up your attic, then don't leave them gathering dust, put them to use again as a stylish table. Polish it up, paint it all one colour, or add some legs to the corners, whatever you do you'll end up with a stylish and unique piece of furniture. Don't forget, it's still a suitcase so you have some extra secret storage space too.
6) Lego coffee table
One for the big kids, this idea takes a very ordinary table and gives it an extraordinary finish. Of course, if lego was never your thing why not try bottle caps, colourful tiles or even playing cards? Try looking at everything in your home and think: “what can I make out of this?”. Once you start, there'll be no stopping the ideas.
People are making all sorts of things out of old pallets, even coffee tables. Possibly the simplest design idea on our list, this wonderful table idea is made from two pallets stacked on top of each other, then screwed together and painted. Make sure you sand the wood down well before starting in order to avoid splinters.
8) Reclaimed door
You never know when opportunity may come a-knocking. Take this design for example: an old, unused door, transformed into a functional and stylish place to rest your tea. Doors come in all shapes and sizes so no two tables will ever be alike. Keep the original knockers, knobs and keyholes as a talking point when you next have friends over.
9) Square table with ottomans
This idea takes a little more work but the results are amazing. An ordinary, square table is transformed into a feature by the use of four brightly coloured ottomans. They fit snugly underneath the table, adding a delightful splash of colour. Perfect for the kids to sit on, or when you have a party and need some emergency seating.
Anything with a flat surface can technically be a table, so why not a clock? Never wonder what the time is again with this striking clock table. The legs are repurposed from an old metal table giving the piece a wonderful antique look.
If you start looking at things a little differently and soon enough you'll imagine the coffee table of your dreams. You can also have a look at these ideas for DIY Pallet Furniture.
But before you run off to the charity shop, share this inspiration with your friends on facebook, twitter and google+.