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It’s the pride and joy of any living room, the coffee table sits smugly centre place and probably gets the most airtime when it comes to entertaining loved ones or friends.

But is your coffee table doing your home and you any justice? Gone are the days when we had no choice but to walk in to the local department store and pick a colour, any colour, and small pickings at that.

Today we’re able to upcycle, recycle, refurbish, rehash, and reuse to our hearts content! And when it comes to a unique and eye-catching coffee table – anything goes.

The real trick to creating rooms that are as full of character as you, is to think outside the box and start getting creative.

The first step is to think about what you use your coffee table for – and use it well.

While they are called ‘coffee’ tables, we all know that that is not the be all and end all of their existence. Think about the other items you like to keep at hand on your coffee table and let your imagination run wild! It’s a handy place for keeping your stack of home and garden magazines, for other leisurely reads, fresh flowers or other eye-catching knick knacks that suit the character of the room. Look at the different ways you use your coffee table and go from there. If you are someone who likes to be surrounded by beautiful things, think about having built-in shelves for holding your décor items.

Dress up your coffee tables by using glass, polished wood, etched wood or other recycled items. Think about old beer crates, apple crates, old planks of wood and how you can incorporate them into something that will suit the rest of the room. Go for classic or traditional styles, use metal, wrought iron or go for playful, bright patterns that suit your personality.

Unique Coffee Table DIY Ideas

  1. Trunks – using a wooden trunk or chest as a coffee table is a sure-fire way to add character and history to a room.
  2. Wine barrel – this is an easy-to-source alternative, and perfect for adding a bit of rustic charm to any living room. Also, it’s a great option for outdoor entertaining. Cut it in half and have it short, or cut in half long ways and top with a solid piece of wood.
  3. Vintage Water Skis – this could be the perfect beach house coffee table.
  4. Used and old cable spool. This makes for a beautiful round table top, and it can be painted, recovered or left as-is for a truly rustic feel.
  5. Stack up books in four corners and find a big table top – you’ve made your self a coffee table in two easy steps. You can use any books for the base, just make sure they are all the same size. And use a solid old piece of wood, such as a door or an existing table top.
  6. We’ve used trunks before so why not use suitcases? Stack them, repaint them and you’ve got a stunning new coffee table.
  7. Use an old tree stump or tree round and have it treated. The result is a big, beautiful round table – perfect for your living room
  8. Use a piece of gnarled (but flat) driftwood or a similar piece of wood to create an interestingly shaped table.
  9. A big steel bucket is a fantastic coffee table base. Top with a wooden round.
  10. A big basket is a storage-friendly option. This one’s all about the country, cottage or coastal feel. Top with a table cloth or use a tray to balance items sitting atop.
  11. Use an old wooden bench. This makes for a long, narrow table – perfect for décor items.
  12. Line up ceramic garden stools to make a casual cluster of coffee tables that can double as seating.
  13. Use an old trolley for a versatile and storage-friendly coffee table
  14.  Think about different shapes, such as three planks of wood splayed at different angles. This creates a unique centrepiece at different levels, while still being practical
  15. Top a Foosball table with glass and voila! You have a coffee table, doubled with game time.
  16. Repurpose and start pulping. Why not make a paper pulp coffee table – user-friendly and sustainable.
  17. Use an old short surfboard – this is a stunning addition to a beach house
  18. Use an old bath tub and top it with a piece of treated pine, oak or rimu. For indoor use, cover the entire top, but for outdoors – leave half uncovered and double it as a planter box.
  19. If you love having plants indoors, use an upside-down table with a deep underbelly, and top with glass. Watch your plants grow beneath your coffee table. Lovely!
  20. Use old antlers, stacked and glued upon each other for a sturdy and rustic base. Top with a piece of glass to complete.
  21. For a spin on a more traditional table, top it with chalkboard. This makes for a fun memo board for the entire family, or you can change it each day with an inspirational quote.
  22. This one is another one for the book worms out there. Stack up books, glue them together for the base, AND legs for your coffee table. This is a lovely solid table.
  23. Use a solid little fish tank as the base of your coffee table, and top it with a piece of glass. Make sure the glass is removable, but solid – and you have an aquarium to watch while you’re relaxing.
  24. Stack up smaller coffee tables on top of each other. Three usually creates the perfect height
  25. A neat outdoor table idea is using pottery as legs. Think big terracotta pots, topped with glass.
  26. For an interesting table top, set interesting flat stones or pebbles together on glass, and top with another piece of glass.
  27. Branch out and use different geometrical shapes.
  28. Use an old chest of drawers (one that is an appropriate height) and repaint them to suit your living room. This creates great storage space.
  29. Use a butcher’s block with wrought iron legs for a solid, class look.
  30. To get really creative, borrow the wheels and body of an old bike and set a thin table top (either glass or thin pine) over the top. Rustic, vintage and very creative.

Creative Coffee Table Designs

For more visual inspiration, check out these stunning coffee table designs!

Ping Pong Table by Huzi Design

Ping Pong Table by Huzi Design

Charles Coffee Table by Antonio Citterio

Charles Coffee Table by Antonio Citterio

Scamp Coffee Table

Scamp Coffee Table

Jewel Coffee Table

Jewel Coffee Table

Globe Table by Giorgio Cattelan

Globe Table by Giorgio Cattelan

Expose Coffee Table

Expose Coffee Table

Bolla 2 Glass Coffee Table

Bolla 2 Glass Coffee Table

Surf Lounge Table

Surf Lounge Table

Magic T100 Convertible Table by Ozzio

Magic T100 Convertible Table by Ozzio

Semisfera Coffee Table

Semisfera Coffee Table

Tambora Teak Root Table

Tambora Teak Root Table

Coffee Table by RKNL

Coffee Table by RKNL

Vesta Fire Table

Vesta Fire Table

Foosball Coffee Table

Foosball Coffee Table

Functional Nintendo NES Controller Coffee Table

Functional Nintendo NES Controller Coffee Table

Log Pile Coffee Table

Log Pile Coffee Table

Ossington Coffee Table

Ossington Coffee Table

Disc Coffee Table by Gabriella Asztalos

Disc Coffee Table by Gabriella Asztalos

Origami Coffee Table by Martin Pitonak

Origami Coffee Table by Martin Pitonak

Marc Coffee Table / Magazine Rack

Marc Coffee Table / Magazine Rack

Lawson Coffee Table by Hokku Designs

Lawson Coffee Table by Hokku Designs

Archipelago II Table by Eagle Wolf Orca

Archipelago II Table by Eagle Wolf Orca

Cota-18 Lift Top Coffee Table with Storage

Cota-18 Lift Top Coffee Table with Storage

Table Fireplace by MOMA

Table Fireplace by MOMA

Coffee Table Aquarium

Coffee Table Aquarium

Illuminating Coffee Table

Illuminating Coffee Table

Cityscape Coffee Table

Cityscape Coffee Table

The UP Coffee Table by Duffy London

The UP Coffee Table by Duffy London

Rustic Storage Coffee Table

Rustic Storage Coffee Table

Dual Arcade Coffee Table by Surface Tension

Dual Arcade Coffee Table by Surface Tension

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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