Friday, February 22, 2013

The Living Room Chronicles:Step 3: New Coffee Table

Heyyyyy you crazy people! I knew you couldn't stay away from the world of coffee tables and pallets!

If you remember correctly, 2 living room posts ago, I showed you the best Craigslist deal this side of the Mississippi River! After my new sofa showed up I knew I was in need of a new coffee table.  The only ones that I could find to fit the space were black or white and I really wanted a wooden coffee table. I tried to think of ways I could make a coffee table myself, but you can't really use a coffee table made out of cardboard and I couldn't figure out a way to make one out of old kitchen cabinets. So, I turned to the most logical thing I could think of... shipping pallets. They were almost exactly the same width I wanted. 

So, I went on Craigslist and sure enough someone was selling them. He also happened to be selling them not far from my favorite fabric store (Mary Jo's) and right around the corner from the only drive in movie theater near Charlotte. Did you put together what happened next? I talked Scott into turning the pallet party into a fun trip.

When we went to pick up the pallets I went a little overboard and bought as many as would fit in the car. The wood was pretty unique looking to me and I figured I could use them for all sorts of weird projects. We stopped and picked up some lovely fabric and then headed to the drive in movies in totally packed car that smelled like a lumber yard. 

When we got there we realized that we could not recline our seats even the slightest. Who wants to watch a double feature sitting as straight backed as you possibly can. So, with all of our new drive-in neighbors watching and secretly judging us we unloaded pallets until we could recline a little.  Then we had to prop a pallet against the back door so the trunk wouldn't be up the whole time (that would have been against drive in rules). The whole thing was pretty awesome.

The next day I started playing around with how I was going to put this beautiful table together.  

I was trying to keep it simple. But he said he would help me turn it into a legitimate table. I gave him a drawing of what I was hoping for and sent him home with some pallets. 

Apparently the wood was really dry and the nails that were used to keep the pallets together were rim shank nails (not good if you are trying to get them out and keep the wood in good condition). Because of this he ended up using most of my pallets just to get the necessary wood out of them. It turns out that my simple plan changed about 100 times and required him to completely take apart the pallets and rebuild them. It would have made a lot more sense just to buy new wood. I bought a cedar mail post to use for the legs. My awesome handy man spent many frustrating hours and finally returned with my very unique new coffee table!

I sanded it, stained it and polyurathaned it and put it in the living room.  It was perfect.  It was better than what I had envisioned!

Now, you can check out that pretty pallet paradise in its new home:

The 7 Steps That Made My Living Room:

Step 1: Move in. Put in whatever furniture we had. Hang art.

Step 2: The Craigslist deal of a lifetime

Step 3: New coffee table (Step 3 Introduction found here)

Step 4: DIY remote control holder. A tiny, tiny step, but we are still calling it one.

Step 5: Should we change out the fireplace?

Step 6: The plant table and the plants

Step 7: Finishing touches


  1. The table is beautiful and unique and you saved a tree by not buying new wood!

  2. Well said Kelly!
    It is a beautiful table. I had not heard that drive-in story before, cracked me up. You and Scott are 2 crazy people - glad you found each other.