Coffee Table Porn

by Katy on January 15, 2013 · 45 comments

You may feel that Pinterest is yet another time wasting social media outlet. And really, I won’t give you too much argument on the subject. However, Pinterest is also an amazing source of ideas and inspiration.

AH-MAY-ZING!

Case in point? This mirror topped antique card catalog pinned by HGTV’s Emily Henderson. This single image, which was from her blog, reminded me that I too owned an antique card catalog, although it had been relegated to the basement as it was A) Too damned heavy and B) Without a top. (Card catalogs were designed to be stacked, so only the top one would have a solid surface.)

 

Inspiration

I also owned an extremely thick full length mirror, which I’d picked up at an estate sale, oh . . . a million years ago. A quick measure of the mirror and the card catalog confirmed that I had enough mirror to make my own table topper.

A local mirror and glass company was able to do the cuts, while keeping the edges less than razor sharp for twenty smackeroos. Another local company sold me a set of four non-marring swivel casters for $18. (This would solve the too heavy problem, plus give it an industrial cool vibe.)

Looky:

coffee table

The wood is looking kind of rough, but I’ll clean and nourish it for a fresh new look in the next week or so.

Here’s the money shot another gratuitous shot, just for fun:

Drawer detail

Not only will the wood be lookin’ fine very soon, but I plan on slipping some paper detail into the the label pulls. Maybe words from an antique book. Lots of options to play with.

I’m 100% pleased with my new coffee table. I have a lot of upholstered furniture in my living room, so the hard surfaces of this table balance it out well. Not sure what I’ll put in the drawers, if anything. We did use this as a coffee table when my older son was a toddler, and he enjoyed putting his little toys into the drawers. I remember that one drawer was even labeled “alligators.” (Pause a moment for my heart to melt.)

The best part is that I was able to assemble this piece of furniture without buying anything more than the casters. I did ask the clerk, (the great-grandson of the original owner) if they sold used casters, but such was not the case.

Thank you Pinterest and Emily Henderson, your online presence brings both mindless distraction and inspiration.

A lethal combination.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Ann January 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Katy, it looks beautiful. Way to go. Now if only I could find a card catalog at the thrift store.

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Mary Ann January 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Katy, it looks beautiful. Now if only I could find a card catalog at the thrift store. Mary Ann

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Katy January 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

My aunt, who was a library employee bought this and then gave it to me in 1990.

Katy

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Linda in Indiana January 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Absolutely LOVE it!

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Cheapchick January 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Very nice. It would be great with candles on top reflecting off the mirror – maybe tealights in jars?

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sandym January 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I looked at the photos a few times over and it is just not working for me. I think that the height combined with the drawers makes it look kind of half-finshed and homely.

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Katy January 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

The wood is not in the best shape. I’ll post pictures after it’s slicked up.

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Kirsten January 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I love it. I would love to find an antique card catalog or architectural drawing filing cabinet but all the vintage shops have them priced so high and I have yet to find one at a garage sale or gw.

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Lorraine January 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm

LOVE it! Congrats… Enjoy.

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Judy January 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

That is one AWESOME coffee table!

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tna January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

It’s nice. The cat seems to approve of the new place to sleep but is not crazy about it being on wheels.

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Bauunny January 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Very cool……reminds me of the vintage rustic look of the pricey Sundance Catalogue (owned by Robert Redford). You are AMAZING.

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Katy January 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm

No. Pinterest is amazing!

Katy

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Lindy January 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I love it!

I use Old English Oil on antiques. It really brings out a shine on the wood and conditions it.

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Carolyn January 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

How great that you have lots of little drawers to stash away clutter, and alligators!

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Lilypad January 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I like the coffee table, but seriously—what caught my eye was that gorgeous chunk of feline in the background. Black and white kitties just melt my heart since I lost my furry baby at age 15 two years ago. What’s kitty’s name? And please give him/her a kiss from me. 😉
(Don’t call the cops, I’m completely harmless. I just wish I could hug all he cats…)

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Katy January 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm

That’s Zelda, and I’ll send her your regards. 🙂

Katy

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Chris January 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Love it! Let’s see, one drawer for each remote control . . . . .

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Katy January 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

No TV or electronics in the living room.

Katy

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Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Very cool!!

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namastemama January 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

You never cease to amaze me.
I’ve never been on Pinterest. Don’t have this stuff in my basement.
I don’t even have a basement!
In fact I just got rid of an antique hat box and old radio. We moved it from KS to IA to IL and most recently it had been sitting in my garage for 8 years. I’ve decided that I will no longer hold onto items for ‘someday’.
I’m just not crafty.

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Katy January 15, 2013 at 7:56 pm

My husband was keeping tools and stuff in the drawers.

Katy

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Meaghan January 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Katy,

This is awesome! i love it!

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Jean January 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm

LOVE this! I guess I will have to accept my daughter’s Pinterest invite one of these days…I just sometimes feel that I already waste too much of my precious life on line!! However, as opposed to sitting in the library browsing through decorating books for some inspiration, it may be a timesaver. You are really on a roll with sprucing up your home–first the shelves, now a really cool coffee table. I may not need Pinterest, I’ll just stay tuned to Katy!

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Sarah January 16, 2013 at 2:01 am

Waw, what a lovely coffeetable. My sister made one herself too: a used pallet, some casters under it, and a glass panel on top. Looks wonderful too!

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Katy January 16, 2013 at 7:12 am

Your sister must have a very big living room. Pallets are not tiny!

Katy

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Olivia January 16, 2013 at 4:11 am

Drool! It’s beautiful!

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Christa January 16, 2013 at 6:22 am

What a wonderful use of a card catalog! In my days, cassette tapes fit well in the drawers without the long bar to hold the cards. But they have gone the way of the dinosaur, I am afraid.

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Elaine in Ark January 17, 2013 at 8:18 am

I still have a box full of them. I’ll have to dig them out and play them sometime. Lots of good music there.

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Jennifer@Little Blog in the Big Woods January 16, 2013 at 7:05 am

LOVE IT!! Bringing a little big of the old library home…awesome!

I agree about Pinterest. I look around my house and see so many things that I have done to improve the look and feel of my home in the last year and most of these improvements were inspired by Pinterest!

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Cheryl January 16, 2013 at 7:17 am

Katy –
Love this! It looks stunning in your living room. Sherry Petersik over at Young House Love had a recent post where she used a Mister Clean Magic Eraser on a mid-century modern piece that she bought — it really cleaned up the wood nicely. You may want to check it out on her website.

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Katy January 16, 2013 at 7:47 am

I saw that, and even bought my first pack of Magic Clean erasers for the project. However, I cheaped out and bought the store brand and have not been impressed with them. (They crumble and shred.) I may have to shell out the big bucks for the real deal.

Katy

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Michelle January 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Would you share the source of the local store where you bought the casters?

In my experience magic erasers (name brand and store brand) do compress and crumble and shred – they might look like sponges but they aren’t sponges to be re-used over and over. I extend their life by cutting them in half before wetting them for use. By making them a last choice scrubbing resort I’ve had the same box for a year or more.

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Katy January 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

F.E. Bennett on N.E. Broadway & 7th. Great business, make sure to ask about the mounted heads. 😉

And I’ve been cutting small amounts of the Magic Erasers off at a time.

Katy

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Michelle January 17, 2013 at 10:22 am

Of course you’d have already thought of the cutting hack 🙂 And thanks.

Rebecca January 16, 2013 at 8:35 am

My 4.5 yr old daughter would know just what those drawers were for: one for barbie shoes, on for Little Pets, on for Little Pets accessories, one for My LIttle Ponies, one for MLP accessories, etc etc.

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Lisa Pie January 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

Katy,

I love this idea. I am always drawn to things with cubbies. I imagine you could top that with a slab of marble or a board and tile it or mosaic or whatever you had if you didn’t have that beautiful piece of mirror.

p.s. I really love your sofa!

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Sherry January 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I love this project, Katy…..a beautiful coffee table! I have a question: are there any supports in the middle, under the mirror? Just wondering in case someone unthinkingly decides to sit on it:)

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Katy January 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

No support in the middle, but there edges come in around 4 inches or so, plus the mirror is made from extremely thick glass.

And also . . . NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO SIT ON THE MIRROR!

Katy

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Sherry January 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Like!

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PJ January 17, 2013 at 8:29 am

I am a book lover as well as a library lover and I do miss the old card catalogues. I’d love to have such a treasure.

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Karen January 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I think its great! And I would re-label the Alligator drawer.

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Janelle @ Two Cups of Happy February 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

What a find! That looks so great.

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Nina May 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

An apothecary chest!

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