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Category:  Decorating

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Coffee Table Transformations

by Kathy Wilson

Furniture, even accent furniture can be one of the top budget busters when decorating your home. Finding a coffee table that is affordable, yet interesting can be quite a chore. Here is an easy project that can easily be adapted to fit a variety of styles and circumstances.

I started using an old bench as a base for my coffee table. It was narrow enough not to take up too much space in my small family room, and the finish was in relatively good shape. (Plus, I already had it laying around, it was free!)

First I used a hand saw to take two inches off the bottom of the legs, to bring it to the height of a coffee table. Most coffee tables are between 16-18 inches high. Next, I chose some old ceramic floor tiles I had leftover from an old project to become the new top. It would be easy to clean when my kids ate on it, yet add a touch of elegance to my cottage style room. The tiles did not cover the entire surface to the edge however, so a quick run to Home Depot yielded some edging tiles to fill in the space and add a finishing touch. Since the bench finish was in good shape, I simply sanded the top to allow the tile adhesive to grab better. You could also paint the entire piece as well to match your decor, but still sand the top.

I applied a small tub of tile adhesive to the entire top, then lay the tile quickly and push down gently to set. Make sure you have the tiles laid out in the way you wish them to appear on the table to save time. (You don't want the adhesive to set before you are done!) Clean up any adhesive off the bench or tiles with a damp cloth. Allow to set at least 24 hours before using.

The tile layout can be simple as mine was, or an elaborate mosaic design. I chose not to grout my tiles as they fit together so nicely, but grouting would be best with lots of small tiles. This project can be done on any piece of furniture from a bench to a chest to a cut down dining table.

Consider asking your local flooring specialty shop if they have tiles that are going to be thrown out, or any broken tiles you could use for mosaic. Many times they will let you have them for free.

It doesn't take much work to add style and interest to any piece of furniture, and repurposing furniture for a use other than what it was intended always makes the room more fun!

Kathy Wilson is a home and garden writer, author and consultant and is the home decorating expert for Visit her for more home and garden ideas at and Also visit her at http://www.Women-on-  where any woman can learn to make money on the internet!  


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