Beam Coffee Table

Have you ever made a single change to a room and noticed how much it changes your feelings about it?  Rather than finish a room in one quick, buy-it-all purchase, I love to let things slowly and naturally take shape, based on things I stumble upon, search for, and build.  By doing so, each addition or change gets me one step closer to my final vision, but the room feels personal and collected, not like a catalog.

For us, remodeling and decorating is a long road with twists and turns, all depending on what thrift stores and Craigslist bring to me.  After giving up my search for a streamlined leather sofa, I built a large, faux leather topped coffee table.


It has served us very well for the last two years, providing ample Lego building surface.  Then, a year ago, fate stepped in and brought me the perfect camel leather, straight-lined sofa for an amazing price, and the colors have clashed since.  The ostrich-like vinyl was similar in color, but a touch lighter and more yellow, but far too close to be put together in the same room.


Three years back, Ben spotted a giant stack of beams from a demolished building, asked what their fate was (landfill), and we built a deck using most of them.  A few remained, taking up an unused section of our driveway, waiting for a use.  Flash back a few weeks, when we decided it was time to put the remaining 34 inch wide by 9.5 inch thick beam to use, as a coffee table.

Ben cut the beam, squaring up the edges, and followed up with an angle grinder to quickly sand off the previous lavender-ish finish.  Since the boards are pine, I opted for stain to avoid the overly yellow tone and finished with a coat of water based polyurethane. To get the 9 1/2 inch material up to my preferred coffee table height around 16 inches, I set out on a caster hunt.


Casters were a great fix for the stump I turned into a coffee table, adding height, but also the ability to easily move such a heavy slab.  This scenario wasn’t much different, but the stump was already 12 inches, so smaller casters worked perfectly.  Unfortunately, those casters were the largest size I could find locally, at least without a rubber wheel around.  After plenty of online digging, I found a great Etsy shop, MMCaster, with affordable, big steel casters and ordered up a set of four.  As soon as those arrived in the mail, Ben and I screwed each one in place, leaving three inches from each side.


We dragged it inside, literally dragged on a towel because I can’t lift it, and have been loving it for the last week.

Beam-Coffee-Table-in-Living-RoomThose six-inch casters brought the slab up to a great height, but give it an industrial edge.  Kind of like a rail cart, a coffee table that Ben has always dreamed of.  The top has character, like a crack and some shallow dents with a touch of the original finish.


With a smaller surface area than the previous table, I nixed the tray, but kept our marble topped remote control box, a fern, candle, coffee table books, and a footed silver bowl of nature finds.Beam-Coffee-Table-Detail A few other changes have happened recently, too.  Nothing extremely noteworthy, but differences that make me happy, like a pretty brass floor lamp for easier reading less eye strain.


Across the room, a wide white and blue stripe throw adds a splash of color on the linen sofa.


I really love the pairing of the blue and faux hide pillows.Beam-Coffee-Table-Details

All simple, affordable changes, but I’ve realized that even the smallest details get my attention when changed up.


If only I could find the perfect, super soft wool rug that Ben and I can agree on.  I’ve come across many I like the look of, but they’re thin.


If/when there’s a lull between big projects, I’d also love to rework the entertainment center.


Don’t get me wrong, it has functioned wonderfully over the last four years, storing books, toys, games, and electronics.  But, it has remained unfinished and certainly looks it, missing cabinet doors and all.

That covers all the recent additions to our living room, so tell me, are you planning/executing any living area changes of your own?

9 thoughts on “Beam Coffee Table

  1. Four years! And what a beautifully transformed house! I don’t even want to think about what it looked like before. I like how inventive you and Ben are at transforming raw materials into great pieces.

  2. Whoa! What a great coffee table! The room is looking so good, but I agree the rug needs to be changed. Do you know about Amber Interiors? Maybe you could get some ideas from her portfolio. Also is a great source w/ really good prices.

    1. Hi Peggy!

      I keep wavering between two very different styles. I do love Amber Interiors, all such beautiful spaces. 🙂 I’ll check out ecarpetgallery, too-thanks for the recommendation!


  3. Love the coffee table! Love how you’ve salvaged and repurposed those massive pieces of wood. Your house has been transformed into clean and beautiful, inside and out.

  4. Wow, I guess I missed that you found that couch. What a find. Great coffee table. Everything looks good. It is a process for most of us I would imagine. It is for us anyway. Besides I would get board not changing things up.

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