8.01.2013

Ikea Hack: DIY Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table

When John and I were living in Boston, we had an adorable - yet miniscule- shoebox of an apartment to furnish. Since we weren't planning on staying there longterm, we went the el cheapo route for furnishings...basically hand-me-downs and lots of Ikea. The white Lack coffee table from Ikea was just the right size, and doubled as our dining room table as well (we are thugs like that).

Surprisingly, 2 years later, that table is still with us. I really love the size of it, and its plain white finish just seemed to work with all our furniture. What I wasn't loving was the "Ikea-ness" of it. Drawing inspiration from our sleek walnut credenza and hand-me-down vintage Eames chair (best hand-me-down EVER), I decided to give our table a mid-century modern makeover on the cheap. All I needed was a pair of signature tapered legs...so to Etsy and eBay I went.  I ended up buying this set for a total of $35, if any of you are curious. Once they arrived, all I did was remove the Ikea legs and screw those mid-century babies in and voila! Old table, new look.

The finish on the tabletop is worn off in certain places, so I need to figure out what to do to give that part a little freshening up...but for know, I'm loving the white and wood combo and our lucite Mattie Luxe tray also helps to cover up any of those blemishes. Painting this stuff is apparently a hot mess, so I'm not sure I want to go that route...though the edge in a fun color would be cute, no? I'm still debating whether or not to upholster the top...perhaps in a chartreuse or teal fabric? To tuft or not to tuft? John mentioned putting a mirror on top. We shall see...but for now, I'm digging this sleek new white and wood look.

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37 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic. I've heard repainting this surface is a pain too but I do recall seeing somewhere that it's best to sand it down first.

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  2. love this! I just read a blog post on re-painting ikea lacquered furniture actually! I'll email you. xo

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  3. No joke, you may have just changed my coffee table life forever.

    Kate

    www.thrillofthechaise.com

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  4. Brilliant. AND your living room looks killer!

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  5. This is beyond fantastic! I have been searching for a new coffee table lighter in both color and heft to go in front of our massive Anthro leather sofa, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, oh, and is still chic and design-y... and I think I just found my answer. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful Ikea hack! Off to ebay(.de) I go...

    And PS, even though we are in our mid-30s with a pretty big flat and decent-sized dining table, we still eat dinner at our coffee table more often than I'd like to admit. Thug life forever!

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    1. Do itttt - literally so easy and cheap, but makes a big impact. I bet you might find some cool legs at the German fleas. Do they have those there? If not, Germany really needs a flea. Guess there's always Paris though! :)

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  6. Brilliant! Those legs make it look like a totally custom piece, not an Ikea original.

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  7. Gorgeous! I just love IKEA hacks so much and this one is fabulous!

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  8. this is so amazing, and funny! Ironically I was contemplating a project exactly like this today (I want to hack a bedside table) and then I see yours on 6th Street! love this so much

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    1. Haha! Serendipitous timing is the best, isn't it?

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  9. This is SO good! It has such a custom look without the high price and tons of time invested!

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  10. That is such a fabulous idea! You may have just inspired my next coffee table.
    {lamourcheznous.com}

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  11. Um, this is amazing. I can't believe what an upgrade that was, just adding new legs!

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  12. It's really a good idea! I Wonder where you found these vintage legs? on eBay or etsy?
    I'm looking for amazing ideas to make a lovely and vintage interior but not too expensive....
    Sorry for my English i'm french and i don't practice so much.....

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  13. Did the legs screw in easily? Did you have to make any modifications for them to screw in?

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    1. Very - but that was because there were little screw caps that I attached to the table came with the vintage legs. You can easily get those at Home Depot or Lowes, I imagine.

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  14. Beautiful! I love the look and how it matches perfectly with the couch. May I ask where your couch is from? Thank you.

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  15. did the legs fit in slanted or was there an extra step you did to make them slant?

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  16. Beautiful! Is there a technical name for the little screw caps you attached that came with the vintage legs? The legs I'm looking at don't come with anything besides the legs. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Probably some sort of bracket - you can try calling Home Depot or a local furniture repair/upholstery shop. They might have some of those on hand that they can sell to you. Good luck!

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    2. they're called top plates! waddell makes both angled and straight versions.

      Kirsten, quick question: where did you position the top plates/new legs?

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    3. About an 1 to an 1.5" in from the edge - I didn't use those pre-drilled holes in the tabletop, so I just screwed the legs in where I liked the look of them!

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  17. Hi! Just an FYI concerning your table top.... I was just in Ikea the other day and they sell desk tops/table tops separately. You can buy the legs, table tops, mix and match. Anyway, I bought a pair of legs and a top for my daughter to create an easy peasy desk area in her bedroom. Linnmon Table Top,
    39 3/8x23 5/8"....$5.99!! It may be easier to grab one of those than to attempt painting the one you've got. Good luck and I loooove the mid century look with the new legs.

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    1. Ooooh, thank you for the tip! I'll definitely check that out next time we head up to Ikea - our tabletop has certainly seen better days at this point.

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  18. Hi! I also love this idea. I just bought some mid-century modern legs on eBay but, as someone mentioned above, am having trouble getting them to fit -- the holes in the Lack table top are just a little bigger than the screws in the legs. Was anyone ever able to track down the name or type of fasteners necessary to fix that? Thanks!

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    1. I just drilled new holes..make sure your screws are long enough to maintain a sturdy grip in the MDF!

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  19. Hi there, I'm a bit confused! Did you actually just screw the legs into the table (making new holes, as you said in some comments) or did you use some type of bracket fastener (as you also mentioned in the comments) and if so, how did you attach the brackets to the table? Are the brackets what gave the legs the angle? Thanks

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    1. Hi Jillian! Sorry to have confused you. So the table comes with pre-drilled holes that I could have just screwed the legs into. The legs I purchased came with brackets that I screwed into the tabletop, and they are what made the legs have an angled effect. Hope that helps!

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  20. Oh okay, thanks so much for the clarification! I can't wait to try this. You rule!

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  21. Definitely going to try this! Were you able to repurpose the bottom shelf and original legs?
    Thanks!

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