Editor’s Update: I’m floored, it’s IKEA, the best quality IKEA I’ve ever seen.
I thought I knew the type of coffee table I wanted for our evolving living room. Something with modern lines. Light hardwood. A large, low circular table with (or customized by me to have) pretty mid-century leggies, hairpin or pretty pegs of some kind. And then, wouldn’t you know, I went thrifting and fell in love with something nearly the opposite:
Nix the hardwood and mid-century, add in some slick white contemporary-ness with a heavy metal base. Even if it’s a lot different than what I might have ordinarily picked out (something like this, light wood is hard to find), our new coffee table perfectly fits the functional demands that we knew we really needed in our life:
- Lots of storage (this has both visible shelving and hidden drawers)
- A flat surface (good for drawing and writing)
- Easy to clean (kids are dirty, and we’re not sticklers for using coasters)
- Big (the sectional is big, and our living room is big, and scale is important)
This is the first “real” coffee table I’ve owned; even the trunk that I used as a makeshift coffee table in the last house was less than ideal for that purpose, a little bit taller than I would have liked, a lot a bit uneven when it came to using it as a writing surface. And even though the trunk opened up for potential storage, I learned not to keep anything inside it because 1) there were always goods atop and it was annoying to clear off to open and 2) there was a division in the boards on the flat top surface through which all spilled liquids managed to filter. Milk was the worst of the liquids, I won’t tell you how quickly spilled milk begins to smell when it accidentally dribbles into a plastic garbage bag storing sweaters.
I’m pretty sure the subtle drawers are my favorite feature of this new-to-us coffee table. They’re push-operated, so no knobs or pulls to break up the clean lines of the design. At just over 3′ x 3′, the new table brings us 9 sq. ft. of surface area and 9 sq. ft. of storage for things like books, magazines, and a radically growing collection of Disney Infinity characters. It’s brand-spankin’ new to our home so, no, I haven’t even gotten to organizing anything into drawers yet.
The table has no distinct markings that would indicate brand, but I would place it as a piece constructed in the last 10-15 years. It’s particle board, but way heavier than it looks, immeasurably more sturdy than anything I’ve bought at IKEA, and in general, in really good shape, just a few things that helped me justify the $125 price tag.
Its design is considerably more contemporary than other items currently in the room so I hope adding an area rug and softer decor to the room will help to make it feel a little more at home. And if not, I’m preparing myself to change out the base with something lighter wood to fit in (if you haven’t already seen the greatest ever dresser re-design, you should check it out and be wildly inspired).
I found and bought the table at a local co-op (The Shops On West Ridge, locals!) and what concerned me initially was the height of the table; with only a 12″ rise from the floor, it seems really low in person, like, bash your shins low, but our West Elm sectional only has a seat height of 15″, so placed in our living room, the 12″ height works really well, and no, no shin bashing yet.
It’s so low that I’m not sure it would look great alongside a “normal” height sofa, so maybe me buying a coffee table online would have backfired, because I hadn’t really honed in on how a higher coffee table might look a little “off” in this space.
Going from no coffee table to having something this functional has made an immediate impression on our ability to use our living room. Books stored! Coffee stabilized on a real table! And it’s heavy enough that it doesn’t slide around when the dog leans up against it! I love seeing this place begin to come together (we’re goin’ on 9 months here, this is not happening fast).
P.S. For those of you who have inquired about how the Tillary sectional is holding up, see above for some seam puckering in the back supports. I’ll be back with a more thorough review in the next few months, promise.