Apartment Furniture: Cheap Coffee Table Solutions

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Are you looking for a cheap deal on a coffee table for providing convenience and comfort for your guests in a living room? The coffee table is often a very functional piece of furniture in any apartment space where people gather: it provides a place for drinks and food, as well as a display area for books, magazines and other items.

If you can’t really afford the pre-made coffee tables that you see in local stores, there are some alternatives for getting the same functionality without paying “market prices” for a coffee table. Using some of the ideas below can save you money while honing your own “interior decorator” skills and giving you a project for one of those slow afternoons.


One of the most popular shoestring-budget apartment coffee tables is a spool, especially those large wooden spools used to hold heavy cables or lengths of copper, etc. You can sometimes find these at industrial sites where they are being discarded. The spool coffee table is truly a classic for entertaining guests in your apartment without the costs of new furniture. Paint the exterior or leave it “rustic” for a sturdy, useful table.


Just as with industrial spools, crates are available to those who search for them diligently. You can make a pretty decent coffee table out of assembled crates and similar items. A little creativity will make your living room more functional when you can’t afford to run out to the superstore for the latest in rubberwood or particle board furnishings. Experiment with assembling multiple items to get a level, stable result.


This doesn’t occur to all kinds of “found materials” scavengers, but wooden chests can be a great solution for a DIY coffee table. These neat wooden designs are sometimes available at antique or collectible stores, thrift stores, or other similar venues for used items. Not all chests have the level tops needed to provide for a table function, but some of them can be “modded” for this kind of use.

Lumber-Built Coffee Tables

If you are the carpentry-inclined type, you may be able to assemble your own DIY coffee table from scraps of lumber. Finding the right pieces can be difficult, but with some sturdy multi-inch lengths for legs, and any combination of flat pieces for the tabletop, a self-built coffee table can fit the bill. Consider your own creatively engineered designs and get pieces to fit your scheme. You may need to pursue a combination of scrounging and buying, but in the end, as long as your idea is solid, you’ll wind up with a usable table at less cost.

All of the above strategies can get you coffee table designs that will fit your apartment living room space. Bring the same creativity to your other furnishings, and you can outfit your home on the cheap. Do-it-yourself creative furnishing is just one way to save a whole lot of money in any kind of apartment or home space.

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