So when I started thinking about a coffee table for our small living room area, I knew I wanted to make something unique, but would hold up to furniture found in fancy stores.
When this gorgeous vintage butcher block presented itself, I snapped it up.
It wasn’t pretty when I first spied it at the Santa Monica Airport Flea Market leaning against a rusty library cart. It looked like a butcher block— dirty and flawed and not in a good way. But it came with history. The seller claimed it was over a hundred and fifty years old and had originally been a plank in a southern plantation home before becoming a butcher block to a chef in Los Angeles. I like to think that I rescued this piece of wood from a hard life, like someone might rescue a puppy. Far from slavery and meat cleavers— it would rest safely and softly in the center of our living room on a fluffy moroccan rug. We would lovingly place our tea and books and flowers on it.
I ordered the mid-century modern hairpin legs from an LA-based blacksmith on Etsy. Then I sanded and stained the butcher block walnut and used 3/4 inch screws in 4 corners. An adhesive to hold the metal to the wood makes it extra sturdy.
You might already own a worn down butcher block, or some other old piece of wood. If you don’t, I’ll bet your grandma has one. Or that neighbor with all the crap in their backyard that you can see from your balcony. (I AM that neighbor, just so you know.) You’ve been thinking about making a table from some kind of wood for a while, I just know it. Now, as they say in Hollywood, is the time to give that project legs.
There’s nothing like making something all by yourself— especially when it’s something you can use on a daily basis. And if people ask if you bought it at Room and Board, bonus!
For more furniture DIY, check out the dining room table I made in a high-anxiety, first trimester nesting instinct moment. (Which I’m finding can still strike long after pregnancy ends…)