A plain oak coffee table is one of the most versatile, all-purpose pieces of furniture around. You need one with a plain, squared off shape and simple lines. A simple oak coffee table can be transformed six ways to Sunday.
Make it Fancy with Trim
You can turn that plain old oak coffee table into something beautifully traditional with some trim, stain and gold paint. Sand the table down and attach a rim of carved molding, and then stain it. After the stain is thoroughly dry, rub gold paint over the trim with a cloth so that it remains only on the high points. Add a coat of varnish, and you’re done.
Cushion and Cover it
Turn your oak coffee table into an elegant hassock by covering it and adding a cushion. Use a fabric that looks wonderful in your room, perhaps a lovely blue velvet. The easiest way to do this is to make four panels, one for each side. After it is hemmed, each panel needs to be about two inches longer than the table side.
Hem the sides and bottom of each panel, but you can leave the top unhemmed. Tack the panels to the oak coffee table, overlapping the edges. Next, cover a piece of foam the same size as the coffee table. Then tack it to the top of the oak coffee table over the side panels.
Turn it into a Game Table
Paint one or more game boards on top of an oak coffee table. You could do a checker board, or a checker board and a backgammon board. Store game pieces under the table in a pretty box for use time and time again.
Turn it into a Bar
Cut the legs off of an oak coffee table and mount it to the wall at bar height. You could put a couple of shallow shelves above it for glasses and bottles, and set two or three stools in front of it.
Top It Off
Make your oak coffee table thoroughly modern by painting it black. Top it with a sheet of stainless steel, and add black trim around the edges. You’ve just gone from oak to modern. In a 21st century home, furniture has to be functional and versatile. A simple oak coffee table fills the bill perfectly.