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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Loiacono

Breakfast Bench Ikea Hack

What do you do when you don't have the budget to afford to buy a breakfast bench? You use an old coffee table. Yes, that's right. A Coffee table.

For this Spring One Room Challenge, my husband had the fantastic idea of using our old coffee table as a breakfast bench. I wasn't sure how we were going to pull it off, but I knew together we would figure out a way. The coffee table was given to me from my grandmother when she had no use for it anymore. It was a plain black table that I refurbished for our old apartment while being six months pregnant (video here).

I originally primed it with Stix Primer and painted it Accessible Beige by @benjaminmoore and used paint sticks to cover the top of the table. I trimmed off the stirring side of the sticks and used liquid nails to glue them down in an alternating pattern, sanded the top and sides before staining them with a dark walnut by @varathane .

This served as a place I could elevate my tired swollen feet on pillows while hiding from the summer heat. It also held our dinners when I was too uncomfortable to sit on the chairs. And then it served as a place to put Vienna in her snuggle me as we watched tv with her when she was a newborn, allowing Arya to sniff her sister as she passed by.

I wanted to sell the table, but fortunately, we had no buyers. We knew it would serve another purpose for us in our new home. It was too big for our tiny new living room so we were disappointed when it had to go live in the basement until Brian thought of how to repurpose it.

Using 2x4's we braced the back of the table with the scrap wood in between the legs for more support, especially since we needed to cut the back legs shorter to fit over the radiator cover when sitting against the kitchen wall. Using scrap from the 2x4 we cut a 2inch thick bottom to raise the legs of the table to a height we were able to sit comfortably with our elbows on the table while eating.

We measured and cut a piece of plywood we had leftover from another project to wrap the three sides of the table so you wouldn't see the base. We couldn't add the plywood until the base was secured fo the studs on the wall. We used 6 inch deck screws to make sure it was strong and secure enough to hold two bodies sitting there.

After adding the sides, I covered and sanded the nail holes with wood filler, caulked the edges, and primed and painted the sides the same color as the scallop wall behind it which was Gravelstone by @behr . I cut another paint stick to repair a chip in the paint stick pattern and gave the top a fresh new coat of stain. I used leftover trim to add moulding to the bottom also stained dark walnut.

It was truly the perfect addition to our boho farmhouse aesthetic and renter friendly too. The patterned top adds more warmth to the light walls and matches the darker wood accents in the kitchen. It gives texture and depth to the little dining nook and is very comfortable to sit on, especially with the lumbar pillow we took from our bedding to add to the comfiness... so much so that Brian and I take turns sitting on it with each meal.

Now we are making new memories with a piece of furniture that helps us add more family and friends to our table. One time only being able to fit four, now we can fit six, sitting and eating comfortably with Vienna in her high chair.

If you are new to building, it's important you don't give up. Brian is more skilled than me from past work experience doing construction, so in order to gain those new skills, I watch. Intently, and I ask questions (my father was a carpenter, he passed away a few years ago and I always wish I could go pick up the phone and ask him how to). I look at videos and google terms also.

When I'm given the tools to complete the project, while receiving instructions (since I'm a visual and kinesthetic learner), I'm able to grasp the concept quickly. Sometimes you just need to try and see what works best. It may not always come out as planned, but then again... it may be better.

I'm grateful we were able to do this project together and add function and beauty to our rental home. This project helped change the look and feel of our kitchen and allowed for more space to walk through the tiny entry (since you stumbled into the table when you walked in the front door). Now we can tuck the table over the bench for more space when not in use.

What could you repurpose in your home to give new life and add function? I'd love to see.


Jackie xoxo

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