My $2000 Coffee Table

gold coffee table

Just kidding! If you know me at all, you should know better! I am wayyy too cheap to spend $2K on a coffee table. And you really don’t need to in order to get a great piece. I’ll tell you how much I spent after I tell you the story.

For weeks, I was searching for a gold and glass coffee table. Especially after reading an article in HGTV Magazine that featured a gold and glass beauty.

Here’s the original article:

I started out looking for the table in the article, which is from Worlds Away. Epic fail, HGTV Magazine, because this table is only available as a wholesale item. So then I did a google shopping search for this specific table. Almost $2000. Yikes!

So I decided a replica would be good. World Market is a good go-to for items similar to this, but they didn’t have anything. More googling got me to tables between $420- $500. Still too much for this thrifty chick.

What to do, what to do? Craigslist!! I found a table listed for very little and went to check it out… deep deep in the Valley. It was in awful shape. Rusted, dirty, spider webbed up from sitting in a garage. But perfect for me– clean lines and good bones.

 coffee tableDetail Coffee Table

So how did I transform this little guy? I simply sanded off the rusty spots with my handy power sander, then hit it with two coats of gold spray paint.

The total cost? After some negotiating, I paid $10 for the table. The spray paint cost about $7, so for under $20, I got a great piece. That’s like A HUNDRED TIMES LESS than the Worlds Away version. I must say that I’m a pretty happy rehabber!

A Lesson in Colors and Textiles

So it’s pretty basic that color and fabric can completely transform a piece of furniture. The right combo can take something you want to hide in the corner to a showpiece that everyone loves. The wrong picks can make a piece that was already pretty good look pretty terrible. I saw a lot both today at the Long Beach flea market.

2013-03-17 13.33.40

Not as big (therefore not as intimidating) as the Rose Bowl flea market, Long Beach still had a wide variety of stuff. It had great vintage clothes, dishes and colored glass as far as the eye can see, lots of pieces of furniture sitting there just waiting to be rehabbed, and some really creative finished items. It didn’t seem as crowded as Rose Bowl or even Fairfax, but I went at the end of the day, so it may have died down by then. Anyway, I left feeling super inspired.

So, walking down the aisles, searching for that perfect piece for my next project, I nearly choked when I stumbled upon chairs just like my roadside find I recently finished. Remember this post? These chairs?!

Finished chair

Well, they were just like them but different. Different fabric, different paint, different feel.

I loved mine so much I couldn’t bear to sell them. These just weren’t my style… but it was cool to see someone else’s take on the exact same piece. It really goes to show how much difference the paint and fabric can make!

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Another view of the chairs in Long Beach. I wonder if they found them on the side of the road, too?

Prius Problems


I drive a Prius. It’s great, I save on gas, it is easy to park, the trunk is relatively roomy. But what is a girl to do when she finds a large piece (or set) that is just too exquisite to pass up? Borrow a friend’s truck, of course!

I’ve not always been so lax about borrowing vehicles. Once you come up with a few rules, it’s a piece of cake.

So what’s the best plan for borrowing a car?

1. You don’t want to mess anything up, so I say BE CAREFUL! Like more careful than you’d be with your own car (duh.)

2. If something gets messed up, you are responsible for fixing it. Do it.

3. I always bring blankets/ quilts to protect the interior so pieces don’t scratch, tear, or get anything too dirty.

4. If something gets dirty, take it to get cleaned.

5. Don’t forget to say thank you!

Now, borrowing vehicles often comes with a silly story or two, so for your entertainment:

The first time? My friend was driving her boss’s vehicle, and we snuck off on her lunch break to grab a chest my friend was throwing out. Imagine two girls moving a heavy piece, angling, huffing, and puffing while trying desperately not to scratch or tear anything for fear of her job. Looking back, it was pretty comical.

Another time, I found this AMAZING mirror next to a trash can while walking in the Hollywood Hills. I left a note in the mailbox, and the owner actually gave me a call. My friend offered up her poor hubby’s beloved Jeep. The mirror didn’t fit. NOT an option. We found cables in his trunk and decided to try and tie it to the roof. Woo hoo! Right? Well, it was a pretty scary ride back to my house. Every time we came to a stop, it seemed like the mirror was going to fall on the hood and break into a million pieces.  Eventually, we made it to my place and got the mirror inside, her husband none the wiser about the perilous journey.

I’ve borrowed cars countless other times without a hitch, so don’t be afraid to ask. Hey, your friend may even drive you and give a hand!

Borrowing a truck Tuesday night, before I removed all of the table’s legs.