Furnishing a first home can be very expensive, especially when buying everything from a retail store. Items do not have to be new to look phenomenal while serving a valuable purpose. Stay away from furniture stores, and consider these budget options. Instead of going with outdated furnishings from yard sales, estate sales and flea markets, opt for repurposed items. You can reclaim all sorts of items including lobster crates, old stereo speakers and more.
Use Painted Wooden Stepladders
Budget living room end tables might be as close as your local home improvement or discount store, and they are not in the furniture aisle. Consider using ordinary wooden stepladders. The wood can be easily coated with paint. Consider black, dark brown, white or any hue that will coordinate with your decor. If you ever decide to go with something different, the ladders can be repurposed as nightstands, or they can be used for the original purpose.
Make Rustic Tree Trunk End Tables
If you know someone who plans to cut down a large tree, big sections of the trunk can be turned into budget end tables. As the photo shows, when the bark is removed and the wood is finely sanded, the results are spectacular. After sanding all sides, stain and seal the wood to give it a finished look. You will undoubtedly need help from a second pair of hands. A piece of solid wood is much heavier than it looks.
Use Old Wooden Crates
Just about anything solid, sturdy and flat on top can be used instead of standard side tables. Wooden crates are ideal. However, most are not tall enough. Stack two or three wooden crates of equal size and shape. If they have open slats on the sides, connect them with leather laces. Otherwise, use connecting brackets on the sides along with wood glue. The brackets and crates can be painted to coordinate with living room fabrics and furnishings.
Wrap Unused Stereo Speakers with Foam Sheets and Heavy Fabric
Do you have a set of old stereo speakers that no longer work? Put them to good use. They can be transformed into unique budget living room side tables. Cut foam boards to fit the sides and the top. Use duct tape to connect the sides, ends and corners. Choose heavy fabric to cover the foam, and stitch the edges to prevent unraveling. If you do not sew, use a product called Fray Check to bind the raw edges. Attach the fabric to the foam using a heavy-duty staple gun. Simply wrap it like a gift. The seams and staples should be placed in inconspicuous areas for a neater appearance. No one will guess what lies beneath the fabric.
Source: Professional Home Decorating and Advanced Crafting Experience