Unconventional End Tables and More

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Rather than selecting standard end tables and side tables, I often choose something a little more versatile so that the piece works for us beyond one home, one room, one need. Being thoughtful when selecting furniture increases the potential of your furniture transitioning through the seasons of your lives. I tend to be a bit sentimental when it comes to furniture – I love a good heirloom. I’m also in love with the idea that our kids might want some of our furniture when they’re older and not think of them as hand-me-downs, but family history.

When we had Adalyn, we lived in a tiny 1000 square foot cottage with an inaccessible basement. We lacked both space and storage, so I purchased a trunk that not only stored her toys, but our wine as well {we didn’t even have a pantry}. To this day, I can’t part with it because it’s become our “library” filled with the girls’ books. Am I in love with it? No, but it fills a need and feels like a well kept secret in our family room.

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Speaking of family room, have you see my heirloom armoire? I’m so thankful to have a piece with so much history. When we lived in our little cottage, we used it as a closet in Adalyn’s nursery since Chris was occupying hers. At the Colonial, it was Ani’s armoire and now it’s found a home in our family room, storing our linens.

neutral home with small living room

In the living room, we used a bench that typically would be a the foot of the bed, as a coffee table. As Adalyn grew older and Ani joined our family, we realized soft furniture with kind edges was practical. It’s on wheels, so it rolls out of the way for an impromptu dance party. Some day, I imagine it will be used as intended, at the foot of the guest bed.

{See something you like? Click the photo to go to the source}

creative and versatile ideas for end tables, desks and more!

In the kitchen I used a small antique dining table as my kitchen desk. I filled the small drawer with stamps, envelopes, pens, and checks. Like most kitchen desks, it also often has a stack of papers…I’m not immune to those.

breakfast room of home blogger Julie Blanner

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Another versatile piece I love is this small tray table. It’s the perfect side table for the corner of any room, but can also be used as an end table or bar cart! It’s easy to move from one room to another.

creative ideas for end tables and more

The same applies to a small chest of drawers. This piece resides in our mudroom
, but could also be used as an end table or night stand.

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Finally, baskets! You know my obsession with baskets. A stack of sturdy baskets creates beautiful end tables without effort and adds instant storage.

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Finally,  I like to use a vanity as a nightstand / desk and the same applies to a console table! pinterest

creative and versatile ideas for end tables, desks and more!

So if you have a piece you love but don’t use, rethink it! You just may fall in love with it all over again. No need to have boring end tables or to purchase a new piece for a different need. Did I miss any ideas?

entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner



  • Stacey says:

    Beautiful ideas Julie. I believe that using unexpected pieces or things gathered over time is so much more interesting. I’ve been eyeing the Ballard tray table for awhile. You’ve probably convinced me that we need it. 🙂

  • Lucie says:

    All are great ideas! I love the little chest with marble top. I have a similar one; took the marble top off, waxed the wood, put marble top onto another small table…I feel like I have two brand new (old) pieces of furniture! Your photos and your blog are beautiful.

  • Jaybird says:

    Lovely photos!! I am smiling at the tray table idea……I have an antique one that sits in a weird corner of our stairs. The princess Posie cat has laid claim to the bottom shelf. Since she can see from the back entry…all the way through to the front entry, she can sit there and survey her domain. Makes me laugh every time I see her there.
    Thanks for the smile, and blessings to you and your sweet family,

  • Jackie says:

    Love your style! Neat but full of character and charm! Our tastes are very similar I also like to,play with furniture! Put them in unusual places. Happy days.

  • Norma says:

    Hi Julie, have you ever use spray paint in brass color? If yes which one will you recommend? Thank you for sharing your beautiful house with us :D… oh almost forgot.. any chance you remember where you got the cow painting(I love it!!)?

    • Julie says:

      I’ve tried a few! Rustoleum Metallic for shiny and Ace Bright Gold Metallic are my favorites. The cow painting is from Ballard. Thank you! I hope you have a great weekend!

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