Before & After, Furniture Building, House / Living Room

Before & After: A Mid-Century Modern Entryway

Remember that sneak peek I gave you of a mid-century modern style table I was building?  It was our solution for our entry way, which was still struggling to find its perfect style after one and a half years.

We designed the table to blend with our existing mid-century style furnishings, as well as to fit the space just so.  The bottom area needed to be open to allow maximum air flow, since the heating comes out of the vent in the wall.  Also, we wanted it to be scaled large enough to help anchor the wall.  Scale is super important, as I learned with previous, low-budget attempts at decorating that wall.

Let’s take a look back in time:

The first attempt, which consisted of a home-built book shelf, was unsuccessful because I didn’t tape it out on the wall and build it to proper scale.  Also, the blocky bookshelf design just didn’t mesh with the rest of the space.

My second attempt was an improvement over the first – and it was free, because I used things I had on hand. It didn’t make a lot of sense for the space because it held my scrapbooking supplies.  It also blocked the heating vent.  No bueno!

So sometime last summer I started looking for a tall and wide sofa table that I could buy.  I found some great ones, but they were all so freakin’ espensive.  And that’s when the little rusty gears in my head started turning. 🙂

I designed the table in the fall, I think. . . and then procrastinated on actually buying the wood and building it.  I was worried it would be difficult.  This is a common theme in my DIY projects, actually – and one I hope to kick to the curb this year.  Finally I got the supplies at Christmas.  And it was so easy to build that I found myself wondering – Why didn’t I tackle this sooner?!

Mid Century Sofa Table

The red oak boards that I splurged on turned out beautifully.  I will most likely never build with cheap pine again, unless I’m painting the end result.  Also, I didn’t use any screws, so I didn’t have to fill any holes at the end. So exciting.  I can’t wait to tell you all about the trick for that later.

I’ll be back later this week with a detailed tutorial so that you, too can build something like this if you want to.  Trust me, it really was easy.

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  • Reply Ainhoa @ALittleBite at 10:29 am

    Oh my gosh it’s beautiful! You can really tell those red oak boards are definitely worth it. I’m curious about those legs – did you buy them that way?
    It really looks like a mid-century modern piece. And I’m sure it was easy to build. Yay!

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 12:31 am

      Hi! Yes, I bought the round table legs – they were at Lowe’s, but they are also available on, oddly enough. Hope this helps!!

  • Reply Kate at 10:36 am

    It looks awesome!!

  • Reply Martina@BuildingBeauty at 10:59 am

    Wow the new side table is definitely a huge improvement, it really ties the space together.

  • Reply Loren Cline at 11:01 am

    Wow this looks seriously great. I love the open area for your pretty paperback books.  The close up shot is really impressive too, those boards are gorgeous. 

  • Reply Samantha at 11:23 am

    I love love love your new entry Jane! That table is absolutely gorgeous and looks like a high-end piece… so excited that you MADE it though! Great job girl 🙂

  • Reply Kalanicut at 12:39 pm

    Well done, well done. You are so right about your observations with each phase and what worked and didn’t. Thanks for pointing those things out because it’s so easy for us to see in your photos, but in our own homes we might just know something isn’t right, but not be sure what it is. The new set up really is completely pleasing to the eye with great balance in the space available and it seems to resolves all your concerns.

    I love that you said you often have pre-project-attempt-fear. I feel the same way and I think I’m probably a lot smarter than I think. But there is always that little string of previously failed projects lurking in the back of one’s head that says “Don’t rush into anything, you might have done your math, your scale, weight distribution, etc. wrong and end up wasting a lot of money.” I’m going to join you in being a little more courageous in that department. Can’t wait for more details.

  • Reply jenn@ahomeinthemaking at 2:01 pm

    Wow, this is gorgeous! Great job!

  • Reply Jenn @ Peas and Crayons at 2:27 pm

    love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it looks so fancy schmantzy now with those big beautiful mirrors! and I can’t wait for all the details!!! hurry up and post more! <3 hope you're feeling better today!

  • Reply Sandra at 11:13 am

    I love the new look… great job.

  • Reply Anonymous at 1:11 pm

    The red oak was a great choice and the table is gorgeous! I am glad you took the plunge and build the table.Your model is also very beautiful, very dignified. 

  • Reply Robin at 8:31 pm

    This looks fantastic! 🙂

  • Reply Elaine S. at 8:32 pm

    The wood is lovely and your workmanship looks very fine, but you have 2 massive rectangles (mirrors) over those very spindly legs.  I think oak boards would have worked better – more Parson table-esque.

  • Reply Anonymous at 10:52 pm

    Your table is amazingly beautiful…I always admire people who can DIY…thanks for sharing your process…glad you didn’t give up 🙂

  • Reply Angeline at 3:42 am

    I was excited to find this post about how you made this mid- century table. I have been on the hunt for months with no success of finding one. It never occurred to me I could make my own. My excitement has turned to dismay as you said you would show how you made this table. I have been through all your posts and didn’t find a follow up. I know you have recently gotten married (BIG CONGRADS!) and weddings take over everything. I should know I got married last year myself. If and when you find a moment, could you please show how this was made. Thank You!

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 9:36 am

      Oh geez! You’re so right – I never got the tutorial posted! Sorry to disappoint. I’m back from my wedding now and will put that on the list of things to blog about in the next two weeks or so! It’s so overdue! 🙂

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  • Reply Brenda K Spevak-Saito at 6:38 pm

    That table turned out beautifully, and I look forward to the tutorial!!  LOL at being reminded of making some shelves awhile ago out of pine only to have them warp like crazy when I finished them with very dilute water-based paint attempting to create a watercolor-y Japanese Green Tea stain-like effect. And kudos to you for spelling “sneak peek” correctly, as it annoys the hell out of me how often I see it spelled, “sneak peak” 😉

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