Visit nearly any retail furniture store and you’ll spot glass-topped dining and occasional tables with decorative bases. Some furniture manufacturers even offer mix-and-match lines; you choose the base and the glass shape and size. Make your own version by using flea market finds as bases for glass table tops. You’ll save money, and you’ll have an original instead of a reproduction.
Large Pots and Vases
Look for garden supply booths for huge terracotta pots intended for the garden or patio. Shop import booths, especially those specializing in Asian imports, for oversized porcelain pots and vases featuring bright colors and patterns. Top either with a piece of custom-cut, round glass to make an end table, or build a base if the pot or vase isn’t quite tall enough for dining height. Some Asian pieces even come with stained or painted stands with turtle-shaped legs.
For a fun, rustic family room table, hunt for an old whiskey or wine barrel. Top it with a thick, round piece of glass. Then, pull up some chairs and use the table for card and board games, or for casual dining.
Whether they’re genuine bits of architectural salvage or new reproductions, architectural columns work well as table bases for different glass top shapes. You can use a single thick column and round glass for an intimate dining table for two. Or, top a pair of slender columns with rectangular glass. Then, use it a sofa table in your living room or as a entry table in the foyer. Use four sturdy columns with a large square or rectangle of glass to make a dining table. Leave vintage columns in their natural state, or embellish new versions with a faux-painted finish to make them look old.
You can use garden statuary to create end tables or coffee tables. Choose classical statuary for elegant interiors, or opt for whimsical statues of animals to add charm to cottage or country decor. For example, use a trio of outward-facing rabbit statues for an end table topped with a round piece of glass. Or, stand a bunny under each corner of a rectangular piece of glass for a cocktail table.
Tree Stumps and Trunks
Top a tree stump or trunk with round glass to make an end or foyer table. It depends on the height of your stump. Use flat trunk sections, or upend a stump and rest the glass table top on the roots. Leave the table natural, bark and all, for a rustic look. Or, paint your tree trunk table glossy white for an ethereal, yet earthy look.
Treadle Sewing Machine Base
Turn an antique treadle-style sewing machine into a table base. The look is almost sculptural. Top it with a rectangular piece of glass, and then place it in your foyer as an entry table, or use it as a server in the dining room. The look works well in both industrial and rustic spaces.
Top a pair of sawhorses with a rectangle of glass to make a desk for your home office, or use it a small eating table in a casual kitchen. Leave the sawhorses in their unpainted, possibly weathered state for a casual, country look. Or, paint the sawhorses with glossy paint in a bold color to make the look work in a contemporary space.
Turn an industrial spool once wound with rope or cable into an end, cocktail or dining table, depending on the diameter and height of the spool. Leave a remnant of cable or rope in place for an industrial touch in a loft or loft-like space. You can add dowels and wheels to make the base double as a book carousel, like the one featured in the September 2011 issue of “Country Living” magazine. Stack and screw several cable spools together if you need a taller height.