The Blog

Small Space IKEA Hack: Milk Crate Ottoman/Chair & Instant Dining Table

Talk to any glassblower in my industry and you’ll hear all sorts of ingenious DIY stories from camera tripod torch stands to skateboard wheel bench rollers and beyond.  This kind of mindset lends itself well to the creativity required when living in a small home.  Since our house doesn’t have a dining room, I’ve been trying to figure out how to maximize the space and make our tiny living room play double duty.  This was the (incredibly cheap!) solution:

This little setup fits our living room comfortably despite the size of the room (12×12).  It helps to have one of those coffee tables with an expanding top.  When we need to sit six, we grab a large table top leaning against the wall and set it on top.  We managed to sit 8 this past Thanksgiving!

The LIDAN woven baskets just barely fit around the milk crates, so you’ll have to shimmy them on bit by bit and fold over the extra cloth.  PROTIP: keep the horizontal lines even otherwise it’ll look all askew.  Also, it’s better to use a thick chair cushion vs a normal pillow.  (Your bum will thank you later.)  Here’s what it looks like under the ottomans:

The grisly underbelly. Potential storage?

With an extra four inches on this coffee table, the ottomans/chairs fit neatly underneath.  Although it feels a bit short at first, we hardly notice it once the food hits the table.

When it’s just us at home, the minimized coffee table fits the space perfectly.  Indeed, a comfortable 12×12 living/dining room is possible!