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DIY PROJECT: Mid-century console table

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If you’ve found yourself becoming frustrated over a lack of space or feeling like you’re living on top of a lot of clutter, I know exactly how you feel.

Two years ago, I moved out of a large bedroom with ample space, with the extra advantage of a balcony area, into a much smaller room in a ‘cosy’ inner-city terrace. Unfortunately, one of the worst things about a small space is a small space without storage! To tackle the storage problem in a tiny space, you need to customise to ensure you’re maximising every square inch of your room.

Armed with a little bit of creative thinking – and the right tools – I was able to custom-make my own pieces of furniture to fit the space perfectly.

What if I don’t have the right tools?

Firstly, don’t bother buying new! Even for DIY-hobbyists, drills, saws and other expensive power tools will only be used a handful of times during their lifetime. Instead, go online and locate your nearest resource libraries or community tool shed, these are neighbourhood-run initiatives that allow you to borrow a large range of tools and equipment for the price of a yearly membership fee!

If you’re determined to buy one for yourself, consider buying second-hand! There are lots of options out there that will cost you a fraction of the price of buying new and reduce the cycle of consumption – which of course, is a planet-friendly way to purchase!

How to do it yourself: Mid-century console table


The DIY version 

You'll need the following tools and materials:

Cordless drill or impact driver

1 x piece of timber (cut to fit your space)

Nail & hammer (for pilot holes)

4 x hairpin furniture legs

Measuring tape or ruler

16 x timber screws

Pencil or marker

Stain & varnish (optional)



Step 1. Firstly, source your materials. You will need:

  • A piece of timber– you can play around with textures and colours to suit your personal taste. I used a simple and very cheap piece of pine. If you’ve got a bit of room in your budget, consider opting for recycled hardwood timbers. This will help ease your environmental impact and give materials a second lease on life.
  • Furniture legs with predrilled screw holes– I found mine at my local Bunnings but if you’re looking for something more bespoke, head to Etsy or get in touch with a local metal-work supplier. I used ones that were about 70cm high for a console table design, but you can customise this to suit your space and use shorter legs for a bedside table.
  • Screws – the size and length will depend on the thickness of your timber and the size of the holes in your furniture legs.
  • Stain & varnish (optional)– I used a multipurpose varnish which stained my timber to a yellow-oak finish. 

Step 2. Cut your timber to size but remember to always measure twice and cut once to avoid waste and frustration! Most large hardware stores with a cutting room will do this for you either free of charge or for a small fee and if you’re sourcing your timber from a supplier, many will be able to do this for you at a cost.

Step 3. Stain and varnish your timber. I applied two to three coats, allowing them to dry to touch after each coat. The drying time between each coat will depend on the type of stain or varnish you use. Once finished with your final coat, leave the timber in a cool, dry spot overnight.

Step 4. Position the furniture legs on the bottom surface of your timber and mark off each hole with a pencil. Use a hammer and nail to gently tap in pilot holes on all the markings.

Step 5. Position the legs once again and drill the screws into your pilot holes. Wipe clean and you’re done! Your very own designer-inspired piece of furniture for a fraction of the cost.


Written by Tasha, Gateway’s PR & Communications Manager by day and DIY-guru by night. 

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