Trunks for Coffee Tables

One of my favorite pieces in all of the apartments that I've lived in has been this glorious steamer trunk: Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 1.53.28 PM

It's an old family piece, and I love all of the textures it brings into the room: wood body, metal hardware, leather straps. The best part, though, is that this thing holds A LOT: an air mattress, extra sheets, towels, out of season clothes... you name it. And in this cozy (tiny) apartment, multipurpose furniture is this girl's best friend!

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I've seen the trunk-as-coffee-table idea executed well in many situations. Here's a bit of inspiration...

Love how this room (via CocoCozy) works the deep plum walls and dark floors. And the trunk rocks:

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This vintage Louis Vuitton makes my mouth water (from Interiors Addict):

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And another LV inspiration. SO GOOD!

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It could be yours... to the tune of $24,000 (via 1st Dibs):

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While I'm dreaming, how about this amazing trunk headed to Buenos Aires?!

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This acrylic trunk (as shown on Refinery 29) gives a new spin on the antique trunk idea:

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Here's a similar one on sale at One Kings Lane:

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Vintage trunks like mine run the gamut in pricing. Thrift stores often have them--I've even seen one on the street!--and a little elbow grease can go a long way. The key is to pick one with a flat top (to place a tray, books, drinks on top, of course!) that hasn't fallen too far into disrepair, and it should be a good coffee table height. Around 16-21" is standard, depending on the height of your sofa; a table more than 2" lower than your sofa will feel funky. That said, my trunk is higher than 21" and feels perfectly fine! (If you're looking for the right height for your space, I suggest holding up a measuring tape next to your sofa and visualizing it that way. The table should be high enough to comfortably place a drink or book but not so high that you feel like you're at a dining table.)

A quick eBay search turned up a few inexpensive diamonds in the rough, like this amazing green one:

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And this one. It's about 14" high--a few inches shorter than it should be--but it could have another, smaller trunk stacked on top, or some great coffee table books piled up on top to add height would look so chic too. It needs some good refinishing and some polish on those hinges, but what a great weekend project, amiright?!

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Something about this old trunk makes me want to leave it as-is and embrace its vintage feel:

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For those of you dear readers in the NYC area, here are a few Craigslist options:

Imagine this trunk cleaned up with polished hardware... gorgeous.

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This is a gem:

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Reminds me of this LV orange trunk:

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This definitely needs some love but the possibilities are endless...

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Have you ever used  a trunk as a coffee table? I'd love to see photos--send them over and I'll feature your space on The Spoonful!