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Creating a "Salad Bar" with an old coffee table

Shade Garden
Apartment patio

By Mike Thayer

Two years ago, I turned an old coffee table into a shade garden for my apartment patio.

What do you do with an old coffee table that had a tile or slate top and a bunch of those pieces got broken rendering it unusable?  OH NO, a topless table!  And don't ask what happened to make the table topless, I'm not telling.

And sure, you could TRY to save the table by going to the Big Box store and hope to find tiles or slate that matches what you had - good luck with that.....   Or you could buy all new tiles or slate and hope the store has all the right sizes for your coffee table to make it like new again - good luck with that too......

So screw that headache, I say repurpose that topless coffee table and make it a planter!

But I've since moved from that apartment, to a house and a lot less shade.

So what used to be a shade garden, is now a "Salad Bar" - it's repurposing a coffee table x2!

The back patio of my house gets a lot of sun, so it was pretty much a no brainer converting this table from a shade garden containing coleus, begonias, and caladiums into a "Salad Bar" containing a variety of lettuces, onions, cucumber and radishes!

20220329_165438(1)Come harvest time, it won't get any fresher than that!  Just step onto my back patio and pick what I need for a salad or side dish!


The beauty of having a repurposed item like this is the mobility.  It's light, so I can transport this table to just about any space in my yard I want.  And it's flexible.  I could leave this in the shade if I wanted to and have that shade garden, very visually appealing, but that sunny space on the back patio was calling me out, "Create a salad bar!"

This project didn't really cost me anything other than a bag of fresh potting soil, as I already had the table on hand and set up for plants.  But check out the original article on "how to":

Related: Repurposing an old coffee table into a shade garden for the patio

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