Real Solutions: How to Use Baskets as Side Tables

June  4, 2015

Every home is filled with unique design puzzles. Here's where we share real solutions—design success stories in the homes of Food52 staffers and contributors (and you!).

Today: We're so inspired by these side tables that Shopbando's founder, Jen Gotch, spotted at a shop in Berlin.

Jen Gotch Berlin Shop

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Side tables can be a pain. In a tiny apartment, something that takes up a whole square foot with hardly a consideration for storage seems a preposterous indulgence, and in a larger home, the need for them can feel endless: beside every couch, chair, and lonely stretch of wall space. Without any, a rainy night in with a good glass of Cabernet Franc isn't quite as relaxing: Where are you going to set it down that's close enough that you don't have to get up, and far enough that you can't kick it over unintentionally?

In either case, shopping for a sufficiently attractive but modest side table isn't always easy (or top of mind). Enter this brilliant solution from a shop in Berlin, as captured by Shopbando's founder, Jen Gotch, wherein wire baskets are flipped over to act as display tables. You could top one with a cut-to-size piece of glass (any custom framing store should be able to get you one in the right size for a sensible price) or a few large art books that can act as a stable surface. Draped with a piece of fabric or topped with a piece of plywood, they're a cool and creative way to add pedestals without breaking the bank—and when you tire of them as tables, flip them over, stuff them with blankets or books, and slide them onto a shelf for storage.

What other creative storage solutions are you loving? Let us know in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • amysarah
  • Leslie Stephens
    Leslie Stephens
  • Amanda Sims
    Amanda Sims
  • Kenzi Wilbur
    Kenzi Wilbur
Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.


amysarah June 5, 2015
Sweet idea. We actually have something in a similar vein that we McGyver’d years ago with an old wire waste basket and stone sample (yours are cuter though.) But one thought: glass tabletops on non-solid bases are usually tempered - hard to break and doesn't shard. Glass used for framing is also usually thinner and has unpolished/non-eased edges. Nothing ruins a relaxing glass of wine like the sound of a child clocking a low table with a toy or cutting a finger on an exposed glass edge, or a klutzy adult (like me) setting something down too heavily. Possibly available thru a framing shop, but definitely anywhere that fabricates shower doors, window panes, etc. - as well as online. Or even cheaper/safer - acrylic/plexiglass in clear, white, etc. (e.g., a 12" square of 1/8" thick is ~ $5 or less.) Also many online sources, if there's no local vendor.
Amanda S. June 5, 2015
Very very helpful suggestions! Thank you for sharing!
Leslie S. June 4, 2015
Love this!! Also truth: "Without any, a rainy night in with a good glass of Cabernet Franc isn't quite as relaxing."
Kenzi W. June 4, 2015
Amen to that.