Finding new ways to use old or unused materials never goes out of style. This small-space/entry table idea from This Old House would work great with the suggested "stair parts" OR with parts from another unneeded or unloved four-legged table (you'll only need the best two legs). Demo sales or thrift stores can turn up great parts (if not ideal sums), and it's always good to keep tabs on the homeowners in your life -- for when they're doing major overhauls and scrapping stuff. This project is designated "easy"; click through for the 8 step how-to:
Follow all of the detailed instructions here, clicking on the This Old House's thumbnails:
Photo by Kristine Larsen; via This Old House.