Some rules are just meant to be broken. While it's generally not a good idea to serve drinks on (or anywhere near) a working computer, we love it when an old, broken machine gets new life as a coffee table. Vintage gear is good for one thing: looking great. So why not show it off in the center of your living room?Whether you want to go the DIY route or just buy a ready-made piece of living room nostalgia, there's sombody out there willing to help you.
• This Circuit Board Coffee Table separates itself from the "put it under glass" phenomenon by puzzling together several unused computer boards and encasing them inside a glass-and-wood box. Check out more of this DIY project here.
• The Crunching Numbers G3 table from Reform Designs uses two vintage (if 1999 can be called vintage) Power Macintosh G3 computer towers to hold up a glass tabletop. Since I'm kind of partial to the white-and-Bondi-Blue look of the late 90's Apple lineup, this one is right up my alley. But the $600 price tag is a little out of my budget.
• Reform Designs' Crunching Numbers G4 is an updated version of the above, with c.2001 Quicksilver Power Mac G4 towers acting as table legs instead.
• This Reel-to-Reel Coffee Table sees another bit of out-of-use tech made into a table with help from a glass top. This one is a project from ReadyMade, but you could take the instructions and inpiration to turn any piece of equipment into a living room focal point.
(Images: 1. DMaloney, 2 & 3. Reform Designs, 4. ReadyMade)