“Two Wood Planter Boxes” and a “Stone Remnant” Made a Brutalist Coffee Table

published Dec 15, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A woven chair next to a black fabric couch in a white living room.

Even though coffee tables are usually smaller furniture items, it doesn’t necessarily mean their price tags match their small scale. Whether they’re made of rattan, have a storage component, or are circular in shape, these pieces can sometimes be hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. 

So when designer Dariel Ruiz-Alvarez and his architect partner, Mason Nabors, were setting up the living room in their mid-century modern-inspired apartment in Brooklyn, they took matters into their own hands and made their dream coffee table from scratch

How the Couple Created a DIY Coffee Table

It’s likely because they’re both designers, but great ideas seem to just course through their veins. “As an architect, my partner favors functionality above everything. As an interior designer, I’m interested in the use of decorative objects that can add personality to a space and help recreate memories,” Ruiz-Alvarez wrote at the time of the home tour. 

And luckily, their stone-topped coffee table creation blends both purpose and eye-catching, Brutalist-inspired design. “We got a stone remnant from a stone yard cut to the desired size and two wood planter boxes from Etsy as the base, which we stained to match the color of the dining table top,” Ruiz-Alvarez shared at the time of the home tour. 

It could be because of their collaboration or due to the coffee table’s gorgeous design, but the project was one of their favorite DIYs in their home (next to the custom-made dining table, of course!). The cherry wood-colored planter bases blend perfectly with the rich shades in the room and the stone top is the perfect place to display books and objet d’arts. 

If you love the mid-century modern look of Ruiz-Alvarez and Nabors’s space, you’ll want to see more in the full home tour. Spoiler alert: There’s a ton of Milo Baughman and Luis Barragan inspiration.