Projects & Improvements

I Used Facebook Marketplace to Score This Trunk, And It’s a Genius Space-Saving Coffee Table

published Feb 21, 2023
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

I spent years living in tiny Washington, DC apartments with a coffee table that was too big. It was a massive glass-and-brass piece that I loved, but it was anything but functional. When I bought a cottage out in the country, it went to live in a space more suited for its size, but I was back to the drawing board in my Capitol Hill living room. Suddenly, in addition to lacking a coffee table, I was also unsure about the details of its replacement.

Credit: Heather Bien

Our home has a decent amount of closet storage for its size, but that doesn’t make up for its space deficit. We have two full bedrooms and bathrooms in just under 850 square feet, and the main living area can’t hold much. No matter how minimalist I seem to go, there are always a few items that can’t quite fit. 

My best bet was to find a coffee table with a storage component, and went about searching for one online. With the entire world of coffee table options in front of me, I scanned through dozens of storage coffee table options, but nothing was quite right for my eclectic, vintage-inspired condo. Then, I stumbled upon a trunk while doing a casual scroll through Facebook Marketplace. This carved, solid wood masterpiece caught my eye with its intricate details and open storage within it. It wasn’t too big or too small, and it was only $100. I jumped at the chance to buy it, even though that meant lugging it through the city.

I picked it up from a well-traveled, eclectic couple who had plans to move across the globe yet again. They said they’d purchased it secondhand in South Korea, and as soon as I brought it home, I was able to really take in its carvings. It has a deep espresso-like finish that adds a richness to our space, while still complementing the moody color palette of the room. Inside, I can store blankets and board games, cocktail napkins and candles — all the trappings of cozy evenings in and raucous evenings with friends. 

It’s been a year, and this carved wood trunk has more than earned its room and board in our condo.

I’m glad that I took the time and effort to track down a piece as special as this coffee table, but I’m also sure that there are others out there like it. Don’t be afraid to wait and fill your space with an item that speaks to you in some way, or lets you carry on its story somehow. Even if you have to search for a while, it’ll be worth it. And that’s especially true if this furnishing also works as storage!