Emily Waldman, an expert vintage decor hunter and owner of a treasure-filled Austin abode, knows how to pick out old-fashioned gems when thrifting—and how to fold them beautifully into a modern, eclectic home that exudes youthful energy. She's a big fan of a certain item with a reputation for being outdated—but her success in incorporating it into her house may persuade you to start looking for one the next time you thrift.
Sound, solid thrift shopping advice. But then she listed a must-buy item I wasn't expecting to read. I had never considered looking for or buying it before...but she's changed my mind:
"I always buy those 'TV dinner' tables that fold up. I have used them as a nightstand in bedrooms, side tables, plant stands—you name it. Just throw a coat of paint on it and it's a furniture MVP."
She continues, "I always buy folding TV dinner tables, because they are the best all purpose table! Night stand, side table, whatever, and you can just fold up and store if your current iteration doesn't require!"
Personal confession: I have been passing up (or outright ignoring) TV tray tables for years. I've always considered them a sort-of-embarrassing item at my parents' house.
While I don't personally eat on them (or haven't yet), I'd be lying if I said I don't use one as a temporary pop-up desk when I'm home for the holidays. They're handy. And seeing the sleek nightstand in her current bedroom is even more proof this purchase is a win.
But as Emily mentions, TV tray tables could be used for any number of functions, proving they're a versatile addition to any household. And the fact that you can fold them up—and easily store them away—makes them a great item for people who live in a small space or who move frequently.
Thanks Emily! See more of Emily's Austin home in her house tour → This Treasure Hunter Filled a Sixties Home with Fantastic Finds
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.