Concrete Block & Crate Furniture
Constructing your own desks, tables and other surfaces is not only more affordable, but can also be a great solution when working with small spaces. I currently live in a small 3rd floor apartment and desperately needed to find better ways to utilize the space I have. I was not able to find items anywhere that fit where I wanted to them to. Thankfully, I stumbled across some some simple materials that make excellent (and easily customizable) storage and surface options.
Old Fruit/Vegetable Crates
I live in Pennsylvania, so I’m lucky enough to have easy access to items commonly used by farmers. If you don’t live in or around places where these items can be found, this may not be the best solution for you.
This wall/shelving was built entirely out of old fruit & vegetable crates. These crates came from a barn that sells a lot of random junk cheaply, and cost about $3 a piece (I would suggest washing them well with bleach water). I’ve found these crates to be incredibly flexible. I used them to build a partial wall because I needed more wall space for my desk, and also because the kitchen was in desperate need of more shelving and storage space.
These crates also work excellently for decorative shelving, bookcases, or even side tables (though I suggest finding a board or piece of glass as a top if you are using them as tables). They can be stacked and arranged in just about any way imaginable and they have a great rustic look to them.
Our living area currently serves as an office, dining room and living room. You can imagine how difficult it is to squeeze all of those items into one space! Because of the limitations of space, I was unable to find a desk or table that fit my needs, so I turned to two items that are beginning to gain popularity as furniture materials: concrete block and wood.
You can see the desk and the custom bar/table in the images below. Both were constructed out of concrete block supports, and solid wood tops. Because I was not able to find wood that was wide enough to fit my needs, I purchased two 16″ wide boards and fixed them together using 2″ x 1″ supports. These supports also help to hold the table in place on top of the concrete. I took the time to stain and clear-coat the wood as well.
You can stack the blocks as I did, or if you prefer to purchase less of them, you can stack them long-ways to gain more height. I have also seen people use a combination of both stacking arrangements. When I was done building the desk and table, I had leftover materials, and chose to use them to construct shelving in my son’s bedroom. I sat the blocks on their short end, and used the holes as a place to store his sneakers!