| Design |

The Buyer's Guide to Cable Reel Furniture

The giant wooden cable reel is a staple furniture piece of college students, being that it's durable and you usually have to steal it, which adds to the character. Nonetheless, once we've graduated, most of us say goodbye to the cable reel and go to Ikea. A few people, though, continue to celebrate it, and even improve upon it.

The computer desk setup was cobbled together by Tivey in 2006 as part of an eco-friendly office project. It's a two-person workstation made from a single reel, and while it's not the most comfortable-looking place to work, you have to agree it's at least economical.

Junktion was founded in Tel Aviv in 2008 as a way to repurpose the refuse in the city into useful items. They provide the perfect chair to go with your spool table by replacing the drum with a black seat cushion. Honestly, though, we're not sure how it keeps from just tipping you over backwards when you rock too hard. Rocking chair rock, not like Aerosmith rock.

Country Living offers this handy guide to putting together an adorable little round bookshelf/reading table combo that shouldn't set you back more than $70, spool included, to make. It's the perfect height for children's books, provided you have a nursery big enough to sport a big spool in the middle. Barring that, it still makes an excellent reading room table.

David Meddings is a high-end up-cycler, and he offers many different kinds of cable spool furniture. For about $850, you can own this custom-made rocking chair that is a fair sight more impressive than the Junktion one above. It has three sitting modes, and the slats conform perfectly to the human back for maximum comfort. Adjust the rope to sit forward, lean and rock, or recline for stargazing.

Cut Out and Keep It is a site where users can upload their craft projects. Elizabeth L. gets points for both the easiest and most clever repurpose of a cable reel. Here we have your standard table without any work done on it, but Elizabeth took advantage of the gaps in the wood by placing a lamp in the hollow center. The result is an über-cozy table that spills indirect light into the room.

Stacy Reynaud Laviolette over at Bijou Living left the living room and went to bed when it came to her cable reel idea. This spool becomes a headboard with little more than sanding and a rip down to the local phone company, and it gives any apartment a fun, industrial flair.

And if all else fails, you can utilize the round tops to make a kick-ass clock. Tiffany Ruda did it after finding a cast-off spool in the mud. A little power washing, a clock mechanism, and some address numbers and you end up with a wonderfully stressed timepiece. Not bad for someone that was just going to make a coffee table like everyone else.

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