How to Restyle a Coffee Table into Tufted Ottoman

When I came across this 70's style coffee table, the first thing I noticed was the unusual and unique shape.  Although it was super cool just like this, I had bigger plans for its next life. 

Although the wood grain and pattern were beautiful, I thought it had a higher calling and unfortunately that meant covering up the top.  

With the shelf on bottom for extra storage, it was ideal for a tufted ottoman.

It was in great shape, so all it needed was a thorough cleaning before I got started painting.

In order to add the tufted part, we first needed to craft a new top. Using a piece of 1/2 inch plywood to create a template, Triple Threat turned the ottoman upside down on the plywood and traced out the pattern of the ottoman's top. We didn't want to cover up the sculpted edge around the top, so he drew (free-handed I might add) a matching line 2 inches in.  Using his Ryobi jig saw, he cut out the new plywood top. 

Measure twice, cut's a perfect fit!

Triple Threat realized that once the top was covered, he needed a way to mount it to the base.  Driving screws up through the base into the covered top would leave sharp screw tips pointed up, possibly tearing the fabric (or even a foot). So he came up with an ingenious idea. He placed the top on the base and drilled 5 holes into the new plywood top all the way through the base. He then installed T-nuts (a fastener that is permanently attached to wood with a hole that can accept  a bolt) into the holes with the openings pointing down. After the top is finished, you simply place it on the base, line up the holes, and insert bolts up though the bottom into the T-nuts and tighten them down. 

I used my Restoration Hardware-style finish for the base of the ottoman.  It's a multi-step process with a base coat, glaze and dry brushing. Since ottomans tend to get lots of use, it needed superior durability so I sealed the entire base with two coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal in satin. 

Once the base was finished, we were ready for the top.  I wish I could list upholstery as one of my talents, but unfortunately, it's not (yet) so  I used a local upholsterer. 

My client chose this beautiful jewel-tone upholstery grade fabric and it went perfectly with the Restoration-Hardware-style base.

I'm pretty sure it would've taken me six weeks to even attempt this tufted top.  Sometimes, you need to stay in your lane doing what you're good at.  This was definitely one of those times.

Once the tufted top was finished, mounting was so quick and easy thanks to Triple Threat's brainchild mounting idea.  

Aren't the lattice sides a neat feature?  It adds so much character I think.

This coffee table turned tufted ottoman is now a focal point for my client's living room.  It was so fun to  help her with this one-of-a-kind piece for her home.  

This 70's coffee table made me swoon before but it's definitely a show-stopper now.  Don't you agree?  If you love how it turned out as much as me, I hope you'll share this project!