A modern silhouette and clean lines make this outdoor coffee table the perfect addition to any outdoor living space. Find the free plans to build your own here.
Nick built this sleek and modern cedar coffee table to pair perfectly with our outdoor sofa and chair. And now that we have our foundation pieces, we’ve been working at layering in textiles, accessories, and lighting to create an outdoor space that feels inviting, comfortable, and fun.
get the look
When we started planning our outdoor space, we were both drawn to furniture with modern designs in warm wood tones, but we continually came across the same issue. Many of the sets we loved were too far out of our budget, so Nick designed a set he could build that married form and function to create the look of high-end outdoor furniture at a fraction of the cost.
The trick was to not forget about the details because it’s the details that really make this piece shine. Nick used cotton clothesline rope to wrap the bottom span. It was an easy and inexpensive addition that adds a little bit of texture and helps to soften the coffee table.
Nick also added breadboard ends to the coffee tabletop. I know their function is to provide support, but we also just liked the way they looked. He worked so hard on these pieces to make sure they are both comfortable and beautiful. To learn more about the materials and design choices we made, read our post on The Perfect Outdoor Sofa.
- (1) 4 x 4" x 8' Cedar Posts
- (2) 2 x 4" x 8' Cedar Boards
- (2) 2 x 6" x 8' Cedar Boards
- (1) 2 x 2" x 8' Cedar Boards (or rip down larger boards to actual size of 1-1/2 x 1-1/2"
- (89) 2-1/2" Kreg Blue Kote Pocket Hole Screws
- (14) 2-1/2" Deck Screws
- <Waterproof Exterior Wood Glue
- (4) 4 x 4" x 14.5" Legs
- (4) 2 x 4" x 13" Side &Top Spans
- (2) 2 x 2" x 13" Bottom Side Spans
- (1) 2 x 2" x 42.75" Bottom Center Span
- (2) 2 x 4" x 40.75" Front & Back Top Spans
- (4) 2 x 6" x 37.5" Tabletop Boards (Use table saw to take 1/8" off each side for a square edge)
- (2) 2 x 6" x 20.75" Tabletop Bread Board Ends (Use table saw to take 1/8" off each side for a square edge)
- STEP 1: ASSEMBLE ENDS
Make two of these end pieces. Drill two pocket holes on each end of the TOP & SIDE SPAN boards (all 4). Attach a board flush with the tops of each set of two legs using wood glue and (2) 2-1/2" Blue Kote pocket hole screws. Drill two pocket holes on each end of the BOTTOM SIDE SPANS. Attach 1-1/2" from either side of the leg as shown, ensuring the pocket holes are facing the bottom so they don't show when the table is complete. Secure with wood glue and 2-1/2" Blue Kote pocket hole screws.
- STEP 2: ATTACH ENDS WITH SPANS
Drill pocket holes on each end of the FRONT & BACK SPANS. Attach to the leg assemblies you made in the previous step using wood glue and 2-1/2" Blue Kote pocket hole screws. Drill pocket holes at either end of the BOTTOM CENTER SPAN. Attach in the centre of the BOTTOM SIDE SPANS at 5.75" from the inside of the legs, ensuring that the pocket holes are facing down so they don't show when the table is complete.
- STEP 3: ATTACH TABLETOP SUPPORTS
This is to ensure that the table is very sturdy (we have young kids that like to climb on things!). Positions don't have to be exact as they will not show in when the table is finished. Secure with wood glue and 2-1/2" Blue Kote pocket hole screws.
- STEP 4: BUILD TABLETOP
Use table saw to take 1/8" off each side for a square edge so that the boards will butt nicely. They will be approximately 5.25" when squared up. This will leave a slight overhang on all sides of the table. Follow the diagram for pocket hole positioning. You can put fewer pocket holes in if you wish. These are spaced approximately 6" apart. Attach the four TABLETOP BOARDS together first using a generous amount of wood glue and 2-1/2" Blue Kote pocket hole screws. Drill pocket holes on the TABLETOP BREAD BOARDS as shown. Then attach TABLETOP BREAD BOARDS using a generous amount of wood glue and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws. Sand edges of breadboards down to the correct width if they are not flush.
- STEP 5: ATTACH TABLETOP & FINISHING
Center tabletop on the base and attach from the underside (through spans and supports with 2-1/2" deck screws. Sand with 120-grit sandpaper, then 220-grit sandpaper. Finish with some kind of sealer or wood penetrating oil (we used penetrating oil from BEHR - colour, chocolate). Allow it to dry thoroughly.
Optionally you can wrap the span on the bottom with 3/16" cotton rope (laundry line rope) or any alternative rope material. Enjoy all summer long!