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Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

by | Nov 14, 2013 | Decorating Inspiration

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Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I’ve grown to appreciate about blogging is I have had so many opportunities to venture outside of my normal creative zone to try something different.

One of the “just for fun” decorating challenges I accepted this Fall was to style nesting tables from Pottery Barn two different ways, without altering the tables at all. You can vote on the various blogger’s tables here. At first I couldn’t imagine how to style nesting tables at all. They are so small! I mean, they are nesting tables. Aren’t they self explanatory? How could I see them any differently? But when faced with the challenge (and the more I thought of it) the more I realized I COULD have fun doing this.

I decided to take this challenge in two different directions, both of which involved making the most of small spaces.

Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

For the first challenge I decided to push myself outside the expected and use the nesting tables in a totally different way. I pondered it for awhile. Then something random hit me, I could use them UP on my counter in the kitchen (you can see my kitchen remodel here) as a shelf to make better use of counter space to serve treats at a party!

But would that be weird? A table on a counter?

That’s where your creative mind can play tricks on you.

You start questioning your sanity.

Is it UNACCEPTABLE to put a nesting table on your counter?

Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

Are there nesting table police that might ticket me for violating a rule of nesting table use? Or what about kitchen designer judges? Would they mock me for improper treatment of kitchen counters?

But real creativity requires you to push back those thoughts of what is OK to do, what is ACCEPTABLE to do, or fears of what anyone else will think or say about it. It requires you to think outside the box and push forward. Nesting tables are not sacred.

I will totally use my tables like this again in the future!

For the second nesting table styling challenge, I decided to feature the use of nesting tables in line with their likely original intention to be used on the floor.

Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

Sometimes simple is best. I don’t usually have time to over-think or reinvent the wheel or get crazy and turn nesting tables into lanterns by hanging them upside down from the ceiling. Which incidentally was an idea I thought about half jokingly (BUT would be totally cool).

So instead of just setting them somewhere, I thought about how nesting tables could be used to help create a meaningful cozy destination spot in our home. Instead of just functioning as a regular side table, how would they actually help create a corner I’d want to go?

Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

I imagined a cozy corner where I could go to curl up in a chair with my feet on an ottoman. What else would I need there? I’d want a surface for a lamp and my coffee cup, room for my basket of projects I’m working on or magazines I want to read and maybe a few books to thumb through. By pulling the tables apart slightly I had more than enough room for a functional surface, even in this small corner of my family room!

It’s simple but practical.

These little tables are so flexible! I love their small size, you can tuck them in almost anywhere. And they are perfect for small spaces because you can pull one out and make them into two separate tables when you need them. Whether they are used together, or apart they only take up a small amount of space.

Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

Nesting tables are probably one of the most useful and flexible furnishings you can have in a small space, don’t you agree?

Now, Pottery Barn has a friendly design competition between several blogger friends of mine who are also involved in this nesting table challenge. You can find it on the Pottery Barn Facebook page. Go check it out, and VOTE. I was not compensated for this challenge, with the exception of the nesting tables provided for the styling.


  1. Shannon

    Well, you did it again! I LOVE how you’ve used those tables. Great work, Melissa.

  2. Vee

    What I won’t do to vote! Wound up joining Facebook and, before I knew what was happening, I had tons of requests I had no idea what to do with. So I have deleted said account, though it will take two weeks. All that to say, I hope my vote counted because I really like your idea!

  3. Kitty

    Beautiful job, as always! BTW, where did you find your “mug tree” bottle rack? I’ve been looking for a shorter one like that, to fit on my counter under the cabinets, with no success.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks Kitty! I got that at World Market! Last time I checked they still had them. So inexpensive too!

  4. Lisa

    I love that little corner! I just want to curl up with a good book, right there! But, that would be weird, and you would kick me out. ;)

  5. Shannon [Our Home Notebook]

    Love your ideas. The corner is so cozy and a nesting table for serving on the counter is genius! I totally want to do that.

  6. Kristine

    Love the look and style of the kitchen benchtop table, oh, I mean serving stand :) Also love that you decided to throw caution to the wind, dismiss any possible critics and go with your creative gut!

  7. tonya

    Using the nesting table on the counter was pure genius if you ask me…with the glass shelf it is visually very open while acting as a pedestal.

    My son is and in dyer need of a remodeled room. His 18 and a senior. He never complains and has been oh, so patient about it…he says, “why bother– I go to college next year.” Yet my heart wants him to have a cozy spot to enjoy while we still have him and for when he is home in between semesters.

    Thanks for all of your great ideas :)

  8. Sandra

    I love the way you think. Nesting tables on the counter works for me!

  9. erin @ House Envy

    I love how you used the small nesting table in the kitchen!

  10. joan

    Melissa, I love the idea of using the table on the counter. Very inventive and outside the box which is one of your strengths. I might consider something like this to display a collection that has been sitting in boxes for too long. AND I love the print on your chair!!!!!

  11. Melissa

    I really like how you revamp his room into a very very livable space he can continue to grow in. I would love to make my kids’ room into something they can love and have as thier own space – not just a place they sleep. Great blog – I very much enjoy it! Thank you!

  12. teresa

    Love the idea of the table on the counter…awesome…also think it would add to a party buffet by doing it that way.
    Thanks for the idea!

  13. Dana

    I adore your blog. Please come over to my house and do all my decorating! :)
    I had never noticed the wingback chair next to your nesting tables in your house tour before. I would love to know the source. I have a couple that I would love to get slipcovers made for, so I may try to find that or comparable fabric. I love the look!

  14. Deborah

    Love these ideas, espcially the out of the box thinking on the counter top use. I thought it was a tiered stand at first. Great idea!

  15. karen on bainbridge island

    Very clever use of the tables. I especially like the one on the kitchen counter top.

  16. Andrea

    Where did you get that chair, I adore the pattern!

  17. Annabel Webb

    I would like to update our living rom possibly with slip covers.

  18. hope

    This is an AMAZING idea!! Nice Job!

  19. kit

    I voted for your design(s)! You have inspired me and given me a creative solution to a small kitchen with space problems. Thank you! I love your son’s bedroom redesign too!

  20. jamala

    I absolutely love the bed in your son’s room.. great job.. I would love to re-do my dining.. it really needs a whole new look ..

  21. KellyinPA

    Great ideas! Another request for your chair source, love the color, print and style. Please share!;)

  22. Melissa

    Using the nesting table on the kitchen counter was genius!


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