Rod Garrett, Washington, D.C.
Cost: $200 for the base
How He Did It: When architect Rod Garrett's firm remodeled its offices, all the old furniture was sent to the scrap heap. But he fished out one freebie for himself, a solid-core maple-veneered door that had been used as a temporary drafting table during construction, and turned trash into treasure. Once he had lugged the 200-pound piece home, he applied green stain and a polyurethane finish and added metal trestle legs from a tool catalog for a DIY dining table that stands up to the wear and tear from his family of four. "With two boys, we needed a piece that was indestructible," he says. "But I also wanted it to look cool, and this fit the bill."