Ballard Designs' new Spool Side Table ($199) was inspired by actual spools used by French rope makers to display and sell their natural fiber manila rope. Crafted of mango wood and authentic manila rope, it's not the bulky side table it appears to be: its top lifts off for storage. While this design is quite clever to me, with an antiquey meets nautical vibe, I think I'd rather own the real thing. If you read about my drum side table, you know how I love to turn unusual finds into furniture. How about you?