"The side tables are halves of wine barrels simply turned upside down. Find them at a local hardware store for $20, they make the perfect rustic end table and also fit the style of our yard. Lantern from Pottery Barn, square planter from Crate + Barrel." Or leave them right side up with a piece of glass on top.
Another very unusual and creative way of using an old barrel is to basically cut out just a portion of it and turn it into a frame for a round wall mirror. It can have an irregular look or organic shape. The important detail is for one side to have straight lines for the mirror to fit in.