The Hunt For Functional Beauty

Just when I didn’t think I could get any busier, I had an interior design problem of my own.  I thought about starting “the hunt” for the perfect piece, but needed something very large and specification specific. So, I decided to create a unique piece of furniture that would facilitate a better workflow in my studio. Office 1

I was working on several rather large renovation projects and had lined up meetings with clients and the studio conference room was littered with samples, images, renderings and the like. I needed my current projects at my fingertips but not on top of each other. The conference table has been wonderful, but I needed that space to be clean and uncluttered, to use as a meeting place when clients came in. I needed a large enough table that would work as a standing counter, so materials could be spread out and viewed as selections were made, yet still look nice - and be out of the way of my immediate office.

I love designing furniture, I love designing all things, really. But, designing furniture speaks to me. Sometimes you just know exactly what the space needs and you just can’t find it out in the market. So, custom it is. The beauty of that is I also have a very handy man, who I also call my husband.

I was pretty clear about what I wanted. It needed to be about 10 feet long, 36 inches high and 24 inches deep. I wanted it to be rustic, vintage in feel and built of warm wood. The kind of work table that looked as though it had been a vessel for many great ideas, roughed up a bit, but of a sturdy disposition that made it feel like an old family heirloom. I envisioned a long rustic table that I could stand up to, or sit at on a stool comfortably. The north wall of my studio was the perfect place to house this workstation. Measuring 11 feet long I could not only maximize the space but it would be nice to look at from the conference table or my desk.


All I needed to do was make my vision a reality. We had a free weekend so I roughed up a sketch and we went shopping for wood. The “we” would be me and my “handyman.” We took two 10x12 redwood planks side by side and secured them to four 4 by 4 redwood posts that stood 36 inches tall to make a basic table. We skirted the legs with 1 x 4 redwood and added a 10 x 12 redwood plank shelf for storage. Once assembled, I started with an overall good sanding on the rough wood, then stained the entire table a walnut stain. Then I painted the entire table with Benjamin Moore Smoky Mountain (AC-18). We then took a belt sander to the table to add a warmer, worn look and finished it with green paint from Benjamin Moore called Arugula (6446) to add cooler tones and offset the red/pink of the redwood.


Once installed in the studio, I added two lamps found on a “hunting trip” a couple of years before at an estate sale, for additional lighting and to add balance and height to the piece.


I love my custom work table. It not only looks incredible but it works beautifully in my space and makes my work life simpler. I am able to neatly display my projects and work on them throughout the day while leaving my conference table free to be used for just that. I cannot wait for my next design challenge…or custom creation. I guess we will just have to wait and see.