Art Deco Dining Table

Being challenged to design outside of your usual style or ‘visual vocabulary’ is a good thing. It doesn’t necessarily feel like it at the time. But it’s easy to get stuck in… what’s easy. Being pushed, be it by a client, a designer, or even just your own urge to do something different requires you to be flexible and open-minded. And this is what keeps things fresh, and allows new ideas and themes to flourish.

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Most of the custom work we do involves designing for clients who come to us because they like what we do. We are generally encouraged to let our own ideas fly, in concert with the functional requirements of any particular piece. But not all the time.

We were asked recently if we could make a dining table in the art deco style. Now, we both love the furniture of that period, but it’s not the kind of work we normally do. By ‘kind of work’ I mean both stylistically and method of construction. Most deco furniture design involves intricate veneer and inlay work, which we don’t do all that often. Conversations with our client revealed that they preferred a solid wood piece, and were happy to use the form to convey the art deco aspect of the design.

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Is it overtly art deco? Not really, but there are definitely art deco ‘leanings’. The large shapely legs and curves, for one. The wood was chosen for its richness, something in keeping with deco furniture. We very rarely use offshore hardwoods anymore, but for this table it was the right material choice.

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Art deco inspired dining table, 42” w x 72” l x 30” h, sapele wood, OSMO Polyx hardwax oil finish.

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Executing this design involved a certain amount of decision making of the finer details as we went; there were quite a few things we hadn’t entirely resolved before starting. That can be a bit dangerous, but here everything worked out. There was also quite a lot of hand tool work involved, as many of the curves and shapes demanded it. Joe really enjoyed the sculptural aspect of working all the curves by hand.

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Happy woodworking!

~Sandra & Joe

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