A Live Edge Table That Enlivens a Room
As part of turning a client’s vision into reality, we often find ourselves creating custom designs and fabricated furnishings. This can be custom cabinetry, hand-loomed rugs, and, of course, designing and fabricating bespoke upholstery and textiles in our workrooms.
We also create many one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and light fixtures that fit seamlessly into our projects, making these spaces unique, personal, and beautiful.
I love it when we have the chance to create a uniqe dining table. I always envision the table playing host to family and friends who have gathered together to share food and conversation. Form, function, scale, and design all need to be melded together to allow this piece of furniture to form the foundation of the room’s atmosphere.
A recent project consisted of large open spaces, high ceilings, and endless views, and we wanted a table that could seat many but also have the visual strength and weight to help delineate the dining space. We quickly honed our focus on the idea of creating a live edge table. This would help us support the theme we were developing in weaving in very natural, raw materials with organic shapes to provide balance to a space that relied on a relatively rigid architectural language for exterior walls and interior spaces.
Finding a thick cut of wood for the top was paramount, plus we wanted one with enough grain and texture to be visually intriguing. I traveled to a few lumber yards, finally finding a terrific collection big leaf maple to select from in Western Massachusetts. Walking through the warehouses, I was able to discover a few pieces of ample size. We wanted the 10-foot-long top to be formed from just one piece of wood as opposed to being fabricated from multiple pieces fit together. If you can find the right raw materials, the effect is stunning, but finding those materials is rarely easy.
My maple selections were gathered by large conveyer tracks and placed adjacent to each other for comparison. Then, we sprayed them lightly with water so I could see the tones and colors each might achieve when finished.
After selecting the best piece, we set out to design a base that would support the large top both physically and visually. The future tabletop wood was transported to a local craftsman, and we worked to finalize the details of the treatment of the raw edges while securing any natural knots and cracks for lasting durability.
Developing the idea, sourcing the raw materials, commissioning a craftsperson or team to build the finished product and keeping our eye on every step of the way are essential steps whether we are working with cherry, pine, marble, or granite. As with these other projects, creating this table was not a simple process, but thought, and care put into the design and fabrication of this one piece is what makes it exceptional and spectacular. And its presence is what ties the whole space together in.