Whilst the majority of the work we do is providing bespoke, handmade kitchens, we do sometimes bring our talents to bear on other things such as libraries, dressing rooms, paneling etc. In this case it was designing individual pieces of furniture.
In 2007 we were asked to design and build a dining room table and sideboard for a client in Surrey using the “Wishbone Chair” design as inspiration.
This Client was a joy to work with, particularly because she is creative and willing to push the boundaries a bit. We spent hours together throwing ideas around before we eventually came up with what we call the “Design Vernacular”. Note the way the stretcher below mirrors the inlay work on the top.
Those of you who are really into chair design you will recognize this “The Wishbone Chair”, originally conceived by Danish designer “Hans Jørgen Wegner”, back in the 1940ʼs. We bought these chairs in on behalf of the client. It was the “wishbone” shape of the back that seeded the idea for the table design. Thank you Hans Jørgen Wegner.
This piece of Oak furniture was a huge undertaking. We laminated the curved legs over a polystyrene mould in a vacuum bag, using European Oak Constructional Veneer. The Ebony lining runs all the way through the width of the legs as a layer within the layers, rather like the name of a town running through a piece of rock. The stretcher below was also laminated using the same material, then veneered with Burr Oak.
This is the sideboard we designed to sit in the same room as the table. We had tremendous fun developing the visual language in order that the 2 pieces worked together. The glass doors run on a track with roller bearings. We spent an age trying to find this running gear and eventually found in on the the “Hafele” website. Note the way that the doors form the “Wishbone” shape where they overlap each other.
We used the same Burr Walnut for the centre panel on the table top and the back of the sideboard. The sliding glass doors were made to our templates by a specialist glass supplier.
Detail of the banding on the top of the table. What we have here is Burr Oak, and crown cut European Oak with ebony lining. We made the banding around the edge by building up the layers in a block, saw cutting the block into sheets, sanding them flat then joining them over a mould to get the curve. This was quite an undertaking but I am sure you will agree, the effort was worthwhile.
We designed a spare leaf that is concealed and stored inside. The table can therefore be extended by pulling the top apart and pulling the leaves up from below in a rather nice “butterfly wing” fashion, see the link to the video below. I am particularly proud of this table, as it took me an age to work out the geometry! Note the way the veneer carries through when the spare leaf in in place.