Design a Week – 22/52

I did a lot of housework this weekend, which has left me fairly tired. Appropriately, tonight’s design is a for a bed:

When putting this design together, I wanted an interesting pattern without the heavy feeling of highly ornament sleigh bed. The main frame would be of a medium-toned wood, maybe cherry or a mahogany. The lighter inside pieces are a web of boards with plenty of open/negative space, lightening the hefty feeling of the bed. They would be a lighter species of wood.

The thickness of the web of boards would also be slightly thinner than the main frame. I think the offset will add a nice shadow to the headboard and footboard. I don’t know if it would be better to center those boards on the outer frame or to have them flush with one side. I also may think about moving the vertical parts of the web slightly closer to the center; I would have to play with that more to see how that might work out.

If only blogging about it meant it was built – I’d go crash right now!

Design a Week – 20/52

Tonight’s sketch is another boring meeting inspired sketch (maybe I should create a tag for that), an A-frame hall table:

I had originally drawn this where the cabinet top was even with the top of the A-fram legs, but this made the piece feel too bulky, in my opinion. As drawn, the ends of the cabinet base are essentially giany through-tenons, even if I doubt it would be constructed that way. I’ve given some thought to making that “tenon” shorter, so there is a small reveal inside the A. I’m afraid that would require the legs to be too thick for what is already a heavy design. I’ve called it a hall table, but given the depth of the legs, this may fair better as a console behind a sofa or a love seat.

I came up with a couple of possible designs for the drawers pulls:

Well to be fair, it is the same basic design, just rotated 90 degrees in the lower photo. I think I like the lower orientation in general, whereas the upper design is almost a mini-echo of the table as a whole – which is appealing.

Thoughts on the table? Which do you prefer?


Here are a couple of new ideas for the pulls, as suggested by Ken and Adam:

Design a Week – 18/52

A little “before & after” for the next in the series of round coffee tables – the Compass Rose Wood table:

This table top is another idea that came out of a doodling session in a boring meeting at work. A simple compass rose layered on a bullseye, over bent metal legs. If for no other reason than to make the pun work, I would want the darker inlays to be some type of rosewood. Depending on the choice of primary species for the table top, the metal could be chrome, brushed aluminum, antiqued bronze, or even pewter. I had a few possible alterations. First, adding a ring/foot rail to the legs:

Second, extending the legs to be wider than the top:

And possibly both?

There are also a bunch of options working with the edge of the table as well. As drawn there are diamonds inset at each cardinal direction, but there could be other shapes or even a continuous banding around the edge.  Any suggestions?

Design a Week – 17/52

Today I present the second piece in our miniseries of round coffee tables:

Like the last coffee table, this one has a round, second surface connected by round pillars/supports. However, there are small details that make it a completely different piece.  First, the lower surface is complete, with table surface beneath the top tier. Second, the stanchions supporting the upper tier will be wood and completely vertical. The legs mimic those supports – round and vertical.

I like the idea of having the supports be a thru-tenon or sorts, but I don’t know how I would make that work while supporting the weight of the top. The edge banding for both levels would be the same species and match the inlay that circles the supports for the upper tier. The outer ring of the lower tier and the upper tier would definitely be the same species, but I’m not sure about the inner circle of the lower tier – it could also match or it could be a third species.

The next piece in the round table series will only have one surface, I promise!

Design a Week – 16/52

For this entry in my design exercise is the first in a series of round coffee tables:

This table is the child of another boring meeting that sent me to doodles instead of paying attention. For this table, I’m envisioning two different species of wood, although I don’t know which specifically – I’m trying to break out of a maple/walnut cliché. One wood is used for the majority of the table areas and for the four tapered legs. A secondary wood will be used to trim all of the round edges. The posts connecting the two tables are some types of metal pipe/rod – maybe brushed aluminum, but it could be several different metals depending on what woods are chosen.

I have preliminary sketches for three, maybe four, more round tables for this sub-series of designs.  Want to know how to keep someone in suspense? I have a post discussing coffee tables in general coming soon to the blog…

Design a Week – 11/52

For this entry in my furniture design odyssey, I present a coffee table and an alteration I think I like better than the original:

The idea for this table came to me as I was trying to fall asleep one night. It was actually the impetus for me keeping a notepad and pencil on my nightstand. Both drawings have an overhead and 3D perspective; the third object is a cross-section of the sides where they intersect the shelves.  The top design was originally conceived as a light fixture. Instead of the light-toned wood, you would use a translucent material to allow the light to pass from several bulbs. Both designs would work this way, just adjusting the scale. I like the idea of stringing together three of the square designs, about 12″x8″ each, connected with two or three dowels between them – to hang over either a dining room table or a billiards table.

The top sketch I think works better as a light fixture, but the round design I love as a coffee table. I think it is inviting as a table you put drinks on, because of the waist-level shelves that square off the table.  Now, I admit that my 3D drawing skills aren’t the greatest – especially when the lines aren’t square.  Because of this, the 3D drawing of the round table seems far more squaty than I truly envision it. Either the shelf edges are thicker or the whole piece is shorter, but there is something just off with it. On the bright side, I’m feeling far more confident in my 3D drawings that are straight lines, especially when those lines meet at right angles.

I know I’m far behind pace, but rest assured I have several ideas in the queue – I just need to make time to flesh them out on paper. Thanks for sticking with me through this!

Design a Week – 4/52

Five weeks in and I’m only one week behind.  At this rate, I’ll be caught up and finished by late March – 2011. Not bad for a one year commitment! On to this week’s idea…

This week I come before you to present a coffee table:

The table is mostly two-toned, with the same wood used for the inner square and the trim. The inner square is lined by a herringbone inlay, which is composed of neither of the two woods found elsewhere on the table. The legs and crossbars also mimic the two-toned style, although I haven’t decided which part I want light or dark. The lighter trim is bullnosed to reduce possible sharp edges on the sides (it’s amazing what details you think of when you have a mobile child exploring the house).

I first drew this up with the center circle as just plain wood, but the more I think about it, the more I want to put some type of inlayed design in that center area.  I’ve included one possible design (bottom, right) composed of spiraling concentric squares of alternating woods.

The biggest thing I like about this design is that I had a bit of an epiphany when drawing the 3D model of it. I have realized why my perspective drawings are so top heavy (and knowing is half the battle), but I’m not sure how to work through changing that.  I also figured out how to calculate ceratin angles after I’ve draw the reference line with the skewed perspective. I even had to break out the happy dance after these realizations!

I have a couple of other designs that I’ve started flushing out, so hopefully I’ll be able to catch up over this weekend and get back on track. To see what others are designing around the web, make sure to check out the Furniture Design blog.