It is an incredible blessing to be able to create things for people that you love. When we started Project VonVon (friends of ours who may or may not actively hate that nickname..) we knew it needed to be something special. I had acquired a stunning slab of 6/4 walnut, and I just had to use it for a piece that would be very important to me. And, selfishly, I wanted to be able to visit this gorgeous material often. I couldn’t quite imagine making someone for someone and sending it away, never to see it again.
Evan and Devon came to me with an idea for a coffee table in their living room. First let me say that they have a FANTASTIC apartment. They’re both creative souls, and they’ve put together such a wonderful wonderful home, so it was an honor to build something for them. Practically, they wanted a piece that served the traditional coffee table functions, but also added some visible storage/access to tv remotes, magazines, books, etc.
After showing them the walnut slab, we knew this was the place to use it. After mulling it over, we wanted to keep the top simple, and create a “cubby” of sorts underneath. VonVon also wanted us to incorporate hairpin legs, which I’m always a fan of, so it was natural to play with the form of the “cubby” to skew to a more midcentury vibe. Instead of a simple box cubby underneath the slab, I wanted to curve the sides and make it a more unique shape. This way, it wouldn’t start to look like an old-school classroom desk.
In order to get the curves, I experimented with kerfing. This is one of those old woodworking techniques that is “simple”, but not easy. But, when you get it right, you can do really wonderful things.
We kept the palette to black and the natural walnut (sanded and polished to buttery perfection- seriously it’s the smoothest table ever), to coordinate with other pieces in their home, and to let the form of the table really shine. The cubby got an ebony stain, and the legs were finished in matte black.
It was a joy to create something new for wonderful friends, and to get to go visit and pet that stunning walnut slab every time Devon whips us up an incredible meal.