The Right Distance
As a rule of thumb, a coffee table should be placed about 18 inches from the sofa, for easy access.
As a DIY-enthusiast, your first response to any home project, must be, 'Let's build it.' Here, we guide you to build one of the simplest coffee table designs, based on pure woodworking, with the bare minimum usage of tools.
A coffee table is a central piece of furniture in most living rooms. It sets the overall tone of the ambiance. So when you start renovating furniture, the coffee table gets top priority. Besides serving its literal objective of holding coffee, it can be a piece of beauty that graces your living room.
Any furniture designing project gives you an opportunity to restructure the space in house and align it with your vision and personal aesthetic appeal. If your eclectic nature doesn't let you rest in peace until you have found just the right thing, it is best to design on your own. That way, you can make optimum use of space and get what you exactly need.
A Simple, Yet Elegant Design Plan
Modern designers focus on minimalism and functionality, which grants simplicity and elegance to any design. Our design here, follows those principles. Here's the finished product, that we will be aiming for.
Here's a listing of all the essential items, that will be a part of this woodworking project. This is guessing you are familiar with the basics of woodworking, including the cutting and finishing part, as well as tool usage.
Choice of Wood: Teak, Cedar, or Redwood
Choice of Wood: Teak, Cedar, or Redwood
- Tape Measure
- 1 - 3/4 Plywood Sheet, 4'X8'
- 1 - 3/4x3/4, Trim at 10'
- 1 - 3/4x3/4, Trim at 8'
- 2 - 2x2, at 6'
- 2 - 2x2, at 8'
- Wood Glue
- Wood Filler
- 2" Screws
- 4" Screws
- Finishing Materials
- 1 - 3/4" Plywood, 47"x22" (For the Table Top)
- 2 - 3/4x3/4, Trim at 47" (For Supports)
- 2 - 3/4x3/4, Trim at 20 ½" (For Supports)
- 4 - 2x2 at 22" (For Side Rails)
- 4 - 2x2 at 47" (Front Back Rails)
- 4 - 2x2 at 15" (Legs)
That is all you need to put your table together. Assuming that you have all the cut pieces ready, as specified before, in the following lines, we provide a step-by-step outline of the building technique.
Firstly, we set up the frame of the table, starting from the base. To begin with, attach the four legs, with the lower rails. You will need to use the 4" screws for the purpose, along with the wood glue.
Now, we move towards the top. Connect the upper rails, with the legs, to complete the basic framework. Again, you will need to use wood glue and 4" screws for the purpose.
Next, we prepare for the placement of the top, upon the framework. Using 2" screws and wood glue, attach the supports. Fasten the supports from the inner side, to prevent visibility of screw holes, in the finished product.
Now, it's time for the crowning glory moment. Place the (47"x22") top, over the supports, till it slips snugly inside. You may attach the top permanently, using 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" screws, from the bottom side, through the support planks.
Finish up with filling of any holes, that are left over, after the job is done. Do not forget to wax the surface thoroughly for a clean polished feel, after subjecting it to sandpaper treatment.
Design Tips and Ideas
If you give full rein to your imagination, you can come up with plans for creative designs, but they need to be grounded in practical considerations. 'Aesthetics tempered by practical requirements', can be your design motto. Here are some tips on how you can go about it.
Brainstorm and Search For Ideas
First thing to do is browse through various table designs. Scan for some of the particularly striking ones that have caught your attention. Browse online for plans on sites devoted to furniture design and woodworking.
Try to look for plans that strike the right balance between aesthetics and utility. Print out or scan out plans or pictures that you find interesting. Make a dossier which will help you decide. Look for radical table top designs, as well as styling of legs in those plans. Keep an eye on the materials used.
Shape and Size
Choosing the shape and size of the table is an important consideration. Round tables are ideal for homes with children and pets, as you don't need to worry about sharp corners hurting anybody. Otherwise, you are free to choose a shape that fits snugly in your living room space.
The size of the room and surrounding furniture will also play a role in deciding the size. Smaller rooms are better served with smaller tables, while larger rooms give you more scope for experimentation.
Functionality and Accessories
The expected function of the table should decide its design. Focus on functionality will let you decide the range of features that you need. Think about the accessories that you want to have in your table, like drawers or shelves. These additions enhance the utility of the table and creates storage space, which you always need.
Choice of Materials
Wood is the most popular choice, followed by metal. You may also have a combination of wood and glass, or metal with glass. Both materials have their share of pros and cons. You could also opt for glass and stone, if you want to go for non-conventional designs.
The choice of material will largely affect the cost of the whole operation. For a rustic feel, wood make sense, while a sophisticated look demands glass, with metal or wood.
Space constraints need to be consider. So, you need to measure out your living room space, where the table will be placed. That will give you an idea about the maximum dimensions for your table. Measurements and dimensions of the table will affect cost.
Sketch and Finalize Your Plan
After you have gone through the planning steps, you will have a pretty good idea about what you exactly want. Make a sketch of the design plan and ensure that it is proportional to actual scale. Make a detailed listing of all the materials required, the tools, and lumber details. Last, but not the least, create the cut list.
Get in Touch With a Craftsman
With the plan ready, your design job is over. If you are adept at woodworking skills, then you can go ahead and build your own table. However, if you are not, then it is best to handover your plan to professionals who will gladly execute it.
A furniture, like a piece of sculpture, can be molded in the vision of the sculptor. It is a great feeling to see your vision actually being brought into reality. That is the thrill of being a designer. Don't settle until you have found just the right design.