My First Coffee Table

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By: Dale

As a first-time coffee table buyer, I wanted to make sure I looked at pretty much everything on the Internet with at least one flat surface and a sufficient number of legs to keep it standing.

After looking at thousands of coffee tables, and I honestly mean thousands; from DWR, West Elm, CB2, Crate and Barrel, Room & Board, Lumens, YLiving, Uncommon Goods, Pottery Barn, Dwell, ABC Carpet & Home, Organic Modernism, Blu Dot, and countless others, I was getting a little discouraged.

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I felt discouraged because I couldn’t afford the things that I liked and I didn’t like the things I could afford. But I didn’t let that stop me from finding my first piece of actual living room furniture. As you might remember, I went coffee table-less in my last space and it was about time that changed.

Notice the the large color variations of the planed Cedar.

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I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for when I started, but I knew I wanted something beautiful but not ubiquitous. It had to be harmonious with the modern and midcentury modern elements we already had. I turned to the Etsy shop SteelTree Works for the answer.

The transformation from rough planks of wood to a beautifully smooth single piece is amazing.

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Evan at SteelTree Works crafts all of his products by hand in his San Antonio Texas workshop. Many of his creations are similar to the molded plywood designs in the midcentury modern style; they are both individual strips of wood shaped to make a solid whole. First, he selects rough hewn cedar from the mill. He then planes the wood by hand until they’re smooth. Then he layers the wood and fuses them into a solid piece, then planes them again until perfectly level and completely smooth. Evan finishes the piece using a three step, shellac and satin water based polyurethane to bring out the natural luster of the cedar and protect it for years to come.

The legs are custom made from polyurethane coated 5/16″ steel round bars and are given a 9° outward tilt prior to welding as to angle the legs slightly from vertical, giving the table more gorgeous proportions.

I had never really contemplated owning a custom built coffee table until I couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere. I bypassed more well known brands, design classics, and vintage finds for this table simply because it checked all of my boxes. It is a stunning piece of American made craftsmanship, it is made out of pieces of solid wood and steel, and it fit right in budget. I couldn’t get all three without spending (a lot) more.

You can get your own right here.

4 thoughts on “My First Coffee Table

  1. Very nice article, wonder what it would cost to get a full size behind the couch table in black wood bordered by white 1-2 inches wide on both of the long sides?

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