Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Bedside tables (nightstands) - Part 1 - Design

Here is a design for a pair of bedside tables or nightstands made from sapele.
My wife and I had seen some bedside tables in Malta earlier in the year that were the right scale and I took a few measurements related to the height of the table surface above the mattress as they just seemed to work.
When we got home I transferred the measurement I had taken to our existing bed side tables and came up with the size of table that would work in our home. First of all in Sketchup I drew a solid cube with dimensions to suit what I had worked out. Then came the specification.

The pair of tables needed the following:
  • Design to match a future chest of drawers.
  • A wide top surface table to place a lamp, a clock and a beverage. It had to look clean and clutter free.
  • A single drawer underneath the top surface with drawer front flush with any aprons.
  • A gap to a shelf below the drawer that could be used to place an iPad (or similar tablet), a book or magazine. The ability to get into this space from 3 sides is necessary. This particular requirement was a specific request.
  • Another shelf around 5" up from the floor that could be used for a multitude of purposes.
  • The backedge of each shelf to have an upstand to prevent items falling off to the rear.
  • Tapering legs. 
  • Tables to be made from a single species. Internal wood for the drawer etc could be a contrasting species but would not be seen when closed.
  • Extensive use of roundovers and beading.
  • Semi gloss natural or amber tinted finish using waterborne polyurethane.
  • Wooden drawer pulls of a design yet to be envisioned but will be agreed with the customer.
Another consideration to be taken into account was the shelves needed to be removable to allow access to the fixings of the table top. They could be screwed from underneath with fixings running in slots to account for any seasonal expansion.

Then I went away with Sketchup and came up with this design.

Beaded nightstand
I worked with my customer (my wife) on this to come up with the design before any wood was cut. Cardboard works well to help a client visualize the scale of the pieces.

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