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Ask Casa: Where Can I Find This Coffeetable?

Hi CasaSugar,

I've been looking high and low for a coffee table similar to the one in the image I've attached. Does it have a particular name or style I should be researching? Thanks! Any advice would be so helpful and appreciated.

MJ


Hi MJ,

Great question! The table in question is a style that was popularized in the mid-20th century by US designer and woodworker George Nakashima. Nakashima designed and built furniture for 50 years, from 1940 until his death in 1990, and always worked in a style that emphasized the natural beauty of the wood. You can buy his designs from a number of different antique dealers, such as this one, as well as from his official company.

Another option is to find a talented woodworker who works in this style. I recently commissioned a hand-crafted Nakashima-esque table from a local woodworker. To see my table,

.

Characteristics to look for in this type of table include using very high-quality wood (my table was made of claro walnut, as were many of Nakashima's works) and working with the wood's natural characteristics. For instance, the woodworker who built my table carved the edges, but left a live edge that emphasized knots, burls, and worm holes, which, in my opinion, only make the table more unique.

Good luck on your search, MJ, and I wish you the best of luck. I guarantee you won't be disappointed if you choose to buy a Nakashima or Nakashima-esque table.

Cheers,
Casa

Join The Conversation
mj mj 9 years
Thanks Casa! I ordered a catalog which is beautiful in itself. I'll be in PA in the Fall and am anxious to visit the studio. Apparently you can also select the wood piece you would like to use. V excited!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i love all of those pieces - the sofa, rug, coffee table! i need a sofa like that for my next one.
redesignbysheen redesignbysheen 9 years
Here is a similar coffee table at ZGallerie for $550 http://www.zgallerie.com/pc-6198-77-slab-coffee-table.aspx
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Well, casa, I love it and I'd sure keep in on my couch as well.
hihowareya hihowareya 9 years
Gosh, I just came across a furniture site that made tables, both coffee tables and dining tables, that looked exactly like this. It's really bugging me now, since I can't remember who it was! I noticed that this company also would put some butterfly joints in areas where the wood was naturally splitting, so it added a subtle man-made nuance to an otherwise very natural looking piece of furniture. They also used leather I think?... Gosh, this is really bothering me, but I should let it go. For now. :-x
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I like!!
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
I actually have a table like that, either locked away in storage, or being clandestinely used by my sister (she goes to the same college I did, and kind of took over my stuff)... I had no idea it was a must-have item! I need to get it back!
Home Home 9 years
Hazelnut_Spread--sounds amazing! I'd love to see pictures. And Terryt18, that's a very open-stitched crocheted afghan, but I have to admit that I love it in part because it reminds me of a huge doily. My great aunties and grandma also made doilies.
omlove omlove 9 years
love it !!!
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Ohmigosh, you have a doily on your couch!?! Or is it a blanket? Looks like a doily and reminds me of my grandmother! Aw, I miss her. . .
nancita nancita 9 years
Ooh, Casa, I love your table!
hazelnut_spread hazelnut_spread 9 years
I'm certainly not a woodworker, but I recently embarked on a DIY project where I crafted a large live-edge coffee table myself. In short, here's what I did: *I purchased an Acacia wood slab on ebay. Nakashima routinely used Black Walnut for his projects -- but Acacia is actually heavier/stronger than Black Walnut, and from what I've seen, it's more economical. It also has a beautiful grain. *I sanded the table down with a random orbit sander. (For this particular project, I used a RIDGID 5 In. Random Orbit Sander. It's a tool that's generally well-reviewed and I highly recommend it.) I started sanding the wood with 40 grit, and worked myself up to 60, 80, 120, 150 and 220. *I also rubbed the edges with a wire brush and stripped away any excess bark. I didn't go to town carving it down, because I like a rough-hewn/natural look on a live-edge table. *I treated both sides with 5 coats of clear, high-gloss polyurethane. I lightly sanded the wood in between coats with 220 grit. *I obtained round-tapered (Danish Modern style) legs for the table. The legs came with metal feet, but I removed them and sanded around the bottoms a little more. I stained them and affixed them to the bottom with angled top plates. *And voila - I had my Nakashima-style live-edge table. I was EXTREMELY pleased with the results. Although it was a long process that required a lot of patience, it's a fairly straight-forward project. I didn't spend more than $250 on the wood, legs, and supplies -- so it's a great option for anyone who cannot spend a lot of money on these tables that I've seen for $800 and up.
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
The Nakashima coffeetable is so GORGEOUS! Me love.
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