Was it the year of the dining table, or just the year I wished I had a new table? Iíll leave such chicken-and-egg dilemmas to the probing minds looking for the origins of the universe. How these magnificent pieces fell into our pages matters not. They originally were all part of a bigger picture, just a piece of the story, but on review, I contend they are worth a shout out of their own.
This handmade table and chairs from Seth Eshelman at Staach of Rochester, New York, was custom made for the new kitchen and dining area in the renovated Rhode Island home of Katie and Scott McDonald in our January/February 2012 issue. Says Katie, a certified Holistic Health Coach, ďMy clients come to the house to learn about an aspect of wellness in greater depth. . . . The kitchen serves as a means of community and a place of greater healing.Ē This smooth white maple ensemble reflects that sense of purpose and reinforces the message that beauty and simplicity are one.
Our January/February issue seemed to have a theme within a theme as this house in Concord, Massachusetts, was also built with health and wellness as a driving force. Homeowner Lisa Kauffman Tharp is an interior designer who has a sensitivity to mold and chemicals. The materials and methods used to build the house focused on creating a clean environment and her aesthetic gave it the visual serenity to support it. This dining table designed by Kauffman Tharp and built by craftsman Norton DeAmorim is an update of the classic picnic table with wide planks for a top and trestles for the base. Its melding of contemporary and traditional is enhanced by Kauffman Tharpís eclectic seating selection.
This table made from a tree trunk brought a back-to-nature vibe to a very sophisticated house in that same issue. The base is made from a reclaimed teak root and the top is also teak. Interior designer Karen OíBrien of KOB Design LLC in Melrose, Massachusetts, found the piece at Groovystuff in Dallas, Texas. It struck a historic chord when we considered its link to the faux bois table and chairs pictured below. They were found on an historic estate in Newport, Rhode Island, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., and harken back to the 19th century when furniture was made from Ferro cement to mimic tree trunks and limbs.
The next step in the evolution of the tree-trunk inspired table is this beauty, which graced the cover of our September/October issue in a house renovated to design and ecological perfection by Seimasko + Verbridge in Beverly, Massachusetts. Neither true or faux trunk, it wowed our team from the get-go. Made by Shawn Keller of C.W. Keller & Associates in Plaistow, New Hampshire, it has a base of ApplePly, a high-grade knot-free plywood, layered and then digitally cut into exquisite swirls. A teak slab tops it off.
Versatility is the name of the game in this summer house designed by architect Jill Neubauer. The client commissioned three tables (two are shown) all on lockable industrial casters that can be rearranged at will. Made by Cor-Metals Inc. in Mashpee, Massachusetts, two have tops of reclaimed wood supplied by Catumet Sawmills in East Falmouth, Massachussetts, while the third has a painted top by cabinetmaker Keyland Kitchens of Edgartown, Massachusetts. The tables roll effortlessly on the concrete floors to create work stations and seating arrangements in any number of configurations.
Next: Favorite Follies
An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.
Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.
Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.
Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.
Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.
Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.