Sketch This! #4: Ottoman/Coffee Table

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Blog entry by John Steffen posted 02-03-2010 06:06 PM 4775 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Booth Part 4 of Sketch This! series no next part

While I’m not one for sitting on the couch too often, I’m inclined to watch a couple shows during the week with my lady (if I don’t watch TV with her at least one or two night a week she gets grumpy). And then there’s Sundays during football season, but that’s a different story.

Anyway, we have traditional couches, no recliners, and a very hard/pointy coffee table. And to be honest I like having a coffee table MOST of the time. But there are times where I really would rather just have something soft to rest my feet on.

I could throw some pillows on the coffee table because lord knows we have enough of them on the couch. What’s up with twenty pillows on the couch anyway? Unfortunately the coffee table is really too tall to put your feet on to begin with, and it’s sometimes hard to see over my toes.

So… I want an ottoman and a coffee table without needing two pieces of furniture.

Everything in dark brown would be made of hard wood, while the light brown would be 1/2” ply. The dowels are colored just to stand out.

That red thing on top is my lame SketchUp attempt at a cushion.

It would have flanged slots on each end to support the top as it flipped over. Some sort of roller would be attached to the top at one edge so that the top would act like a lid, or could be lifted to vertical, rolled to the other edge, and laid flat on the other side revealing the opposite face.

At 6’ long and 30” wide I believe it should be large enough to accommodate anything either piece of furniture should. There are supports on either edge to support the lid, though I’m not sure how much support will be needed if the kids start jumping on it. The storage compartment will be lined with rib supports across the bottom, but even with those this thing would not fare well to be overloaded with magazines and book, but blankets and pillows would be supported wonderfully.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

6 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#1 posted 02-03-2010 06:12 PM

Very nice sketch work, looks like a interesting design.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4303 days

#2 posted 02-03-2010 06:57 PM

cool.. great idea best of luck..

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3345 days

#3 posted 02-03-2010 07:25 PM

Did you consider dividing the top into sections? At a practical level given that coffee tables become depositories for many things (some usually permanent), if you divided the top into say 3 sections you could move whatever was currently on the table over to one or even two of the sections and then flip the 3rd section for your ottoman.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 3052 days

#4 posted 02-03-2010 07:46 PM

I had not thought of sectioning the top in such a way that you describe. I alway hope to avoid permanent things on the coffee table as they seem to get in the way of television viewing (the ones my lady puts there do anyway).

But I do like the idea of having it split so that any of 3 or 4 sections could be a table or ottoman independently of the others. I’ll try to work that in when I come up with a new design.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View alexbarlage's profile


41 posts in 3039 days

#5 posted 02-03-2010 11:27 PM

What is it with wives making the men watch “their” shows but won’t even consider watching ours?

Cool design, one function I would miss from my current coffee table, would be the extending top section that lifts out towards the couch for dinner time.

All my coffee tables from now one must have one, if not, I’ll chop out the one I have now and modify.

-- The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

View MOJOE's profile


548 posts in 3266 days

#6 posted 02-04-2010 01:29 PM

I like this….I would suggest that you use light colored dowels (just like you sketched)....give a nice subtle contrast to the upper portion of the project.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

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