idea for sofa table - good or bad?

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Forum topic by jerkylips posted 06-10-2011 09:40 PM 1374 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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416 posts in 2598 days

06-10-2011 09:40 PM

I had a thought for a sofa table for our house, but I can’t decide if I like it, hate it, or something in between. The best way I can think to describe is that it would be two craftsman style tapered columns with a top on it. I was thinking either 3 sides closed in with the front open (and shelves) or the entire thing “open” with shelves. This is pretty crude – thank you MS Word drawing tools – but maybe will get the idea across? Obviously both sides would be the same, but I tried to do one closed in & the other open just to see the difference. I’m starting to think I like the more open version better.

Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings, if you guys think this won’t look good, please tell me…

13 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3613 days

#1 posted 06-10-2011 10:23 PM

I can only say no leg room then I don’t suppose sitting on a sofa would require much leg room sorry I would need to see it in more detail I don’t have (this evening ) enough warranted imagination spare to share go for it if you have a strong enough desire it’s your own version of art and you deserve to express it in any way you feel strogly enough. Best regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2721 days

#2 posted 06-10-2011 10:43 PM

I actually prefer the solid but I suppose it depends upon how contemporary your current furniture is. Looks like a fun project. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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416 posts in 2598 days

#3 posted 06-10-2011 10:56 PM

Scotsman – when I say sofa table, I’m thinking of something that would be against the back of a couch, & about even with the top of the back of it – not a coffee table. Maybe I’m not using the correct terminology?

sort of like this..

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5849 posts in 3613 days

#4 posted 06-10-2011 10:57 PM

You are MY friend just as a scotsman I never heard of one before. Well it looks like great idea to me go for it buddy.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2580 days

#5 posted 06-10-2011 11:43 PM

It’s not my style. The legs could seem a bit clunky, and although the tables with the sawhorses for legs seem to be all the rage, I don’t see much longevity, designwise, to them.

However, that’s PERSONAL PREFERENCE. It’s just my opinion. If you like it, and you think it fits with your decor, go for it!

If you’re looking for something campaign style with more storage, might I suggest creating the top as a drawered “box” of sorts, and have some extra places to store your remotes, keys, etc….

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2962 days

#6 posted 06-11-2011 12:03 AM

It looks heavy to me. I would personnally go for something slimmer on the element.
Of couse that’s a personnal preference.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3404 days

#7 posted 06-11-2011 11:08 AM

Bently’s version has more appeal to me, but I can’t say as though it’s a style I’d care enough for to build, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t fly with my decorator. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder though…

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View felkadelic's profile


218 posts in 2568 days

#8 posted 06-14-2011 11:09 PM

Stylistically, the top doesn’t seem to match the legs. Perhaps if the sides of the legs were closer to vertical it would look better, but even then I’m not sure.

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2580 days

#9 posted 06-14-2011 11:33 PM

Going a bit further than felkadelic, the top looks thinner and more delicate than the sturdy, thick legs. Instead of two solid slats on each leg, breaking it down into four thinner legs per “leg” will open it up a bit. Using thinner wood for the shelves (say half inch instead of 3/4, or even 1/4”with 3/4” supports underneath as the braces) will open up the design a bit more, and give a better cohesion.

I also suggest getting rid of that bottom shelf that lies on the floor, as it’s unnecessary, and can, if the floor isn’t perfectly level (and what floor ever really is), cause the table to be wobbly. Additionally nobody’s going to reach that low, and if something’s going down there, what makes it different from setting it on the floor anyhow?

The through tenons with pins are a nice addition, but now the question is the top. Using two different woods, I would suggest a maple (or other light wood) for the shelves. the pins, and the top. Using a darker contrasting wood, like walnut, (or something red or stained red would be nice), make the legs (and maybe the supports for the shelves) and also have tenons go through to the surface of the top, giving it a bit of accent and interest, while using the joinery to pull the piece together.

Even with those things it’s STILL not what I’d want in my own home (I really prefer just simple tapered legs and an apron), but I wouldn’t mind seeing it in a store or in someone’s home, and I might consider it quite attractive.

View jerkylips's profile


416 posts in 2598 days

#10 posted 06-14-2011 11:37 PM

hey guys, thanks for all of the feedback! Bentlyj – for some reason the pic you posted didn’t come through on my computer the first time (they have some weird content filters here at work) so I’m just seeing it for the first time. That’s closer to what I had floating around in my head. As far as my picture, it wasn’t drawn to scale. The taper of the column, thickness of the top, etc., are all up for debate. I guess I was curious if anyone had done something like this or if it was just a bad idea. It might be something to play around with down the road. Thanks again!

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2580 days

#11 posted 06-15-2011 12:19 AM

Jerky, I just want to say that if you like it, go for it. If you like any of the suggesting given, use them. If you don’t, then go with what you originally planned. It’s still mainly about what YOU like. Overall, it’s a feasible plan, and I say go for it.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2878 days

#12 posted 06-15-2011 04:34 AM

When you feel you’re close, jerkylips, get yerself down to your refrigerator dealer and get some cardboard and purchase a box of hot glue sticks. You can cut the cardboard on the table saw—carefully now—and glue up a dummy in no time. Well worth it.

The thing that’s tricky about designing a table, and the reason the mockup is so successful, is that we don’t see a table like we draw it. There’s so much human interaction there. Even if you build a dummy and change the width by an inch and a half, it will have been worth it.

Oh, and one more caution. Triangles are weird. Fun, but weird. They seem to give and take away. Shift into alternate universes during the night. I haven’t mastered ‘em, and I don’t trust ‘em, but I keep giving them a chance.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View CaptainSkully's profile


1601 posts in 3586 days

#13 posted 06-15-2011 05:58 PM

Interesting idea. Lots of Arts & Crafts end tables and magazine racks/book shelves are tapered like that. Usually, the taper is a bit more subtle. Personally, I think the more severe angle makes the sofa table look a bit modern, kind of clashing with the classic look I think you’re going for.

I would also make a stretcher between the two bases. This will support the top, visually if not structurally, and will positively locate the distance between the two bases, which is an important part of the overall design. The Golden Mean could probably be used on this project successfully. I would leave the back open to lighten the appearance.

Very rarely have I ever seen an A&C project with a flat board that sits on the floor. This is because with hard wood floors that may not be perfectly level, the bases will rock like a small table in a coffee shop. Some kind of feet in the corners would eliminate that issue. You could extend the sides down, cut an arch out of the bottom middle portion of the sides and that would create the feet.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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