Synopsis: With an understated shelf, beveled through-tenons, and stretchers shaped at the ends to corbel-like curves, this coffee table evokes the traditional Arts and Crafts style without being too serious. My artist wife and I love Arts and Crafts furniture, and our recent move to a new home motivated us to design and build pieces in this classic style. We adopted the rough format of his table and the tilt of the legs, but our design diverged in most other details. With an understated shelf, beveled through-tenons, and stretchers shaped at the ends to corbel-like curves, we aimed to develop a traditional look that felt true to the style without directly referencing a specific maker. The split panel and its curving cutouts bring a bit of whimsy to an otherwise simple form and invite the viewer to notice the negative shapes. I adjusted the dimensions until the size and height of the table felt right in the room and in relation to the sofa.
Since our living room is entered from the side, I knew the end view of the table would be the dominant one. And I would add faux ends on the outside of the lower rail to give the appearance that there were three through-tenons.
The biggest challenge in this project is cutting accurate angles on the ends and shoulders of the rail tenons and machining the mortises in the legs to match.