It was with a heavy sigh that, several months ago, I sent an email to my husband with this link to the perfect nesting tables for our newly renovated basement. “Sigh” was on the subject line, because I knew we were never going to shell out $2,100 for these tables, even though they were designed by the mid-century master, Josef Albers:
Jim immediately replied to my email with one sentence: “I can build that.” Now, I’ve doubted my husband before, but after he mixed mortar and laid stone — himself — on the walls of our new basement remodel, I had learned not to poo-poo such comments. But building furniture? Really?
Sure, he said. His colleague Tim, who has everything an amateur woodworker would ever want in his home shop, could help him. And did he ever:
Jim and Tim examined the dimensions of the original, and then Jim bought ipe wood — which has this wonderful, naturally dark color, and matches the new tile floor (don’t you love how the tile looks like hardwood? We found it at the Mosaic Tile Company.)
They figured out that the color comes from glass that is painted on the bottom, so Jim bought spray paint and ordered glass in the appropriate sizes. He also painted the tabletops a glossy black, as they appeared in the original picture.
Here are some more views, which includes the Stark carpet we got at their annual expo sale, a sectional by American Leather, and paneling by Just Moulding, which I discovered while I worked at Washington Spaces. The antique toys on the ledge were found in my father’s garage!
I’m so pleased with Jim’s work, I now have to start thinking about what I’ll ask him to do for me next. In the meantime, his stonework has already been copied. My friend, Designer Debbie Weiner, said it was the inspiration for the wall she did in her sports lounge for the Washington Design Center‘s fall 2009 design house: