Single-Drawer Side Table

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Quiet sophistication loaded with details

This maple side table has three chief features: a single, wide drawer, an open base with a large three-piece shelf, and subtle detailing to tie everything together. I stole the overall form and proportions from a functional but somewhat poorly constructed table that sat in my kitchen for some time. (For more on stealing inspiration, see page 64.) I like the single drawer, which accommodates large items that don’t fit in typical, smaller drawers, and the open base serves as a display for things too attractive to hide inside a cabinet. Although my table is intended for the kitchen, it would also sit nicely in nearly any room in the house. 

As for aesthetics, I incorporated simple curves for a bit of flair. I like the way the gentle curves of the top and splash play off the uplifting arcs of the stretchers, and the subtle rail-to-leg transition that the simple brackets provide. The bullnosed splash cap accentuates the upper profile while echoing the other gently radiused edges. To accentuate the piece’s lines, I routed a bead into the lower edges of the aprons and rail, and cut a small rabbet into the exterior corners of the legs. Dividing the shelf into three pieces lightens it visually, and setting the corners back from the legs implies an airy feeling while avoiding seasonal wood movement problems. And, after all that, I couldn’t resist making custom walnut pulls for the piece. It really was a lot of fun to build!

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