Historical, utilitarian furniture is one of my favorite sources for design inspiration, and the vernacular fireside stools of Northern Europe are especially appealing for their dainty yet sturdy stances. Traditionally used as a perch for creeping close to the warmth of a hearth or tending to a fire, these simple stools’ short stature and splayed legs pack a lot of character and woodworking skills into a quick project.
To me, no room is complete without at least a few books at hand. But not every room needs or has the wall space for an actual bookcase. After seeing a free-standing book “tree” used as a promotional display in a bookshop, I set about designing one that would look good in a residential setting.
For the last few years, the “table” between my couch and fireplace has been an old leather steamer trunk. A holdover from my bachelor days, it was too bulky for our small parlor, and obscured our view of the fireplace. It was time for something new. In its stead, I designed and built this minimalist, mid-century inspired table.