Custom Live Edge Elm Table in Concord

Custom Live Edge Elm Table in Concord

The majority of the custom furniture that we build here at Cannon Hill comes in the form of solid wood dining tables, and for good reason. The dining table tends to be a visual and functional centerpiece, a place where the flow of people through a home and the focus of attention both meet at a single place. They say that a party always ends up in the kitchen, but everyone comes together around the dining table. We’re proud that our work so often winds up playing that role in people’s lives, and we don’t take it lightly. But there are plenty of other places where a gorgeous, dramatic custom table can create a major effect, and we love building for those moments as well. 

The live edge elm table measures eleven-and-a-half feet long and every bit of four feet wide, and it stands in a Concord, Massachusetts business’s conference room. This company spends their days designing and selling beautiful products – the paper flowers you see on the table and the shelves – so it stands to reason that they’d see the value in a custom live edge table. What a letdown it would be to sit around a drab, composite table while you discuss bright, lively floral designs. It wouldn’t do at all.

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Getting just the right live edge wood for this project took some time, because the client and we wanted a table that fit the room just right, but we weren’t willing to cut corners on the aesthetic side. The answer: a bookmatched elm table, made by gluing two “consecutive” slices from the same tree along a common edge. Elm, both English and American, typically has a beautifully deep, sandy- to ruddy-brown color, entrancing grain patterns, and dramatic figure, and these slabs were no different. There’s something about the warm, earthy tones in elm that always feel at home in classic New England spaces, so it’s fitting that this table lives in a converted historic mill building in nearby Concord, Massachusetts. The walls and millwork may be a new, bright white, but the industrial past will always shine through and the elm will always be in conversation with it.

The bases are a custom design by our client, who drew up this pair of folded steel triangles – reminiscent in some way, perhaps, of the folded paper flowers his company produces. We sat down and thought through every step of how to achieve his vision, and set about the process of shepherding it from concept to reality. We prefer to operate under a client-led design process, which means that we want to let imaginations run free, and then temper them, if necessary, with our structural and functional knowledge. You be the gas pedal, and let us be the brakes. Happily, very little braking was needed on this project, and after a round of CAD drawings and some minor tweaking, we arrived at the table bases you see here.

Handmade furniture offers opportunities for the little personal touches that simply never will become available in commercially-available pieces. Those bases, the nails we found in the slab that the client requested we leave visible in the finished project, the specifically-chosen slab. It all adds up to a table that simply means more. A custom table that has you in it.