Extending Walnut Dining Table in Boston's South End

Extending Walnut Dining Table in Boston's South End

Basically every live-edge slab that comes through the doors of our workshop here at Cannon Hill is a stunner. We’re very fortunate to work with vendors and clients who have deep appreciation for the beauty of the natural materials we use every day, and who share our taste for gorgeous wood. It means that we get to work with the cream of the single-slab crop each and every day. Every once in a while, though, a slab or two comes in that’s just on a different level. In this case, we had three of them – each section of this table comes from a different slab, especially chosen for its role in this custom wood table.


Reach Out to Learn More

Truth be told, we knew what we had on our hands with this one before we even took it off the truck. This variety of walnut, Claro, comes from the American northwest, where it developed when native trees and imported eastern European ones were grafted and cross-pollinated. Claro is famous for its gorgeous grain patterns and truly stunning figure; we see our fair share of it in the shop, but it’s not every day that all the elements come together as beautifully as they do here.

The swirls and figure of this slab were apparent even before we’d done our surfacing and sanding work, which tells you something about how intense they are. Typically, it’s only after we’ve worked the wood touch-smooth that we start to see the degree of detail we saw at the rough stage on this one. Sure enough, everything just intensified and intensified all the way through finish.


A round dining table that extends into this “racetrack” shape is an excellent option when you’re in a space like this one. The circular shape offers plenty of tabletop area as well as ample space for chairs, without encroaching on the perimeter of the room. Once the extension is in place, a table of this size and shape allows for eight people to sit very comfortably, and can fit as many as ten. When our clients want to maximize the number of guests they can seat at a table, but would prefer to avoid the common rectangular shape, we often recommend these racetracks. Standard oval shapes sometimes don’t provide quite as much space as people imagine, because the long curves can make fitting place settings tricky. Our collaborative design process is specifically intended to bring this sort of consideration to light, so that we and our clients can find the best solutions together.

Our clients were so taken with their slabs that we also built them a console table with some of the off-cut sections, which is always a treat. We never want to see material go to waste, and an auxiliary project is a great way to make sure it doesn’t. Even better – rather than store the extension in a closet when it isn’t in use – we worked with these clients to set up a French cleat on the wall and on the extension. When the extension isn’t in use, it hangs proudly in full view, a gorgeous piece of art that was a collaboration between Mother Nature and Cannon Hill. Ideas like that, and the ability to execute them, are exactly what makes custom furniture so exciting and so worthwhile.