Custom Live Edge Desk in Revere

Custom Live Edge Desk in Revere

This desk came about when our client, a lawyer in Rever, came to us asking for a custom desk that would go along with his newly renovated and expanded offices. It was time, he decided, for a desk that would not only look the way he wanted, but offer the features and layouts that made sense for the way he works. Rather than a stuffy, traditional look, he wanted something natural, flowing, and intuitive; one of our rules for this project was “no straight lines.”

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A live-edge was the natural choice, and we decided on an L-shaped slab desk quickly. The size and shape of the desk came from a number of templating visits to his office, where we talked through the flow of the room, and the clearances that would allow traffic to move naturally while also providing the desktop space he needed. We measured distances, planned out modifications to window trim that would have obstructed the desk, and even measured the printer, computer, and typewriter that would sit on it. It is perhaps trite to say that form follows function, but in cases like this one, the desk only comes into being once we know what it needs to do. Its functionality is the genesis of the piece, and everything derives from exactly how it will be used. 

Once we had our dimensions, we went out to find material that would work, and found a pair of gorgeous elm slabs. Nailing the layout was, of course, crucial, so it meant more site visits, and visits by the client to our shop for in-person layout approvals. We swapped the positioning of the slabs, flipped them over and turned them around, until we found a layout that showcased the best features of both. We decided to fill some voids with clear epoxy, so one can see the natural edges, and to leave nails visible in some places, as a nod to the tree’s – and the desk’s – history.

In keeping with the “no straight lines” idea, the cabinet has drawer fronts with a nearly one-inch belly to them. We carved them from 8/4 stock, drawing material away at the edges until they had a smooth, regular arc. The handles were selected specifically for their ability to allow enough room for a hand to fit in easily, even with the curved front. The cabinet has a live-edge section, cut from an excess piece of material, as a back panel, breaking up the rectilinear face of the carcase.

This was a particularly collaborative project, and in the end we delivered something to our client that ticked all the boxes aesthetically and functionally. That wouldn’t have been possible without careful planning and open communication, two core elements of our process. As the client once told us, “I’m not getting this desk for anyone else – it’s for me.” A desk like that should reflect the client’s personality, and there’s only one way to do that. The Cannon Hill way.