Top 5 Constraints: Wine Coffee Table


  1. Must fulfill the “vineyard” aesthetic.

I want this coffee table to not only be able to store a few bottles of wine but I also want it to look and feel like it was created for a vineyard home. I would like to achieve this aesthetic by using similar wine racks that are found in cellars and coolers, possibly incorporating pieces from a wine barrel or wooden wine boxes, adding cork coaster inlays in the top of the table, and by staining the table to a an oak finish or darker earthy tone like the outside of an oak tree. I would also like to include a grape vine piece made out of metal if possible as a centerpiece or trim around the edges of the table. If I decide to use the wine boxes as drawers with a glass top above them, I would like to fill the boxes with shredded paper to give it that gift box display look.


  1. Woodworking skill

While I have made many projects out of wood, from doghouses to small cabinets, I have never taken on a project where overall finish is extremely important. I would like to create this piece as if it was purchased in a furniture store. That means no visible screws, nice sanded corners, even cuts etc… This will require me to look for a lot of inspiration on basic building design and I will have to expand my woodworking ability to deliver a quality end product.


  1. Functionality

Often times whenever I build something for the first time, half way through the project I wish that I had designed something differently or when it’s fully complete it just turns out to be not as functional and easy to use as I would like. I feel that this is very important to consider in this project because a coffee table should still be very simple and as functional as possible. I need to keep simplicity in mind while also jazzing up the design a bit and really strive to think about how I will be using it.

  1. Time

As many senior engineering students may find themselves during this time of year, I have very limited time to spend starting another project, especially one that will at a minimum take me 24 hours such as this one. I hope to save time by starting with a rather simple structure and targeting one main design that must be included. That way I can slowly add more and more features to the project as I find spare time. It also will allow me to have room for improvement if I cannot completely finish the project to my expectations.

  1. Cost

Oak wood is not the cheapest material to build out of especially when you are not a master wood worker and will most likely make a few slight mistakes. The glass piece I may inlay on the top of the table may also prove to be costly as well as some of the drawer hardware I will need to make my project dynamic. I have ideas for how to slim the budget on a few of these high cost items but I will for sure be pushing the budget pretty close.


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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Jeremy Parsons
    March 12, 2017 11:40 pm

    This could be a very interesting and challenging project. While it sounds like you still have a few details to flesh out regarding the aesthetic and the overall design, it will present a great opportunity to come up with some creative solutions. If you’re faced with a time or money constraint, then perhaps there are great strategies to be explored!

  • Katherine Yarnell
    March 12, 2017 6:45 pm

    This is a really cool idea. I like the vineyard aesthetic you are going for. As for functionality, it might be helpful to consult with some people who have experience in making furniture before starting the building process. They might be able to give you insight and suggestions so you can get the functionality you want.

  • Emily Pearson
    March 12, 2017 4:48 pm

    I love this idea! Based on your 5 constraints, I can tell that you’ve really thought through this and I think this is a great idea. I completely understand the “taking on a new project” feeling but I feel like you are passionate about this and I think you’ll use it all the time. Good luck!


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