Main Project Inspiration: Folding Coffee Table

I want to make something that is both useful and aesthetically appealing. I want to make a folding coffee table. My apartment has been lacking one for over a year now and although I have come across many opportunities to purchase perfectly good coffee tables, none of them meet my three requirements.

  1. It must be oval shaped
  2. It must be tall/wide enough to play board games with 4 people comfortably
  3. It must be sleek with no decorative elements other than it’s clean shape and smooth finish.

Since this project requires that the final product has a dynamic component, I would like to introduce the challenge of making it a folding coffee table that can be easily stowed away. So far, the tables that meet my requirements are way too expensive. They look nice but I simply cannot afford them. Perhaps if I make my own, I will feel more accomplished with the final result regardless of how fancy it looks.

Among the tables I have looked at is this “Folding Teak Coffee Table” [1]. It is part of my inspiration because it is large and I like the folding mechanism. By unlocking it and pushing down, the table flattens and can be easily put away. I do not like, however, the fact that it is rectangular and at a $531 sale….


Next is the “Campanelli Coffee Table” [2]. I absolutely love the shape even though it is not entirely oval, and I absolutely love the finish. The dark wood makes it look sleek and despite it having so many curves, it looks sharp and clean. I would consider making something like this but I would have to implement folding legs in some way.

Lastly is the “EMOOR Wooden Folding Coffee Table” [3]. Aside from the size, this table meets all of my requirements. It is oval shaped, it is sleek, and it folds. I like the way the legs hinge inwards one by one. The mechanism is neatly tucked away and it flattens nicely.

Looking ahead

Based on the tables I have sampled, I would like to adopt the folding mechanism of the EMOOR table with the leg angles and a shape similar to the Campanelli table. My first challenge will be to find a piece of wood that is long enough. Next, I have to consider how to make the legs and how to attach them to the surface so that they fold in without crashing with each other. Hardware stores probably have the appropriate hinges available, but I would still need to do a few sketches of my own to figure out how it will look.





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3 Comments. Leave new

  • […] Inspiration: Aesthetic: Aesthetic Roots: Constraints: Design Review Part 1: Part 2: Construction Update: […]

  • Hi Nicole,

    Have you looked at Korean folding tables? It may help you create the folding mechanisms for your table. Generally in my experience, they are at an angle similar to the Campanili table, but they also do come to be very straight ( especially if you look at more classic tables).

    You could also consider making drawer or space to store the board games.

    Best of luck, I think these alternative designs are good.

    Justin Lim

    • Nicole Leon-Molina
      March 4, 2020 8:19 pm

      Thank you so much Justin. The Korean folding tables are cool but they’re not exactly what I have in mind. A drawer is a great idea and I am considering that in case the legs don’t turn out as I want them. Thanks for the support!


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