A Miniaturization of the Coffee House Aesthetic

An Introduction:

The Coffee House Aesthetic is one close to my heart, as I am a massive fan of coffee houses. From big brands like Starbucks to locally owned shops, the decor changes ever so slightly, but the characteristics remain largely the same. The earthen and natural tones, the smell of coffee beans in the air, and the smooth music over the radio; this is the aesthetic I want to focus upon, and capture with my piece.

An example of the coffee house aesthetic.

Resource Gathering 

After choosing my aesthetic, I hadn’t picked out a piece yet, until I stumbled upon a pile of scrap wood in the ITLL. As my roommate has made several larger tables for our apartment, I figured I would try my hand at table fabrication too, though on a much smaller scale.

The scrap wood I had gathered from the ITLL:

I still needed a base for my table, and found an old chair in a hallway at work, took it apart, and used its small legs as the base of my table.

The chair I had found:


The base had a central metal pole which would protrude up and into the wood of the table, so the first step I had was to use an angle grinder to cut the pole off, and make the base level. Next, I cut the scrap wood to 16 inches in length, as my table would be 16 inches x 16 inches. I then used a planar to make all the pieces the same height, so that I wouldn’t have strange bumps in the table’s surface.

Next, I drilled holes in the base’s circular piece, so that I could thread screws through the gap directly into the tabletop.

Finally, I joined the pieces with wood glue, cut off the excess to truly make the piece 16 inches x 16 inches, and connected my new tabletop to the base via salvaged wood screws.

I then began sanding the piece, and rounded the corners and edges so they wouldn’t be sharp, and appear more natural.

Above is the table before rigorous sanding and staining. Below is my roommate demonstrating the surprising strength and durability of the piece by standing on it.

Finally, I sanded the top and sides down to 600 grit, removed any small differences in height between the boards, and applied a stain. The stain I had selected happened to be the color of “espresso”, which I believe fits my aesthetic wonderfully.

After curing for 12 hours, the final table looked like this:


I’m extremely happy with how the piece turned out, as it is a perfect miniaturization of the aesthetic. The natural grain of the wood emulates the large wooden tables or bars often found in coffee houses, the black legs provide even more earthen tones, and the “espresso” stain is simply perfect. I can fully envision this piece being in a coffee house, and I feel it fits the aesthetic wondrously, bringing a piece of the coffee house home.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • I love the look of the stain on the wood. The mix of light and dark stripes in the grain is very eye-catching. Where do you plan to place this table? Will you use coasters to keep your hard work safe?

    • Hi Lucas!

      I plan to keep my work safe via coasters, and put it to use as either a side table or smaller coffee table within my apartment, though the exact location is yet to be determined. I hope to find a good spot for it though. Thank you!


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