Main Project Plans – Organic Modern Furniture Piece (Full scale!)

Main Project Plans

Organic Modern Furniture Piece (Full scale!)

ATLS 4279 – Aesthetics in Design

AJ Terio



The Purpose

As I’ve mentioned in some of my previous posts, for my main project I plan to create a full sized version of my upcycled prototype furniture piece. I plan to incorporate a shoe rack, a shelf, coat/hat racks, planter hooks, a mirror, and a cork board all into this one piece of furniture, whilst incorporating organic elements to give it touches of green contrast to help transition from the kitchen to the backyard. Something massive that must be taken into consideration with a design like this made for the particular purpose I have in mind for it is that it must be able to travel with me halfway across the country. The idea I have follows a similar line of thought that I had for a similar project where I made a bookshelf for my family, making the furniture piece into component pieces that can be taken apart and built into the full stand. This is something that I was not able to incorporate into the design of the prototype due to its small size, but it is essential to the main project in order for me to be able to bring it home. 


The Inspiration

I’ve been conceptualizing the design and versatility of this particular piece of furniture for quite a while now. This item is intended to fulfill several functions and is designed for a specific spot in my home in Alexandria, Virginia. A couple of years back, during a kitchen renovation, my parents overlooked some essential aspects, resulting in the absence of certain utilities we had come to rely on. Noticing these omissions and remembering my dad’s desire for a cork board in the kitchen, I began to envision a furniture piece that could address all these missing elements. This led to a discussion with my mother, and we agreed that while I’m attending university, I would seize the opportunity to craft this piece, ensuring it would seamlessly integrate into our home.


The Aesthetic

This part of my ideation came only once I was introduced to the project prompts we would be following in this class. We were prompted to brainstorm an aesthetic that would match the visual/functional/charm we would hope to achieve in our future projects. I knew that my kitchen generally encapsulates the modern aesthetic, but I wanted this furniture piece to have something more. Since the location of this piece will be right by the back door (which happens to be a glass door) it lets in a good amount of sunlight, and so from this observation about the environment where this would be located, I decided to make my aesthetic for this design to be Organic Modern. I would affix greenery and locations for small potted plants to  be hung and placed. I do imagine in my final design however that this moss will be artificial, since it will be directly built into the piece, it would be difficult to constantly resupply the moss and hydrate it. 


The Plan

For this portion of the project, it will become very necessary to model interlocking features onto the final design and to break up the pieces to be folded in such a way that it makes it easier for me to transport. I will need to first decide on the type of interlocking pieces for each part and consider its durability, frictional resistance, tensile strength, and shear strength. 3D modeling will be the first stage of this project, and I plan to have this portion completed by next week 3/6/24. The following stage will consist of purchasing materials such as wood, cork, mirror, artificial moss, hooks, primer, paint, and finisher. I will hopefully have completed this shopping by the following week 3/13/24 and will also begin carving out the main shapes of the piece. I’d really like to have the main shape and interlockings complete by the beginning of April, so that I can focus on detailing ornate designs and incorporating the moss and maybe even making a pot for the plants I’d like to include. 


The Goals

Ornate Carvings

Another goal that I have in mind is to detail this piece with ornate markings, shapes, and floral patterns to really make it stand out. I plan to mainly incorporate this style into the shelf in the middle of the piece as well as on the rims and maybe where it intersects the ground. 


I would also like to define a solid base for this so that it has a firm structure where it is needed and so it will not fall over. The firm base is also important to me since a lot of the traffic that this piece will get will be at the base on the shoe rack. 

Wall Mount

While this will be a piece that is able to stand on its own, due to the constraints on how wide and secure I was able to make the base, this piece will need some kind of support on the back to connect it to the blank wall it will sit in front of. I imagine something as simple as a pocket joint could do the trick, but I may go the route of including metal hooks to the back. One thing that influences me to favor interlocking joints is that I want this piece to completely flush with the wall, so I don’t have much room in this way for error. 

Metal Shoe Rack

One very good criticism I received from someone in my group made me think about how shoe racks generally are taken care of. I imagine this rack will get dirty overtime and I have no doubt my mother will try to clean it however she can, so I will do whatever I can in the design to make this easier for her. I believe using removable metal slide in shelves will be best for this, but I imagine this will be hard to procure, so I may end up using wood still and simply using a more arid design with slits and the ability to remove it easily to clean, but this part of the design is definitely still in ideation. 

Moss Placement

One thing I definitely do not have down is where and how I will situate the artificial moss to the piece. I know that I want it to hang down from the ceiling and take up a good portion of the 7-8ft range at the top, it will likely only be on the upper half of the piece, and I would like it to mesh with the cork and hug over the walls a bit. Other than these general specifications, I have not yet defined the exact shapes and locations or overall surface area that the moss will inhabit. Sketches and further ideation will be included in my next report.

Coat/Hat Rack

Lastly I know that I would like to include 1-2 hooks on the left side of this piece, I just have to figure out how to make them component to the rest of the piece. I will probably indent small holes and use more interlocking joints to achieve this, and again I have not decided on the material, however metal hooks may actually be easier for me to find. 

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Garrett Miller
    March 4, 2024 7:49 pm

    Hey AJ! I think your project is going to turn out super cool. I saw your upcycle project and think that this is a great idea. How are you going to make the ornate carvings for it? Good luck on the project!

  • Hey AJ, your project plan is detailed and well-organized, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the design process and the steps needed to bring the idea to fruition. The incorporation of interlocking features for transportability and the consideration of material choices showcases your thoughtful planning. Could you elaborate more on the specific methods or techniques you’ll use to achieve the organic modern aesthetic? Providing more detail on how you plan to integrate greenery and natural elements into the design could enhance the reader’s understanding of your vision and the feasibility of its implementation.


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