Final Report Part 1 – Organic Modern Furniture Piece

Final Report Part 1

Organic Modern Furniture Piece

ATLS 4279 – Aesthetics in Design

AJ Terio



Main Project Artifact

An organic modern vanity furniture piece, functioning as a shoe rack, shelf, cork board, array of mirrors, coat rack, and plant hanger. Features ornate floral carvings, painted white, and contrasted and lit up by touches of artificial green moss and grass. 


Part 1: What

My main project focuses on constructing a full-scale version of an upcycled prototype piece of vanity furniture. It will integrate various functionalities, including a shoe rack, a shelf, coat/hat racks, planter hooks, mirrors, and cork board, all unified within a single vanity piece. The inspiration for this idea comes from the lack of these specific functionalities in our renovated kitchen, so I am designing this for a very specific location and set of purposes for my home back in Virginia. It is meant to stand upright next to the back door against the wall adjacent to the kitchen. I intend to blend in organic elements to introduce touches of green, facilitating a natural transition from the kitchen to the backyard. A critical aspect of this design, given its intended use, is its portability; it must accompany me on a cross-country trip back to Virginia for the summer. This concept draws inspiration from a past endeavor in which I crafted a bookshelf for my family by designing it in separable components for easy assembly into the complete structure. Although this modular approach was not feasible for the smaller prototype, it is a fundamental requirement for the main project to ensure its transportability back to my home. 


Top 5 specifications:

  1. Seamless intersections between the varying components that make up the full structure. This piece is going to consist of a variety of different materials, and I’d like for everything to look as though it is a part of one solid structure, no gaps. 
  2. Ornate. I’d like for the wooden structural parts of this design to be ornately detailed in floral swirls and  geometric shapes and lines. 
  3. Component designed. As I’ve mentioned, I’d like for this design to be portable, to allow me to bring it back to my home in Virginia. So an important aspect of this project will be for me to be able to fold this into a smaller, moveable piece.
  4. Success in cork/moss/mirror implementation. The placement and design of the artificial moss, cork and mirrors will give it color and add to the aesthetic. This placement, organization of, and balance between these three elements must look aesthetically pleasing and not be too noisy compared to the rest of the design.
  5. Usability and longevity. I plan to coat this piece in layers of protection (primers and sealers) and make it durable enough to last years in my house. It will be essential for all the moving parts to have a fixed position so that when finally assembled it is stable. 


Part 2: How

Upcycled Prototype: 

  1. February 7 – Upcycled prototype sketch – These sketches show the orthographic views of my first design.
  2. February 15 – Upcycled prototype pieces are cut –  Sketches of the various pieces and each of them have been cut.
  3. February 19 – Upcycled prototype complete – Pieces have been assembled, glued, and painted, and the cork, mirror, and moss have been added. Physical concept has been actualized.

Full Scale Artifact

  1. April 1 – 3D model – I created a general guide 3D model with mainly the restricting dimensions I know I have to abide by due to the location with enough room to be creative.
  2. April 8 – Wood purchased + main shapes cut – I bought 3 pieces of wood with dimensions 4’ x 2’ x ½” and cut them to the basic shapes they need to be.
  3. April 10 – Base connection and slots – Base and lower back wall have a connection through tongue and groove joints.
  4. April 16 –  Shelf progress – Main shelf shape is routed to give it its curve.
  5. April 17 – Carvings (Wall) + Shoe racks cut + Shoe rack slots + Shelf finished – I sketched out some ornate floral designs on the side of one of the walls and used a router to engrave it into the wood. (This was only necessary for one side since the other wall will be up against the wall. Remember this is designed for a specific location and that is in a corner). I also managed to cut out the pieces of wood that will slot into the lower half of the walls and act as shoe racks, I was able to route these slots into the walls as well. Lastly, I was able to complete the sanding and shape of the shelf.
  6. April 18 – Hinges progress + Cork shapes cut + Mirror/Cork space routed – Attached the hinges to connect walls and lower back wall. This also gave me confirmation as to how the shoe racks and shelf prop open the walls so that it stays stationary when they are inserted. I was also able to cut out abstract shapes from the cork and mirrors, which I then sketched onto the upper back wall and routed space for.
  7. April 24 – Hinges complete + Full artifact assembled + Full painted – The last hinges necessary now connect the remaining pieces and the full scale and structure of the vanity piece is now visible. I’ve also fully painted the piece and the finish can be applied either tomorrow or later once it dries.


Part 3: Next

There are only a few more things I need to do to complete this:

  • Attach hooks and staples to the sides so that the structure is 100% stable when fully assembled
  • Screw in plant hook below main shelf
  • Apply finisher
  • Add mirrors and cork
  • Add MOSS!
  • DONE!

I believe a handful of these final tasks will be finished later tonight, but now that the full structure has been made and everything is cut, sanded, and painted my pace will be much faster. As of right now I’m very happy with the design, durability, and overall feel of my creation. I feel that I put a lot of effort into this project, as it is really a gift for my parents and I want it to come out well, look professional and have personality.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Ross
    April 26, 2024 8:21 pm

    Love this so much. I can’t wait to see it next Christmas. You have totally joined the Ross family of carpenters, your uncle, great-uncle and great-great grandfather. In some way, I almost wanted you to keep the wood unpainted, because some of the grain looked so interesting. Various eyes, and a goofy one-eyed creature in the lower left-hand corner. Wood is so interesting.

  • Liz Ichihashi
    April 26, 2024 12:13 pm

    Amazing work!

  • I cannot wait to see this in person!! I love all of the ornate carvings. The functionality is awesome considering the restrictions you had, but I’m really loving the unique design of the piece and know it will add character to our space. Beautiful piece!! Bravo🤗


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