Final Report Part 2 – Organic Modern Furniture Piece

Final Report Part 2

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 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.
  2. April 10 – Base connection and slots – Base and lower back wall have a connection through tongue and groove joints.
  3. April 16 –  Shelf progress – Main shelf shape is routed to give it its curve. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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: Recent Progress

As of the past week, I have completed my list of things left to do for this project, yet there are still a few things left for me to do before I can truly call this a completed project. Below are some images of the piece as of current: 

Final Goals:

  • Paint and finish roughened spots one last time
  • Make caps for the grass board slots (something to hide the slots in the walls, ideally also painted white)
  • Add floor protectors on the base
  • Clean mirrors


Plans for arrival in VA

I have a good friend named Carter who both goes to school with me here in Boulder and is a local friend to me back home in Virginia. Thankfully, he has agreed to take this piece back with him on his drive back to Virginia. I’m excited to introduce this piece to my home and to shop for the various trinkets and plants that will accompany it in its space by the back door.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Trent Bjorkman
    May 9, 2024 3:48 pm

    Hey AJ, I love this project! If you were to remake the project do you have anything specifically you’d want to change?

  • Hi AJ. Really loved how your piece turned out, especially the intricate wood carvings and grass details. Would you consider adding details so that the carvings pop out more? It may also be a result of the photo that makes the carvings hard to see,


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