Prairie-style Coffee Table

An anachronism in its time, this table now fits perfectly in our homes.
By David Thiel
Pages: 62-66

From the October 2005 issue #150
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Frank Lloyd Wright would probably be dismayed to see a coffee table built in his Prairie furniture style. In fact he and his fellow early 20th-century designers all would have been disturbed by the concept of a coffee table. Eating or drinking in the living room? Unheard of! That type of informality in furniture is a product of the latter half of the 20th century.

But, there is a fine, old Russian proverb that says necessity is the mother of invention. And so I offer you the Prairie-style coffee table. At least it’ll keep my kids from leaving plates, glasses and remote controls on the floor.

This project is an adaptation of a number of Wright’s pieces, utilizing applied moulding to a generally simple design. The shelf is placed high on the legs and extends beyond the base to match the wide and low look of Wright’s Prairie-style buildings and furniture.

The construction is simple, with the most complicated joint being a mortise-and-tenon attachment on the legs, which I’ve simplified even further for you.

From the October 2005 issue #150
Buy this issue now