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In some cases, especially for those with larger living spaces, custom furniture can help where the mass market cannot.


Although there are many perks to residing and adapting to city lifestyle, there are those who prefer a calmer pace of living to escape the congestion and simply have more ‘space’. In some areas outside of the city region, space can mean freedom and flexibility when it comes to the design of residential dwellings; where the architecture is not only unique in style but grand in scale. As a result, occupying large interior spaces can naturally lead to a demand for custom made furniture and projects that the mass market cannot offer.


Such was the case with Sydney based designer Christel Hadiwibawa from studio ChristelH, who was recently commissioned to design and make a one-off dining table for a young family residing in Cobbitty, located near the prestigious country town of Camden in Sydney’s South West. The brief was simple; create a contemporary dining table to match the proportions of the clients’ spacious dining area that will cater 12-14 people.

“When the client first approached me about the project, what was interesting was not only the size they wanted but unusual tweaks to the design, such as their request for the ends to accommodate two seats making the table exceptionally wider than the standard dining table. But this is what made the project quite exciting, it was different.” Hadiwibawa states.


After the client approved the final design concept, the finished table would measure 3m in length and 1.5m wide. Made from solid American Walnut, the under frame outer rails were constructed to mimic an ‘I’ beam profile that would accommodate the weight of the solid top. Two additional legs were also implemented at the center of the under frame structure to relieve pressure on the outer legs. The central legs would not hinder leg room due to the width of the top, yet aesthetically provides a symmetrical balance to the overall look and feel of the table. Finely sanded back to 400 grade and finished with natural oil, the project was built and completed on site, as suggested by the client.

“It was nice to step away from my usual form of work where our studio now outsources most of our design production to local manufacturers. This project enabled me to revisit my early university days of fine woodworking where we learnt to trust our hand skills to get the job done with minimal aid from the machine. It is a slower pace of working, which in some ways is therapeutic. But when you reach completion, you end up with a piece you can be pleased with, and more importantly, a piece that your client is pleased with.” concludes Hadiwibawa.


Photography by Natographs