Modern Union : Sycamore Slab Table

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I mentioned in my last post that my life is full of changes lately. One of the harder choices I've made was to leave a business I have been part of for the last two years. I started Modern Union with my friend Jaren a couple years ago and together we set out to make a name for ourselves building gorgeous modern kitchens and custom furniture in Salt Lake City. Truth be told, the vast majority of the actual work was done by Jaren, as I was still working a full time job on the side. 

This sycamore slab table is the latest work to come out of the Modern Union studio, and one of the first things done without me being involved at all. It's a bitter sweet moment for me. My gut reaction is to be disappointed that I didn't have anything to do with it. It's so gorgeous I want to pretend that I'm somehow associated with it. Mostly though I'm just glad to see Jaren getting great commissions and still making absolutely flawless works of art. 

Jaren is doing the exact work I'm wanting to promote on Grassrootsmodern. He's just one guy in a small shop. He's incredibly talented, and he's making amazing things. This particular table has some great heritage too. The 5 foot by 7 foot slab comes from a Sycamore tree that used to be at Westminster, a local college here in Salt Lake. I know from experience that it takes hours and hours of hard work to get the top perfectly smooth and flat. One large butterfly joint in the middle of the table not only provides a beautiful contrast it actually adds structural rigidity to and old crack in the middle of the slab. 

I wish I could do more to support great local artisans like this. If you want to help support Modern Union, like their Facebook page, tell your friends about them, or even better, contact them and see what amazing thing they can build for you. Jaren has lots more slabs just waiting to be transformed

Modern Union

Modern Union on Facebook

Modern Union on Etsy

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Two modern side tables under $60

modern side table

I stumbled across these three affordable modern side tables on today and figured they were worth sharing. As is always the case, you get what you pay for, but at least your not paying much. The Dyer End Table (above) has a great simple wire base and a "engineered wood" top with a  basswood veneer. The consensus in the reviews seem to back up the fact that it's solid. If the top doesn't age well, hit up your local stone yard for a marble remnant. 

Dyer End Table $60


The Triplet Round Glass Top with Tripod Base end table (talk getting literal with the names) is also a looker. The chrome and glass give it a much more contemporary look than the Dyer above. Again the reviews are almost all positive with most of them making comments on how sturdy it was. Again at $60 the price is right.

TRGTWTB end table $60

James Henry Austin furniture

NewImageSometimes I like it a little rough. I suspect in fact that many of you do. The latest trend in modern furniture is using reclaimed and less polished materials in contrast to clean modern forms to create an interesting visual tension. Feeling the olympic spirit, UK based James Henry Austin designed a range of furniture built from salvaged sports hall flooring (that a gym floor in case you wondered). The lines are simple and often even traditional but the execution and presentation are just right to make it modern and interesting. 

James Henry Austin






Cube Side Table


A huge congratulations to my friend and fellow blogger Tyler Goodro of Plastolux on his latest collaboration with Eastvold! It's great to see someone make the transition from talking about good design to producing good design. The Cube Side Table was designed by Tyler and made by Eastvold and is right on trend with one of my latest obsessions, wood and steel. He even has a walnut and brass version coming out soon that is going to be amazing. 

Cube Side Table


Firewood Trolley Storage

NewImageI'm working on doing some interior design for an upcoming convention, and while looking for a good outdoor table I came across this Firewood Trolley by Radius Design. At first I was just attracted to it's fairly reasonable price ($500) and the fact that it's made of steel and oak so it should hold up well. It looks great loaded up with firewood, but would be equally at home acting as an outdoor bar cart. What really impressed me however was its flexibility and the way you can stand it up vertically and use it for a bar height serving table. Available in stainless, black or white.

Firewood Trolley Storage cart $499






Bloom Coffee table

NewImageI saw a similar looking coffee table last year in NY, and it just about blew my mind.


The unique cantilevered Bloom coffee table features a salvaged Western Red cedar base fused with a colored top made of peanut and soy non-toxic resin and is finsihed with a clear lacquer.  Each base has been hand-salvaged, dried, peeled, sandblasted, and cut to size.  The fusion of the two elements creates a seamless connection that results in a heat and stain resistant surface.

Do want.

Bloom Coffee Table by Wood Design $3,900 CAD



NewImageI love this simple design that uses no hardware to be put together. Designed by Matthias Ferwagner the table can be summed up by the following.

To express it minimalistly:

5 bars

1 table top





Brighton Exchange Furniture

table top valet

Why does one need a table top valet? To be perfectly honest with you, I have absolutely no idea. Still, that doesn't stop me from wanting one. If it's not exactly your thing, make sure you check out some of the other beautiful items that Cincinnati based Brighton Exchange is making. They also have some gorgeous cocktail tables and shelves. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love seeing white oak furniture these days.

Brighton Exchange

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I've mentioned before my mild obsession with tables that feature interesting legs. The Hexag table uses a simple yet ingenious system of a powder coated metal leg that clips onto an American Walnut veneered top. The result is fantastic, and surprisingly affordable.

Hexag £99



3 amazing modern tables

modern tablesI love me a good modern table. The only thing better is 3 modern tables.  I stumbled across these beauties this week and I absolutely love each of them for very different reasons.

The Koota table by Marc Haldemann is a great example of classic woodworking craftsmanship applied in a modern aesthetic. Constructed with absolutely no screws, glue or the like, the desk relies on precision mortise and tenons to stay together. Instead of hiding the construction method, it's tastefully integrated into the final design. Bravo.

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While simple is great, that doesn't mean that complex is bad. "The Desk" by Christofer Odmark is far from simple in appearance, and it's absolutely stunning. I'm a sucker for a good table leg, and Christofer takes the classic hairpin leg and adds a touch of spice to it. The butcher block top plays off the wedge shape of the legs, also lending a sense of motion to the table. It's not all about looks however, the core of the top is hollowed out to house a plug strip and cable management. My favorite detail is the recessed plug underneath the top that powers the whole table. Hot.

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Last and certainly not least is David Week's Ribbon Table. Aptly named for it's thin dramatic leg, the Ribbon table is a nice mix between the two tables above. It's visually simple and easy on the eye, but has some subtle complexity hiding underneath the skin. Literally.  Each leg attaches to the top via a two long metal stretchers that are recessed into the table. The top itself is plywood with what looks like a white laminate on each side. Fantastic.

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livdin sofa tableUnfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we don't all live in a home with an abundance of space. Often times this requires us to maximize what we have, and there is no better way to do this than furniture that serves more than one purpose. The LIVDIN sofa designed by Terrence Seah is one of the most impressive concepts I have seen in a while. It starts off as an attractive sofa, and with just a little handiwork converts into a table complete with bench seating. Genius.



SOFT side table

c popp work shop stoolThe SOFT side table designed by Northern California-based interior designer Curtis Popp affirms once again my love for brightly painted steel juxtaposed with wood. Available in 7 different colors and three different woods there are lots of possible combinations to choose from. Whats your favorite? (walnut and yellow for me please) Pricing is more along the boutique furniture side of the spectrum than the Ikea side, but choose carefully and it's a piece you will have for a lifetime.

SOFT side table $469


Emmerson Dining Table

emmerson table and benchWhy yes, I am still obsessing over farmhouse tables in modern settings. Thanks you for noticing. Last night while flipping though the new West Elm catalogue I spotted this fantastic Emmerson table made from reclaimed shipping pallets. First off, I would love to get my hands on some of those pallets, second this is a fabulous table for the money. I love that it just has a simple wax finish on it too.

Emmerson Dining Table $849 - $1019

emmerson dinning table farm house modern

Please excuse me while I pay some bills...