Circa 2003, as I was preparing to move into my first college apartment, I built a coffee table in one of my studio art classes. The assignment was to make a tile mold, make tiles of a repeating shape, and then produce a piece of art. I was tired of project that didn't really serve an ultimate purpose and my roommate and I needed a place to eat our TV dinners. Thus, the table was conceived.
I knew the table top would be heavy, on account of the tiles and grout. And as my construction skills are limited, pipe became the most practical structure for the table legs. It was a simple build, setting the tiles around a small inlay that originally housed photos of friends under the glass. The table has moved with me, from apartment to apartment, and now sits in my home living room, still tying in seamlessly to the room aesthetic. So much so, you'd think it was planned.
Turns out, I accidentally hit on something that would become a trend. Industrial furniture. The January Martha Stewart Living, outlines a DIY project that evolved from a very similar situation as mine: A first apartment in need of furnishing.
The article outlines the How-To for a bench, a desk, end tables, and a storage unit. All at minimal cost and with easy to secure materials. Like Legos, the plans can easily be converted and adapted. The result is nothing short of a beautifully unique, and sturdy piece of handmade furniture.