When it comes to simple home living, there are really only a few furniture staples that form the essence of a space. One such staple is the ever functional coffee table. Besides the dominant sofa and lounge chair, the coffee table can set the ambience of a space highly effectively.
This slim steel Axe coffee table, designed by Atelier Naerebout for FEST, is as beautiful as it is useful. The quality of the coffee table reveals itself through an exciting play of lines, surfaces, and the quality of the material in combination with light. The design was led by Joren Naerebout, who breaks down the process of making the table and his approach to design in general:
The first prototype of the coffee table was made from plywood in 2016. Looking at it, I thought it might be a lot more visually interesting to make one in steel.
The steel versions were made in 2mm blue (blackened) steel. One in 50x50x35cm and 45x45x30cm. I really liked (and like) the play of light and shadows the table revealed, while still being very functional. It was heavy but somehow looked very light at the same time. Since then the table ‘evolved’ to what it is today.
Tirelessly researched and refined, Joren Naerebout’s elegant everyday functional designs become a joy of lines and materiality, a play of light and shadow. Supported by his own design principles, the inspiration behind his work is first and foremost drawn from his own surroundings.
The start of the design of a product is usually pretty clear; I design things I want to use in my city apartment. My house is full of mainly Dutch ’60 and ’70’s mid century products and furniture. It is a bit calvinistic, sober, functional with a lot of sheet steel, which is currently my favourite technique.
The design process itself comes in a more natural way; I start with an idea, I sketch and make cardboard/paper models, and I try to remove all design decisions that are not bare necessities. You might call it minimalism, but I don’t think about that during the process. I just want to make understandable, honest products and furniture. And the world is complicated enough.
The Axe coffee table is currently available in black and sand colours with a zinc-plated movable tray, measuring 50x50x35cm. Perfect to store the books and magazines you like to read with your cup of coffee.