d.i.y. outside table + blackboard

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New piece of furniture… yeh !!! By now you may have realized nothing makes me happier than this kind of project right?!

But this one, makes me especially happy! First of all, because it was one of those things you just have to plan, because you have problems to solve… but in the end, besides solving them up you happen to have a nice piece of furniture to add some charm and character to your house! That’s what happened here!

So… To start this conversation, we have to go back a little, and remember the time we had only a balcony and a table (and of course a pair of chairs)! Sounds good…sound enough… But actually wasn’t good enough! Pretty much because, we were out of options back there.

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Our table was beyond small, and we were always coming in and out of the kitchen during our meals because most of the time we had no room to place the food or the beverages. What leads us to problem number two: once the table was there, it was pretty hard to walk around, because our balcony is not that wide, and our old squared table took almost all of the space… So we were always turning the table upside down as you can see to make some space… or during the winter when the weather is pretty bad, just to save the table.

Back there I was really pissed off, because I hate this kind of situation! I hate half solutions…I wanted a table that could be there during summer and winter time…I wanted a table I could pass by whenever I needed to… I needed a table to make my balcony prettier and my life better!

It was natural to start thinking about a longer and thinner table.

Longer so we could have room enough to our plates, the food and some beverages, thinner because passing through is necessary most of the time. This new dimension also allowed us to think about having someone eating with us outside, what was impossible before.

Second new possibility:  use the table during a party, now that you can pass by!

So…we were thinking about this table for a while… and meanwhile we were also thinking about some kind of board to the wall behind the table. For a lot of reasons… but I can make it simple as that: The wall looked terrible, and we were not allowed to paint it as it is part of the facade… so we started thinking about an element to cover it. Something easy to attach and detach…  Maybe a green wall with some plants, or a big black-board where people could leave some messages during our parties or when visiting us, what sounds better when you think about winter time… And that makes you think: what about a green black-board? But that’s another subject…

Unless you decide to combine both problems into one solution!

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I mean: off course, after a while it was pretty natural to start thinking about a panel-table or table-panel… We developed some models, decided for a sort of navy wood, suitable for outside weather, that we would paint with green blackboard paint.

We spent a lot of time discussing details for a minimal but efficient fixation solution, we had this great idea of using magnets to make sure the folding parts would not be shaking and trembling when the table was closed…We made some tests to be sure about what would be the best hinge…

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It is a small piece of furniture, but it demanded us to think some details and solution, in order to make it look as simple as it actually is.

outst 004Basically you have two boards upon each other. The upper one is always fixed and the lower one that you can fold to have a table or unfold to have a big blackboard panel. Underneath the lower board it is another equal board, so when the table is open you don’t see the ‘ugly’ wall. Actually this extra board layer is embraced by two side bars, as tall as the whole set of boards. This tree hidden elements make the system stable, and preserve the fixation points which you cannot see, once the boards are placed upon it!

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I am super happy with the result! We already had some guests and I can tell you: All possibilities works!

We also had a storm a couple of weeks ago, and once the table was folded, the board was completely stable… We had a lot of windy rain but the magnets worked beyond fine!


What do you think? Do you also like it? I think it is quite nice and charming… I love to post outside now that I have a lot of space and such a nice atmosphere!

Do you also have a piece of furniture that seemed to be nothing but a necessity, and ended up being much more than that?

I would love to hear about it, and to know about your furniture experiences!

lots of love

dp bye



    • danipochetto

      So good to hear those words from another architect! Bel, I read on your blog that you are going trough this same phase right now… Hope you may share some of your furniture with us pretty soon!
      bisous, dani.

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