The Houseman side table was conceived around 2015 when designing some furniture pieces for our designer’s own home. He needed a compact entry hall table and storage piece. Something that wouldn’t take up too much space and that you could throw a phone, wallet and keys into when coming through the door. He also needed side tables for the lounge room. Again, something compact and easy to move, allowing it to nestle against an armchair and conceal the clutter of coasters and multiple TV remotes.
We conceived a table with a soft, sculptural form. The solid timber base, made by coopering lumber together like a barrel, seamlessly connected to a spun metal bowl with a discretely hinged timber lid to a hidden storage compartment. The design was thoroughly interrogated, ensuring elegant details and convenient operability before approaching Cult Design to help realise the design for market. Cult was a natural collaboration partner with their expertise in product development and established relationships with local manufacturers and crafts people. Cult (Richard Munao and Sarah Deall) developed several prototypes with local companies Evostyle, Contempo furniture and Astor Metal Finishes. Several material options were explored including coopered American Walnut and Tasmanian Oak bases with spun aged copper, plated aluminium and polished stainless-steel bowl combinations were tested.
When we designed the interiors for the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas, several side tables for the shared work space were needed. This offered an opportunity to take the Houseman tables into full (small batch) production, bringing the concept to life with a brass bowl and Oak base to suit the interior material palette.