When designed and crafted expertly, a table can become the focal point of a space. Tables set the mood and provide the ambiance of a room, whether you’re at a dinner party or getting some work done. Since there is no one-size-fits-all for how to create a custom table for your specific space, we’re pitching in some design tips to help you pick the perfect piece of fine furniture.

Put Your Imagination to Work

Create a wish list of what you’re looking for, and cast a really wide net. Nothing’s off the table.

Is this going to be the focal point of your dining room? Is this going to be the table that is built into a banquette dining area off your kitchen? Is this a specialty occasion table for your living room that will have eye-catching design features? Ask yourself enough questions to determine what the purpose of the table is beyond just being another table. If this table could talk, what would you want it to say?

Start to Gather Inspiration

Once you know how you want to utilize your table, start to gather your inspiration pictures and examples. Add notes describing what it is that captured your eye, the details that you like, and what you would change to make it perfect. All of the design inspiration notes that you include will make it easier for a furniture designer to create exactly what you’re envisioning.

Measure the space where you will install the table. Not only the overall size of the room, but other measurements as well including windows, special molding details, the height of chandelier above the finished floor, any built-in furniture, fireplace and other architectural elements.

Now with your wish list in place, start thinking about the specifics.

What Size Should Your Table Be?

Your room size will be your primary determining factor. How many people will you be able to comfortably seat around the table given your size restrictions? For a chart on the amount of seats and table sizes visit this site.

What Type of Wood?

What type wood would you like to use? Do you want a darker wood or a lighter wood? A hardwood or a softwood? And what are the differences between them?


To make this easier for you we created a comparison of the two.


  • Comes from broad-leaf trees
  • Very slow growing trees
  • Heavier, denser wood and grain
  • Able to withstand years of wear and tear
  • Darker in color
  • Usually more expensive


  • Comes from conifer trees
  • Fast growing trees
  • Lighter weight wood
  • Lighter in color
  • Usually less expensive

There are a variety of woods to choose from which we have in stock. Determining your favorite is best done through research. Sorry fellas, but you may have to go along with your wife for some retail research. Here at Old Fashioned Lumber we have slabs that range from 3’ to 24’ in length in a variety of widths.

Hardwoods that we have in-stock: Oak, Eucalyptus, Avocado

Softwoods that we have in-stock: Spruce, Cedar, Fir, Monterrey Pine, Torrey Pine

Reclaimed wood that we have in-stock: Wine Barrels, Reclaimed Timber, Marine Wood, Barn Wood, Architectural Elements

To discover the characteristics of each wood type, read more here.

Get Stylish With Your Top Options

From simple to wow – the choice is yours. The canyon is the live edge favorite that is dominating high end interior, and when combined with an epoxy river creates a stunning visual aesthetic for any room. Another luxurious choice is a slab, the top that started as the rustic camp table that has now migrated to fine interiors giving a natural touch to modern and traditional spaces. Adding a patterned table top is an elegant way to add visual texture and a natural, rustic feel. For interiors where your table needs to blend in and not stand out, a solid top allows other features to dominate the room.

Determine Your Finish

The choices for wood finish is where your inner artist gets to play. Stains can enhance, and sometimes change entirely, the original feel of a wood species. From oils to epoxy to urethanes, there are a variety of ways to seal the finish of your table that can add luster and shine to the finished piece.

Our designers can give you finish suggestions based on the type of wood you chose and your desired end result. They can also provide you with stain samples on your chosen wood.

Get Creative with Your Accents

The final design touches are where you provide the extra wow-factor to your piece.

There’s a common misconception that custom has to be complex. Minimalist design has layers of intensity that can rival extravagant designs, so don’t be afraid to indulge your personal taste. Our designers will help you to find your voice and add it seamlessly to your table.

Adding accents to a piece is truly an art. As we work with the wood, our handcrafted furnishings are given only the accents that are appropriate to that unique piece. If your interior style has specific needs, we can craft that into your piece.

A variety of accents that we incorporate are: Bowtie joint, Dovetail joint, Metal inlay, Leather, Square nails, Nailheads, Stone, Gems, Carved details, Burned edge, Metal edge, Carved divet edging, Waterfall edge.

Refine Your Furniture With Accessories

The wonderful thing about designing your own table is that you can make it uniquely yours. And with today’s technology adding specialty features will help streamline your life. Consider undermount duplex and USB modules to eliminate the tangle of cords that become the trip hazard and eyesore running across the floor. Add casters so that your table can be easily moved. Include a hidden drawer where you can discreetly hide important documents.


Our Team at Old Fashioned Lumber is Ready to Bring Your Custom Table to Reality. 

Don Woodard, our owner, has been handcrafting pieces for years starting his craft in Oregon. Zakhar Smirnov, an industrial designer, perfected his craft while growing up in the trade.

Let us design your perfect piece that will become the focal point of your interiors.


Design Advice: Take pictures of the space where your table will reside so that the designer can take into account complimentary furnishings and existing wood types.

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