Through the 4 years that we’ve been open on La Brea, one of the most common questions has been,“Can I use this table outdoors?” It’s not ideal, we’re forced answer. Unfortunately, our standard indoor dining tables aren't designed for outdoor use. The boards are all joined snuggly together, which leaves no margin for the wood to flex and shrink in the sun and elements. Similar to what you can see on a large bridge, it's necessary to allow wood space to expand and contract as it heats up and cools down. When this space isn’t provided the wood can crack and warp.
So, we took on the task of finding a design solution that fit our style. All of the reclaimed material we use is salvaged from architecture here within the U.S. Though we are proud of this practice, it limits us to a few specific species. Unfortunately, none of these species are a tropical wood, which is the ideal outdoor material. So, we expanded our search beyond our standard repurposed lumber.
Lucky for us, we happened upon two excellent material types. Teak, which is common for outdoor furniture, and Ipe. We were immediately drawn to the Ipe, which has a color that slightly resembles some of the red tones of our reclaimed Douglas Fir.
With the material locked down, we went to work on a design that most closely resembled a typical Croft House dining table. We added small gaps between each board to allow for the necessary expansion. We created a modern base, and powder coated the raw steel to protect it from the elements.
Voilà! Our new Outdoor Table was born, and just in time for Summer! We’ve already delivered a few of these beauties to new homes, including a custom version for Rag and Bone in Venice, CA! We attempted to emulate our Mossam Dining Table by thinning the boards, and mixing in strips of Teak to recreate our classic Mossam strips look.
We’re so excited to get these out into the world, and to see what custom variations people can come up for with us! Come check it out at 326 N. La Brea Ave. ASAP to get one in time for your Memorial Day BBQ!