Pat is really keen on things made from wood and especially keen on handmade pieces demonstrating real craftsmanship.  She decided that she would like to commission Irene to make two bedside tables for her home and the commissioning discussions began …….


Irene had an initial discussion with Pat to understand what her preferences were and talk about a budget for the tables.  A house visit followed and the exact dimensions of the tables were discussed as they had to fit into specific places.  Type of wood and colours of wood that would suit the room were considered, along with discussion on drawer size and finishing requirements.

With an idea of the table design and initial thoughts on construction, Irene provided Pat with a guideline price for the two tables.  Pat then confirmed her intention to proceed with the commission and the project moved onto the next stage, detailed design.


With Pat’s preferences in mind, Irene drew up a sketch of the preferred bedside table design, together with a couple of other options in less detail, for discussion.

With Pat's preferences in mind, Irene drew up a sketch of the preferred bedside table design, together with a couple of other options in less detail, for discussion. Irene met with Pat in a coffee shop near the workshop, where she presented her preferred design and also the other possible options.  The table top plan area and height were designed exactly as per Pat's specified dimensions and the single drawer was sized to provide suitable aesthetics for the table as a whole.  

Irene and Pat also had interesting discussions about the type of wood (Cherry to match other furniture in the room), the final finish (a hand applied wax/oil for a robust protective finish) and other design details.  

Pat was very happy with the preferred design and proceeded with a visit to Irene's workshop, where Pat was able to see the machines and tools that would be used in the making of her tables and also view some samples of natural cherry wood.

Following confirmation of design and details, Irene advised the final price of the two tables and expected lead time and the commission progressed to construction.


Unlike the extending dining table (see other case study) these bedside tables do not include any complicated mechanisms or particularly unusual movement and it wasn’t necessary to make a mock-up to prove the concept, so construction proceeded once workshop space was available, as per the agreed schedule.  Once the tables were complete, delivery was arranged.

Showing close-up of dovetailed drawers
Detail of hand cut dovetailed joints on drawers
Wrap around cherry wood on bedside table
Wrap around edges showing continuous grain of the Cherry wood


As the bedside tables are relatively small, the delivery process was very simple and straightforward with Irene delivering into the client’s house at a mutually convenient time. 


“I am really pleased with my bedside tables which are a delightful combination of form and function. I particularly love the detailing such as the perfectly made, contrasting dovetailed joints of the drawer fronts.  Irene’s exceptional skill and eye for detail has led her to craft tables that are as beautiful and finely made at the bottom and back as they are at the front and top. I had been looking for bedside tables that would complement my cherry wood bed frame and fit in the limited space on either side for a long time. I had never found anything I liked and having seen some of Irene’s work asked her if she would be willing to make some for me. Irene came to my house to look at the room and the other furniture and, over a cup of tea, we discussed what I required practically and what I would like aesthetically. The whole process was a pleasure with Irene providing me with draft designs and progress updates. I also had the bonus of a visit to her workshop, which was really interesting. I highly recommend commissioning Irene to create something. The tables will be with me and be treasured for the rest of my life.”