US Interior Designer Gigi Aelbers (Synergigi) turned to Timeless Tube when she needed to source elegant yet robust legs for a custom-made coffee table commission.
The Montana-based designer was looking for oval tubing to use for a bespoke coffee table she was commissioned to create for her client. Unable to find what she needed in North America, the internet led her to Timeless Tube.
In a style Aelbers describes as “organic and geometric combined”, the commission comprised two stunning asymmetrical tabletops – one made from black walnut and the other from white oak – mounted to pieces of oval tubing connected in a ‘continuous’ U-shape. On the request of her client, Aelbers needed to ensure that her client’s exquisite rug wasn’t obscured by chunky table legs; elegant, unobtrusive tubes made it as “visible as possible”.
Gigi, who trained at St Lucas, the prestigious arts and design University in Brussels, takes a very collaborative approach with both her clients and with her fabricators: “I told my metalworker Daniel what I wanted, then asked him, ‘Is this possible?’.”
Gigi ordered samples from Timeless to ensure she had the correct-sized tube: “When I designed the furniture the tubing size I initially chose looked OK on a computer screen…but it doesn’t always translate to a 1:1 scale. When we received the sample from the UK it didn’t look quite right so we went down one size. The ratio of things is very important in design”.
Architectural Steel Fabricator Daniel Boteler used the joiners to connect the tubes at the corners, which he says was “easier than making 45 degrees on the saw” and allowed for a better finish. The welding was smoother as it was a straight weld as opposed to a corner weld. With 20 years’ experience of metal fabrication, Daniel says he would happily work with shaped metal tube again: “It is nice to have options other than the same old generic round tube”.
The tubular table legs were sandblasted to create a raw, textured look. Aelbers applied paint and beeswax to create a ‘bomb-proof’ coating in metallic colours that she had mixed herself. When asked why she went to such lengths to find the right shaped tubing, Aelbers explained: “It’s all in the subtleties. Most people will notice that they like it but they don’t really know why. Unless they are very visual. It’s something that’s new to the eye…the subconscious probably knows that it’s new. They know it doesn’t look like the picnic table in the park!”
Tom McMillan, MD of Timeless Tube was delighted by the results. “It is so exciting when we get to see our tubing in use… these coffee tables are stunning. We know that our tubing is beautifully engineered and lends itself so well to design pieces. But when a designer accommodates the tubing so elegantly into their creative vision, it is always special. We love being a part of projects like these.”