Before & After: Recycled Slate + Branch Table

I used to gravitate toward mid-century furniture, and would have happily filled my home with all those smooth, sleek curves and rounded corners. Now my tastes have changed, and while I still fancy a good mid-century shape here and there, lately I just want to fill my home with raw, natural pieces taken straight from the source. It sounds crazy, I know, but I literally want to decorate my home with rocks and stumps — and cushions, to prevent injury. I don’t know if this elfin phase will pass, but there was no better time for me to see this slate and branch table from Kim Fisher. I fell instantly in love with the idea.

Kim is an event designer, and finding unusual and inventive solutions is part of her trade. The top is actually a chunk of slate from an old pool table. I pass slate slabs like these at salvage yards frequently, and I am kicking myself for never thinking to use them in this manner. The whole project took less than a day and cost nothing, although it should be noted that coming across such magnificent fallen branches doesn’t happen every day. The result is so elegant, especially with the addition of Kim’s lovely organic styling. I’m definitely filing this away in my great ideas folder, and I’m making the case here and now: Rivendell chic, the next big thing. :) — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 1 day

Cost: free! (all materials salvaged)

Basic Steps: Since we’re an event design company, we’re constantly looking for interesting and economical projects. When faced with this old tree trunk, we decided to attempt a table instead of cutting it down for small uses. The slate comes from an old pool table my husband salvaged; if you look closely, you can see an outline of a ball pocket.

The prints are pressed algae that my biologist daughter-in-law makes, and the DIY “antlers” are left over Manzanita branches that we thought looked great with the table legs. The vase is from Blue Hand Home here in Wilmington. The flowers, plants, and glass cloches are ours.

My husband spent a good day sanding the trunk legs so they would stand, then he attached a piece of wood that was similar to the shape of the slate: this anchors the trunk and the slate. Slate can also be very sharp, so he sanded the edges down a bit. — Kim


I am in love with this table! I definitely have to make one. This is going in my file folder as well


I am in awe of this piece, I have such a collection of wood and driftwood and I have tried projects like this and it is so tough to get them level and I end up using them as raw decoration, but maybe I will try again.


Hey! I know that shape! That branch is the top of a crepe myrtle tree that has been trimmed back every year. These are all over where I live, maybe I can snag one too!

Kim Fisher

Thanks Kate at Design Sponge- this was a real treat to see this morning, you made my week! Thanks also to Theo Milo Photography for capturing the images- you make always make my work look so beautiful.

Samuel Weith

Wow! I’d never thought that that could be done. It is amazing. With that, no branch would ever go to waste. It is very economical and the end product is pretty useful.

Mary Wilcher

That branch looks like it comes from a crape myrtle. Very nice DIY!!


Wow… This is a terrific idea! We have a ton of random pieces from previous DIY projects….