THE BIG IDEA
I'm always looking for ways to live a high-end lifestyle in a small space. Living in the Bay Area, owning a home is out of the question for me, and the best apartment I can afford is 700 Sq. Ft. Watching Mad Men makes me pine for the days of Mid-Century Modernism, when people actually had room for all the awesome furniture they wanted.
I love to entertain friends, and a home bar is a great way to get people over for pre-dinner cocktails. With all the available space in my apartment filled, I needed to replace something essential to be able to fit a bar. Since my furniture selection is already about as minimal as it gets, I needed to combine it with something else- my desk.
I went through a lot of design iterations, but the one I finished with was as simple as possible. I wanted the transformation to happen in one quick movement, and for gravity to keep the bar top in place when it was folded down for bar mode, and folded up for desk mode.
After multiple tries, I found a pivot point on the side of the desk that would allow gravity to keep the bar top in place while making sure the bar was 42" high when in bar mode. This is important because it's the standard height for a bar. If there's one thing I've learned in my years of designing furniture, it's this: DON'T MESS WITH STANDARD DIMENSIONS! The amount of play when it comes to familiar ergonomic relationships (size of a chair, height of a table, etc.) has very little room for play. You've really only got about 1/2" of maximum deviation from the norm if you want your products to be comfortable and usable.
I designed this piece (and almost every other project for the past year) in Fusion 360. It's free indefinitely with a "startup" license, so be sure to install it and play around with the "Odom_Transforming-Bar-Desk.f3d" model I've provided in this step. In Fusion, you can make mechanical assemblies, which made my life A LOT easier for this project. I was able to test out multiple pivoting configurations to be sure my project would work as I'd hoped.
A few details I included in the design are as follows:
- Nut + bolt pockets for mounting a second monitor
- A large drawer with storage on each side
- A shelf for barware
- A recessed nook for ice bucket or cutting board storage
I really think this is a good design, and in the interest of avoiding any future legal battles over the non-commercial license in this instructable, I've applied for a provisional patent. This protects my design for one year, after which time I can apply for a full patent with 20 year protection.
As always, please remake, remix, and re-think the product for your own personal purposes!