Custom Backlit Onyx Dining Table – A Long Build Process

After the initial exchange with the interior designers at Darrell Schmitt Design Associates back in the beginning of 2011, this backlit onyx dining table has slowly and steadily come to fruition.  GPI Design was originally intended to just provide the material for a backlit onyx tabletop for a private residence in the Middle East.  Four panels cut to size, a small undertaking for the large volumes we’re used to.

Sounds pretty simple, huh?  Not so fast.  No contractor or millworker was willing to take on the task of creating the entire table structure, due to the weight and fragility of the onyx panels.  So we stepped up to the plate and decided that WE would make the entire table.  That meant a whole lot of attention to detail, intense engineering calculations, and custom fabricated metalwork; we were pumped up for the challenge.

This video outlines the process of design, fabrication, engineering, and assembly that has occurred over the past year.  We are proud of the finished result, particularly how smoothly the rendering translated to the final product.  As usual, we obsessed over the details, spent hours coordinating and integrating the elements, and became quite attached to this work of art.  The table is currently packed up and on its way to the Middle East for final installation in the dining room of the residence.

Some cool facts about the table:

  • The table is over 15 feet in length
  • The table top weighs nearly 2,000 lbs
  • The edge profile is only 2″ thick
  • The designer selected the honey onyx stone completely custom – no 2 pieces are the same
  • The stone is opened up like a book, with pattern lines reflected across joints
  • The table is tied back to a central lighting control system so the lighting settings can change scenes
  • What you don’t see: wiring, metal plates, attachments, fasteners, clips, structural reinforcements
  • At the beginning stages of stone and lighting design, the lighting designer flew in from LA to view half of the table top in mock-up format
  • Fallon and Caitlin nearly had panic attacks every time the stone was moved

Bon voyage to our dear table, we’ll see you on the other side of the pond!