Cattikeawampus Telestand

Materials: Expedit bookshelf side plank (15-3/8×54-3/4), (2) misc Ikea wood planks (15-3/8×54-3/4). Thickness of 3 planks varies from 3/4-2″ and color is black/brown. Various misc. Ikea wood squares which vary in thickness from 5/8″-1″. color: 80% black/brown, 20% medium brown. 2″ coarse thread drywall screws. Power drill and circular saw.

Description: I had (3) inspiration points for designing and building the Cattikeawampus TV stand. (1) Disney, (2) Sustainability, (3) OCD.

Disney – Working at Walt Disney Imagineering I am continuously inspired by the fantasy and character of materials we detail. On one of our projects I was intimately involved with the woodwork design. As a joke, we ultimately ended using the term “cattywampus” to describe the off kilter / unbalanced nature and variety of the wood members (especially the wood rails/fence). The design of the stand was also based off visiting old book stores or coffee shops and seeing various sized books stacked in random unbalanced fashion and noticing the inherent beauty of the disorder (Wabi Sabi).

Sustainability – Working in the building industry I have experienced sustainability firsthand becoming mainstream. I am always fascinated by re use / re purposing of materials (scrap) within a design. I frequent the “previously used” section of Ikea scavenging for scrap wood & materials for wacky designs dreamt up. For this project all wood pieces were purchased at discount rates from the Ikea “scrap section.” I also consider myself thrifty (aka cheap) and it was a pleasant surprise when the overall expenses for the piece was approximately $50.

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) – Because of my self diagnosed OCD I am driven to organize, align edges, reposition, and create order. Combining this with my fantasy design sense highly influences my design process. Because of the OCD I wanted a piece of furniture that was clean and contemporary looking but also had variety and a little bit of wackiness to it. The black/brown color represents that contemporary feeling and matches most of my other furniture pieces. While the randomly placed medium brown pieces add color highlights to break up the monotony. All of the pieces are orthogonal shaped but again to break up the monotony variety of sizes were cut and stacked randomly. Also being a highly organized person I do not want to see a lot of clutter so the piece was functionally designed not only support a tv, but also hold/hide the various components (micro pc, wireless router, keyboard, cables) and provide a place to for stacking magazines, display pictures, etc.

1. Visit Ikea scrap wood section and purchase cart full of black/brown and medium brown wood pieces. The Expedit shelf side (used as the stand base) took a while to find and held up the project “release date.” The Expedit base (54″ +-) was used to determine the pieces overall length.

2. Cut the (2) other wood planks in length to match xpedit base. Cut scrap wood squares to various square and rectangular sizes (7-14″).

3. Paint exposed cut ends of the wood with espresso paint. I did not cut any medium brown pieces so as not having to paint them. Also, not being much of a craftsman and a little lazy the painted cut ends look a little rough. But from a typical sitting distance you cannot tell a difference.

4. Dry stack the random scrap squares / planks and repositioning pieces as to achieve the proper proportional balance. The Expedit shelf became the strong foundation and the scrap squares were stacked (in pyramidal form, large at base – narrower mid sectin to larger top) as the books supporting the floating mid and top planks. As mentioned before a space of 4” was created between the mid and top plank for locating and hiding (micro pc, dvd player, router, cables).

5. Once look was achieved the pieces where attached with screws using a power drill. Some of the screws were not screwed in flush which enhances the off-balance look between the scrap squares. This was not intentional and was more a product of me being a poor craftsman.

Overall – I have been using the stand for a while now and love it. It is fairly heavy but I have only had to move it twice. Even though it looks a little sloppy and unfinished I chalk it up to (1) the “cattywampus” character and (2) the piece being a prototype for a more refined furniture piece that will be mass produced and sold successfully only in my mind.

~ a. bret hanson, United States