When Alex Geriner moved into his first post-college apartment in New Orleans circa 2008, he was in need of new furniture. Instead of shopping around for a bed, though, he decided to make his own, using a door salvaged from a home that flooded during Hurricane Katrina and decorative ceiling tin from a local shop. From that DIY, his furniture company Doorman was born.
For a long time, Doorman used reclaimed wood and architectural salvage from that natural disaster to build furniture. “In 2015, I took the company in a much different direction,” Geriner says. “We do everything from metal canopy beds to wooden dining tables, nightstands, bar stools—we’re a complete product line of home furnishings.”
In 2019, the brand wanted to dream up a new pedestal dining table that didn’t look like any other one on the market. The idea was to create something “carved and tapered” that had an “organic form that could be modified into different sizes and colors,” Geriner adds.
Made of wood sourced from mills in the Southeast, each of Doorman’s Amelia pedestal dining tables is one-of-a-kind. Geriner compares building one to making a gigantic wedding cake. Basically, they take solid blocks of wood—often maple, poplar, or American walnut—roughly carve it, drill a hole through the middle, and then place it on a custom-designed piece of machinery called a lathe. As the lathe spins the wood, they further carve the organic form. “From start to finish, it takes over 24 hours to build these pedestals,” Geriner says. “They are a huge labor of love.”
The pedestal is then sanded down and stained. It’s paired, of course, with a tabletop that’s available in a range of shapes—from a classic rectangle to an extendable round option. In total, it takes about a week to complete one table. Doorman works with mom-and-pop shippers to send the tables to customers all over the world.
“The home is a sanctuary,” Geriner says. “It’s where we go to get away from a busy day. It’s where we go to destress. We really pick and choose what we put into our home. So for customers to want to put our hard work and designs into their home, their sanctuary, is a rewarding feeling that I never take for granted. It’s the ultimate compliment every single time.”
You love finding new design tricks. So do we. Let us share the best of them.
Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.
Kelly Allen is the current Associate Editor at House Beautiful, where she covers design, pop culture, and travel for digital and the print magazine. She’s been with the team for nearly three years, attending industry events and covering a range of topics. When she’s not watching every new TV show and movie, she’s browsing vintage home stores, admiring hotel interiors, and wandering around New York City. She previously worked for Delish and Cosmopolitan. Follow her on Instagram.