Behind the Design: The Semi Side Table (6/27/2023)

Jun 26, 2023 Annie Cao

Sleek, versatile, and calming — that's our Semi Side Table! Its half-moon shape and sustainable materials make it an ideal accent piece in a living room or bedroom. We talked to our co-founder, Phantila, and designer Tim Miller to learn more about how it went through the stages of ideation to the final product. 


Q: How did you choose the materials for the Semi Side Table?

Phantila: We wanted to utilize high-quality materials that were sustainable and long-lasting. Solid wood is an incredibly durable and sustainable material, especially when reclaimed and responsibly sourced. We have used both Carbon Smart Wood and FSC-Certified wood in our other products.

Currently, we offer Honey and Onyx in FSC-Certified White Oak and Sienna is made from Cherry Carbon Smart Wood™. All three color options use a non-toxic, VOC-free oil stain and all of our side tables are handmade by local artisans in Michigan.



Q: What was the thought process behind designing the half-moon shape of the Semi Side Table?

Tim: When I was commissioned to design the side table, I spent a lot of time studying the existing Sabai line because it was really important to me that the piece fit in seamlessly. I also wanted it to complement the existing seating rather than be a distraction.

My immediate observation was that the Sabai pieces were all designed to fit with nearly any interior. They're beautiful enough to be appreciated as standalone pieces, but also work well with a range of different spaces. I wanted to accomplish the same goal with the side table.

I find a great deal of beauty in and am fascinated by the everyday details around me. I love seeing the nuts and bolts that hold everyday objects together, especially when the solutions are utilitarian and unexpected. Sometimes these connection points are overdone, and other times it strikes a perfect balance where the separate components come together in a seamless and effortless way. That's what I wanted to capture with this piece.

The form is incredibly simple and I spent an extremely long time working through different versions to make sure the tiny details were just right. The small end-grain semi circle was a detail I felt made the design and I was dedicated to keeping that detail even though it posed some complexities in production.

This piece is something that can be appreciated at a glance, but offers new discoveries for those who take the time to inspect the finer details. The clean, calm, and simplistic form is sure to fit in any space, especially with the multiple finish options.

In terms of functionality, I really wanted the vertical half cylinder to support the top, but also double as a built-in bookend. The table works great next to a bed or sofa and can be positioned parallel or perpendicular to whatever surface it sits against.



Q: What do you enjoy the most about the Semi Side Table?

Phantila: My favorite thing about the side table is how versatile it is! The flat side can be placed parallel to a sofa arm to offer the perfect spot for a cup of coffee or anything you want to put down while lounging on your sofa. Alternatively, it can also be placed flush to a wall and used like a nightstand. Lastly, you could also put two side tables flush to each other to create a larger circular table. 

As for the cavity between the panel and post, this can be used as a space to either stack books or place books horizontally, using the post as a sort of bookend. 


Q: Do you have any future plans for additional table options?

Phantila: We currently have a few exciting projects in the works, including additional options for both coffee and side tables, so stay tuned! 


3 Ways to Style the Semi Side Table

Following our co-founder's recommendations, here's our Semi Side Table in action!


A Nightstand With Curve Appeal

The flat side of the half-moon shape allows you to place the table flush against a wall, so you can showcase its beautiful curve in any room.


Right By Your Side

Accent your furniture with our side table. You can place drinks on top and store books below. (Psst — if you get our Essential Club Chair, you'll be the proud owner of a sustainable reading nook!)

Two Halves Make a Whole

With two side tables, it all comes full circle — literally. Putting them together makes them look more like a traditional side table and provides space for additional storage and beverages.


Shop The Semi Side Table

The Semi Side Table
The Semi Side Table


If you'd like to make an order and have any questions, feel free to email us at customer@sabai.design or send us a DM on Instagram @sabai.design.

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