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Think this is just a table? Think handcrafted CSS instead.

A sweet coffee table crafted from reclaimed pallet wood caught our eyes on a U.K. furniture website. It wasn’t cheap, and the company didn’t ship to Nashville, but we knew it would be perfect addition to our office.

So we made one of our own, inspired by the design we saw abroad.

You see, woodworking makes us happy. The sight of a finished piece and the smell of sawdust fill our senses with accomplishment. And it gives us something real to touch in a world where everything is becoming just a little more intangible.

But this table is more than just a table.

This handcrafted piece is a representation of our company culture and the things we value: carefully crafted design, well-thought out strategies and creating things that are functional AND beautiful.

It’s also analogous of how we approach site development and design. Like the coffee table, our website work reflects keen attention to detail and an unwillingness to settle for less than we know is possible. Sure, its the design that faces the public but all the stuff that makes it work AND look awesome – what we call the “back end” – is just as important. We work almost equally with design and code, and we believe our code has artistry that not only informs the design but enhances it.

The Original Handcrafted Designers

We aren’t the first to compare well-built websites to handmade furniture. Ethan Marcotte and Dan Cederholm, authors of “Handcrafted CSS: Bulletproof Web Design,” made the same analogy at a seminar here in Nashville several years ago. Like any art, this feel of handcrafted CSS, they suggested, is the difference between good websites and great websites. It’s about quality; and as designers and developers, we should strive for the equivalent of dovetail joints in our work.

So besides just being a cool piece of furniture (with red wheels to match out sofa!), our coffee table serves as a tangible reminder to stay focused on why we take the time to do what we do.

This may be the digital age, but fine craftsmanship still elevates something from “It works” to “It rocks.”