Blog Detail

Posted on 08.15.14
The Story of Our Communal Table

Farm to Table: The Story of Our Communal Table

As we move into the final weeks of our build, the pieces of The Shelby puzzle are coming together.  Furniture is being delivered, installations are almost complete, and artwork is being installed.  Our vision is FINALLY becoming a reality and it’s even bigger and brighter than what we had expected.


In our first blog post, 5 Things You Need to Know About The Shelby,  we talked about our commitment to support local businesses, artists, and craftsmen. Supporting our community is the foundation of The Shelby.


An intrinsic element of The Shelby community is the people that helped create it.  These ‘artists and craftsmen’ are the people that have actualized our vision.  It is important to us that we share with you the stories behind the talented people that have dedicated their time to creating a place for you to call home.



by Carbon Industrial Design




The story of our table begins with the wonderfully creative team at Carbon Industrial Design.  Carbon Industrial Design, located in Alexandria VA, actively searches for factory machinery, building materials and other early American products to incorporate into furniture and building designs.


Earlier this year, Carbon Industrial purchased a 100-year old tobacco barn from Edelyn’s Farm in Southern Maryland. The barn was in disrepair after the derecho in 2012. The structure became unsafe for use and the farmer allowed Carbon Industrial to salvage the wood.  The farmers only request?  That he keep one of the barn doors.


Photo Credit: Carbon Industrial Design

The Carbon Team worked closely with the farmer to break down the barn.  The farmer and his tractor removed the initial support beams that brought the 100-foot long barn to the ground.  Once the barn was leveled, the team sorted through the wood to get the best usable beams for furniture.  The wood used to build this barn was incredibly unique.  It was built entirely of strong white oak, which is why the barn lasted as long as it did.  These salvaged oak beams were used in The Shelby communal table.



Photo Credit: Carbon Industrial Design

In designing this table, Carbon Industrial sketched and brainstormed with Insight Property Group to create a table that felt strong and reflected the American craftsmanship from both past and present.  The oak beams from Edelyn’s Farm were hewn and worked by skilled American carpenters over 100-years ago.  These same oak beams were repurposed by the Carbon Industrial craftsmen to make The Shelby table that we hope will last another 100-years!


Photo Credit: Carbon Industrial Design

This 12′ long trestle table truly brings the spirit of the early American artisan to life by using salvaged and reclaimed materials.  Creating the steel I-beam legs and other steel accents to the table adds strength and character to the design and reflects the early period of industry and steel working in America.  Americana redefined.



Photo Credit: Carbon Industrial Design


At The Shelby, we believe in a sense of community for all of our residents.   This table is our lobby centerpiece, just as our community is the centerpiece of The Shelby.  This communal table represents warmth, conversations, and gathering.  No matter who you are or where you are from, you will always have a seat at our table.

We encourage you to visit the shop and showroom at Carbon Industrial Design located at 1050 N. Fayette Street in Alexandria, VA.   You can also follow their work on Facebook and Twitter.