Macassar Ebony and Faux Crocodile Skin Mini-Bar

I was asked to build a freestanding mini-bar for a client who spends her summers in Manhattan on Park Avenue and winters in Florida. My designer friend, Penny provided some general directions, and then asked me to draw something up. So I pounced on it!

I’ve always wanted to work with solid ebony, but knowing the wood, soon realized that there were limits. Ebony comes from a small tree and the bar is almost six feet tall. Finding pieces long enough might have been problematic, but my supplier had a bin full of ebony boards. I enjoy sorting through stacks of lumber, especially boards from faraway places, thinking of the possibilities.

So with lumber in hand, I returned to my shop in Beacon and began the task of assigning different pieces of wood to different parts of the bar. What’s interesting about this project is that this minibar had to be built “inside out.” The interior walls, top and bottom were installed when the ebony frame was glued up. Then the lighting went in, followed by the faux crocodile exterior walls and finally the mirrored panels and glass shelves.

I’m especially proud of mirrored pull-out tray which acts as an additional work surface for the mini-bar. It hides behind the doors and glides in and out.

The doors, too, were very satisfying to build because the ebony edges “cap” the faux skin on the exterior and protect the mirrors on the inside. And they close with a satisfying “click.”

All in all, this was a very satisfying challenge to take on.