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Sure, there?s a reason the standard (and somewhat boring) coffee table exists. It?s a great repository for household miscellany, whether it?s last month?s InStyle or last night?s wine glass. And after a long day, what better place to rest your feet?

But we?re heartened to have discovered two local woodsmiths who are giving the big-box, same-as-your-neighbor?s furniture a run for its money, proving that form may very well trump function.

The Wooden House This warehouse of wood has attracted clients with its approachable (read: budget-friendly) inventory, but owner Steven Brooks is quietly developing a rep as the Design District?s go-to carpenter. He?ll work with you to create your dream piece--an eight-foot-long reclaimed teakwood dining table, perhaps?--and small projects like custom tables take as little as two weeks to complete (subject to his schedule). 159 Pittsburg St.; 214-823-0002 or

PalletSmart This sustainably minded Fort Worth company transforms discarded wooden pallets (previously used for shipping and transporting products) into upscale custom creations. Each rustic piece has the company's "PS" logo branded into its design. We were so taken with the tables they designed for the new Ryan?s Fine Grocer & Delicatessen that we almost forgot to finish our sandwich. Almost. 4854 White Settlement Rd. #112, Fort Worth; 817-945-1584 or

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