The Papervore Coffee Table

I fell in love with the Papervore Coffee Table by Pigeontail Design the moment I spotted it on Design*Sponge last week. I’m now plotting “accidents” my current coffee table could suffer so I can replace it with this:

Simple, modern, multipurpose design — the Papervore Coffee Table makes my heart go pitter patter.

34 Comments for “The Papervore Coffee Table”

  1. posted by Kelly on

    It does look pretty awesome. But my concern would be emptying the shred bin… that could make one heck of a mess.

  2. posted by WilliamB on

    I have two concerns:
    1. All paper shredders I’ve had experience with, makes a bit of a mess around the shredder, during shredding and during emptying. Not what I want in my living room.
    2. If one has kids, keeping the kids away from the shredder, both for their security and so they don’t shred something one needs to keep.

    Now if I could have a shredder built into my desk…

  3. posted by Keith_Indy on

    Did you know that shredded paper bits make good kindling?

    I’d hate to see what would happen should a stray ash from a cigarette or fire landed in there.

  4. posted by Erin Doland on

    @WilliamB — LOVE the idea of one being in your desk!

  5. posted by rosie_kate on

    If I had that in my living room, my 5 year old would have a field day with it! (every day!) Hey, maybe it would cure him of digging the junk mail out of the burn trash to play with it! He might also do all his books, coloring pages, and maybe a few bills! Looks like a win-win to me!


  6. posted by Eric Hanneken on

    I like it too, but it costs $1250.

  7. posted by young c-m on

    Cool! But pricey!

  8. posted by Ruth Hansell on

    If one were handy, or were married to a handy type person, I’d think you could fairly easily build a decent looking coffee or end table around an inexpensive shredder. And that in itself is a wonderful idea.

    The clear catch bin might be fun to experiment with at different seasons. You know, orange/brown/red/gold shredding in the fall, red/green shredding in December, pastels in spring. Just joking, and then again . . .


  9. posted by Shalin on

    What a neat idea and design…

    And the DIY version will appear on Instructables in ~2 weeks πŸ˜‰


  10. posted by Charity on

    That looks like one of those things that is cool but not pratical in real life. I cannot imagine hand cranking the shredder to shred a few file folders worth of paper! If I want an arm exercise, I think I would rather just go rowing. Plus the mess factor a few other commentors have mentioned. But it is pretty to look at!

  11. posted by [email protected] on

    I was thinking the same thing as WilliamB…this would worry me a bit with kids in the house.

    I also think I’d like it better without a clear bin. I don’t really like to see my paper shreds! lol

  12. posted by mydivabydesign - The Diva's Home on

    What a good excuse for sitting around in front of the tv! “I’m just protecting our identity, honey!” I like it! πŸ™‚

  13. posted by HappyDogs on

    Erin, you will have to wait until the kid is old enough to be conned into turning that crank for you. I remember getting talked into turning the crank on the ice creamer way back, well, before you were born. There’s a window of about 5 years where they will cooperate then they get too smart.

  14. posted by Danny on


    Its a giant box that shreds paper. If your definition of a multi-tasker is placing a drink on it while it performs its ONLY function then you need to re-examine your Wednsday articles… because quite a few of those could be fitted with a cupholder.

  15. posted by amandalee on

    I saw this a few weeks back and loved it. It’s be adorable filled with different colors of shredded paper, but I don’t use enough colored paper to make that happen.

    I second Shalin, though – the DIY version will be on Instructables soon.

  16. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Danny — There is a difference between a single-task item and a unitasker. Toilets and fire extinguishers fall into the useful, single task item category. Things like we feature in our weekly column are unitaskers because they’re not really useful, at least not for most people.

    That being said, I don’t think this is either a single-task item or a unitasker. At the least it’s a single-task item because it has high utility, but I think it’s a multifunctional item.

  17. posted by Danny on

    @Erin – First of all… I love this site… truly awesome stuff πŸ™‚

    So “Unitasker” is a derogatory term? Because single-task and uni-task mean the same thing (1 task). I’m curious… what makes this table a multifunctional item?

  18. posted by Laura on

    I’ve got to echo the comment that it doesn’t look very young child friendly. Not so much from a blade safety issue, though that would be a concern for me, but I’d be worried that my toddler would either dump out the contents all over the floor or play with and potentially break the crank handle.

  19. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Danny — I see unitasker as a derogatory term of sorts. The term actually comes from Alton Brown, who is specifically against using unitaskers in the kitchen. He says the only unitasker you should have in your kitchen is a fire extinguisher. We’re a little more broad with our use of it … we look at is as any object that has very low utility. We’ve featured unitaskers that have more than one use, but don’t do any of them well, and we’ve also featured unitaskers that have zero uses at all (it sounds impossible, but I think we’ve found two or three over time).

    From a linguistic perspective, uni- and single mean the same thing, I agree. But the word unitasker carries a different meaning to us, at least we intend it to. A phrase like “utility-free” might be more accurate, but much less catchy πŸ™‚

    Now, concerning this coffee table … it has utility and multiple functions (decorative, useful to set things on, and paper shredding). Since shredding paper is very important for personal and financial safety, everyone should have one — hence why it has great utility in comparison to yesterday’s unitasker feature. At least in our opinion … we are quick to admit it’s all very subjective!

  20. posted by chacha1 on

    I know someone who could really use something like this. But practically, I think a desk version would be a clear winner. And, um, it had better be an electric cross-cut shredder.

    One day soon I’m sure we’ll see a desk that has a completely wired work surface that acts as display, keyboard, shredder, and wireless router.

  21. posted by Danny on

    @Erin – Makes perfect sense. Thanks for clearing up the lingo… maybe a glossary is in order?

    As for the coffee table, maybe its because of my “guy” handicap but asthetics is usually one of the last things I would consider a function (but I concede the point). I do think that the shredder could be a smaller part of the table with maybe a little bit of storage (for mail you don’t want to destroy for instance).

    I vote for a filing cabinet/shredding coffee table. Also, shredding creates paper dust, so I’m not a fan of a container that has such a large gap at the top.

  22. posted by Patti on

    Another plus: Cat Persons can use the shreds in the cat litter box, which will be no more messy (and certainly less dust) than standard clay litter

  23. posted by Krys on

    YES! A shredder built into a desk! Brilliant! How soon can one be designed and manufactured so I can buy it online and have it shipped direct to my home office???

  24. posted by Zilla on

    A huge box of paper shreddings and a one-year-old… now THAT’s a birthday party.

  25. posted by Piper on

    About Alton Brown and unitaskers…I love the man to death, but isn’t that clever little flip-top salt cellar he has a unitasker? Tsk tsk, Alton!

  26. posted by [email protected] on

    Remember that the lovely clear view you have on the ad will not last unless you clean it daily. Paper fluff and moisture will adhere and I bet it will look manky in a couple of days. Then it will look streaky.

  27. posted by Bibliovore on

    I, too, would like one of these built into a desk — and preferably with a long, narrow bin, to be a side or back wall of the desk, thus minimizing the hit on storage capacity. I guess I’d also prefer the bin to be opaque, perhaps with a single clear viewing strip to see how full it is, but that’s just me. 8)

    I like the concept of the coffee table, but I don’t like the sheer bulk of the bin. I prefer a coffee/end table to provide storage (drawers, shelves, whatever), have a small visual footprint (looking less like a solid mass), or both; this has a small visual footprint while empty but not so much so once it’s been used for shredding.

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  29. posted by timgray on

    keep kids away? my cats like to try and get the shreddings and spread them through the house.

    the newest kitty nearly emptied the shredder to the floor one night one paw-full at a time.

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  31. posted by DJ on

    Imagine how spiffy it would look if someone were to design with with a steampunk style.

  32. posted by Leslie on

    Is it quieter than an electric shredder since you crank it? I would love to be able to shred while watching TV, but my current shredder makes that impossible – at least if you actually want to hear the show. I know, if I kept up on my shredding, I wouldn’t have so much I’d need a whole TV show, but I’m a clutter bug trying to reform. I’ll catch up eventually.

    LOVE the idea of having one built into a desk!

  33. posted by Anita on

    An interesting idea and solution, but I also think it’d be better placed in a desk than a coffee table. I’ve never had the urge to shred anything in my living room, plus my inner klutz can already feel the bruises on my shins from walking into the crank at least once a day. And I can imagine kids thinking that shredding is the funnest thing in the world… next thing you know you’re missing the bills you were just about to pay before the doorbell rang… (don’t ask).

    Maybe a desk-mounted shredder with removable crank (and a small drawer to store it, along with a small bottle of shredder oil) might be a more workable solution for us klutzes and/or the parents of very active children?

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