Long relegated to a (literal) supporting role, limbs are the highlight of today’s coolest tables.
Despite the slew of coffee and dining tables on the market, choosing one can feel oddly limiting. You have the sensible options that will last for years but don’t exactly make your heart race, or else the bizarre and overpriced models that work as fantasy design objects but are too intimidating (or sharp, or fragile) to set a mug or a book on. Thankfully, a number of designers have recently addressed this void, releasing functional pieces that feature traditional shapes and materials (think oak and Carrara marble) while adding visual punch through a clever interplay between legs and tabletop. The Column coffee table, by New York City-based Fort Standard, has walnut legs that are narrowed from four to two inches to visibly slot through a slab of marble or black granite. For Oliver and Jean Pelle, the husband-and-wife team behind the eponymous studio, a similar idea was turned on its head. “We wanted to flip the traditional relationship of a wood base and stone top,” Oliver says. “Once we sketched it, we fell in love with the thought that you would see the legs come through.” He adds, “When we started looking at what shapes you can make with flat stone, it came down to the cross or a ‘T’—the cross felt more unexpected.” Patrick Townsend and Mark Jupiter, working with solid maple and American black walnut, respectively (though both designers will let you choose just about any wood you want), use steel for their jointing effects, while at Avenue Road, notches in the tabletop allow the oak legs to contrast with the black marble. With most of these retailers offering customizable options for both legs and tops, there’s no excuse for not joining in.
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4 More Styles to Try
1. Hirschon table by Townsend Design
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2. Column coffee table by Fort Standard
Starting at $8,200; fortstandard.com
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3. Sumo coffee table by Dan Yeffet for Collection Particulière by Avenue Road
Starting at $4,750; avenue-road.com
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4. Round walnut table by Mark Jupiter
Starting at $7,500; markjupiter.com