Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coffee tables should be fun!

I've been thinking a lot about coffee tables lately. A bit obsessive perhaps, but I have always thought that a coffee table should be an important focal point in a living or family room. We're building a modern house, and I'm on the look out for a coffee table that will make a statement.

Coffee tables are a furniture staple, and serve a required function for holding drinks and food, and assorted magazines and art books. No living or family room would be without one. But I think they are often boring. They are usually purely functional and often rather cookie cutter in design. What a wonderful opportunity to have fun with a central piece of furniture.

House Beautiful

I like this comfortable looking living room but it would be enhanced with a cool coffee table. This one is functional, but just not interesting

I love this example from the Christie's April Interiors sale.

Christie's Interiors - Bronze Figural Low Table. Est. $4,000 - $6,000

This table is a deco inspired reproduction and would be a great talking piece in a living or family room. 

Barbara Barry used a 1950's coffee table that is more interesting than the usual Noguchi style one sees frequently in modern rooms.

Metropolitan Home

This modern classic has just enough interest to make it stand out from the usual ones you see in the Room and Board catalogue (which I like by the way). 

We loved this table from the recent Sotheby's 20th Century Design sale. 

Sotheby's - Paul Evans Coffee Table

This sold for just over $9,000, and was beyond our price range. It's a fabulous modern table and would be a great center piece.

The style need not be too elaborate to add interest, but just different than everything you see in furniture catalogues or even most magazines. 

Metropolitan Home

This coffee table has lovely curved legs which add some interest to the classic glass topped table. 

I will be quite focused at upcoming auctions on cool coffee tables. Until I find one, we'll get a 'place holder' table at auction or new, whichever makes the most cost sense. The right table will be a long term 'investment' in design fun!

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