Terrazzo side table concept seems to tempt fate and defy the laws of physics

Tables come in all shapes and sizes, but regardless of the design, they all need to have a single critical trait: they have to be stable. No matter how breathtaking a table might be, it is nothing but a piece of art if it comes crashing down under the lightest of weights. Stability can be achieved through many means, but for something like a coffee table or even a side table, that mostly means having a flat surface that doesn’t wobble or, more importantly, doesn’t tip over. That’s the behavior that people have come to expect from even the most beautiful table, which is why this side table concept is striking both for its elegant looks as well as its rather worrying composition that precariously balances the tabletop on a curved surface, or at least it would seem like it.

Designer: Stuart Cole

Objects that boggle the mind and seem to defy the laws of physics have always been a fascination for us, which is probably why balancing toys or levitating speakers have always been popular products. That, however, doesn’t apply to furniture, especially ones that we expect to be stable or fixed. Seeing a table that’s about to topple over is enough to give some people a heart attack, but fortunately, that’s not the case for the aptly named “Balance” side table design concept.

The table’s form is actually pretty simple, utilizing basic geometrical shapes like a disc and cups. It’s the tension between these shapes, however, that gives Balance its dynamic and rather unstable appearance. It’s almost as if the circular tabletop would topple and fall off the upside-down bowl shape of its base, or that the cup would similarly fall over the edge and break. Of course, it’s all just an illusion because all three parts are joined using interlocking mechanisms that prevent them from falling apart, at least not without much effort.

Balance’s appeal doesn’t stop at its eye-catching shape. Its unique appearance is due not only to the use of terrazzo but also from employing recycled materials. This gives the side table not only a distinctive visual character but also a sustainable narrative that will surely be a topic of conversation for envious visitors. You might even be tempted to use it as a coffee or center table, rather than just leaving it off to the side, though that temptation might also be tempered by unfounded worries that the table will eventually become unbalanced and send your cups and books crashing down.

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Triangle Side Table offers an interesting way to show off your books

As the name suggests, a side table is a piece of furniture that’s often placed on the periphery, serving a secondary purpose to hold small objects temporarily. They’re a great location for placing drinks while you lounge on the couch and read a book, or for placing that same book when you need to put it down for a bit. Because of this function, it’s sometimes possible to let side tables take on less conventional forms, at least compared to common desks and tables. You might even be able to stretch the definition of a table to something that might not look like a table at all, like this hollow triangular prism that functions as a decorative piece and a resting place for your books.

Designer: Matthew Soule

The standard definition of a table is an elevated flat horizontal surface supported by vertical legs, but the exact interpretation of these elements is sometimes left to imagination and creativity. The only real requirement is that it should have a stable structure to hold items, though what objects it can hold is again open to interpretation. Side tables are often used to hold cups, mugs, pens, phones, notebooks, and books, and they sometimes have separate storage space for other, less-used objects.

With that in mind, there are plenty of sources for design ideas, like this Triangle Side Table that was supposedly inspired by kids’ toy blocks. It definitely challenges the definition of a table having a flat horizontal surface, though there is definitely an area for that on the back of the apex, like a ledge for your things. That flat area, however, is barely enough to hold a mug, a small notebook, or a smartphone, but only one at a time. There’s also a groove for securing a writing instrument, but you’ll have to make it your favorite or most-used tool since there’s only room for one.

The main focus, instead, is to have a resting place for what you’re currently reading, be it a book or a magazine. You place the partially opened book on top of the triangle, using the tip as a bookmark. It’s a popular design in many minimalist products these days, though it’s uncertain whether it will harm the book’s binding in the long run.

The open interior of the triangle is also another place to showcase reading materials, though it can also house a potted plant or even a pet mattress. The unique shape of the side table, its natural wood material, beveled edges, and the minimalist base that makes the table look like it’s magically floating all contribute to making the odd side table an attention-grabbing piece of furniture. Unfortunately, it’s also quite poor at actually functioning as a regular table, so you’ll definitely want to put it at the sides only.

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Geometric coffee tables use 3D printing robots and recycled plastic to create organic forms

3D printing has come a long way, but unless you’re using industrial printers in large factories, you’re probably limited to creating small designs or just parts of a whole. That, unfortunately, means that creators and makers aren’t able to fully express their ideas and designs, at least not those that involve pieces that can’t fit inside a commercial 3D printer. That said, you don’t have to give up your creative freedom to use an expensive production line if you can put 3D printing robots to smart use, like this sustainable plastic coffee table that is able to form organic geometric forms just by making the robot arm loop round and round.

Designer: Martin Zampach

When people think of 3D printers, they most likely think of those boxy contraptions sitting on tables, with nozzles that quickly run back and forth while oozing out hot plastic material in order to build up a three-dimensional object almost like from thin air. While this is the most common and most convenient kind of 3D printing, it has severe limitations in the size or shape of the object being made, basically anything that can fit the area and height of the printer.

LOOPS is a collection of coffee tables conceived to push the envelope of 3D printing and create objects that are larger than normal without requiring additional hardware. An industrial 3D printing robot pretty much goes round and round to create the base shape, building layer after layer of composite material until the desired form is achieved. This is the process used for creating the base of these tables, allowing the designer to apply different geometric shapes with organic forms that look like they’re literally growing before your very eyes.

The coffee tables are more than just experiments in 3D printing, they are also testaments to beautiful sustainable design. Tabletops are made from 100% recycled plastic that is crushed, melted, and then moulded from used plastic. The 3D printed bases, on the other hand, are made from composite material containing cellulose from responsible forestry. When the tables reach the end of their use, both the base and the top can be recycled or reused to extend their life in a different way.

The LOOPS coffee table collection offers a unique and novel design that pushes the boundaries of 3D printing to produce beautiful shapes and textures that almost resemble traditional ceramic creations. The variety of recycled plastics used gives each tabletop a unique appearance, both in color as well as in texture. The minimalist yet elegant designs make the coffee tables the perfect artistic centerpieces for any space, offering a thought-provoking design that opens your mind to the possibilities of sustainable 3D printing.

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Recycled Swedish rugs get transformed into furniture that honors the textile’s legacy

The timeless craft of Swedish rag rugs, a cherished tradition spanning over 150 years, finds a contemporary reinterpretation in the hands of Stockholm-based designer Lars Hofsjö. Rooted in a rich cultural heritage, these rugs have been woven by generations of women using worn-out clothes, curtains, sheets, and upholstery. The process transforms leftover fabrics into intricately patterned, durable rugs, celebrated for their strength and firm structure, a testament to the adaptive re-use of materials.

Designer: Lars Hofsjö

Lars Hofsjö, the creative force behind the Swedish furniture brand Rumbler, has skillfully reimagined these traditional rag rugs into a unique collection of furniture pieces. His approach involved scouring markets, antique shops, and the countryside to handpick rag rugs, chosen specifically for their thinness, tightness, and color. These selected fabrics are then meticulously wrapped around aluminum shapes, crafting plush side tables that blend the rustic charm of the rugs with modern design sensibilities.

The ‘Torp’ series, characterized by its rectangular shape, is a limited numbered edition, with each piece distinct in quality, palette, and characteristics. Contrasting this, the ‘Dunker’ collection features hexagonal units, accentuated with diverse materials like leather, stone, and wood, harmonizing with the texture of the rag rugs. This blend of materials not only adds a tactile dimension to the pieces but also pays homage to the multifaceted nature of Swedish design, where tradition and innovation coexist harmoniously.

Through his innovative approach, Hofsjö offers a fresh perspective on sustainable design. By repurposing these historical textiles, he not only preserves a vital part of Swedish heritage but also provides a contemporary relevance to the rag rugs, demonstrating their versatility beyond their original, utilitarian purpose. The tables stand as a testament to the enduring beauty of Swedish crafts, bridging the gap between historical craftsmanship and modern living spaces.

Hofsjö’s work is a remarkable example of how design can be both a custodian of tradition and a catalyst for innovation. It highlights the potential of traditional crafts to inspire contemporary design solutions, underscoring the importance of sustainability in design. By breathing new life into these age-old textiles, Hofsjö not only honors the legacy of the countless unnamed weavers who have kept this tradition alive but also points the way forward for future generations of designers to explore and reinvent.

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Circular desk concept has an interesting way of measuring the time you spend on it

A lot of people feel that there aren’t enough hours in a day without realizing how much time they might be spending or even wasting on unimportant activities. Keeping track of how you spend your time is often one of the first pieces of advice that productivity gurus give because they often reveal how much free time we actually have if we schedule our actions wisely. There is no shortage of time-tracking and logging apps today, but these digital tools are sometimes easily dismissed or ignored because they’re too convenient. This rather unusual table, however, makes the passage of time a bit more visible and tangible, allowing people to have a more personal relationship with the time they invest in work, projects, and other activities.

Designer: Yunseo Jung

Right off the bat, the Time Table already strikes an interesting visual. Unlike the majority of desks and tables, it’s made almost completely out of circles, from the tabletop to the built-in lamp to the rods that make for its legs and structure. One side of the table shows that leg, but the other side has an arc that functions like a privacy shield. There is also a matching circular tool to complete the set, though such a design isn’t actually novel to this kind of furniture.

While a circular table isn’t exactly rare, the attached “sub table” is. It’s a smaller circular tray affixed to the exposed leg of the table, but that’s not what makes it unique. This sub-table actually moves up and down, changing its elevation as time passes before returning to its base state at the lowest point. Think of it as a time, like a reverse hourglass, that slowly demonstrates the movement of time in a very visual manner.

The basic idea of the Time Table is to let the person sitting in front of it measure, log, and be aware of how much time they’re spending there. You might place some tools related to your work there or anything else that you’ll be able to notice in the corner of your eye. It offers a visual and tangible experience in counting down time without being monotonous like watching seconds tick by. Admittedly, it might also be a bit distracting, which could also be the point of instilling awareness of your time.

Novel as the concept might be, there are also a few issues with the Time Table’s design. The position of the elements, for example, might not be ergonomic or comfortable, with the lamp at a fixed spot and the privacy shield at the side potentially blocking leg movement. Given its design, there seems to also be little room for changing the height of the table, which could be too low or too high for some people. The moving sub-table as a time tracker is definitely an interesting idea, but it could probably be implemented in a different way that doesn’t negatively affect the rest of the table’s functionality.

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Quirky shapes make this modular table set a fun yet functional addition to your space

Tables primarily serve a functional purpose, providing a horizontal surface to place things. Considering the space they occupy, it’s only fair that they should also have some aesthetic value, adding to the ambiance of a room instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. Unfortunately, not all designs balance form and function equally, with one aspect getting a heavier focus than the other. Some might be extremely beautiful but have little room for use as an actual table, while others try to get too smart with features at the expense of a pleasing appearance. Fortunately, we have plenty of inspiration around us to help shape our designs, and this family of odd-looking tables takes a few pages from Mother Nature’s book to create pieces that offer both practical utility as well as visual interest, bringing any living space to life.

Designer: Superlife

Most tabletops come in conventional shapes such as rectangles, squares, circles, or ellipses. These, after all, are the most space-efficient shapes around, maximizing the area that you can use to lay down objects like laptops, books, or cups. They’re probably also the most mundane shapes you’ve ever laid eyes on, and they are totally dependent on the rest of the table’s composition or materials to pique your interest. The Flow family of tables bucks that trend and presents a table that almost looks impractical but is actually quite flexible in its functionality, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it pulls off this feat by learning from organic things designed by nature itself.

As the name somewhat implies, these tables are inspired by naturally occurring bodies of water. Whether they’re puddles or lakes, water doesn’t appear as a perfect circle or rectangle, not unless you put them in artificial containers. The amorphous and almost random shape that water comes in evokes a sense of fluidity, even while at rest. It’s almost the perfect metaphor for tables that become centers of activity even as they act as resting places for your stuff.

Flow, however, is also inspired by cells that take similarly undefined shapes. Each table in the collection also has different heights to add to its unique character. And just like cells, these distinct pieces can function independently or merge into one to provide a larger canvas to arrange objects. The dynamic shapes of the tables might even inspire you to inject some life into your room, just like how cells are the building blocks of organic life.

Whether alone or connected, the fluid shapes of the Flow tables create an interesting ambiance that is both lively and calm, just like water. The tables are both pieces of structural art as well as flexible furniture that provide a bold visual impact, blending form and function in harmony just as things in nature usually do.

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These Colorful Portable Desk Lamps Are Inspired By Festive Japanese Lanterns

I love a beautifully-designed lighting design because I truly believe a really great one has the ability to illuminate a space – both literally, and metaphorically. Besides the physical light that it quite obviously emits, a well-designed lighting design can add manifolds of personality and charisma to a room or space. They can function as sculptural pieces, that are an extension of your personal taste and preference, truly exhibiting the richness and niche-ness of your curation capabilities, or if they’re the portable kind you can carry them along with you to illuminate anything anytime anywhere. And, an excellent lighting design for your desk is the Madco Table Lamp.

Designer: Elisa Ossino for Ambientec

Created by Italian designer Elisa Ossino for the Japanese brand Ambientec, the Madco Table Lamp is designed to be a subtle and minimalistic recreation of festive Japanese lanterns. The introduction of the Madco light signifies the first time that the brand has integrated some form of color into its design. The lamp is available in an option of five colors, which intend to add a touch of playful elegance to any room.

The Madco Table Lamp is equipped with a sphere-shaped diffuser that is carefully enclosed in a plastic shell, and then suspended on a sleek metal frame. As you look at the table lamp, you are instantly tempted to touch and turn the light source, which quite interestingly can rotate at 360 degrees. The lamp is designed to be portable, and it can be recharged using a UBC-C. Ossino says that you should take the lamp outside, as it is waterproof, and will create a pretty and intriguing interplay with plants. It can be hung from its handle as well!

“It is a very flexible design,” said Ossino. “I really love Japanese culture, and with Madco I wanted to evoke a simple and modern atmosphere that refers to the past and the iconography of Japanese lanterns.” The Madco Table Lamp is designed in five stunning shades that are intended to be “warm and refined”: olive, terracotta, pesca, mostarda, and ciliega. You can pick the shade that perfectly complements your living space and you.

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Mantle Table Lamp Is Designed To Replace The Candle At Your Next Romantic Candlelight Dinner

Gone are the days when lighting designs were boring and typically designed objects that did nothing but add light to a living space. A well-designed lighting design should not only have the ability to illuminate any living space but also add that extra oomph factor! I mean, of course, we need them to see in the dark, but as highly functional as they should be, a lighting design also needs to be aesthetically pleasing, adding an attractive and visually soothing element to your home. The Mantle Table Lamp by Tala is a unique and thoughtfully designed lighting product meant to elevate your boring old dining table.

Designer: Tala

Designed by British lighting brand Tala, the Mantle Table Lamp has a unique shape and lovely speckled finish that brings to mind enamelware and stone. The lamp is designed to add character and personality to your unchanging dining table. It is meant to mimic the look and ambiance of candlelight in intimate dining environments. It features a funnel-shaped bulb that is linked to a tapered base, which casts an even and clear light onto the tabletop.

The tapered base of the lamp is made from powder-coated stainless steel and has a hand-applied speckle effect in three different colors – granite black, stone white, and cobalt blue. The stainless steel has been pressed flat on one end to form a handle, this makes the lamp easy to move from one place to another. It also forms a delicate crevice that conceals the USB-C charging port and dimmer button.

The Mantle Table Lamp is an excellent option for both the indoors and outdoors. Since it has a compact and portable size, as well as a battery power source, you can carry it outdoors with ease. All the components of the lamp such as the bulb, battery, and internal circuitry can be easily replaced when needed. It is a slender and stylish lamp that is ideal for “making every stage a table”, and facilitating an easy and effortless conversation. So next time you’re planning to have a romantic candlelight dinner with your partner, eliminate the candle, and instead opt for the Mantle Table Lamp!

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Unusual herringbone-inspired table is a visual fusion of wood and glass

Inspiration can sometimes come from the unlikeliest of places, as is evident with the Herringbone Table. Taking visual cues from the herringbone tree’s shape, the table abstracts that form by using a clever interplay between wood and glass to create something that looks skeletal but isn’t. Found in wintry areas dominated by coniferous flora, the herringbone tree’s leaves have a pointy, skeletal shape, which is almost reminiscent of the herringbone fish’s skeleton. Although one would deem the source of inspiration to be unconventional, the table’s design reinterprets it beautifully, creating something that has a unique take on positive and negative forms, while still serving well as a table.

Designer: Alexandre Caldas

The herringbone tree is a perfect example of nature removing anything superfluous and retaining only the essentials. Take a look at the tree and it almost looks like a cactus in the arctic. The leaves are thin and pointy, as are the tree’s branches. Alexandre Caldas believed in translating this approach into his furniture. The resulting table reflects that approach by removing/conserving wood (a natural resource) and opting for recyclable glass instead.

Barring the central channel, the table doesn’t use any long pieces of wood. The two ends help prop up the plate of glass, while skeletal ribs (that are half-lap jointed into the central channel) help support the glass plate. The entire table is made from certified American Walnut, while Caldas’ plan is to make future units out of pine wood, paying true homage to the herringbone’s origins.

“[The table was made’ using certified solid wood, using the least amount of glue possible, using one of the world’s most recycled resources (glass), along with the know-how of master craftsmen with traditional woodworking techniques,” designer Alexandre Caldas said.

The Herringbone Table is a Bronze Winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2023.

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This space-saving sideboard transforms into a dining table complete with chairs

Although work and schools have more or less returned to normal face-to-face arrangements, our homes have forever been changed by the events of the past three years. We’ve come to realize how precious space is and how little we might have of it, forcing many to reorganize and redesign their homes to accommodate changing needs and circumstances. Multi-functional and transforming furniture have become popular because of this, especially those that can serve as a work desk from time to time. There are many variations available, stretching the creativity and imagination of designers, but this rather intriguing sideboard cabinet gets extra points for having a design that not only incorporates different use cases but even includes four chairs in its shape-shifting transformation.

Designer: Jason Han (SPS Furniture)

This piece of furniture immediately attracts attention even in its folded-up state, thanks to its almost anthropomorphic design that gives the sideboard a cute face and tiny arms on its sides. The wooden piece wouldn’t look out of place as a part of the cast in Beauty and the Beast, especially considering how lively it can be once you start unfolding parts here and there. But even in this form, it already serves a functional purpose, with drawers and internal shelves that can hide almost anything you need, from containers to tools.

Fold that face down and you get a square desk on two legs that you can use for an ad hoc workspace. In fact, the sideboard can serve a purely office-oriented purpose, holding office supplies, stationery, books, and whatnot, all within easy reach but out of sight once the day’s work is done. That said, that might be limiting its use too much since you can extend the front edge of that desk and unfold the top to reveal a longer, rectangular table that can comfortably sit three to four people around its three open sides.

Sitting won’t be a problem either, which is where this sideboard’s ingenuity comes into play. Open its sides, the one with bent arms, and you’ll have access to storage that can fit four foldable wooden chairs. It’s practically a complete and self-sufficient package for any kind of home use, including storage space, desk space, and chairs. A dining table is the most immediate function that comes to mind, but it can also be used for work, playing, and any other activity that doesn’t need a lot of horizontal space.

The wooden sideboard is a good example of how furniture designs have become a bit more clever in light of the changing situations at home. Its multifunctional transforming form remains useful even long after work-from-home arrangements have stopped for some. It is also a great way to add some character to a space just by standing there, thanks to its rather whimsical face that almost invites you to play with it and discover its hidden treasures.

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