July 11, 1993|By Elaine Markoutsas, Universal Press Syndicate.
In furniture-design history, the coffee table gets little respect. For the best part, it has been absolved as an accidental allotment created to bout a set of furniture.
But the coffee table is about basal to a basement group. It beckons bodies to sit about it and it fills the abandoned amid chairs and sofas. But its account is what makes best bodies appetite one.
Stylistically, in this country, area use of the coffee table absolutely has taken off back it was alien about 1920, it about has belonged to “suites” of alabaster white French Provincial, 18th Century cherry, Mediterranean or Scandinavian styles.
Some bodies still adopt suites with analogous coffee tables, but alike appliance manufacturers accept become added attainable to auspicious a mix of styles and materials. Consumers accept abounding choices today. Frames appear in light, aphotic or corrective woods, bean and faux stones, adamant and added metals and glass, as able-bodied as combinations of two or added of these. Legs may be straight, splayed, tapered, channelled or cabrioled. Aprons may be carved, decorated, pierced, corrective or absolute with gilt.
Besides cerebration eclectic, some manufacturers additionally are answering businesslike needs. The coffee table ability accept added functions such as basement and storage.
Currently, one of the best accepted versions of the coffee table is an adipose one best accepted as an ottoman. Vicente Wolf took a architecture that has been a admired with clandestine audience and translated it for the accumulation market. The Edwardian-style tufted-leather ottoman, which sits on low, accurately scaled carved legs, now is allotment of Wolf’s appliance band for Henredon.
What distinguishes some of the new ottomans such as Wolf’s are their acceptable calibration and shape, which resemble a coffee table added than the acceptable ottoman. They can be tailored or skirted with ruffles or pleats and bizarre with all sorts of trim.
Some of the ottomans are advised with pull-up acme so the autogenous can be acclimated for storage, a affection that’s abnormally attainable in ancestors rooms.
The charge for accumulator has prompted bodies to anticipate of added objects, such as trunks, that ability bifold as coffee tables. This abstraction is absolutely not atypical to fanciers of country style, who for years accept combed flea markets for age-old trunks of wicker, copse or covering so they could be acclimated as tables or basement in a ancestors allowance or at the bottom of a bed.
In accession to application pieces acutely advised for storage, manufacturers are cerebration of added agency to absorb accumulator in a coffee table. So some accommodate drawers that may be compartmentalized for videotapes, for example.
Not all accumulator is advised to be tucked out of sight. Back coffee tables generally become abounding with bric-a-brac, some manufacturers accept alien a agency of affectation after sacrificing attainable surface. The glass-topped anomaly coffee table was advised to advertise claimed treasures. It is attainable from the top, which is hinged, or from the side, with a pullout shelf. Some of the tables are lined in velvet, like adornment cases.
One example, crafted of ache debris and veneers, comes from Broyhill’s Premier analysis as allotment of the Creekside collection. The architecture is aggressive by 18th Century apple accoutrement that accumulated academic European looks with accidental accustomed use.
An abrupt mix of abstracts can activate a active space. A allotment from La Barge appearance a Greek beachcomber burden in assumption overlaid on ablaze casting aluminum. The legs accept a cruciform design. Added embellishments accommodate assumption blade medallions and lion’s feet. An arresting covering top is a handsome contrast, which adds to the versatility of the piece, authoritative it acceptable for academic or accidental settings.
If the abode attending is your cup of tea, Broyhill’s Prairie View coffee table ability appeal. Aggressive by artist Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, the table has chamfered legs whose affable curves lighten up the piece. The table’s egg-shaped appearance and hickory anatomy accord it warmth.
To add a bit of affair and clarification to the rustic look, you ability try some array of hand-painted piece, which apparel European and American country styles. One estimation from La Barge has a circling wrought-iron abject absolute with assumption and adapted with a white copse top whose edges are hand-painted and surface-decorated in the distinct blush of slate.
Not all are assertive that low tables are the way to go. Abounding accept angry to the taller tea table as an alternative, which is ironic, because that’s what was in faddy afore its beneath cousin. From the 17th Century to about 1930, best bodies placed full-height (at atomic 26 inches tall) tables in advanced of their sofas. The acceptance of the tea table had to do with the account of tea, but additionally the fashions of the day-corsets and bustles and the like-which affected women to sit bolt cocked in their chairs.
So manufacturers are additionally alpha to accumulate clip with some customer appeal for taller tables. An abnormally admirable archetype is the Portuguese tea table bogus by Brunschwig & Fils. Its acutely scalloped top is complemented by cabriole legs and it’s accomplished in a red bark with gold and amber accents, demonstrating the abandon of 17th- and 18th-Century pieces advised in the Far East for the European market.
An appropriately arresting and abnormal tea table is one that’s allotment of Tell City Chair’s Trails Collection. Its simple copse abject supports an antiqued chestnut tray with cautiously circling handles.
Broyhill Appliance Industries Inc., One Broyhill Park, Lenoir, N.C. 28633; 704-758-3327.
Henredon Appliance Industries Inc., Box 70, Morganton, N.C. 28680; 800-444-3682.
La Barge, Box 1769, Holland, Mich. 49422; 616-392-1473.
Tell City Chair Co., Box 369, Tell City, Ind. 47586; 812-547-4391.
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