‘From innovative new launches to vintage gems’: Side tables can be the marriage of beauty and function

if, like me, you’re always manically scanning the room for the nearest place to rest a cup of tea or coffee, you too may dream of rooms filled with eclectic side tables of different heights, circumferences and styles. There is a true luxury in the generosity of ample surface space; a sofa, bookended with matching vintage martini tables gives its sitters little reason to rise of an evening. An armchair flanked by a small, drawered, wooden model, perfect for the storage of a little notebook and a pen, may just encourage its occupier to sit and muse for a while, pen to paper.

The rooms you use for entertaining, especially over the festive break, will benefit greatly from a good selection of small side tables dotted between chairs and sofas. They say that guests should not outnumber the available seats, so be sure to apply this rule to the surface space too.

And, as ever, the accumulation of these practical apparatus need not be utilitarian in approach. Search far and wide for interesting, design-led pieces to bring individuality to your home, from innovative new launches to vintage gems.

Perhaps the coolest option currently on the market is the Museum side table by String Furniture (www.stringfurniture.com). The model, which was designed in collaboration with Stockholm-based design and architecture practice, TAF, commemorated the reopening of Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum of Sweden in 2018. The Nationalmuseum was closed for five years for a full refurbishment, drawing on the national design credentials of the country’s leading designers and architects to optimise and preserve its grand halls and repository of 700,000 works. The Museum side table was developed to echo the design sentiments of the national design canon. It features an adjustable top for multifunctionality and is crafted from robust aluminium for resistance and durability in five (naturally) minimalist colourways of aluminium, white, beige, dark brown and orange.

For a more decorative approach, Andrew Martin’s (www.andrewmartin.co.uk) expanding selection of side tables will prove a treasure trove of enchanting, rare options. Its iconic Wooden Letter side tables have a dwarfing effect on the furniture (and people) that surround them like ballooning typewriter keys. The allure of Andrew Martin is that novelty and humour lie alongside sheer elegance, so options like the Morrison side table, black and glossy as raven lacquer, are available too.

Another truly elegant option is the brand-new launch from Albion Nord (www.albion-nord.com), the interior design studio who has been commissioned to create a line of British-made furniture for Chelsea Barracks (www.chesleabarracks.com), the world-renowned residential development on Chelsea Bridge Road in London. The Collection, which includes eleven unique pieces of furniture, accessories and ceramicware made by specialist artisans, features a side table called The Elizabeth which is heart-stoppingly classical. Designed in collaboration with Stride & Co (www.strideandco.co.uk), a boutique furniture studio based in West Sussex, The Elizabeth Side Table draws on the British fervour for tea-drinking in the mid-1700s in English and pippy oak.

And of course, the vintage and antique market (many areas of which can be trawled online now, with sites like www.1stdibs.com, www.vinterior.co and Matthew Williamson’s new shoppable website, www.matthewwilliamson.com) is bursting with elegant Art Nouveau styles and striking mid-century modern models and everything betwixt. The lesson here is really one of marrying function with beauty, and most importantly, tea with table. 

Source : ‘From innovative new launches to vintage gems’: Side tables can be the marriage of beauty and function | The Independent