Thoughtful and chic, these accent and end tables explore the elements of their own construction.
THE PIECES: Milking Stools
THE DESIGNER: Casey McCafferty
FIND THEM: cbmdesigngroup.com
THE INSPIRATION: A California-cool and agricultural consciousness is felt in all of Casey McCafferty’s designs. For example, the Milking stools, which serve as accent tables and utilitarian seating alike, are a modern interpretation of the farmer’s best friend; originally designed to catch balance on uneven terrain, they’re now available to dazzle in their stylish brass and native hardwood variations.
From a tactile perspective… I like the play between the polished brass and refined wood surfaces in contrast to the setting’s unfinished plywood and the fibrous layers of recycled-denim insulation.
On the art of finding the perfect side table: I’m not sure I’ve ever actually scouted one; they find me. I fall in love, and I take them home– like strays. I like their portability. There’s always a chair that needs a resting place for a drink or a book or, more often in my case, another surface on which to place sculpture.
Good humor: The humble milking stool is a practical design known for its three-point stability, yet three-legged-stool metaphors abound in business, politics and religion; so, for me, this design also has a subtle sense of humor. Humor is a luxury we can all afford.
Recently on holiday… In Charleston, South Carolina, I noticed three-legged stools everywhere, from horse stables to fancy antebellum-era homes.
THE PIECE: Thin Table 1
THE DESIGNER: Kin & Company
FIND IT: kinandcompany.com
THE INSPIRATION: Brooklyn’s Kin & Company brings us the Thin Table 1, a sophisticated yet playful narrative of an uninterrupted, bent-steel plate that’s inspired by the human body and its ever-majestic movements and agility. The table’s thoughtful geometry is a representation of the design studio’s trademark clean aesthetic and adds sculptural interest to any space.
Kin & Company’s work… Is both poised and balanced. The design of the Thin Table 1 exudes an adept design calculation and a kind of whimsical suggestion. This isn’t minimalism at a loss; rather, it flirts with the figurative aspects of furniture in a successful and original way.
The best of luxury design… Isn’t ostentatiously doing one thing or another visually, but showing evidence of thought. Despite the adjective in its title, the proportions and curves of this table are seductive in their simple application, emitting volume and thoughtfulness. Consideration is how I’d define luxury.
The rising new age… Of modern design is really looking toward the future for inspiration, and I like that. But I’m a casual kind of guy; so, for me, less is more.
Reclaimed metal is… The new reclaimed wood.
THE PIECE: Cloud Stacking Tables in Faux Tortoise
THE DESIGNER: Suzanne Rheinstein
FIND IT: hollyhockinc.com
THE INSPIRATION: Design dame and the visionary behind Los Angeles’ Hollyhock, Suzanne Rheinstein imagined the Cloud stacking tables with a Japanese cloud motif front of mind, expressed through the accent pieces’ opulent interior lines. Shown here in a hand-painted faux-tortoise finish, they’re the maximalist touch you never knew you needed.
I’m attracted to… The versatility of these tables. They could work in a minimalist’s home or in a room that is more robust. A great piece of furniture can move through either realm and complement the space. It’s the same thing with a beautiful piece of art.
Suzanne Rheinstein... Is one of those magical people who creates a whole world according to her vision, and Hollyhock is the enchanting encapsulation of it. To me, she is very much an artist.
As an artist myself… I’m constantly mesmerized by patterns; tortoise, as it is hand-painted here on the Cloud stacking tables, is one of my favorites.
Luxury is all about… That perfect fusion of necessity and indulgence. And, nowadays more than ever, it’s about making better work that stands the test of time. The age of mediocre cookie-cutter modernism is rapidly declining, and the rise of special, experimental and heartfelt work is upon us.
True As Steel
THE PIECE: Hex Table
THE DESIGNER: INC Architecture & Design
FIND IT: inc.nyc
THE INSPIRATION: It’s clear that the brains behind architectural and design studio INC are masters of materiality and geometry, as evidenced here in their Hex Table series. Exploring systematic ordering and modular relationships, the stainless-steel pods are strong as stand-alones, but like most great partnerships, are better together.
INC’s product offerings… Are clearly heavily influenced by its founders’ architectural backgrounds and extensive interior design portfolio. The brand’s studio furniture and lighting fit seamlessly into its adjoining design studio’s spaces, which tend toward controlled, masculine, highly refined minimal forms and a context-based treatment of classical materials.
My idea of luxury… Stems from a term I’ve heard referred to as subliminal credibility: a certain palpable gravity that emanates from a thing or material expertly chosen and handled from start to finish. The Hex tables retain this credibility.
This design… Emphasizes one of nature’s many great underlying geometries: It is reminiscent of hexagonal basaltic rock formations, such as the monumental Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, which also occur in many places in my home state of Oregon.
Less… Is usually more; but, rarely, a lot more is more.
THE PIECE: Hour Glass Table
THE DESIGNER: Lynne Meade
FIND IT: lynnemeadeporcelain.net
THE INSPIRATION: A little bit midcentury and a little bit tropically inspired, the Hour Glass table is porcelain artist Lynne Meade’s first foray into the furniture realm, and a beautiful one at that. Designed with local and distant coastal living in mind–Bali, Kauai and the Outer Banks of North Carolina–the white stoneware piece was thrown on a potter’s wheel by the Oakland-based designer and comes finished in a satin-white glaze.
Artist & jeweler
The Hour Glass table… Reads as warm, humble, playful, inviting and whimsical.
I love… How Lynne’s pottery harkens back to the Arts and Crafts movement. The cadence of the hand and the rhythm of the circular holes–how each has its own character yet both work together–imbue the piece with an internal vibrancy. This really speaks to me.
A statement piece… Like the Hour Glass table, sets the tone for the rest of the room, the source from which everything else takes its cue. Even when quiet, it’s like the sunlight that all the plants (or here, the other elements in a space) grow toward.
Lynne’s work calls to mind… The illustrations of the biologist Ernst Haeckel, specifically those regarding radiolarians around the turn of the last century.
Time… Is the new luxury. The amount of handwork in a piece like this one is palpable and reflects an investment in expertise that radiates through the delicate magic of the end result.
THE PIECE: Brixton Table
THE DESIGNER: Ambella Home
FIND IT: ambellahome.com
THE INSPIRATION: Classic in proportion and form, Ambella Home’s Brixton table is timeless yet methodically suited to fit the interiors of today. Transitional from one angle and antique from another, it embodies the company’s signature aesthetic with its architectural details, warm use of marble and classic brass support: an Ambella melange if we ever did see one.
CINDY HSU ZELL
Polished metal… Like the brass used here in the Brixton table, always feels uber-luxurious to me. I’m enamored of Ambella Home’s emphasis on thoughtful finishes. This attention to detail is not lost on me.
As a sculptor… I work mostly with fiber and metal, so I appreciate that the Brixton has a similar combination of contrasting materials. It’s those dualities that make it interesting.
On taking your time: I love slowly and deliberately collecting objects to bring into my home. The fun is always in the process.
The architectural influence… Behind the Brixton table makes this a piece I’d include in my personal collection, which I’d describe as minimal, modern and comfortable– forever mindful of natural and enduring materials.
Curating… Is the new collecting.