Decorating trends can have a cascading impact at times. As we all know, low-slung, 1970s-inspired seating—dubbed blob sofas—is making a big comeback. And, as sofa seats become more compact, coffee tables become even more compact. The how-low-can-you-go coffee table craze has here.
What are the advantages? It's ideal for putting your feet up. What about the disadvantages? Your dog can easily reach the crudités. Oh, and your back might not appreciate it later. All the more motivation to settle into whichever low-lying lounge is definitely close. In any case, the entire living room with mid century furniture is getting closer to the floor, and designers are loving it.
"Too high mid century coffee tables may throw off the entire proportion of a room," says New York–based AD100 interior designer Monique Gibson, who, despite having 17-foot ceilings herself, recently sent an otherwise attractive coffee table to the craftsman with instructions to decrease the legs. "The coffee table should always be proportional to the height of the sofa," she adds. "And with the newfound adoration of a Vladimir Kagan sofa is growing lower."
A portion of the short items we've seen are exactly what Gibson describes: a standard coffee table with truncated legs. Axel Vervoordt popularised a rustic wood version a few years ago—a plinth set on several-inch-tall feet—that you can see in Michael Bay's L.A. home. Many new versions, however, have abandoned the legs entirely in favour of a slick platform that pays homage to the glam, 1970s-era designs of Maria Pergay or Willy Rizzo (a fantastic example of the latter may be found in Ashley Stark Kenner's New York City library).
Along these lines, we're particularly fond of the vintage Roche Bobois free-form coffee table utilised in a Sydney-area live-work space by Australian design studio Alexander & Co, as well as the sultry Vincenzo de Cotiis piece Gibson just installed in a Tribeca penthouse. "I can't see it being even one inch taller," she says.
Giancarlo Valle, located in New York, agrees: "I think there's something so appealing about low furniture," says the AD100 designer, whose own coffee table in his Brooklyn flat is just about 10 inches tall. "It's more approachable and informal, yet it's still quite elegant." "I believe it is here to stay."
Published by William Thomas