This magnificent example of a dining table from e15 is quite simply the focal point of a room. The solid brass frame of “Trunk” alone weighs over 200 kilos.

New tables: From material fetish to the Zen factor

Be they short or long of leg, unique or extravagant: there’s no end to the variety of tables in Milan.
by Jasmin Jouhar | 4/11/2017

Let’s compare a table with a dog for a moment: Down through the millennia human beings have applied all their creativity to turning something that is very simple into an impressive array of variations. And just as Chihuahuas and Great Danes alike are famously descended from wolves, we have taken a panel with legs and from it created everything from a banquet table to the ledge that attaches to the sofa. Indeed, our creativity as regards tables is far from exhausted, as designers and manufacturers are proving at the Salone del Mobile 2017 in Milan. From mighty large-caliber versions to attention-grabbing lapdogs, they’re all represented.

Frankfurt-based furniture label e15, for example, has exceeded itself with its new “Trunk Table”: The renowned table specialist has created a tabletop from the trunk of a single walnut tree and placed it on a framework made of solid brass. Still a one-off to date, this heavyweight will require strong haulers and advice from your structural engineer should you choose to order it. Similarly unsparing on weigh: Barber Osgerby’s “Aes” for Hermès: The low, black table is cast from bronze. There are also some weighty models, no doubt, in the “Ballerina” table series by refined Japanese aesthete Nendo for Edizioni Marsotto – even if the series appears so light-footed.

With such magnificent one-offs pieces, it might be easy to forget that tables can actually likewise be team players. Hence many manufacturers are arranging their families of chairs around suitable tables. Here it’s not about the grand appearance, but rather the pecking order of the pack. Magis demonstrated this with “Mila” by Jaime Hayon, and Maruni with “T&O” by Jasper Morrison. Under the name “Green Light” Moroso presents a collaboration with Olafur Eliasson, who developed a shelf and a matching table on the basis of a triangular module. And the table equivalent of a Chihuahua? That would probably be the portable side tables that can be placed wherever a surface is needed. They need to be light and small – as with the model “Carmina”, which Ludovica and Roberto Palomba designed for Driade. One of the three little legs curls coquettishly into a loop that serves as the carrying handle. And the best thing about all the long-legged, short-legged, angular or round tables? They come housetrained straight out of the factory.

“Enigma” is the name Sancal has given to this year’s collection of innovations. There’s nothing puzzling about this simple and variable table named “Pion” from French designer Ioanna Vautrin.
A material focus with a touch of class: In the shape of “Aes”, Barber Osgerby has designed a table for Hermès that is cast in bronze.
Maruni is also expanding an existing collection of seating: Jasper Morrison’s “T&O” chairs and stools are now getting a matching table with a round or rectangular top.
Olafur Eliasson has often blurred the dividing lines between art and design. At the Salone del Mobile Moroso presents his modular-concept design “Green Light”, which can be combined to form a zig-zag shape or a star.
Similarly mobile: Marc Thorpe’s side table “Set” with handle for Moroso.
The counterpoint to all the solid wood and stone tables: Ludovica and Roberto Palomba’s “Carmina” family for Driade, which with its coquettish curl simply cries out to be carried around.
Another exercise in materials: With “Made a Mano”, Emmanuel Babled developed this table made of lava stone while in Sicily. The tabletops are enameled.
Somewhere on the dividing line between table and shelf: Classicon from Munich brought these lean-to consoles by A-A Cooren to Milan. They go by the name of “Tadaima”.
German designer Sebastian Herkner also knows a thing or two about glass. If any further proof of this were needed, then patchwork side table “Gin” for Pulpo provides it.
The core competence of Glas Italia is clear from its name, hence the manufacturer is once again exhibiting a series of wonderful innovations created from this transparent material. Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec revel in color for the “Nesting” table series.
When stone dances: Marble specialist Marsotto Edizioni exhibits the light-footed family of tables entitled “Ballerina” by Japan’s refined aesthete Nendo.
Magis continues its collaboration with Spanish designer Jaime Hayon and supplements its Gaudí-inspired chair “Milà” with a bistro table of the same name.
Anyone who dismisses this as impractical with its tabletop of building blocks is clearly right, but perhaps the Zen-inspired “Infinity Table” by Karen Cherkerdjian for Wallpaper Handmade is more of a meditation object than a table? The Terrazzo by Grandinetti in any case offers the eyes endless occupation, whilst the brain can switch off.
The “Meditation Table”, also exhibited by Wallpaper Handmade, is by definition a tool for immersion. The table, which was developed by Studiopepe together with Agape, has a Tibetan singing bowl, water for purification and a magnolia branch at the ready. Ohm!