When I was at Ethel last week, I commented on a pair of Teak-root coffee tables (fourth image, below) that new store owner Shauntelle LeBlanc didn’t seem convinced she could sell. Priced at $895 each, the tables are throw-backs to the 1960s and ’70s, very much in the spirit of designer George Nakashima. Well, Shauntelle, you might get lucky because these tables and benches are suddenly hot, hot, hot. The latest (and last) issue of Metropolitan Home (December 2009) features two such coffee tables (above, photos by Peter Murdock and below, photo by John Ellis).
And then on last week’s episode of HGTV’s Top Ten (“Lofts”) I spotted another pair — a table in a Manhattan loft by designer Amy Lau (below) and a bench in the Soho apartment of globe trotting Toronto designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg.
Yes, the pieces have a crafty, hippie feel but they also dovetail perfectly with the rustic modern trend that seems to be sweeping the interior design world at the moment.
Down the street from Ethel (above), Philz (792 Queen Street East) has a few Teak-root tables and benches, all priced at $950 (below). There’s a lot of talk right now about how mass-produced furnishings are being eclipsed by handmade, one-of-a-kind items and these benches and table bases are the essence of unique. They’re also effortlessly modern, almost in spite of themselves.
Yeah, but they’re ugly, you say? To each her own. If they’re good enough for Laura Kirar, Amy Lau and Yabu Pushelberg, they may be worthy of a rethink. It’s really all about context, not to mention the highly apropos notion of Wabi-Sabi.