6 Modern Side Tables for the Entertaining Season

Furniture & Lighting

Modern Side TablesWith entertaining season on the horizon, the modern side table takes on more significance—for good reason. Side tables may be supporting players in an interior design scheme, but, given a chance, can fulfill their minor parts impressively—and, occasionally, even steal the show. Easily movable and functionally versatile, modern side tables may be small in scale, but pay big dividends when it most matters, whether as last minute additions or permanent members of a room’s composition. Our picks for best modern side tables for the entertaining season—and beyond—include an exalted Mid Century gem, an 80 year-old Finnish beauty, and a fine collection of inventive contemporary designs—each and everyone one offering enduring style that’s anything but a side show.

Platner Side Table

Mid Century Classic: Knoll Platner Side Table

For most design buffs, Warren Platner’s gleaming collection of seating and tables, designed for Knoll in 1966, is the stuff of dreams, but the Knoll Platner Side Table affords a realistic shot at owning one of the more glamorous emblems of the Mid Century era. Illustrating both “structure and ornament,” the Platner Side Table’s dazzling arrangement of nickel-plated steel rods offers unparalleled elegance in a form that’s compact and refined enough to complement any interior scheme, be it formal or casual. The only drawback to this supporting player is that it may upstage its co-stars—effortlessly.

Knoll Platner Side Table >

Kartell Max Beam Side Table

See-through Eye Candy: Kartell Max Beam Side Table

Light as air is a Kartell signature—and the Max Beam Side Table makes moving furniture around transparently easy. This modern side table’s precise, monolithic form effortlessly fits into tight spaces, while its barely-there purity and candy-sweet colors offer appealing contemporary style at an accessible price. When a table is this breezy, easy to move, and suitable to most any application, there’s no point in stopping at just one.

Kartell Max Beam Side Table >

Mater Bowl Side Table

Sustainable & Stylish: Mater Bowl Table

Befitting its name, the Mater Bowl Table has a deep, rounded surface area—its shape modeled after kneading bowls found in parts of India—fashioned from mango wood. This modern side table’s unusual good looks are derived from both its burnished, sustainably sourced materials and hand crafted detailing, each table top having been manually turned on a lathe by highly skilled Indian artisans. Handsome, versatile, and responsibly manufactured. Who could ask more from a contemporary side table?

Mater Bowl Table >

Artek 915 Side Table

Finnishing Touch: Artek 915 Side Table

Can a table designed in 1932 still be modern? Well, yes, if its creator was Alvar Aalto. The great Finnish architect’s love of wood and gently undulating forms are evident in the Artek 915 Side Table, which makes elegant use of two parallel frames and a pair of perpendicular curved plywood trays.  No ornamentation in needed when a design is this exacting, and for admirers of Nordic restraint, here’s a chance to own a piece of design history that can cooly segue from living room to bedroom to office with unparalleled grace.

Artek 915 Side Table >


Fine Wood: Sentient Log Side Table

A solid piece of  live-edge American black walnut, carved and fitted with a glass insert, is the simple formula for the Sentient Log Side Table, a  modern table which gives tree hugging a singular Brooklyn spin. Refined by hand to showcase its intrinsic live-edge characteristics, the rugged beauty of this modern side table is a refreshing visual counterpoint to glossy contemporary furnishings, and a reminder that sometimes less can be more…dramatic. Brass rolling casters means this solid little table doesn’t have to stay planted in any one place, either.

Sentient Log Side Table >

Ferm Living Cluster Tables

Danish Dash: Ferm Living Cluster Tables

Giving nesting tables a graphic modern identity are Ferm Living Cluster Tables, which combine linear elements and solid planes in translating ho-hum square side tables into something special. Mondrian-esque compositions rendered in powder coated steel give these tables—which fit into each other in novel ways—minimalist panache, whether used alone or in groupings. Supremely adaptable to any number of needs, this is a three-for-one modern side table proposition that’s both pretty—and pretty hard to beat.

Ferm Living Cluster Tables >

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