A tiny table can tip the balance in a room from banal to brilliant. It's nearly as easy a fix to freshen up a tired space as a pillow or a plant, but far more interesting. The latest looks coming out of the international furniture markets in Las Vegas and High Point, N.C., give the drinks table some real spirit.
Most furniture makers have one or more in their collections. From hand-painted to reclaimed to reinvented, these tables will restore your faith in the power of a new piece of furniture.
"I look back to the tables from the '30s to the '50s, my favorite time periods, where the tables were traditionally much smaller than today's because they were used specifically to place aside a club chair," said Jonathan Sowter, CEO and designer at Jonathan Charles. "The ideal table, though tiny it may be, acts as the foundation for the room, offering convenience for the guest when needed."
If you never want to drink alone, you might opt for Christopher Guy's mosaic top depicting a bunch of partygoers waiting for you to join in. Alexander Julian, known for his colorful men's wear, has turned his attention to furnishings. In a nod to his fashion roots, he created the Cute as a Button drink table made to look like a button atop three sewing needles. The inlay work resembles button holes and thread.
Aerin Lauder's veneered kidney-shaped Zelda tables work best as a duo, but if one goes missing, the other can maintain your room's equilibrium. Others who understand beauty and balance include Keno Bros. and Jonathan Charles. The Kenos' Dash III and Charles' two-tiered Art Deco Drinks both have handles for easy transport. Jacques Garcia's composite Trefle table for Baker and the Old Wood Co.'s Scotch table with a sculpted salvaged steel base are both made to stay put.
For more metal, there is Caracole's sleek ode to modern with an Italian smoked glass top and steel base finished in gold bullion; Salvation Architectural Furnishings' Cracked Ice -- a mosaic of stone under glass framed in steel; Arteriors brass and snow marble tray tables; and Celerie Kemble's delicate brass and glass table for Maitland Smith. That one has a bird forever perched as guardian of your gimlet.
If you like to show your state pride, Shiner by Homesource International has accent tables shaped like each of the 50 states. They are available in poplar or walnut.
Going global are Theodore Alexander's cast-aluminium rain drum inspired by the Dong Son original and colorful Moroccan-style tables by Wesley Hall, for a trend that keeps on trekking.
Pearson showed several bunching tables, including the familiar parson's table shape in a black-and-white horizontal stripe that makes for a mesmerizing pattern play when more than one is used. A fan of old school elegance, Theodore Alexander presented a fine flowering cherry tree hand-painted on a silvered background above splayed legs joined by an X stretcher.
"Unlike a chair, you can jazz up a table with interesting details that suddenly becomes a conversation starter and the centerpiece of a room," Mr. Sowter said.
Patricia Sheridan: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @pasheridan or Instagram @pasheridanpgh.