When it comes to dining room tables, most of us make do with what's already in our apartment or easily score-able off Craigslist. This way, quite a few splintery wooden boards have become the site of plucky dinner parties. Still, there's another end of the spectrum — specialized, fantastic, expensive, artful bits of furniture designed to tweak the imagination as well as facilitate gustatory pleasures. We've compiled a few classics, some of which most assuredly aren't for sale.
4. Ainė's Bunikytė's Ridged Roof Furniture. In truth, this whole post was inspired by this piece, really less a functional design than a work of pure art created as part of the designer's graduate studies at Lithuania's Vilnius Academy of Art — furniture interacting with an environment at odds with its perceived function. That said, if you could get up there (ladder? catapult?), you'd probably want to have a glass of viryta and enjoy the view before falling off.
3. La Cool Vie Boheme. Valencia-based designer Daniel Gantes constructed this minimal, foldable table to suit a small apartment and perhaps a bachelor's decor-by-bricolage aesthetic. We like how all the other components are dwarfed by the wine-holder.
2. Cube 6. Japanese designer Naho Matsuno unveiled this six-piece set of stools at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2008. Made from birch plywood, the stools pull apart from the cube (each side is 14 inches) like leaves off an artichoke. When together as one unit, the stools take up less space than a medium-sized guitar amp or a drunk, sleeping spouse.
1. IkHa. What beats a goofy table and chairs? An entire restaurant. In the case of IkHa, a temporary restaurant experience that ran from May until last week in the Hague's Filmhuis den Haag, designer Oatmeal Studio constructed its dining rooms to be a customer-customizable “hack” of IKEA furniture. Visitors actually put together their own table settings, even measuring and slicing their own tablecloths and placemats.
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