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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waterfall Tables

Waterfall tables were popularized by French designer Jean-Michele Frank in the 1930's and 40's.  Jean-Michele Frank often used this smooth-lined table with unexpected finishes like shagreen and  parchment.  Later in the 20th century, Karl Springer, undoubtably influenced by Jean-Michele Frank, revived the waterfall table through his modern furniture designs, also contrasting the simple design of the table with over-the-top finishes like shagreen, brass, or granite.    

A couple of weeks ago I ran into a thrift store at lunch, and this linen waterfall table caught my eye.  It was in perfect condition, covered in beige linen.  Priced at $18, it came home with me.  At the moment, it is downstairs in the room where we watch television, but it might not stay there forever.  I don't know if this is a "real deal" waterfall table like the ones that sell on 1st Dibs for small fortunes, or if it's some sort of reproduction.  I haven't been able to find out much about reproductions, except for the lucite styles that are readily available at places like CB2 today.  If anyone knows more about this style, I would greatly appreciate it if you would educate me!  

The clean lines and style of waterfall tables makes them perfect for nesting tables, without any sharp corners or legs to clutter a space. 
Elle Decor

Jean-Michele Frank covered nearly every surface in this room, including the waterfall table, in vellum.
Jean-Michele Frank in Mark Hampton's Legendary Decorators of the 20th Century

A coffee table in the simple waterfall style keeps this black-and-white room soothing and focused.

The simple waterfall style of this coffee table keeps the red lucite from being visually overwhelming in this room.  In any other style, it would be too much.
Metropolitan Home

Amanda Nisbet used a set of lucite nesting waterfall tables in this colorful living room.  Once again, the simplistic style of the waterfall tables is a good counterpoint to the voluminous red curtains.
Amanda Nisbet

Many of Kelly Wearstler's designs implement waterfall tables.  She seems to favor waterfall tables made of solid stone like granite.

Kelly uses a turquoise waterfall style desk with drawers in this glamorous bedroom (her own if I remember correctly?).  I'd love to know what this desk is made of!

The next time you are out hunting, be on the look-out for a waterfall table!  My $18 linen waterfall table might not be my equivalent of MoS Washington's Bemelmans find, but I think it is a piece I will keep for a long time!


Betsy said...

The table looks great in that spot! I wish I knew more about this design, but I'm sure someone out there does. By the way, love the photo from the Mark Hampton book--my fave!

The Stylish Chick said...

I have a clear glass waterfall table I've used now in 6 different homes as everything from a table in the front entry to a coffee table. It looks amazing no matter where I put of my best decor purchases ever!

Wives said...

such a great post! my aunt has had a glass waterfall table for 20+ years now and its one of those things i have grown up covetting. (i hope she wills it to me). just love the look, thanks for the post.

Danielle@Fresh Quince said...

Which thrift store, if you don't mind me asking? Awesome find and what a steal!!!!

traci zeller designs said...

$18? What a bargain!! I love a linen covered table!!

Chic Coles said...

wow we never new the name of that table. Waterfall, yes we can see it.Thanks

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