Stylish, family-friendly dining tables

The organised amongst us (quick straw poll in the office: five out of eleven) have already made plans for Christmas. And it seems that we’re all the same – it’s the perennial problem of space that gets thrown into the mix at this time of year.  Particularly extra space at the table for larger gatherings of family and friends.  So we get lots of enquiries around now for ‘large family friendly dining tables’ and our conclusion is that most of us are looking for something similar.  That is, a table that looks uber stylish, works on a day to day basis with family life (i.e. needs to be near bomb proof) and is also clever enough to accommodate 12-16 people at anyone sitting when you need it to.  It’s the reliable work horse of the kitchen/dining room (unless of course you thought that was you!).

So from this year’s new launches we were particularly pleased to spot some fantastic designs with incredibly hard-wearing tabletop surfaces in a variety of sizes and some that also have extending versions. Who needs three wise men bearing gifts… we’ll settle for one of these new tables!

A major key to choosing a dining table with those indestructible qualities suitable for family breakfasts through to grown-up dinner parties, is in the table top material used. Many of the latest table designs offer up to fifteen different finishes, including new hard-wearing ceramics, which have the beauty of marble without any of the high maintenance (try taking red wine or even a lemon anywhere near marble…).

Ceramic tabletops are made from extremely durable, inorganic clay. Flexible and soft in its natural state, the clay becomes rock-hard after the firing process. This creates a material that is far less prone to scratches and stains than a natural stone, such as marble. Which makes it perfect for messy kids or ‘plate draggers’, alongside those adult wine drinkers who spill more than they drink! And the good news is that a minimalist approach is best when it comes to cleaning. A damp cloth or sponge plus a mild detergent will keep a ceramic table top sparkling clean and looking brand new every time.

Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table
Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table

Bonaldo’s new Tangle dining table is designed by Dondoli e Pocci.  It’s top of our list for illustrating that you can have style and a table that will survive family life! A ‘tangle’ of trunks and branches was the inspiration for the ‘haphazard’ look of the base, which is made from structural steel and is both bold and graphic.  It’s also available in a selection of colours including white and copper. The family-friendly design has tops in over fifteen different materials including three hard-wearing, family-proof ceramics: Calacatta ceramic, Gold Onice ceramic and, brand new for this year, Ardesia grey ceramic – with a matt finish that is beautifully soft and warm to the touch.

Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table with the new Ardesia Grey Ceramic table top
Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table with the new Ardesia Grey Ceramic table top

Other table-top finishes for the Tangle table include veneers (which are 30mm thick), solid woods, marbles and glass.  The Tangle table comes in various family friendly sizes too, the largest from 300cm wide down to the smallest at 180cm.

Bonaldo Art Dining Table
Bonaldo Art Dining Table

A design that is definitely not ‘art for art’s sake’, is Bonaldo’s Art dining table by Gino Carollo.  It has a striking, geometric shape with a metal trapezium base positioned diagonally under the table, optimising the space and allowing plenty of leg room for larger gatherings (getting stuck withe a table leg is definitely the short straw as a diner). It’s also available in three extending sizes and three fixed sizes. Again, there are fifteen different table top materials to choose from including a hard-wearing glossy Calacatta ceramic and the brand new Ardesia matt grey ceramic, which we are really very taken with (in case you hadn’t noticed).  The steel base trapezium frame can also be finished in colours and materials such as matt painted dove grey, wood and copper.

Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table

Tonelli Design are best known for their beautiful glass furniture designs.  The company was established in the 1980s and they are considered one of Italy’s finest makers of glass furniture, always at the forefront of new technology and innovation.  So it’s no surprise that they have taken their hard-earned expertise to combine ceramic with glass for their new range of stylish, family-friendly dining tables.

The T5 ceramic dining table by Giulio Mancini for Tonelli features a table top in the company’s new extremely hard-wearing marble-look ceramic glass. The innovative material comes in a variety of matt and polished finishes including polished Orobic Grey (image above) and matt Noir Desir (below).

Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table

Also from Tonelli is the Can Can dining table designed by Mario Milana. The uber stylish Can Can also features the new marble-look, ceramic glass top with six different ceramics to choose from: matt or polished Noir Desir, matt or polished Emperador, polished Orobic Grey or polished Arabesque Calacatta.

Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table

The unusual angled table legs of the Can Can are available in 40mm thick glass as shown above, or Canaletto Walnut (below) with metal joints in stainless steel, brass or copper and it’s also available in four great sizes from 200cm to 260cm long.

Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table

New from Porada, a company that has a passion for beautiful wood is the Quadrifoglio, designed by C. Ballabio.  It’s a rectangular table with round, solid, recessed legs and a stunning frame in ash, which is also offered with a range of stains from moka to wengé, or matt lacquered with an open pore finish in interesting colours such as Aviation Blue, Pistachio Green, Garnet Red or simply Natural.

Porada Quadrifoglio Dining Table
Porada Quadrifoglio Dining Table

What gives it its family-friendly credential is the table top ‘insert’ which is also offered in a new ‘rock’ material, including Calacatta, Emperador or matt Oxide Black.  ‘Rock’ is a marble composite which is extremely hard-wearing and non-porous – perfect for large gatherings and festive fun!  And to maintain the luxurious Porada look all the Quadrifoglio tables are finished with stylish, brushed brass feet.

As mentioned, one of the things that’s always at the top of the wish list when choosing a new dining table is how many family and friends you’ll be able to accommodate over normal, every day family meals. Tables obviously take up lots of room, which is fine if you’ve got it but a bit inconvenient, or even impossible, if you haven’t. So extending  tables are the answer.  And they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  And to prove that you really don’t have to compromise on contemporary style some of the newest designs are also offered in an exciting variety of materials and shapes.

Bonaldo Prora Extening Dining Table
Bonaldo Prora Extening Dining Table

Bonaldo’s award-winning Prora dining table is part of a range that is instantly recognisable.  Designed by Mauro Lipparini, the Prora’s legs are shaped to echo the iconic form of a ship’s bow. This latest addition to the collection, and what entitles it to sit within our family-friendly selection, is a new extending glass topped version, beautifully velvety to the touch and, although not 100% scratch-proof, is much, much more forgiving than standard glass. The other big plus is, and unusually, the extensions are also available in the same acid-treated black or white glass as the main body of the table, which means that none of the core style is lost.

So there you have it, highlights from our latest collection of family friendly dining tables for fabulously festive family fun.  All you need now is the time to shop for all that food!

Throw out your tablecloths!

Rapid technological change isn’t just confined to what we listen to our music on, or which smartphone update is the latest ‘can’t live without’ device. The world of furniture design is as much a part of the technological revolution as any other industry.  Leading furniture manufacturers now invest large amounts of research-effort into creating materials that not only look fantastic but outperform anything that has gone before.  The latest designs to benefit from this are dining tables with amazing, near indestructible table tops (with apologies to all manufacturers of coasters and heat resistant tablecloths here…).

Our Italian brand Bontempi Cassa is one of a number of leading manufacturers to have launched their AW2015 dining tables featuring SuperCeramica, a material which not only looks elegant and stylish but that creates a virtually indestructible table top surface.

Cruz dining table
Cruz dining table

SuperCeramica is a ceramic based material combined with glass.  Its credentials are as long as your arm and include:  oil resistant;  acid/chemical resistant; scratch proof; heat proof; fire resistant; non-toxic; eco friendly; recyclable.  What’s not to like?

Shown above, the Cruz dining table (in ‘sand’ SuperCeramica) is also a versatile table, available in five different sizes, with the small version one of our smallest extending tables at just 120cm long x 80cm wide, and the largest version 102cm wide and 290cm long when extended.  We love it so much we’ve now got one in our Kings Road showroom – which many of our clients’ children regularly put through its paces.  It’s always won!

Dublino dining table
Dublino dining table

The Dublino table  is also offered in SuperCeramica (seen above in anthracite SuperCeramica) along with melamine, matt lacquered wood and velvet anti-scratch glass, while the strong metal frame can be lacquered in a range of colours or in chrome.

Glass table tops have been a feature of dining tables for a while.  However, the new matt, anti-scratch-proof glass, or velvet glass, is another great advance in surface design.  Using a technical process known as ‘dynamic corrosion’, the glass is treated by using special acids that create bevelled edges of the micro-crests within the structure.  We love the science bits (the technical info reads a bit how we imagine the initial treatment for Interstellar must have looked!)

Genio dining table
Genio dining table

The Genio table (above) is seen here in anti-scratch white glass.  Again, superb credentials: abrasion resistant; stain resistant; non-absorbent (liquids slide away); easy to clean (important with glass); warm to the touch; wide choice of colours. Three different extending sizes to choose from.

So, sit back and enjoy your table, your family and friends, the meal.  No more fretting about burn marks, water stains, scratches…  just let the science be with you!

Not too early to be thinking about Christmas!!

Yes, we know it’s (mostly) sunny outside and you’re probably (mostly) on holiday… but we thought this might be a good time to start you thinking about CHRISTMAS!  The UK press has been thinking about it for the past month or so and all the Christmas summer press shows have already taken place (this is where journalists & stylists rush around central London in the heat, eating mince pies and thinking unseasonable thoughts, all working on their Christmas issues).

So, on to Christmas furniture.  Do you remember how last year you swore you wouldn’t host another Christmas without the right size dining table?  Well, now’s the time to start looking.  We have some fabulous new tables including a masterpiece of design from Alivar, one of Italy’s top brands.  The Oblique extends from 200cm right up to 280cm without altering its shape and the legs always stay at the end of the table – so there’s no need to play footsie (unless you want to!).

Alivar Oblique extending dining table
Alivar Oblique extending dining table

With extra guests, sleeping arrangements can also cause headaches in our experience.  A sofa bed is the answer and we have lots to choose from and there are also lots out there, but if you want something that really doesn’t look like a sofa bed we have just the design. Bonaldo’s Bandy not only doesn’t look like your traditional sofa bed it’s also extremely comfortable. Bonaldo has a wealth of experience in this area and the Bandy has been designed to last, with a sturdy frame and beautifully upholstered with layer upon layer of foam.  It’s also very easy to operate (even after a few Christmas G&T’s): simply pull the back down flat and the seat simultaneously moves forwards.  The Bandy comes with a Go Modern warning however – it’s so comfortable your guests may decide to stay a little longer than Christmas…

Bonaldo Bandy sofa bed
Bonaldo Bandy sofa bed

And then there are the finishing touches (and where to hang all those extra visitors’ coats). The beautiful Bonaldo Trees are not a brand new design but soooo lovely we have to give them a mention here.  These are a new version of the popular Tree coat stand but with a light inside, so they’ll not only light your hallway prettily but also provide somewhere for people to hang their outdoor gear (& coo over).   Why buy a traditional tree we say?

Bonaldo Tree coatstand/light
Bonaldo Tree coatstand/light

P.S. Our summer sale is also still on at the moment – 15% off all orders over £1,000 (Quote coupon code: SUMMER).  What’s stopping you & Merry Christmas!