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9 modern riffs on the old folding table

December 22, 2009 |  6:32 am

TableCollage

Card table, begone. Striking new looks in folding tables bring this modest party staple out from under the tablecloth. Our selection reflects a mix of prices and personalities -- the practical as well as examples of pure design creativity. All offer elegant looks that will last well after the holiday season has ended. Click to the jump for photos and details on our nine picks.

Table_Muddas

Above: Muddus drop-leaf table for IKEA. Superb for small spaces, IKEA's drop-leaf table provides a great work surface for one or an intimate dining area for two. Made from powder-coated particleboard set on a steel frame, this popular table now comes in a splashy yellow. It's $60 in IKEA stores.
 
Table_Muji
Above: The pine folding table from the Japanese company Muji. This versatile coffee table has a pared-down pine construction and legs can that tuck under the tabletop for storage. With its pure lines and understated elegance, it dresses up or down easily. It's $64 at the Museum of Modern Art store.
 
Table_GatelegCollage
 
Above: Span Gateleg table from Crate & Barrel. This table seats four when extended and  moonlights as an attractive console when closed. The construction is wood with an oak veneer tabletop and dark espresso stain. It's $299 at crateandbarrel.com.

 
Table_Evolve
Above: Evolve table by Calligaris.
A fine choice for a studio, Evolve has a contemporary flair and European café sensibility. The indoor-outdoor table, shown here in a steel base with a melamine top, sells for $708. Check calligaris.us for retailers.
 
Table_TrayAssembled
Above: HK Plexiglas folding tray for TableArt. The sparkling, hand-polished surface of the petite HK Plexiglas tray table automatically ups the room's glamour quotient. It makes a stunning presentation for New Year's cocktails and appetizers. Then the tray lifts up and the base folds for easy storage. Handmade in Mexico City, the HK is $475 at TableArt in Los Angeles; (323) 653-8278.
 
Table_Spoon2
 
Above: Spoon folding tables from Kartell. These tables pair the sophistication of European design with the straight-up functionality of folding furniture. The lightweight tabletop is made of honeycomb aluminum finished in laminate and is a mere half-inch thick. The legs are thermoplastic. Prices start at $1,886 at the Kartell store in Los Angeles; (310) 271-0178.
 
Table_F2Collage
 
Above: F2 from Ligne Roset. Round folding tables -- especially those with an element of elegance -- are tough to find, so we were pleased to discover Ligne Roset's F2. The table employs a clever folding system with three origami-like, articulated panels made from glossy white lacquer. Folded, the table spans a mere 3.25 inches. It's $3,270 at ligne-roset-usa.com.
 
TablePalecek
Above: Pasadena Motion coffee table from Palecek. A handcrafted piece with a mid-century feel, the Pasadena Motion table swivels open to provide additional space for drinks and munchies. The table has a plantation mahogany frame with a mahogany veneer top and walnut tone finish. It's $1,198 at the Palecek showroom in the L.A. Mart Design Center in Los Angeles; (213) 748-9563.
 
Table_M'ovo

Above: M'ovo 175. A piece with tons of personality, the lacquer metal and plywood M'ovo 175 folding table from Lapalma stands upright when not in use. When the tabletop is pulled into the horizontal position, a second leg extends automatically. Wheels are concealed in the base; for stability, they retract when the table is extended. The M'ovo 175 is $3,382 at unicahome.com.

-- Katherine E. Nelson

Photos courtesy of (from top): IKEA, MoMA Design Store, Crate & Barrel, Calligaris, TableArt, Kartell, Ligne Roset, Palecek and Unica Home.

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