What material do you think of when someone mentions an office table? Be it a conference table or something smaller, oak readily comes to mind. The classic oak table has been synonymous with business furniture for quite some time. Are there other options? You bet. And in fact, they are not all wood.
Wood is a fantastic material for making tables. It is readily available and easy to work with. It is also beautiful – at least to people who appreciate wood’s aesthetic. Yet wood is not the be-all and end-all of furniture-making materials.
Custom furniture makers love to experiment with other materials. Concrete is one option. Moreover, it is an option that seems to be getting more popular by the day. Granite, marble, and glass are other options. Even composites like carbon fiber are on the table, pardon the pun.
1. Something More Modern
Oak has been a staple of table design for so long that one might wonder why any other material would ever be used. Simply put, people are looking for something more modern. Wood tables are often thought of as antiques, even though a particular piece might be just a few years old. Wood speaks to how our grandparents and great-grandparents built furniture. It doesn’t speak to the modern world.
Ironically, concrete dates back to ancient civilizations in South America, Asia, and Europe. And yet, it wasn’t until recently that furniture designers and functional artists began using concrete as a table material. But now that the cat is out of the bag, good luck getting it back in. Concrete is one of the hottest things in commercial furniture building today.
One Salt Lake City enterprise whose services include custom office tables is Modern Craftsman. Concrete and metal are the studio’s two primary building materials. They know a thing or two about creating office tables featuring metal frames and concrete work surfaces. To say that such a table offers a modern aesthetic is like saying the sky is blue.
2. Combining Multiple Materials
One of the things that makes wood boring to people who prefer a modern aesthetic is the single material paradigm. In other words, an oak office table is 100% wood from top to bottom. After all, why would you spoil a good piece of oak furniture by adding other materials to it?
The unwritten rules that apply to wood furniture do not apply when you are using modern materials. Modern Craftsman combines concrete and metal. Other designers combine metal with glass. There is an endless combination of possibilities when you are working with concrete, metal, glass, and composites.
The key is to figure out how to get them to play well together. That’s not always as easy as it sounds because the goal is to achieve both function and artistry. Indeed, the discipline of functional artwork exists for that very reason.
3. Creating Different Forms
Modern furniture designers also explore all sorts of different forms. Gone are the days when office conference tables had to be long rectangles or ellipses. The modern office table can take any shape its owner wants. It can also incorporate company branding without looking tacky or pretentious.
The foundation of everything this post has talked about is customization. Yes, you can customize oak and mahogany office tables. But craftsman aren’t necessarily willing to push the envelope on fine wooden furniture. When you are working with concrete and other alternative materials, the envelope may not even exist at all. That is really the significant difference. Modern building materials are essentially a license to rethink what furniture is supposed to look like.