Good design emerges when bold forms, careful craftsmanship, and beautiful materials meet in harmony. We work hard to source materials which do justice to each of our ideas. We make our furniture to order, so there are endless opportunities to select materials which add up to the desired effect. From rich, chocolatey walnut wood to crisp, tonal Arabescato marble, each tabletop produces a profoundly unique effect. We’ve given some thought to our favourite ones, which we hope will spark a bit of inspiration…
A clear glass dining tabletop is a classic choice which works especially well with our designs. Many of our dining table bases have a sculptural quality and are offered in eye-catching finishes. Therefore, a crisp glass top is an excellent mate, floating above these captivating forms without distracting the eye. You’ll also find that a clear top allows glimpses of the base beneath, even when seated at the table. The effect is made even more intriguing when we add metallic top plates to the bases, which sit just below the glass surface, casting a warming glow.
We source our Venetian glass from artisans working in the traditional Murano method. The result is a beautifully dappled material which produces a dynamic display of light as the day’s rays trickle through. We find that it works wonderfully on our Lily cocktail tables, as well as larger pieces like the Cloud coffee table. Opt for a muted colour like ‘Smoked Brown’ to keep the effect subtle, or go boldly with a blazing ‘Orange’ or ‘Pine Green’.
Oak is a time-honoured material with a neutral yet characterful quality. The colouring of this whitened iteration makes it versatile, while the delicate veining adds a hint of warmth and intrigue upon closer contact. The blonde inflection keeps the effect light and modern, paring beautifully with pieces like our Exe dining table and benches. The wooden top reinforces the designs’ roots, drawing inspiration from the traditional refectory table. To keep a wood tabletop in peak condition, follow our expert guide.
To achieve a contemporary effect with a touch of the unexpected, ebonised oak is a wonderful material. Its jet-black tone has a certain purity to it and works well with just about any finish on the base. It carries a slightly industrial leaning, yet maintains a luxurious, polished overcurrent. Ebonised oak has its roots in nature, delivering the inviting warmth of wood with an updated appearance.
Walnut wood has never really gone out of style. It’s lauded for its deep, toasty tones and enduring strength. We use walnut for our cabinetry, as it’s an especially hard wood that stands up well to precise workmanship. It’s captivating on a grander scale, sweeping over our dining table bases. The Exe oval dining table models the effect, with a matte surface that’s animated by natural variations in tone.
Calacatta Oro marble has a clean and classic quality to it, fitting right into just about any scheme. Its tonality makes it at home in any colour palette and against all of our finishes. Graphic rivulets of grey add a hint of dynamism, guiding the eye across the crisp white backdrop. With a light marble, in particular, it’s important to brush up on maintenance, so be sure to have a look at our guide if you do select this sort of material.
Rosso Oribico carries a sense of drama and originality. It’s got pools of porphyry red which surge across an expanse of white and grey. Each hue swirls into the next, in a true testament to the beauty of natural materials. The warm and cool colours temper each other perfectly, creating a balanced effect. We find this marble pairs beautifully with fine metalwork, like the delicate and animated base of our Vienna dining table.
White onyx makes a truly unique tabletop. It’s got a translucence to it which lends our designs an energetic, mutable character. Each milky vein solidifies before your eyes as light filters through the surface. It works fabulously on the sculptural base of our Lily coffee table made in polished bronze. The warm glow of the bronze beneath illuminates the onyx, revealing the ambling shape of a lily pad.
Bronze is a captivating material to work with. It might not be the first tabletop material that springs to mind, but happens to perform exceptionally well in this role. Bronze carries an innate sense of gravitas and a touch more visual warmth than other metals. We can patinate our bronze designs to reproduce the effects which set in under natural conditions. We use various solutions, applied by hand to create an aged effect, infusing the piece with a sense of history and complexity.
The Kintsugi ‘Moon’ tabletop is among our most unique options. It draws upon the Japanese art of golden joinery, whereby broken elements are brought together and made stronger and more beautiful through their bonds. We start with sections of hammered steel, which are left with a craggy, weathered surface. They’re then brought together through a process of brazing, which brings the tabletop to life with streams of gold. The result is entrancing and highly distinctive – a perfect match to our Cloud console.
Text by Annabel Colterjohn