There are many modern furniture items that have a chameleon like ability to work in a multitude of decor styles. Some are very famous, like the Saarinen Tulip table (more on that later) or Wegner Wishbone chairs, both commonly used and talked about. Seen less often, one of my favorites is a certain vintage Baker glass and brass coffee table which, while being fundamentally the same table, comes in many variations. Pegged as 1960s and made by Baker Furniture, the table has a glass top with an elaborate pie-crust brass edge and the base is wooden, carved to resemble bamboo.
This is the most “classic” version of the table, shown again below in a Kelly Wearstler interior.
Beyond that the variations are endless. The top can be the scrolled version of a circle above, oblong, rectangular and even smooth edged. The base can be thick or thin faux bamboo, wood tone or painted. Other base variations exist as well and over the years some of the tops and bases seem to have been separated and remarried to other pieces. The terms Hollywood Regency and Chinese Chippendale are thrown around a lot with this table.
Some versions have the tray top set into an octagonal wooden base, giving it a more Moroccan vibe.
This version has even been painted to enhance the feeeling.
The table has also gained prominence in being featured on Mad Men in Betty Draper’s new living room. I don’t even watch the show, but it was big enough news to be featured on Apartment Therapy. It’s hard to see in these photos, but it looks like is is a marquis shape - a pointy thin oval – with a different base.
I am currently consulting long distance on two different projects, with different aesthetics, but both of which had living rooms that would benefit from a Baker style coffee table. Imagine my pleasure when both found the same one! The rooms are only partially assembled and being worked on slowly, but I think there is enough to show how well it works in different spaces.
The first one, located visiting relatives in Tennessee had a real Tennessee consignment shop price – somewhere in the neighborhood of $300.
Here it is now in its new home in Westchester with two newly recovered vintage wingchairs and a reimagined Pottery Barn ottoman. Don’t you just love that contrast piping!
The other table was found in urban Chicago, so it had more of a big city price – about double – which seems expected.
Here it is sitting in front of a dark grey velvet sofa from Jayson Home & Garden. You can also see a Saarinen Tulip table (see, we get to it) and some beautiful mid-century Danish chairs, as well as the new french doors and bookshelves we had built to divide the space and create an office guest room. You’ll be seeing lots more of this project in coming months as we make progress.
A rug is greatly needed and yet to come but we are thinking about something along these lines, also in a Chicago apartment featured recently in The New York Times.