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Today, it’s no secret to anyone that the Mid-Century Modern style continues to reign as one of the most popular decorative trends in various contexts and spaces, both in home and office decorations. The Noguchi table is just one of the many elements belonging to this trend that have remained representative icons of that time, at the peak of a popularity that refuses to die and that, over the decades, continues to attract the attention of new generations, ordinary users, and professionals of interior design and decoration.

Academics, museums, and specialists in the history of design recognize the full importance of MCM as the aesthetic movement of the last century that had a full influence not only on furniture design but on architecture in general and the lifestyle that was beginning to reign in a world convulsed by wars, population growth, and migratory movements. The Noguchi table is just one example of how modernity began to be reflected in practically all aspects of life, which started to lean towards the simple, useful, and functional, without abandoning a sophisticated and interesting aesthetic.

Noguchi Table
Source: Laperla London

The Noguchi Table Is a Dynamic and Versatile Piece

Scholars place the boom years of MCM between the 1930s and 1960s, as many revolutionary designs appeared in that time frame, setting a new direction for furniture design. The Noguchi table made its appearance specifically in 1947, making an overwhelming impression that challenged paradigms and dared to redefine the concept of how a coffee table should be. In this sense, the piece even introduced sculptural characteristics, combining artistic and functional elements in an amazing and highly original way. This emphasis on art was not strange: Isamu Noguchi, the genius behind the work, was already recognized for his talent as a sculptor.

The break in paradigms that the Noguchi table and other pieces of its time represented were really a step forward compared to the traditional modernism that had been making its way since the end of the 19th century. Interest in a futuristic aesthetic, with more functional and dynamic finishes, was not exactly new, but it was during the mid-twentieth century that it found its climax. Artisanal production materials began to gain greater inclusion, and designs began to embrace more creative facets, with an emphasis on novelty and efficiency, to demonstrate a new type of elegance that had much to offer and was widely accepted. 

The Noguchi Table Combines Art, Function, and Style In a Furniture Piece

The most famous component of the Noguchi table is undoubtedly its extraordinary hand-carved wooden base, as it’s the strongest proof of its artistic and revolutionary aspect. Isamu Noguchi knew how to capture biomorphism in its lines, an aesthetic current inspired by the shapes of nature, emulating the morphological features more typical of living beings. That is to say, in more metaphorical words, he knew how to give “its own life” to his table, without abandoning the simplicity of its appearance, devoid of additional details or unnecessary ornamentation. The triangular surface of the table, made of resistant tempered glass, also shows obtuse angles that harmonize directly with its wooden base, preserving coherence and making it look as a whole.

The absence of purely geometric shapes, such as typical rectangular or square tabletops, and the complete lack of pointed angles is an example of how the Noguchi table dared to challenge traditional design schemes. Additionally, manufacturers began to launch models with the base in various shades, very diverse, which showed how different the table could look in other colors, from its natural wood hue to very marked shades such as black, beige, or white, which can contrast formidably with the color story of a compartment or help to reinforce a predominant nuance.

Noguchi Table Replica
Source: Chaplins

The Noguchi Table Is an Example of Functionality and Aesthetics

If the MCM has already earned your approval as your favorite style, you should be aware that some pieces like the Noguchi table could mean an additional feature: the symbolic value. A design as famous and recognized as this will enhance the conceptual value of the place where you decide to place it, especially if the friends who often visit you know a little about furniture design and some famous pieces that represent a lot for furniture design in general. Besides, wood is usually a very present resource in the decorations defined by this trend so this piece will look great in the company of other furniture and floors with finishes of this material.

The Noguchi table lacks traditional geometric shapes but retains a very remarkable symmetry that can combine very well with other pieces within this style, since the MCM is characterized by typically resorting to simple geometric shapes, both in furniture and textile elements. Also, it’s very easy for this coffee table to become the focal point of any area, considering that modern designs tend to be minimalist, away from the recurring tendency to include pieces or elements that are too large, in unnecessary numbers and in which each piece of furniture has a specific and inescapable function and is not just there as an addition.

The Noguchi Table Replica Is an Alternative at Your Fingertips

If your budget is limited or you simply aren’t willing to invest in an original piece of such a high category, but you’d still be very interested in having it in your living room or some area of your company, remember that a Noguchi table replica can be the perfect alternative for you. Barcelona Designs offers a very worthy example of what’s an amazingly faithful piece to the original, at first sight indistinguishable, made with the highest quality materials and proportions that respect the design presented by Herman Miller more than fifty years ago.

The grand legacy of this design can be seen very well in a Noguchi table reproduction and can help you give the finishing touch to your decor. Remember that you can personalize it by adding photos with beautiful frames, a small and very striking plant, or some tiny craft ornament that adds more visual interest and reinforces the Mid-Century Modern air you are looking for.

Noguchi Table Reproduction
Source: Colour My Living