Danish Modern Coffee Tables: Trendy but Terrific

Understated, streamlined, sleek and versatile, mid-century coffee tables blend seamlessly with almost any decor. Usually very sturdy and un-fussy, Danish Modern coffee tables were often made with teak, a particularly durable and pest-resistant wood, though rosewood and European oak were also used. In these tables, form and function intersect in a way likely to prove timeless—not just trendy.

When we think of Danish Modern, many iconic designers spring to mind, including Hans Olsen, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, and Hans Wegner. A genuine Danish Modern piece by one of these designers is just a pipe dream for many of us.

Still, there are many affordable Danish teak coffee tables to be found in consignment stores and estate sales; through Craigslist and Ebay; and through many online and brick-and-mortar vintage furniture retailers. It is relatively easy to find well-priced and well-maintained Danish Modern coffee tables in part because the original materials and craftsmanship were so solid and reliable but also because the Danish Modern style, as it evolved, was designed mainly for the middle classes.

In an interview in Collectors Weekly, Andrew Hollingsworth, the author of Danish Modern, explains that Danish Modern reached its peak popularity in the post World War II era, a time of "suburban expansion and the growth of families. The furniture was very solid, well made, and family-friendly. ...It was always designed to live among people, to fit in with everything that was going on in a household."

Our post How To: Take Care of Your Danish Modern Score, gives a nice summary of how best to care for Danish Modern teak furniture, which should be oiled regularly with teak oil (not Murphy's Oil Soap and certainly not furniture polish like Pledge). To avoid rings and marks, avoid getting teak wet and always use coasters!

Images:

FIRST ROW
1 Anne, Alex and Augie’s Appealing Abode.
2 Christopher’s “El Corazon” Mission Flat.
3 Julie’s Jubilant Loft.
4 Greg and Laura’s Space Maximizing Bungalow.
5 Molly & Raul’s Green Muse.

SECOND ROW
6 Carrie’s Cool Calm and Collected House Tour.
7 Liz’s Durham Digs.
8 Cate’s California Cottage.
9 Meg and Brad’s Student Sanctuary.
10 Examples of Danish Modern coffee tables on sale online. Clockwise from top. One from Danish Modern LA for $695. Another from Etsy member Fabulous mess, $450. And a third from 1st Dibs for $550.