In the family of Eames designs, there are many standout pieces — their molded plywood chairs, the luxurious Eames lounger, and those ubiquitous shell chairs, to name a few. And then there's the humble little wire base side table, also called the LTR, or 'low table rod'.
According to Herman Miller, the Eameses created the table for a traditional Japanese tea ceremony that they hosted at their house in Pacific Palisades (Image 10). Each of the 10 guests had their very own small table, with their own personalized place setting.
The genius of the LTR, now as it was then, is in its small size and enormous versatility. It can be moved around wherever you need it, and even stacked (or nested under a taller table) if you do not require its services. The table retails for around $200, making it one of the more affordable classics of modern design. It's available in a variety of finishes for the base and top; I'm partial to the marble version, although it costs a little bit more than its plywood cousins — about $1500 more, to be exact).
1. A black LTR in an eclectic interior from The Selby. The table's small shape and low profile mean that it can pair up with larger side tables, as seen here.
2 & 3. In a cheerful Sydney apartment. as seen on Apartment Therapy.
4. As a diminutive coffee table in the home of stylist Emma Persson Lagerberg, from Decor8.
5. As a bedside table in the uber-minimal home of architect Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, via Love Nordic.
6. A group of 4 LTRs makes a nice coffee table… and can be re-arranged when the fancy strikes you. From Desire to Inspire.
7. Once more as a bedside table… provides a nice contrast with the more intricate mirror. From French by Design.
8. In a living room packed with mid-century goodness. Modern Findings.
9. The tables can park under another table when not in use. Jan Skacelik via Houzz.
10. The Eameses' tea party included notable guests like designer Isamu Noguchi (far left) and actor Charlie Chaplin (fifth from left). Photo from Herman Miller.
(Images: as linked above)