May 5, 2006

If there can be such a thing as a mnemonicly-named table, it would be from Sandback. We spotted a Sandback table some time ago and stowed it in memory as "Sandblock" because of the slab-like concrete tops, not quite registering that they are actually named for their maker, sculptor Peter Sandback.

Yes, that's Sandback, not Sandblock.

No matter, though, we remembered enough to be able to track down Peter Sandback's online showroom.

So why do we like these so much? Let us count the ways:

1. The unexpectedness of tough industrial materials (concrete, steel, sometimes wood) in furniture that scaled for homes. Sandback has taken something that is typically large and forbidding and made it warm and inviting.

2. The palette: Sandback has excellent color sense. You can choose from a palette of 45 earthy, textural pigments, and you can't go wrong with any of them.

3. The solidity. These pieces feel grounded, sculptural, durable. The tops are crafted from a concrete composite that is molded around a polystyrene core, so they are also surprisingly light (Good if you live above a "softstory."). A functional piece of "unintentional art", as called it, for your living or dining room.

4. The investment in good furniture nutrition. What we call "protein furniture." Not cheap (prices starts at $900 for an end table and range up to $3800 for a dining table), but a worthwhile purchase if you're thinking long-term. These are pieces you'll have your whole life.

Sandback is based in New Hampshire but is represented by showrooms in NYC, Seattle and Kansas City. Seattle-area readers can visit Studio G11 in the Seattle Design Center (Plaza Suite 366 | 5701 6th Ave. South | 206 973 4473 | 206 973 4475.) SF Bay readers can check out the full line online and order a table or bench by e-mailing Peter Sandback himself. Production time is 9 weeks.

Sandback is here.

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