The Hottest Living Room Table Trend Looks like It’s out of “The Flintstones,” but We’re Here for It

updated Aug 18, 2020
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A 1980’s trend is starting to infiltrate my Instagram feed and maybe it’s been popping up on yours, too. It’s easy to notice, since it’s a far cry from the streamlined mid-century modern styles that have dominated homes for the past decade or so. The trnd in question? Tessellated stone tables.

With their sculptural stone bases and glass table tops, the tables might just be the neutral statement piece your living room is missing. These chunky, dramatic showstoppers, which I’ve seen as both coffee tables and side table sets, add depth without taking up too much visual weight. The living room of blogger Elena Lohse from This House 5000 below is a great example of that principle at work.

So the biggest question then is why are we seeing these tables again right now? “There has been a design resurgence of warm, cozy, creamy spaces—a slight departure from the brightly contrasted, black-and-white neutral spaces of the past few years,” suggests Shannon Claire Smith, principal at Washington, DC-based firm Shannon Claire Interiors.

With people spending more time at home as a result of COVID-19, Smith notes that many have been more inclined to turn their homes into sanctuaries from the outside world. “Tessellated stone is the personification of textured warmth and nostalgia,” she says. For ’80s babies like Smith, these pieces add an extra dose of feel-good comfort, and with their stoney forms and spherical-shaped accents, maybe these pieces even remind some of “The Flintstones”.

Credit: Monstera House

For Annie Gilbert, owner of Monstera House, a vintage furniture studio based in Richmond, Virginia, the demand for dramatic tessellated stone tables caught her by surprise. “I have offered a few sets since then, and every time I get a handful of messages asking when I will have more.” (One of those messages may have been from me.) Her first set of tessellated side tables actually sold before she even posted them on her Instagram shop: Someone spotted them in a picture of her studio and wanted first dibs. 

It also turns out these throwback tables are also more versatile than first glance may reveal. “The great thing about these pieces is that they work with so, so many styles,” says Smith. “They’re a great neutral foundation of which you can build on, and what you bring in to surround it determines the vibe of the space.”

Miki Carter of Plot Twist Interiors, whose studio was pictured at the top of this post and just above here, surrounded her stone table with a colorful rug and coffee table books galore for an eclectic maximalist look. Paired with a tan leather sofa and a Beni Ourain style rug, however, the look is decidedly more tonal and minimal in Lohse’s space.

One of the most gorgeous iterations of tessellated stone that I’ve seen so far is Smith’s own coffee table, which she scored on Everything But the House, an online auction site. “Textured and tessellated stone and plaster are everywhere right now,” she says. “What one generation loves, another older generation dislikes and is often moving out of their house.” This is one reason why textured pieces like her coffee table might feel so omnipresent lately. A lot of redecorating, on both large and small scales, is taking place right now with the pandemic, and some people that had these tables the first time around have simply tired of them and want something new.

As far as tips on scoring your own stone table, it’s best to cast a wide net in terms of where you look—and what exactly you are looking for by description. “If you’re searching online, make sure to vary your keywords, since not everyone selling these pieces might even know that they are ‘tessellated,'” Smith says. Her go-to search words? Plaster, stone, travertine, marble, and even concrete are all worth plugging into anywhere you’d normally shop for vintage pieces. I don’t know about you, but my living room is about to go next-level vintage when I snag one of these, and I am here for it.