A table is pretty basic, right? A platform suspended in midair, maybe by means of some legs? Well, the concept is pretty basic — but that doesn't mean tables have to be boring. These seven designers have thought (in some cases really far) outside of the box to bring you tables that will surprise and delight and maybe even keep you amused for hours.
Above: The clever folks at Dutch studio Ontwerpduo devised this table, called Marbelous, which contains within it hundreds of tiny pathways through which marbles can travel. Check out their website for a video of the table in action. You may never be satisfied with plain old four-legged tables ever again.
I have long nurtured a fascination with the Shuffle table, a design by Mia Hamm for the Dutch label &tradition that's equal parts furniture and plaything. The table is made up of a series of wooden beads on a spool, which can be removed and re-arranged however your heart desires. (Top image from House to Home.)
These designs from Greg Klassen are a bit more serious but no less delightful. He takes pieces of wood and uses their natural contours, plus pieces of blue tinted glass, to create tables that look like miniature landscapes.
Artist Yves Klein designed this fantastic coffee table, filled with pigment in his signature blue. It is offered by Artware and is [price upon request]. If you have to ask, my mother always said, you can't afford it. But you can dream. (Top image from AD España. You can see more images of the table, including the pink and gold varieties, here.)
This swing table, also by Duffy London, is guaranteed to make conference calls at least 50% less mind-numbing.
And finally, from designer Benjamin Nordsmark, via Yellowtrace, a table that's also a labyrinth. Pretty a-maze-ing.