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Conceptual furniture and design in the kitchen?

Update: Tineke advised that the table is treated with an eco friendly oil/wax!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m feeling rather minimal and conceptual this week. While I love a great whimsical or vintage piece, I also love clean lines and minimalism. Conceptual design is one of my favourite things, whether it be cars, furniture, clothing – it gives you insight into the mind of a creative; the cogs, bells and whistles that whirr and turn, churning out scaled back and interesting functional design for the masses. But when allowed, form replaces function and things that were previously filed under incredulity become the norm.

Every fortnight, I am going to (try) to present concept items that can be used within the kitchen/dining arena if we adjust our mindset. Maybe its time for us to stop looking for reasons why concept design doesn’t quite fit into the home and instead look at how we can adjust to the item itself. So without further ado..

..when is a dining table, not quite a dining table? When it’s absolutely Marbelous!

Marbelous table - shot by laura klappe

Created by Dutch design duo Nathan Wierink and Tineke Beunders, aka Ontwepduo, Marbelous is a dining sized table that also doubles as the most magnificent game of marbles you, (or your kids), will ever play. A self confessed ‘dreamer and mathematician’ Ontwerpduo graduated but two years ago cum laude from the Design Academy and are now a part of one of my favourite collectives Atelierdorp.

In terms of practicality, this table is sized like most other more conventional dining tables – lending itself to being a realistic object of furniture. You could literally seat 4-6 people around this table comfortably. What other requirements does one generally have for a dining table? (1) It should be a place where family and friends can meet not just to eat, but to hang out, do homework and be entertained, (2) It should be made from a material that lends itself to being cleaned and maintained in a fairly simple way. (3) It should be aesthetically pleasing to ones existing or ever-changing decor.

Marbelous Table details

Let’s take these points one at a time. As stated before, this table is literally the size of a conventional dining table. However, with Marbelous entertainment value is HIGH. A marble is dropped into the recesses on the top of the table and one follows it as it goes down the groove in the cylindrical leg, through a ‘maze’ of concentric circles only to settle in the hollowed out bowl at the base of the table leg. A kid, nay an adult could spend a considerable amount of time playing. Remove all the marbles, and its just a very nicely crafted table, a spot for homework, drinks whatever. The grooves on the plateau could be seen to be an inconvenience at first, but they are only at the far ends of the table and one doesn’t HAVE to rest a glass or what not there. Besides, it could make a nifty pencil holder for the kid doing homework.

What about cleaning? The concept piece is made from Maple wood and is possibly untreated. While I am sometimes loathe to paint wooden surfaces, to have this table treated/stained or painted I don’t think would detract substantially from its creativity and interest. However, personally I would prefer the natural wood with a sealant rather a stain or paint.

Marbelous Base and Marble box

Which takes us to the aesthetic – just take a look at the carefully carved legs and feet. The design in of itself is beautiful, before we even consider the fact that it is actually functional, right down to the little box created to fit into the base to house the marbles. The close up images above show the gentle bulbous shapes carved into the legs, which are so perfectly shaped and evocative of crop circles that it becomes a pattern in of itself. Designer Tineke Beunders says, “….functional woodcarvings. It is decoration you can play with. They applied woodcarvings in a piece of furniture that combines the world of adults with the world of the children.”

I think of the many imaginative designs one comes upon, Marbelous is one that can truly be applicable in the real world. I think a main concern would be the costs involved in all of that beautiful carving work leading to prohibitive pricing. But, all in all, couldn’t you see this piece in your dining area/Kitchen? If it wasn’t for my being in a small flat I certainly would want one of these in my home. To see Marbelous in action, check out this video on the Youtube.

all images by ontwerpduo, with exception of top most image by lisa klappe
learn more about ontwerpduo here.


8 Responses

  1. This is a beautiful table. Growing up in a family with 4 children though I think at least one person spilled a glass of milk at dinner everyday. That would be an interesting spill to clean. I’m picturing peas taking a stroll too. Could be interesting with children.

  2. Lol good call on the peas..I know I wouldnt be able to resist trying them out on this table..much less a kid. haha

  3. I love the design and structure of the table, but I’m sorry, I will not be picking up marble messes! LOL.

    • haha – no probs! This is single handedly one of my most favourite products ever. I would have no issue with the marble messes…because I likely would be the cause of them!

  4. […] have a very useable application in the ‘real world’. That first post was about the Marbelous Table from the studio of Ontwerpduo in The Netherlands. I am pleased to say that Ontwerpduo was kind […]

  5. Interesting article. Were did you got all the information from… šŸ™‚

  6. Thank you for your help!

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