The essential table

By Robert Ross

A piece of furniture as famous as Charles Eames’s Wire Base Table needs no further endorsement. But its usefulness around the home and office can’t be overstated, and in fact, they seem to multiply like rabbits. I’ve managed to acquire more than a dozen over the years as needs arise, and once again, the WBT proves to be the perfect solution.

Whether it’s a chairside perch for a solo martini or a stack of auction catalogs for the evening’s read, few surfaces are as durable and worry-free. For objects like tribal art, the WBT makes an ideal surface for small pieces viewed from a low lounge chair, or a pedestal to elevate taller sculpture that would otherwise be sitting on the floor. Because of the uniform height and assortment of finishes, creative arrangements remain organized and understated. I’ve even used them in lieu of equipment racks for audio electronics, where the sturdy wire base supports the substantial weight of small tube amps and headphone systems. Without Eames’s versatile tables, we’d all be relegated to using apple crates and cinder blocks.

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