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“The lower the piece of furniture, the cooler it looks.” low dining, a decor trend that brings us back down to earth

“The lower the piece of furniture, the cooler it looks.”  low dining, a decor trend that brings us back down to earth

Closer to the ground, more comfortable to use… The trend of: lower dining room imitated both inside and outside.

Which chair or table lost inches first? The debate has begun, and like the chicken and the egg, no one can really decide. Jean-Paul Baty, director of VIA (Furniture Innovation Valuation), an organization whose mission is to promote French design, is undoubtedly the beginning of a movement.

“In recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of the ‘lounge generation’, which appreciates large lounge-style sofas, very comfortable, on which we can sit in groups, watch TV, lie down… And while they took generous forms, they saw: the decrease in their height, he explains. Because the lower the piece of furniture, the cooler it appears. Chairs and armchairs followed, the backs of which were bent 15 to 20 degrees, so that the back was less stiff and the posture more pleasant. And, naturally, due to balance and aesthetic harmony, their height has decreased by about 10 cm. Since the chairs are lower, the tables should also be adjusted.”

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Common standard

If Jean-Paul Batt sits on the seats as the driving force behind this decline in measurements, designer Emmanuel Gallina, for his part, is moving more towards the table. In April 2023, he presented his round-top Monolith table at the Milan furniture fair, Poliform, in an outdoor version with a height of 65 cm, instead of the original version’s 74.5 cm.

Signed Emmanuelle Gallina for Poliform, Monolith Outdoor Low Dining Table.

“I have a very specific memory of a trip to Venice where I went for an aperitif in a traditional cafe,” he says. I realized that the tables were always lower in these places. They weren’t coffee tables either, more like something in between. I asked the chief if there was a historical reason. He did not know how to answer me. He simply claimed that this type of furniture was more conducive to relaxation. When you think about it, in many cultures, whether in Japan or in North Africa, in the Middle East, we eat at ground level. On a trip to Uzbekistan, I was even surprised by the fact that we were eating on a platform 30 cm off the ground, where carpets were placed. This is how this desire to create furniture was slowly born. low dining room, i.e. 5 to 10 centimeters lower than standard tabletop height. Then I talked to the Poliform teams about it, but they weren’t receptive. When thinking about outdoor furniture, I was able to take the project forward because it’s a world with a quieter dimension outside.” What about chairs? Magnolia’s legs have just grown 5 cm. “At first it was for tests,” adds Emmanuel Galina, “but the proportions and comfort being perfect, we chose this version.”


Emmanuel Galina had a good nose. Because since then, this format has been everywhere. In the Molteni&C 2024 outdoor collection, Vincent Van Duysen signs a tea table Fairmount Lounge in solid teak, 64 cm high, which goes well with Petalo armchairs. For the artistic director and architect, “we don’t eat the same inside and outside. It’s about spending time with the people you love while sitting comfortably. One last point, which is very important for the development of such a product.

There tea table The Fairmount Lounge designed by Vincent Van Duysen for Molteni&C.

The same turning point at Minotti, where Gordon Guillaume’s family of Bellagio Outdoor tables has been enriched with a 67 cm tall “little sister” compared to the 72 cm of its “elder”. The phenomenon takes on everything in its path, including design icons such as Rodolfo Dordoni’s Dine Out table published by Cassina, whose size matches the version. low 73 cm to 66 cm. Why review it? “This responds to current outdoor dining trends. Its low height creates a friendly atmosphere for eating, meeting and relaxing, which fully embraces the idea of ​​relaxation,” explains Cassina CEO Luca Fuso.

Low version: the Dine Out table created by Rodolfo Dordoni for Cassina.

Extreme cold

At Knoll, the legendary Saarinen table is also available in 66 cm length and for indoor use. But contrary to popular belief, this is not a new release, but a reissue. “This height was actually the original height. Florence Knoll observed that the lower the table, the larger the room around it. The low height was called the ‘continental height’ and brought the seated person closer to the ground, creating a less formal and more intimate atmosphere,” explains Jonathan Olivares, senior vice president of design at Knoll.

Designed by Gordon Guillaumier for Minotti, the Bellagio Lounge Dining Outdoor model.

“During the aperitif, when everyone is sitting on the sofas and eating, reaching the coffee table, there is an immediate good atmosphere,” adds Emmanuel Galina. Table lower dining room satisfies this need for rest. It invites you to gather in a less conventional way, to share dishes such as tapas, which we find more and more often. It is therefore also suitable for these new applications in terms of food. And then, in the summer, it’s more versatile than the classic high-leg model. We will sit there to drink coffee, when we get up, we will stay there to read the press quietly. Lunch time will come, when it will be ideal to gather without commotion… We will chat there in the afternoon, drinking juice, a little relaxed, but without complications, and in the evening we will set the table again.” These are arguments that should confirm the reputation of this table in the long run: not too high, not too low, above all calm.;;;;

Source: Le Figaro

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