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Why Families Love their Noguchi Coffee Table

Updated on September 22, 2014

Coffee tables have been around for hundreds of years however, the Isamu Noguchi coffee table has only been available since 1948. By the famous sculptor, Isamu Noguchi, born in 1904, believed that his mission in life was to shape space. His father, a Japanese poet and his mother, a Scottish-American writer is perhaps what gave Isamu his radical ideals and ways of seeing sculpture the way he did. The table has absolute balance and is both sculpture and practical furniture at the same time. Joining the two in harmony better than anyone has ever done before him.

The table was first introduced in 1947 by Noguchi after hearing that “anyone can make a three-legged table” and was inspired to create a coffee table that was both sculpture and practical furniture. The table base consisted of two pieces of wood which joined together to hold a piece of rounded-triangular shaped glass firmly in place. The table was later sold in 1948 at Herman Miller furniture stores worldwide. It’s quite easy to understand why so many families love their authentic Noguchi coffee table.

The design fits in well with today’s contemporary design style sweeping across the globe.  Simple and sleek, it complements many different themes in homes and can come in many different varieties of wood to match wooden floors.  A cheap Noguchi coffee table is likely to cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to a little over two hundred dollars depending on the quality of the glass and wood and the quality of the craftsmanship.  Quality tables can cost much more, around four hundred dollars to as much as 1,200 dollars for the most beautiful hand crafted hardwoods and the smoothest glass available.

Families enjoy moving things around when the seasons change and doing so with a small Noguchi coffee table is probably as easy as it gets.  A solid wood base and a solid piece of glass, both barely weighing over 15 lbs each, a ten year old or an 80 year old would have no problems picking it up and moving it around.  It also works well as a gaming or card table and being glass, it will never scratch up like any wooden surface would.

The last but never the lesser reason why families love their table is because it lasts a lifetime. Isamu designed a table so solid that usually no matter the quality of wood or glass, the design is so simple that it truly lasts a long time. Built with no bolts, no screws that you have to worry about tightening over time. No ugly nails to look at and the only thing you really have to worry about are keeping a nice shine on the wood with any ordinary wood polish and some window cleaner for the glass every now and then.

Isamu Noguchi
Isamu Noguchi

With so many reasons in all, it would be hard to speak for everyone who owns one.  If this has inspired you to also want one, than you can check out Herman Miller furniture shops or get yourself a Vitra Noguchi coffee table at their website.  Be sure to shop around before you make any final decisions as there is a difference between cheaper tables and ones with much more higher quality that are typically hand-made rather than produced in a large factory.


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