Best of CH 2008: Top Five Furniture Designs

Whether handsomely storing record collections or melding classic design with the durability of something suited for an office, the picks below represent furniture that goes beyond simply being furniture—in both substance and style.


Fire Table
Dutch designers Ward Huting and Gerard de Hoop simulate the physical and social warmth of a campfire in the living room. In addition to serving its function as a coffee table, the Fire Table features a built-in candle at its center which casts a cozy glow around the room, as well as heating your pots of fondue and tea or even the occasional marshmallow.


Pineapple Paper Furniture
This line of benches and chairs is made from the renewable resource of compressed pineapple fibers. We liked the Doonya Chair (pictured, $1,900).


The Record Cabinet
Atocha Design, a husband-and-wife-team, came up with the cabinet, the happy result of two music fanatics needing a home for their newly combined vinyl collections. The Mid-Century inspired design allows easy flipping while savoring the artwork in full frontal view, unlike most LP storage systems, which store records sideways allowing you to only see the spine. The piece is available in Maple, Oak, Walnut and Bamboo with solid brass drawer pulls and is hand-crafted domestically.


Coffin Couches
Perhaps the most morbid furniture innovation we saw this year, these couches are made from recycled (but unused!) coffins. The couches start at $3,500 and are available in a variety of colors and materials (including cow hide) and can also be customized.


Coalesse Live/Work Furniture
A new approach to office furnishings for the home (or vice-versa as the case may be), the collection takes into account factors that affect the ways people live and work today, such as longer hours, technology and collaboration. Coalesse's line marries smart design, an appreciation for aesthetics and durable construction. Termed "slow furniture," Coalesse (and their umbrella company Steelcase) have a commitment to sustainability and quality materials.