Round table, skirted, glass top - out of style?

love_the_yardApril 8, 2008

Are the round tables (usually made of particle board) with a skirt and glass top out of style, regardless of fabric? I have one that I want to put in my new guest room next to the bed as a nightstand. This is one of the sturdier models: not the three-legged one, but the full-sized, interlaced, crossed-board center/support. I like the idea of the glass top because overnight guests can throw a drink, keys, jewelry and anything else on top without me worrying that the furniture will be ruined. This would work perfectly if the whole thing isn't totally out of style or just scream cheap furniture. Do people with any taste still use these? If so, I will start looking at good quality fabric for the skirt. If not, I will put it out of its misery. Haha! Thanks.

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Well, I have no idea what is considered out of style (as I have no style!) but my favorite blog recently had a post about these round tables and she makes them look pretty darn good. I wouldn't mind having a couple of them in my house!

Here is a link that might be useful: Nesting Place blog- Round Tables

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 7:06PM
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If they are out of style, then there are a lot of decorators and designers that are out of style as well. I have one as my bedside table (DH has the nightstand that matches our other bedroom furniture) and I love it. Breaks up the look of so much wood in the room, adds some color accent.

Mine is covered with a moss green silk tableround with a heavy corded welt edge, then the glass round on top of that. I love that I can have a cup of coffee or a burning candle on there and not worry about stains or wax drips ruining the silk cloth. Plus I got it for a steal of a deal when I was working at the great indoors (was $130, got it for $18 ) so I could never afford to replace it at the same quality level.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Now what is embarrassing is if you do what I did and put it on a nice cherry table when you can get an old barrel or anything and put a round piece of plywood on that, put the cloth over that and then use that nice cherry table elsewhere. What was I thinking when I covered up a pretty table when there are plenty of other ways to do it. No, I didn't get my cloth as cheap as Les's cloth, quite a bit more, but I love it with the glass round and I can also store "stuff" in the barrel.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 7:41PM
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I think they got overdone for a while, but then so did a lot of great styles. In the right place for the right reasons, I think they're fabulous. And it sounds like you've got the perfect spot for one.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 7:41PM
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IMO, if the glass top is the same diameter as the "table" under it, then it doesn't look thrown together and it's perfectly acceptable to protect your tablecloth fabric from dust and damage. However, I don't like seeing a "table" that's smaller than the glass it's supporting (we all know what's under that cloth, and it isn't a table). While I'm at it, I have a problem with glass on top of wood tables. I guess it's a formal touch to protect valuable furniture. But I don't get it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 8:24PM
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Concerning glass on furniture: I know it may not be all that attractive but I want to share that I am still using my grandparents bedroom furniture that they commissioned to be built in the 30s. They ALWAYS kept it protected with glass and when I inherited it I too kept it glassed. I know it's VERY TACKY, but just like my grandma, I frequently slip a school photo of my daughter or her cousins under the glass. Sure beats dusting! In nearly 80 years only one of the original three pieces of glass has had to be replaced. I can't imagine what the furniture would look like now if it hadn't been protected all these years. Maybe my furniture isn't valuable monetarily but sentimentally it's priceless.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I have one in the bedroom, used just as Les described ;)
It actually has 3 layers: the patterned fabric cloth, solid square 'topper' cloth (whatever that top piece is called) which has a rounded hem, and then by a fluke I found a large thick napkin when I was out that was a perfect complement to the fabric in the main cloth, similar pattern and colors, just a bit deeper, so I added that for a bit of interest. DH needs two clocks to wake up, so they both sit on that table with ample room for a lamp as well.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 9:49PM
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The wonderful blog "Cote de Texas" did an entry on skirted tables -- after this very same question was raised ......

Hope you enjoy -- this blog is simply the Best!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cote de Texas blog -- Brillant posting on skirted tables

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:16PM
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ncamy, Concerning glass on furniture. I have furniture built in the 1800's and I don't feel compelled to protect it with glass. I have custom-built furniture of the 30's belonging to my parents and I will never "protect" it with glass. Furniture evolves with character over time along with natural patina, careful use and good care. That, in my opinion, is as it should be. Sorry, if I offended you with my opinion. But if you know you're doing something that's VERY TACKY, why wouldn't you do it differently?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 11:18PM
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Wow, teacats, thanks for the Cote de Texas site...I now have it bookmarked. Some 'gawgeous' stuff on there!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 12:31AM
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Fun posting, teacats. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 12:43AM
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All I could think of when I looked at those elaborately skirted dining room tables was "What if someone spills? What if the spilled wine runs under the glass top and down the side of the fabric? aaaah!".

I guess my Mom instincts have finally triumphed over my decorating delusions of grandeur.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 10:58AM
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"Do people with any taste still use these?"

LOL! I ask myself that Q all the time!

Here are my general opinions:
I personally don't like much of anything skirted...but then my decorating tastes are more minimal.

With that said, If was WAS going to skirt a bedside table, I would make sure I didn't overdo fabrics throughout the room so it appears everything is bathed in fabric. I prefer more balance of fabrics, woods, and other textures. I would make sure the fabrics on the bed & potentially on windows aren't matchy-matchy with the skirting.

I would attempt to either play up the side table, or down-play it depending on what else is going on in the create balance. Either create a focal point or be careful to not over-ride an existing focal point.

So, with THAT said, I would personally not put glass on top. To me that's fussy (but then, that's me), so instead of glass tops, I would put a tray or some other nice-looking piece along-side the lamp (or whatever is on there) for the purpose of placing glasses & personal items in a contained and protected spot.

Also, to me...when I see glass tops when nearby lamps/lighting are on...I just see the reflection of the glass more than I notice anything decorative. Again, light reflection draws the eye to the glass. Not sure if that happens to anyone else...but that's what I see. You might want to assess the lighting and determine if that's an effect you might be going for.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 11:33AM
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I have more to say...

If you are leaning toward no glass, something you could do is get some protective barrier on the table and under the fabric such as:

Cork tiles or sheets (in the craft section) cut to fit the table top.

Oil cloth (those vinyl-covered cheap table cloths) cut to the size of the table top.

Put the glass UNDER the fabric. Glass would make the fabric slide, the above 2 ideas are a little better than this one. But, you get the idea.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 11:40AM
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The idea of the glass is to protect the fabric and the wood. My mother ruined her DR table with those unsightly pads and after she realized it was irreversible damage, she chose glass where the liquid could not seep up under it (it seeped up under the pads when coffee, tea, water, etc., were spilled). She was a big believer from that point on in protecting surfaces that are used frequently and not only by children but adults with glass. Back then it was really expensive to have glass that size and thickness cut for a table, but it preserved the table fro my sister, who has it in her breakfast room now protected with glass from and fabric from the sun's rays.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 12:00PM
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The question was whether or not a skirted table is out of style; it has been answered, clearly they are not out of style. Some beautiful examples have been offered.

The question was not whether or not you like them. There is no need to trash someone's preferences just because they don't reflect yours.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 1:58PM
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Wow, Powermuffin, you stepped up to the batter's box and took a powerful swing, hit it out of the park, to the point, no muffincakes here. :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:44PM
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Skirted round tables are definately not out of style when used in the appropriate environment. I know you said you were using the good kind (a substantial weight and thickness) like the ones found at interior fabric stores. Just make sure to use one that is the proper size and scale to fit your room and other furnishings (not to small) and fitted with a heavier skirt more substantial skirt (if possible). I would always rather see one to large than to small so that it looks significant. They provide a nice balance to a room with lots of casegoods.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 4:32PM
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I noticed that the latest Ballard Designs catalog shows the tables with the glass on top:

"Burlap with Jute"

"Party Table"

"Terrific Trio Leopard"

"Terrific Trio Green"

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:01PM
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I have one in my bedroom, put there by a New York designer, so I hope they aren't out of style!

The purpose of the glass is to protect the fabric (most of the nicer ones cannot be washed) and to provide a firmer surface upon which to set glasses, picture frames, etc.

I think you will find that it looks "cheap" unless the glass is a quarter inch thich with a pencil polished edge. The quality of the glass and edge make the glass top a beautiful part of the whole, not some utilitarian "doily" type addition. IMO, of course!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 1:09PM
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If I don't protect my good furniture with glass then the cats will ruin it with their claws. So move over ncamy, I'm joining the tacky club!!

As for skirted round tables with glass. I'd have them, but the cats play havoc with the skirts. Imagine this, they get under the table, wrap themselves in the skirt and down everything comes. Oh what fun!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 1:16PM
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I have a few of these tables leftover from the early 90's and when I wanted to resurrect this useful accent table. I spray painted it and then covered it with a few coats of polyurethane. The finished product looks really sleek and is water-resistant. You may want to give that a try.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 4:59PM
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