Furniture with hidden storage is certainly not a new idea. In fact, for as long as humans have been building things to sit on and put stuff on, they’ve also been using those things to put other stuff in. The Batea M and L coffee tables by Woodendot are, in essence, pieces of functional art to put stuff on and in, but doing so also represent a clarity of thought and design continuity that sets them apart from the field. As with all high-end design, the brilliance of this secret compartment furniture design lies in the details. The tables contain a variety of such nuances that give them a distinctly modern aesthetic, and even a sculptural quality that helps to maintain their functional identity. Three solid wood legs are perfectly domed as they touch the ground – a subtle reveal that makes the piece feel as if its floating above the floor rather than cemented to it.

The tabletop is composed of two separate pieces. The first is a round blackened steel ring that fixes the three wood legs in place. This ring also acts as a tray that holds coasters, books, pens, or anything else you might find yourself curious to hide inside. The second is the tabletop itself – a circular wood slab with a slightly raised edge to help keep wandering objects off the floor. The wood is finished with a dark varnish that brings out the natural grain and complements the blackened steel ring below.

The opening mechanism that reveals the modest storage compartment beneath the wood top is perhaps the tables’ most satisfying feature. Most tables of this variety hinge, rotate, or are simply lifted off for easy access to the hidden area. The Batea designs offer a simple sliding action that creates a half moon shape in the steel tray below. It’s smooth, quick, and just feels good to execute.

Just another coffee table or secret compartment furniture? Hardly. The Batea M and Batea L are a masterwork of craft and attention to detail. They combine function and art in a package that speaks louder than their modest stature would suggest. Either one of them would be a welcome piece in any modern living room, and even give you a place to stash away your less visually interesting knick knacks.

    string(11) "Peter Secan"

Peter

Peter is an architect, designer, writer and adventurer from Seattle who wanders the globe in search of natural and man-made beauty. His website is the chronicle of his journey and his platform for celebrating the simple, meaningful things in his life.

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