Giving a Modern Twist to a Classic Contract Furniture design

18 November 2021

Classics are classics. They work. They’ve worked for years upon years, that’s how you get the moniker of being Classic’ after all. Fact. But to the switched on, vibrant, social media driven youth of today the word classic can just invoke images of dusty old people shaking their walking sticks and complaining that the youth of today don’t know they’re born and that things were better when they were young (Disclaimer: Not all old people are dusty or speak like that).

“We want modern designs”, we hear them tweet. An Egg chair made from recycled eggshells. Tables that float on magnets. Holograms based on our favourite memes that serve us real Mojito’s on a virtual beach from a childhood memory (might be just me, that one).

The word modern suggests new, current, relevant. But all you have to do is look at fashion trends over the last century to see that what was once considered old can suddenly be considered new in an instant. How many times have the styles from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s reappeared, repackaged as the new way to dress. Peaky Blinders was set just after World War 1 and after watching, men from all over the world have started wearing checked suits and a Baker boys hat.

Style is a perspective, there is no reason why something that is considered Classic cannot also be viewed as modern.

Let us give you some examples:

The Bentwood Chair

Bentwood Bar Lifestyle

This elegant chair is based on a design from the 1850’s by designer Michael Thonet. One of the first pieces of furniture that was able to be both expensive-looking but inexpensive at the same time, and one of the first pieces of furniture designed to be shipped in parts to save space during transportation. The Bentwood is a classic design, if you’ve been to more than one café in your life you’re likely to have sat on one. Picture one stained in a deep Wenge with a worn leather seat and you could easily imagine it in 1920’s prohibition-style speakeasy bar, with dark mood lighting and wall to wall spirit collections, a jazz band playing in the background.

Now imagine one with a white frame, and seat pad upholstered in our very own Seren Cerise. This chair would fit right into our trendy modern kitsch cocktail bar, with pink feathers and unicorns adorning the walls, crystal chandeliers everywhere, selling cocktails all the colours of the rainbow with candyfloss on top of them, or sherbet dips as a chaser. The design of the chair is no different, it’s just how it’s been presented that changes the perspective. 

Continental Table Base

Continental Table Base

A classic French styling, the Continental would look right at home in front of a Bistro restaurant, holding up a weathered-looking wooden tabletop, adorned with charcuterie platters, bowls of tapas, or beautiful and rich cups of finest bean coffee with a fern leaf cleverly drawn in the foam or crema by a trained barista.

Now imagine this base painted a luxurious Gold using Tabilo’s powder coating service. Picture it holding a 40mm thick top with a matching Gold edging, finished in a Black Pietra Grigio Décor. This might fit perfectly in the lobby of a trendy boutique hotel bar. Gold echoing through the décor, rich dark walls and expensive modern art, a barman that knows how to make every high-end cocktail known to man seems able to pluck your dream cocktail from deep within your soul and even better charges it to your room, so you don’t have to worry about the cost until the day after.

Same table base, same style, but customised to suit your desired theme perfectly.

Rustic Pine Table Tops


Our rustic pine tabletops in the Barrel finish would be right at home in a seafront bar, frequented by fishermen fresh from the boat, tales of white whales and the ones that got away pouring from their tongues, sea shanties sung while metal tankards full of ale are slammed down on to the ever-durable tops to keep the beat.

I admit it’s an extreme image, but we’re here to prove our products can be suitable for any business in any environment after all. 

Picture the same top, but this time it’s in an elegant and modern indoor garden café. The owner has used Tabilo’s stain matching service for a mix of both leaf green table tops and dark purple table tops to match the Ivy adorning the wooden beams, and the clematis forming an archway upon entry. Slate coasters hold plates with slices of freshly baked cakes decorated with edible flowers, and there’s a serenity gained from having nature present within the comfort of the indoor environment that makes every bite taste sweeter. The natural solid woods tops echo the vibe to perfection. 

So you see classic styling does not mean irrelevant, or old, or past it. It can of course be used to accentuate a venue looking to recreate themes from the past, like your speakeasy or rustic cafes, but with so many customisation options available it can also be used as the finishing touches to your more modern Pop-up bar or boho chic café. There are no real limits to the potential of our products. 

Speak to our team of experts today, and they can help you to realise your desired theme, whatever that theme may be.

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