MCM Coffee Table Guide

MCM Coffee Tables

For your Mid Century Modern living room, you are going to need the perfect centerpiece: an MCM coffee table.

There are numerous options out there, ranging from detailed replicas of famous Mid Century Modern masterpieces to original designs by companies that specialize in MCM-inspired furnishings.

In this guide, we are going to share some of our favorite Mid Century Modern coffee tables with you.

They are ideal for your living room, family room, den, sitting room, or office.

But first, let’s share a little backdrop about MCM coffee tables.

Historical and Design Context

You may already be a mid century buff, in which case you already know plenty about MCM design. But just in case you are new to MCM, here is a little background information.

The mid century time period spans from roughly the 1940s to the 1970s. During that stretch of decades, a number of styles came in and out of vogue.

Mid Century Modern isn’t all that technical a term. It was coined by author Cara Greenberg in her book Midcentury Modern: Furniture of the 1950s, published in 1984.

What typifies Mid Century Modern design? Some common style features include simplicity, clean lines, geometric forms, and a mixture of straight lines and curves. There should not be a lot of ornamentation. Materials can range widely.

If you take a look at the works of designers like Ray Eames, Arne Jacobson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Florence Knoll and Isamu Noguchi, you will get a strong feel for MCM.

Mid Century Modern coffee tables come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are rectangular, others are round, and still others may have organic shapes.

The legs of MCM coffee tables can be straight or curved. It is common for them to splay outwards, providing an extra-stable base. But there are variations and exceptions.

Quick Tip:

Is the top of your MCM coffee table looking a little bare? Check out our recommended Mid Century Modern coffee table books!

7 Breathtaking MCM Coffee Tables to Bring Retro Vibes to Your Space

Now that you have some context, let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful and high-quality Mid Century Modern coffee tables you can buy.

1. Eternity Modern Pavilion Coffee Table

Pavilion Coffee Table by Eternity Modern

This product is a faithful reproduction of the iconic Pavilion Coffee Table that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.

The table’s design is the essence of simplicity. A single square pane of glass rests atop four steel legs which rise to a supportive “X” structure.

Not coincidentally, a similar “X” form can be found in the legs of the famous Barcelona chairs that were also featured at the German Pavilion.

Ludwig Glaeser, curator of the Mies van der Rohe Archive of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, explains, “”For this symbolic act [the signing of the book], Meis designed the table which was placed against the onyx wall and which, like an altar, identified the ritual center. A second and larger table in front of the light wall must have served a more profane purpose, the deployment of champagne bottles and glasses.”

  • Width: 40” x Depth: 40” x Height: 18.5”
  • 19mm thick tempered glass tabletop
  • Polished #304 grade stainless steel base with chrome finish

Why We Love It

Like the rest of Eternity Modern’s reproductions, their Pavilion Coffee Table features great attention to detail. The low iron content of the glass gives it a greenish tint along with superior brilliance. Only one piece of steel was used for the base. As such, it is especially sturdy.

Pricing for this piece is comparable with what we have seen for many other renditions of the Pavilion Coffee Table.

2. Eternity Modern Platner Coffee Table

platner coffee table

For a completely different look and feel, another option from Eternity Modern you might want to consider is the Platner Coffee Table.

The original Warren Platner Collection was introduced in 1966, and was manufactured by Knoll International.

Knoll writes, “The iconic pieces are created by welding hundreds of curved steel rods to circular frames, simultaneously serving as structure and ornament.” The finished effect was meant to look like a “shiny sheaf of wheat.”

Knoll still offers this coffee table with several different options for the metal along with a number of choices for the tabletop. Alas, you will spend in excess of $2,400 to get the piece directly from Knoll.

By contrast, at the time of this writing, the Eternity Modern replica of the Platner Coffee Table is just under $1,000.

Options for the metal include Chrome, Gold and Gun Metal Black.

  • Width: 36″ x Depth: 36″ x Height: 15.25″
  • Product Weight: 62lbs
  • 10mm thick tempered glass
  • Flat bevelled edge underneath
  • Polished #304 grade stainless steel base

Why We Love It

This piece from Eternity Modern is a beautiful recreation of the original Platner table, but at a much more affordable price.

True—you only have one option for the tabletop (tempered glass). Nevertheless, we would assert that this is by far the most satisfying choice, since it allows you to fully see and appreciate the metal rods from every angle. With an opaque tabletop, you would be missing out on much of the table’s structural beauty.

3. Eternity Modern EM Coffee Table

EM Coffee Table

Can’t decide whether you would rather have a functional coffee table in your living room or a cool Mid Century Modern sculpture? With the Eternity Modern replica of the EM coffee table, you can have both.

In fact, the designer of this coffee table was a sculptor, Isamu Noguchi. It is easy to imagine the impression it made when it was unveiled in 1948. As it is, it arguably is still as radical a design today.

The base of the table consists of two curved wooden shapes. The shapes are identical, but are placed in opposing positions. With their organic curves, they seem almost alive. The tabletop has a curved triangular shape.

While the structure and placement of the legs may appear quite fragile, and the tabletop itself might barely appear to be supported, it is actually very stable.

  • Table Width: 49.2″ x Depth: 35.4″ x Height: 15.7″
  • Wood base Width: 30.7″ x Height: 15″
  • 19mm thick tempered glass tabletop

Why We Love It

When you buy the Eternity Modern replica of the famous Noguchi table, you are getting a reproduction with high-quality materials and an accurate approximation of the original design.

The legs of the table are made of natural ash. You can go with a natural ash finish, or a Solid American Walnut finish.

Whatever option you go with, you won’t even need a coffee table book to serve as a conversation piece. Everyone who visits you will want to know all about your artistic MCM coffee table. So, your table will be the effortless focus of conversation.

Etsy Mid Century Coffee Tables

It is worth noting that Etsy is a great place to shop if you are looking for a mid century coffee table.

You will mostly find modern retro-inspired designs, but you will sometimes run into authentic vintage pieces that really date back to the mid century period.

For example, at the time of this writing, I see this listing for a vintage mid century Danish-style American of Martinsville coffee table.

The table looks to be in beautiful condition. It did already sell though—so it is good to know that these pieces move fast. If you spot an authentic MCM treasure on Etsy, you are going to want to act quickly to call it your own.

4. RustbeltUnderground MidCentury Modern Coffee Table

If you are looking for an example of a contemporary product on Etsy with an MCM style, consider the MidCentury Modern Coffee Table with Open Cubbies in Walnut with Brass Legs from RustbeltUnderground.

This table measures 42 inches wide, 16 inches tall, and 23 inches deep. You can either purchase it in solid walnut or with a walnut veneer.

Why We Love It

With its splayed, tapered legs and its simple, clean lines, its design is classic MCM. The cubbies add functional utility to the piece.

5. ModelLine Design Wood Steel Coffee Table

One modern design we found on Etsy that we really love is this Wood Steel Coffee Table from ModelLine.

The piece is crafted by hand in Utah, and may be customized when you order it. It measures 42” W x 20” D x 14.25” H.

The wood is all sourced locally. You can choose a walnut or rift sawn white oak wood veneer. The steel is powder coated for protection against rust, and you can pick between black or white for the coating. Prefer the look of raw steel? You can skip the powder coating if you want.

Why We Love It

This table is an artful illustration of the concept that form and function are one. The design features one end of the table appearing to “fold” down the side and then “fold” again to form a lower shelf.

The legs splay and gently taper, as is common with other MCM tables.

We love the sculptural appearance of the table, as well as the fact that the bottom shelf provides extra storage space without increasing the dimensions of the furnishing.

The finishes available are also gorgeous and add even more visual richness to the piece.

6. LunarLoungeDesign Kidney Bean Coffee Table

Technically, the kidney bean coffee table is not a strictly mid century furnishing. In fact, kidney bean tables have been around in some form or fashion for hundreds of years.

Nevertheless, when most of us picture kidney bean coffee tables, we immediately think of the mid century period.

In fact, kidney bean coffee tables were quite popular during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. For example, iconic pieces by Paul Frankl were all the rage.

The curves of the kidney bean coffee table were more pronounced and organic on the whole during the mid-20th century than those on some earlier coffee tables and desks with this shape.

There are quite a few examples of kidney bean coffee tables for sale on Etsy, but one product we like is this one from LunarLoungeDesign.

The table measures 14.75″ high by 34″ long by 17″ wide, and features 14” semi flat black hair pin legs.

Why We Love It

There are a couple of reasons we are enamored with these kidney bean coffee tables. First of all, their shapes and materials are perfect, instantly transporting us to the mid century time period.

Secondly, you can customize your order by choosing a color for your table as well as a finish for the legs.

Available finishes for the legs include semi flat black and aluminum painted finish.

But what is super awesome is just how many colors you can pick from for the tabletop!

  • Midnight black
  • Egg Shell white
  • Primary red
  • Bahama blue
  • Citrus orange
  • Chocolate Brown
  • Frost White
  • Pastel Pink

7. WoodArchitecture Tribeca 27 Handcrafted MCM Design Coffee Table Wood Base

This listing on Etsy is specifically for a coffee table base, rather than a full coffee table (there is no tabletop; you will need to provide your own).

So, why did we pick it? Because it is a stunning modern design that has an MCM look and feel.

The base consists of a single piece of sculpted wood that has been shaped into a flowing, organic set of triple legs.

If you look down on it from overhead, you will see it is an equilateral triangle. The sides are about 27”.

It would be ideal for a triangular tabletop. You should aim for one that measures 30-40” from point to point. But a circular, square, or oval shape would be okay as well.

Why We Love It

The graceful lines of this coffee table base make for a stunning work of functional art. This is another table that will become a conversation piece for all who enter your abode.

Also, you can customize this table by choosing any of the following wood types:

  • Douglas Fir
  • Cherry
  • Walnut
  • Mahogany

Color options include:

  • Natural
  • Dark Cherry
  • Medium Brown
  • Dark Brown
  • Espresso
  • Black
  • Walnut
  • Custom Color Match

Love the table base, but need it in another size? The seller can sometimes accommodate custom orders for larger or smaller tables.

Get the Perfect Mid Century Modern Coffee Table for Your Home Now

We hope you discovered the MCM coffee table of your dreams in our list above! Click on any of the links in this post to buy your Mid Century Modern coffee table now.

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