Obsessed With... Bamileke Tables

Lately it seems like everyone I know is looking for a round coffee table. Maybe it’s that more of us finally have enough space in our homes for big furniture and are now trading our three-seater sofas for sectionals, which are often better suited to round tables than long rectangular ones. Maybe it’s that more of us have kids, and we’re all sick of worrying about someone busting a cheekbone on a sharp corner. Whatever the reason, everyone seems to be searching for just the right round table for the living room: not too tall, not too low, not hideous, and God help us, not too expensive.

In my own search, I kept coming across tables like this one, featured on the cover of the lovely Justina Blakeney’s book The New Bohemians:

Love this book. Get it at Amazon.com... After you read it, I guarantee you'll want your house to start looking all hippie-chic.

Love this book. Get it at Amazon.com... After you read it, I guarantee you'll want your house to start looking all hippie-chic.

Cool, isn’t it? I've learned that these pretty specimens are known as Bamileke tables, and they’re traditionally carved from a single piece of wood. They’re used in special ceremonies by the chieftans of the Bamileke tribe in Cameroon, and depending on the size of the tree trunk that was used, they can vary in size from small stools to large, table-sized drums.  

Here are a couple more shots of these amazing pieces, which look great in homes of all styles:

Source: HouseBeautiful via Dering Hall

Source: Restoration Hardware, which sadly doesn't carry them anymore. 

Source: Restoration Hardware, which sadly doesn't carry them anymore. 

I haven’t brought one of these beauties home just yet (heads up, Dave!) but here are a few that have caught my eye of late. Can’t get enough of that bamileke-inspired pendant light! Swoon.

1. Abdalla carved wood coffee tables, $580 for two, Amazon. 2. Outdoor bamileke table, $1498, Serena & Lily. 3. Carved wood coffee table, $349, West Elm. 4. Arteriors Jarrod large wood pendant, $1488, Wayfair. 5. Bornova coffee table in warm gray, $499, Ballard Designs.  

1. Abdalla carved wood coffee tables, $580 for two, Amazon. 2. Outdoor bamileke table, $1498, Serena & Lily. 3. Carved wood coffee table, $349, West Elm. 4. Arteriors Jarrod large wood pendant, $1488, Wayfair. 5. Bornova coffee table in warm gray, $499, Ballard Designs.

 

Do you have a favorite? Love or hate the look? Let me know in the comments below.