The Design Train blogs are a series of articles researched and written by Andrew Knapp for submission to various publications and sites. The articles cover a wide range of topics and can be adapted and edited for use in various styles of media application.

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The Evolution of a Range

Some furniture designs seem destined to become full ranges. Maybe it is the styling itself, or the ease at which the design can adapt across various pieces. Although there may be some core guidelines to follow when considering a collection, the process isn’t an exact science and gut feel sometimes holds more sway than practicalities.


Having been in the business for three decades we have often seen an idea for a single item gain momentum and spark a table range. To close the year we are going to take a look at three examples of how this happens.



Above: A selection from the Lafayette range

Creating a range that is ideal for both the home and corporate environment involves careful planning. The design should be interesting without dominating its setting, while the choice of material and finish must be easily maintained, easy to clean and relatively damage resistant; hence the idea behind the Africa Range.


The Africa Range consists of four designs with a similar theme that can work together if needed. This is particularly useful in a resort environment that requires continuity across numerous areas, and gives the option of using different table designs to demarcate them.


The collection is crafted from mild steel and given a Ferrugrain powder-coat finish to ensure maximum protection in a mid-high traffic environment. 2022 will see seven vibrant new colours being introduced to complement our existing palette. Customisation is always an option and no matter how detailed the design brief, our design team are on hand to discuss your ideas.


The Africa collection is available in two coffee table sizes and a matching side table.

Coffee Tale Dimensions: 900mm (D) x 450mm (H) / 700mm (D) x 450mm (H)

Side Table Dimensions: 450mm (D) x 600mm (H)


The Africa Collection: Top Left Hombori / Top Right Bakamo / Bottom Left Maphilo / Bottom Right Timbuktu

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Not all ranges have both home and office in mind as can be seen in our Houghton range. The original idea started as a single dining table. The popularity of the design became evident when we started regularly receiving customisation requests. The introduction of an elegant lozenge topped option was immediately welcomed into more traditional dining settings and was well received. The addition of a matching console table earlier this year has firmly established the Houghton as a range.


With size being a crucial element in many contemporary homes, the Houghton range is available in 3 sizes, the larger table options being suitable for use in the corporate sector or hospitality industry as a small, stylish conference table. Both the powder-coated metal support columns and the wood grain veneer top are available in a range of colours and options to suit your décor scheme, making the Houghton an ideal solution for industry professionals and the home decorator.


Above: The Houghton Rectangular Dining Table and matching console


Above: The Houghton Lozenge Top Dining Table

Dimensions: Houghton Dining Tables 2400mm (L) x 1200mm (W) x 750mm (H) (8 seater) 3000mm (L) x 1200mm (W) x 750mm (H) (10 seater) 3500mm (L) x 1200mm (W) x 750mm (H) (12 seater) Dimensions: Houghton Console 1500mm (L) x 500mm (W) x 850mm (H) 2000mm (L) x 500mm (W) x 850mm (H) 2500mm (L) x 500mm (W) x 850mm (H)


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With eight variations on the theme the Lafayette range seems to have a life of its own. Each time we think we have explored all the possibilities that this popular range affords, some new idea pops into our heads. This is another range that was created with home use in mind yet has found itself in numerous office settings. We like to think that the Lafayette’s popularity it is a combination of superb styling and sensible size options combined with clever retro design hints.


The full range consists of 2 consoles, 4 round-ended and 1 round coffee table and a very handy side table. This remarkable choice is further boosted with numerous colour options for both framework and surfaces.



Above: The Lafayette Consoles available with toughened glass or oak veneer tops

The Lafayette range includes two options of console table (above) with either a 6mm smokey grey toughened glass top or oak veneer finish. As with all of our console tables these are perfect for use in numerous room settings and will bring a sleek retro look to your décor scheme.

Dimensions: 1500mm (L) x 450 (W) x 850mm (H)


You may feel spoiled for choice when it comes to the Lafayette coffee tables. There are two available sizes – 1500mm (L) x 450mm (W) x 450mm (H) and the smaller and slightly wider 1200mm (L) x 600mm (W) x 450mm (H) option. All of these are available in either 6mm smokey grey toughened glass or an oak veneer finish.




Above : The 1500mm length coffee table with glass top
Below: The 1200mm length coffee table with oak veneer top



The popularity of round coffee tables led us to develop one with Lafayette flair. The raised capped ends of the original design translate perfectly to the new shape and ensure a perfect combination with the rest of the range. Although only available with the smokey grey toughened glass top at the moment, it can be customised with an oak veneer surface option.


Dimensions: 900mm (D) x 450mm (H)




The final member of the Lafayette range is an extremely practical side table that can be slipped under your chair or sofa as a handy work surface or drinks table. The Lafayette Up & Over is available with an oak veneer top and can be customised with a smokey grey glass top to match the rest of the range.


Dimensions: 600mm (H) x 300 (W) x 500mm (L)



I think that the old adage ‘you can’t keep a good thing down’ is a fitting way to describe how a table ranges evolves, and I can see many more of our designs growing into ranges in the coming years.


As this is our last blog for 2021 we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers for your support over the past year. I think we all deserve a medal for surviving it! As we all start getting into holiday mode we ask that you stay safe wherever you are. Keep safe, stay protected and have fun.


Happy Holidays to you All - Frank



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These monthly design blogs are written and compiled for Leonardo Design by The Design Train
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