This Just In: Linoleum Is Cool Again
The tabletop material du jour.
Published May 3, 2019 7:00 AM
When you think of linoleum, the images you conjure up likely aren’t something that would be described as chic. Not anymore—this old-school material has made a major comeback and it looks cooler than ever. Consider linoleum-topped tables a must-have for the Instagram set.
Let’s clear something up: The linoleum that’s booming in popularity now isn’t the same material that you might associate with low-quality flooring and countertops. In fact, those budget buys more often than not aren’t even real linoleum. “Linoleum is a natural material that has been used in design for decades, but somewhere along the way, vinyl and PVC substitutes became popular as a lower-cost alternative,” explains Kyle Hoff, cofounder of Floyd, which uses linoleum as the surface material in its collection of best-selling, made in the USA birch tables. “When you think of grandma’s kitchen or high school cafeteria linoleum, you’re probably referencing the synthetic without even knowing it.”
Real linoleum is a totally natural product that offers a smooth surface and, of course, can come in a range of playful colors. So if you’re looking for a table that’s going to make your next dinner party spread look even more impressive, it might just be time to dip into this trend. A linoleum table can elevate a space and cut down on your environmental impact by being built to last. “Floyd uses a furniture-grade natural linoleum made from linseed oil, pine rosin, wood dust, cork dust, and mineral fillers,” Hoff adds. “In addition to being beautiful, it’s sustainable and easy to care for.”
Whether you’re a fan of mid-century style or you’d like to add a playful element to your living room or kitchen, linoleum-topped tables simultaneously feel retro and totally contemporary. This surface has serious staying power.
If your style is Scandi-chic
Muuto’s gray table is ideal for minimalists. Its conjoined double legs make it feel elevated—perfect for a dining room. Why not pair it with Cesca-style chairs?
If you need a little helper
With retro beveled legs, this side table feels like a mid-century piece although it’s totally modern. Its green surface pairs well with cool tones and warm tones alike for a subtle pop of color in virtually any room
If you’re all about versatility
Who says stools can’t be high-end? This piece by Alvar Aalto & Artek is primed to showcase a bouquet of flowers, a stack of books, and, hey, even your glass of wine.
If you like things a little moody
Forgo your dark wood kitchen table for a green option that feels decidedly more original. In a kitchen with black cabinets, a little extra color is totally welcome.
If you’ll never be over Millennial Pink
There’s nothing quite like a good blush. Consider this table your better-than-neutral pick to enliven your white-walled home and pair it with some cheery yellow chairs if you’re feeling a bit bold.
If simplicity is your strategy
A soft gray tabletop feels a bit fresher than traditional white and definitely more impactful than a wooden surface. Floyd’s rounded table is the perfect thing to create a cozy breakfast nook, and thanks to this model’s versatility, you can enjoy it for years.
If you’re looking for a statement
Are these Dmitry Samygin–designed Bauhaus-style stools an investment? Yes. Will they look impossibly cool next to your rounded sofa or novelty armchair? Also yes. If you’re going to splurge, go bold: We recommend the red and yellow versions of this playful style for maximum impact.
If you expect the unexpected
Why settle for a round or oval table when you can opt for a quirky rounded triangle? This genuine mid-century piece is perfect for small spaces. If you want to seat more people around it, opt for stools instead of chairs.
If you’re a minimalist at heart
Even the messiest table can look neat if it’s designed well. That’s how we feel about this piece by Floyd. With a timeless, gray tabletop, it looks bright and fresh in any space. Style it with Eames-inspired chairs for a retro look.