More than just a piece of furniture

In light of the amazing CATable which has being doing the rounds on blogs across the internet, we want to look at tables and chairs which are much more than just pieces of furniture. The CATable allows your pet cat to play inside it whilst you sit around eating or drinking. The designer Ruan Hao has really set messageboards alight across the web and he really has inspired us to put together this blog! Designers are having more and more fun every year with the creation of their furniture pieces, adapting their designs to incorporate technological advances, they are rising to the challenge of the 21st century and fusing technology with traditional design practices. The digital age has seen gadgets become an increasingly important part of our everyday lives. They are fast becoming embedded in furniture pieces like chairs, tables and benches. At Desser, we deal in traditional desser furniture pieces, but we also have one eye on technological advances and trends. We have compiled a list of furniture pieces which are more than just pieces of furniture! Our list covers multifunctional and practical pieces; we have ignored your traditional couches or chairs for the time being. Who wouldn’t want to see a table which incorporates cubby holes for cats, or a table which knows when you need to take a break from work? There are climate controlled chairs and bed rests which gives the user a massage when you are a little stressed. This is the ultimate blog if you want to see the best furniture design out there at the moment. It doesn’t mean we are shunning our beautiful rattan pieces. Quite the contrary. As furniture specialists, which we have been for over 100 years, we are always keeping tabs on the latest developments from across the world, and it’s only right that we share them with you. Interior design trends change as quick as they do on the high street, each year styles differ from the year before but one thing is for sure, technology is becoming an increasingly important criteria for contemporary designs. This new technology extends to manufacturing processes as well as designers incorporating the latest gadgets such as tablets, solar panels and heat sensors. Design graduates will now have been brought up surrounded by technology; it is now second nature for many of them to include gadgets in their drawings and designs. We have sourced the web and chosen our favourite pieces of furniture which have more to them than meets the eye. They are all the same in one respect, the fact that they differ so much from your everyday household furniture items. In no particular order, we have the most impressive examples we could find, starting with the amazing CATable!



Ruan Hao’s CATable was the basis for putting this blog together so it is a good of a place to start. The designer from Hong Kong has created a table which is practical whilst also satisfying the curiosities of your cat. Hao commented saying that cat’s characteristic curiosity is “greatly satisfied through repetitively exploring the unknown path behind a hole, it is a table for us, and a paradise for cats.” catable-cat-table-2Not only is it a great idea, the piece is also a beautiful piece of furniture; no longer will your feline friend be lonely whilst you are working on your computer from home, it really is the perfect table for a writer or blogger! Consisting of a number of tunnels and cubby holes, little Felix can explore within, I don’t think I have seen a more practical cat toy. Hao has described his table in these charming words: People who live with cats always have these kind of experiences:
    1. Putting away the cat from your laptop is like a sentimental ritual of temporary farewell.
    2. A proper sized hole could be so irresistible to cats, their curiosity would be greatly satisfied through repetitively exploring the unknown path beijing the hole.
The design of the CATtable was a fusion of those experiences, as well as a locus where the interaction occurs. It is a table for us, and a paradise for cats. It is no wonder that the CATable has made waves online. It is innovative yet refrains from any inclusion of modern technologies, unlike our next choice, the Stir Kinetic Desk.

kinetic desk

Stir Kinetic Desk

The Stir Kinetic Desk has really caught our attention, it was unveiled at the CES event. CES is the world’s largest gathering of consumer electronics companies which is held in the US. This year it was the real standout at the gathering; it is a beautiful piece of furniture whilst being a highly intelligent piece of engineering. Designers have begun to develop tables which allow people to use them whilst they are either stood up or sat down. By controlling the desk with a nifty touch screen button, the table adjusts to the specific height of the user. The idea is that back ache will be eliminated. Users are able to choose between sitting and standing, the user can move about whilst working – this flexibility can therefore increase your productivity, efficiency and happiness. The benefits are clear to be seen but so it the price tag. Starting at $3,890, the customisable desk is amazing but will be out of the price range of many of us. It is by far one of the smartest smart-tables we have ever seen! By being able to effortlessly adjust the height and with its memory function able to remember specific user parameters, it offers more than any other adjustable table on the market!

Smartchair biofeedback

Smartchair Biofeedback

The Smartchair Biofeedback is one of the coolest office chairs on the market, it effortlessly blends style with function. Designed by Jain Guan, it is revolutionary piece of design which features and auto adjust feature and biofeedback sensors. This allows for every part of the body to be monitored in order for the springs to be adjusted and offer supreme comfort. The Biofeedback is fully integrated with it’s controller unit, on the left arm there is a 3 inch touchscreen which displays settings whilst also allowing the settings to be adjusted. It is one of the best ergonomic chairs on the market, you can really melt back into its comfort and concentrate fully on your work. Much like the Stir Kinetic Desk, the Biofeedback is built for comfort, with the aim of alleviating any aches and pains. We now have smart cars and smart phones, so why not a smart chair? Despite the reputation computer chairs have for being uncomfortable, the Biofeedback is really setting a new trend. Fully adjustable for any user, it has taken innovation to the next level. The futuristic looking ‘smart chair’ aims to give the maximum comfort possible and leave the user in a good a health as possible. The touchscreen is pretty cool as well! Touchable table screens

Touchable table screens

The One-2-One Interactive table is an innovative table which can be used in nearly every environment. The table consists of a 40 inch LCD monitor which can be used as a giant touchscreen or video screen. The One-2-One interactive table can connect with any number of different gadget, this allows the user to play games, do office work or watch movies on it. It is certainly an interesting device, the cutting edge technology allows for users to use the table whilst using the LCD monitor underneath for any number of different tasks.


Bathroom tissue tablet stands

Since the invention of smart phones and tablets, the average time we spend on the toilet has most probably rocketed. The iPad pedestal stand utilises toilet paper holders in order to let you browse your tablet whilst you are sat on the loo! With our lives becoming increasingly busy, we really do need all the time we can get to send emails or get updated on the news; the ipad pedestal stand effectively replaces the old magazine stacks that used to populate bathrooms – it is one of the quirkiest entries on this list, and easily the cheapest! Of course you will have to buy your own tablet, as the manufacturers unfortunately don’t include them (yet).

Solar powered sun lounger

Solar powered sun lounger

The SOFT Rocker is a lounge chair which allows the user to rest, whilst recharging the batteries of any of the devices that they are carrying. Of course it would only be useful outside, but it really is an innovative piece of furniture. The system uses solar panels to harvest the sun’s energy, it also stores power so users can charge their phones or laptops after dark. The design consists of a single sweeping curve which encapsulates those who are sitting on it, the SOFT Rocker also has a fantastic neon light which runs around the inside of the curve. It blurs technology and design perfectly whilst offering an environmentally friendly seating option.

Nap massaging bed rest

Nap massaging bed rest

After a long day at the office, what better way to relax than with the Nap Massaging Bed Rest. You can really kick back and relax, with its luxurious support and soothing massage capabilities, you can treat yourself with a bit of muscle relaxation. The built in massager really helps stimulate your body at low or high speeds – depending on how you feel. It’s not the best looking piece of furniture on the list, but at Desser we were impressed by it’s capabilities. Being able to sit and watch TV in bed or read in comfort is really appealing – the large side pockets are also practical as well as it’s handy cup holder. It is certainly more than just a piece of furniture, I reckon that once you sat in it, you would never want to get up!

climate controlled office furniture

Climate controlled office furniture

Tempronics are a tech-savvy and eco-conscious company from the US, their latest design is a heated and air conditioned chair which solves both the issue of discomfort as well as energy efficiency. They are actually relatively budget friendly, they range from $800 – $1,100 in price and offer a great solution to overheating on those warmer days. The internal heating systems can significantly cut down traditional heating bills whilst being extremely comfortable. The temperature range that the chairs are equipped with makes them perfect for all seasons, they use similar amounts of energy to laptops which is much less than spending money on having the heating turned on!


Heat sensitive tabletops

Thermochromic tables are the brainchild of the Jay Watson design studio, at first glance the table and bench set appears to be normal, just a regular table and bench set. This all changes when you place something on the table or take a seat on the bench, anything which touches the table will leave an imprint, this is because the set is covered in thermochromic coating. You can buy your own for around £4,000, the table will actually take up different forms every time you use it – it will never ever look the same, each imprint will take a different form – it is the most unique of the furniture on our list, but also has no real function except looking cool. These are our favourite pieces of furniture we could find that are far more beyond just being pieces of furniture. While at Desser we stock beautiful rattan furniture along with classy wicker and cane furniture, this doesn’t stop us having an interest in all the amazing tables, chairs and toilet roll holders which are on the market. What do you think about our list, which one would you rather have in your home?