If it looks like a new invention, you have to know the origin of the tea trolley dates back about 80 years ago when the Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto designed this streamlined tea trolley for the Milan Triennale, an international exhibition of decorative arts. The design of this tea trolley is extraordinary, featuring ceramic tiles and rattan basket, presenting more than an static piece of furniture but a functional design as you can see in the photos below.
It presents Japanese influences since its creator was a close friend of the Japanese ambassador to Finland and his wife, Hakotaro and Kayako Ichikawa introducing Alvar Aalto into the Japanese culture and aesthetics, architecture and woodworking. The name links it to the tea serving but this masterpiece is versatile. One can slip it halfway under a desk to stow away papers or supplies, while the basket can easily hold magazines or even plants. In a kid’s room it will prove more than useful, from children’s desk to storage space.
Other beautiful creations of Alvar Aalto include all sort of chairs, tables, armchairs, benches, glass tables and wall shelves, making him one of the top European furniture designers of the 20th century. This tea trolley is, anyway, one of the finest tea articles created ever.
Pictures from Artek, the company founded by Alvar Aalto.