Chubby Brothers try their hand at camouflage

Dining set plays tricks on your eyes when chairs are stowed underneath.

But, where did the chairs go? Yanko Design

In the design of dining sets, the cost of beauty too often comes at the cost of comfort. If you've ever been asked to sit on a chair covered in plastic, then you know what I'm talking about. My mom had a very dramatic, very pretty dining room set when I was growing up, but I have very few memories of actually eating on it. What I do remember is the annoying feeling of crinkly plastic under me during dinner. Is this the price we have to pay for a dining room table that's worth looking at?

Not necessarily, if you're willing to make some concessions. I'm not one of them, but I'm guessing that people who buy dining room tables strictly for decorative purposes must take two things into consideration:

1. Does this table fit with the design of the rest of my house? Do I like it? Will it look awkward or out of place?

2. What would someone say about my table? Is it a conversation piece?

But in getting a table that fits within these constraints, many people forget that the dining table, among other things, is a place to sit down. Shouldn't it be comfortable enough to do so?

Enter tables like the Chubby Brothers dining table, a set designed by Brian Lee that is neat to look at and also, according to Chris Burns of Yanko Design, very comfortable. True, its look is different from those you'd see in many traditional dining rooms, but as a modern set that is fun to look at and talk about, it really does the trick.

Does it fit the aforementioned decorative dining set criteria? The chairs fit entirely inside the table when you're not using it, converting the whole set into a work surface, party table, or a sculpture (if you're thinking creatively). And it's a conversation piece that packs a serious punch when it comes to surprising your guests. My parents' set, while beautiful, can't boast the same "wow" factor.

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