Design Decoded: ‘Cesar’ side tables

Discover the sculptural, versatile side tables that are celebrating 15 years of bestselling status

Minotti Cesar side table italian design classic
Minotti's 'Cesar' side table

They may be some of Minotti’s smallest, most simple pieces, but the ‘Cesar’ side tables, designed in 2004, embody creative director Roldolfo Dordoni’s vision for the brand and his design principles: to make beautiful things ‘with a certain personality’ that are also ‘high-quality and long-lasting objects’. Part sculptural pieces, part furniture, the two designs – one an hourglass shape, the other a zig-zag-like form – were inspired by ‘a passion for Brancusi and his artistic stylisation of shapes’.

Dordoni has transformed the brand with his cultivated vision since his arrival at the helm in 1998. An architecture alumni from the Polytechnic University of Milan, he follows in the footsteps of other illustrious Italian visionaries, such as Gio Ponti and Achille Castiglioni. His appointment marked a new era for Minotti, which at the time was well known for its upholstery, but having spent 20 years designing every type of product for the home, Dordoni was the ideal candidate to evolve the brand’s offering, while still staying true to its DNA.

Under his direction, Minotti’s ranges expanded, while aesthetically, designs became more minimalist and architectural, adhering to the ‘Minotti code’ of ‘timeless elegance’, captured succinctly by the precise forms of the ‘Cesar’ duo.

Cesar side table by rodolfo dordoni
Federico Cedrone

They have been used in a range of contexts over the last decade and a half, from home bathrooms to hotel bars, and it’s this versatility that has won the design its enduring popularity. Small enough to fit into the tightest of spaces, yet shapely and striking enough to create an impact, the two ‘Cesar’ variations can be used as side tables and seating, bringing an informal and flexible feel.

In 2013, an outdoor version was launched, adding yet another possible setting for the design. Originally available in two colours, the pair now come in a palette of 21 sophisticated shades, with matt and glossy finishes. This year sees the addition of tonal hues ‘Powder Pink’, ‘Sage’, ‘Bordeaux’ and ‘Moka’,ensuring that ‘Cesar’ continues to build on its iconic standing for decades to come. From £805,

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration January 2020

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