There are some things you look at and immediately think: Well, shucks--that is super clever. Mike Mak’s Ping Pong table is one of those things. The kid-tested, parent-approved piece looks simple, but was built with a bunch of thoughtful touches that make it far more than meets the eye.
Mak, who grew up in British Hong Kong in the 1980s, developed his design style as a combo of eastern and western cultures, and his portfolio is full of playful products (including a googly Eye Clock and Van Gogh mug with a silicone ear for a handle). In this way he was a perfect match for Hong Kong-based Huzi, which has made a name for itself with a collection of quality pieces for kids that won’t bum adults out with plastic parts and garish hues.
The red oak plywood table has room for storage down below and, when the divider is down, doubles as an unassuming coffee table. Come playtime, however, this baby becomes a hub of fun--with consideration, of course, to the reality that these games can get a little crazy. Mak developed a custom ball specifically suited for use in the living room. “It’s silent, less bouncy, and will retain its shape even if you step on it accidentally,” he tells Co.Design (which sounds like quite an innovation in itself). Even the paddles have a little something extra. “We added a little mustache and red lips on the racket, so you can use it as a face mask to tease each other.” But wait--there’s more! The black surface is also a chalkboard, making keeping score a snap. So, where’s the adult-sized version?