The Dreaded Nest of Tables

As a design concept the ‘nest of tables’ must have fallen further out of fashion than almost any other furniture category.  And yet there are lessons we can learn from actual examples that could be reinterpreted to produce an exciting result.

This set is difficult to date, possibly 1930’s or immediate post-war.  The interesting feature is the pictorial finish to each table top:

The grouped image infers that the scenes are part of a greater, vertical composition, each table occupying an aspect of the visual field from near to far. In fact they are not interlinked, but this could be adopted in a reworked version to make a direct connection between the diminishing form of the nested tables and the diminishing horizon line of the image.

These tables from the 1950’s are matched rather than nested, but echo the first example through the use of color:

Image

Again, a reworked example using triangular nested forms could extend the theme of interconnection through the sequential use of complementary colors or shades.

The key design element for the nest of tables is surprise – as each table is revealed the surfaces have the potential to create a larger visual narrative.

‘King’s’ Chair

Here is an intriguing chair being offered through SF Craigslist. Described by the seller as a ‘king’s chair’ it combines a triangular leg configuration with circular or ovoid arms and a plank-style back. The proportions are equally unusual – 51″ high by 17″ deep by 23.5″ wide.

The design style is a peculiar hybrid of gothic detailing, modernist proportions and craftsman materials (quarter-sawn oak). The piece could easily be reworked to give the impression of a mid-century modern piece or even a Memphis-style offering from the 1980’s.