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:
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.