Ahead of their time, Danish designers knew what they were doing in the mid-century, creating functional, timeless and rigorous designs that could slot seamlessly into a variety of everyday scenarios.
With his iconic Nesting Tables, Danish furniture designer Hans J. Wegner created an essentially 3 in 1 solution that offered both flexibility and portability. Designed to fit neatly together as one multi-functional table, his Nesting Tables are the perfect model for today’s small spaces and inherently adaptable homes.
Wegner’s Nesting Tables were first presented back in 1952. Seventy years later, they were relaunched last year by Carl Hansen & Son in three new finishes. I had the opportunity to try a set out for myself, styling the tables in different corners of my home.
Whether used as small side table next to our window seat for a cup of tea or clustered together next to the sofa and close to hand for drinks with friends, the Nesting Tables are neat, compact and beautifully versatile. They’re light enough to pick up and move with ease. We even used them to hold our short throw projector in the new extension as it needs to be close to the wall and not too far off the floor. My husband became so attached to them, in the end he said, do we have to give them back!
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All images Cate St Hill
Hans J. Wegner was known for creating harmonious, balanced forms with an exquisite eye for detail. The three tables are identical in form, but all the parts that go into them are scaled in proportion to one another. So the tabletops are the same shape but reduce in size the smaller the table gets. A small channel under the table top allows the small and medium sized table to slide easily into the bigger version without jamming or getting stuck. Once all nestled together, the front legs all line up neatly.
I found that the small version was particularly useful as a little table for coffee or tea next to the sofa, which you could easily move closer to you if needed. I also like them clustered together and used as a simple side table for an impactful vase of flowers – like here with a few sculptural sprigs of fennel.
Another signature of Hans J. Wegner is the rounded and tapered table legs and subtle curved bend of the supporting bar across the table. The look is evidently mid-century in style but still in keeping with today’s contemporary interiors. I love that the form is refined and slender, without taking up too much visual space.
Carl Hansen & Son’s CH004 Nesting Tables retail from £850 exclusive of VAT. They’re available in FSC-certified oak (soap, oil and white oil), walnut or an oak/walnut mix. Find out more here.