Nesting tables, usually three small tables that can be stacked onto or under one another, were the creation of 19th century English furniture designer Thomas Sheraton. The came back into fashion in the 1970s, fell out of favor again in the 1990s and have now enjoyed a resurgence, largely because of new designs and materials that have transformed them from being a relic of the past to a must-have of the future.
Nesting tables were originally designed to save space in the smaller homes of the time while still providing much needed additional space for entertaining. These modern day tables come in a variety of designs, shapes and styles, so it’s easy to find one that suits your particular tastes.
Modern day tables are fairly small, certainly smaller than a coffee table or dining table; more along the lines of an end table. The largest of the nesting tables is usually about 20″. They then get successively smaller and slightly shorter, so that one can tuck under the other to save space, hence the name nesting tables.
These tables have many uses in today’s homes. Even though homes are a lot larger than they used to be you can use nesting tables as additional dining real estate during holidays, as extra tables during a party to hold munchies and drinks, or as dining tables for the kids when there’s not enough room at the “grown up table.”
Nesting tables are also great for playing games, especially when it’s game night and everyone wants to play a different game. Rather than reaching across a large dining room table, you can use the smaller tables, which are perfect for board or dice games.
You can also choose to use them next to one another or separately. Place the tables against a wall or at the end of a sofa and use them to display photos and knickknacks. When company comes over and you need a little extra elbowroom, you can always nest them again until the party is over.
The main table will set the tone for the set, since it will be the one everyone sees. As such, you need to be sure that the style, finish and features of the nesting tables match your overall décor. You can be as eclectic as you wish, of course, but you do want to create a family feel for all your furnishings. Though a single nesting table may not look out of place, even if it’s more ornate or more modern than the rest of the furnishings, remember that there is the multiplier effect when all three tables are being used. So, it’s best to stick with a look that complements rather than contrasts with your overall approach to the décor. Traditional nesting tables look best in a traditional styled home and contemporary ones look most at home with other modern furniture.
One of the great things about nesting tables is that they are scaled to fit nearly anywhere in your home. They don’t have to be used in the living room or family room. You can add nesting tables to a guest room, spare room or even the master. There, they can serve as an additional nightstand or end table until you need them to entertain. Then, simply pull them out and enjoy the convenience of additional table space, which is especially prized during the holidays.
When selecting these tables be sure to choose ones that match your tastes and needs. Some styles nest perfectly together while others stack in a step fashion, each one sticking out a little more than the other. Some nesting tables are designed with two identical small square tables that fit under a larger rectangular one. Both styles are nice, but you want to make sure the nesting tables you choose will fit nicely in the space you have in mind without looking crowded.
Originally, these tables were made only of wood. But today, you can find a wide range of materials, from traditional wood to steel, chrome, glass, wicker and composite. There’s really something for everyone at a price point nearly anyone can afford.
Don’t look for these tables to fade from favor anytime soon. Right now, they are just on the upward spiral of being an indispensible part of home décor and you can look forward to them being a staple of American homes for years to come. Best of all, selection is at an all-time high, ensuring that you are almost guaranteed to find a set of nesting tables that are perfect for you and your home.
Jesse Akre owns Edenvale Shoppes and hosts numerous furniture and furnishings for any home whether it be indoor bench or end tables styles and designs.