Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg Rectangular Dining Table
designed by George Nelson
At A Glance:
Part of the renowned swag leg group, the Nelson Swag Leg Table represents a revival of a historic collection by the longtime partner of Herman Miller, George Nelson. Introduced in 1958, the group's evocative chairs, tables and desks have a look, scale and function that are right for today. These classic, sculpted designs can be used individually or together in the home or office. This rectangular dining table can also cleverly act as a meeting table.
See the entire Nelson Swag Leg collection.
What's To Like:
The straight, austere, wood lines of the table top and crossed stretchers are met by mechanically formed, gracefully curved, metal legs - and they get along really well together. There may not be another wood/metal table out there with a more beautiful marriage of two juxtaposed materials.
What's Not to Like:
This isn't a table you'll sit at and stretch your legs all the way out in front of you. The crossed stretchers won't give you that luxury. However, there is enough space for comfort.
The Bottom Line:
The Nelson Swag Leg Dining Table is beautiful, richly finished, and an icon of the mid-century modern era. It's immediately recognizable for the enduring quality of its design, and will be an heirloom-quality feature of any dining room or small meeting space.
- Overall: 29.375" h x 54" w x 36" l
- White laminate or walnut veneer top with a walnut veneer edge band
- 4 chrome-finished steel-tube legs
- 2 solid walnut stretchers and adjustable glides
The dining tables (both rectangular and round) in this series are extremely important. They're the most obvious link between home life and work life that Nelson was trying to forge, and they share many of the characteristics (and not just the aesthetics) of the rest of the collection. They're light, flexible, adaptable, not too large and easy to work with. They're beautiful and functional, and they speak to the times they were invented in and to the times of today. In that sense, they echo the rest of the Nelson series.
A bit on the small side, the Nelson Swag Leg Rectangular Dining Table fosters intimacy in the same way the round does. But it also maintains more traditional dining room table form, and makes certain buyers more comfortable. Not to mention that in a nation with mostly square rooms, a rectangular table can often fit better and clash less with existing lines, angles and walls.
With his swag leg group, George Nelson didn't try to design an innovation; the innovation resulted from his criteria for the design. He began with the legs, insisting that they be made of metal, machine formed, and pre-finished. He also wanted them to be easy for the consumer to assemble, so the desk and tables could ship knocked down to save on costs.
To make the dining room tables comfortable while at the same time employing the swag leg concept, changes had to be made to the way the legs of the table were arranged. For the Nelson Swag Leg Dining Table, the swag legs are banded together by a plank of wood and arranged in an X under the table. This keeps the legs of the table from being in the way of the legs of the users, and it presents an alternate but still beautiful way of using the swag legs, as opposed to the straight up and down legs of the desk. Adaptive and attractive, two hallmarks of the George Nelson legacy at Herman Miller.
The Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg Rectangular Dining Table is also known by the following manufacturer Item Numbers: NS5851.L, NS5851.W.
Top: Wood material core with white laminate or walnut veneer
Stretcher: Solid walnut
Legs: 16-gauge machine formed steelDimensions:
Overall: 29.375" h x 54" w x 36" d
Practical tables. The work table provides plenty of room to spread out papers; dining tables can also be meeting tables.
Attractive finishes. Tops can be white laminate or walnut veneer with a walnut veneer edge band that coordinates with the solid walnut stretcher.
When writing about the course of his remarkable 50-year career, George Nelson described a series of creative "zaps" - moments of out-of-the-blue inspiration "when the solitary individual finds he is connected with a reality he never dreamed of." It was these zaps that would lead to the creation of some of the most original furniture designs of the 20th century- including the Coconut Chair, the Marshmallow Sofa, and the Swag Leg Rectangular Dining Table.
An early zap came in the 1930s, when he was an architectural student in Rome. Before returning home, an idea struck him: He would travel Europe and interview leading modern architects, hoping to get the articles published in the U.S. He succeeded, and in the process introduced the U.S. design community to the European avant-garde. This set in motion a sequence of what he called "lucky" career breaks that were really the inevitable outcomes of his brilliance as a designer, teacher, and author.
With his swag leg group, George Nelson didn't try to design an innovation; the innovation resulted from his criteria for the design. He began with the legs, insisting that they be made of metal, machine formed, and prefinished. He also wanted them to be easy for the consumer to assemble, so the desk and tables could ship knocked down to save on costs.
Swaging--using pressure to taper and curve a metal tube--proved the best way to produce the legs, which are 16-gauge steel and have adjustable glides. Nelson added solid walnut stretchers that bolt to the legs for a stable, durable base common to the desk and tables.
Read the entire design story behind the Swag Leg Collection.