Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg Work 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. The Swag Leg Work Table provides an expansive work space that easily allows you to spread out papers and other items. This rectangular work table can also cleverly act as a dining table.
See the entire Nelson Swag Leg collection.
What's To Like:
The straight, austere, wood lines of the table top and stretcher 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 stretcher won't give you that luxury. However, there is enough space for comfort.
The Bottom Line:
The Nelson Swag Leg Work 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 well-appointed office.
- 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
- Solid walnut stretcher and adjustable glides
The work table and dining tables 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.
While the desk was lightweight and flexible, and that was a highly desirable attribute, Nelson understood that for many there was a need for larger work spaces, and even separate desks for when the work area couldn't hold all the material it needed to. Nelson was a designer; how could a man whose work required blueprints, plans, drawings and tons of material not understand that need? So he got to work on preparing a companion piece to the desk, and he called it the Nelson Swag Leg Work Table. The name alone speaks to the difference between the two pieces. While the desk was multipurpose and highly adaptable, the table was all business and no frills. With the exception of the aesthetic beauty of its lines and the matching finishes and materials, its relation to the desk would be limited to their capacity for work. If the desk represents the home office, the table represents the garage workshop; plenty of space to get messy, get organized, and get things done.
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.
When you're designing any type of space, whether it be the home or the home office, you'll often need extra space for storage, display, and work. This is where the Nelson Swag Leg Work Table fits in to the picture. It was designed to take pressure off of the room, and off of the possibly limited furniture within it. The table is a multi-use object with tons of functionality that isn't complemented by too much area or an ugly design. Work table though it may be, this is the kind of furniture that you can be proud to display in any room of your home.
The Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg Work Table is also known by the following manufacturer Item Numbers: NS5854.L, NS5854.W.
White laminate or walnut veneer top with a walnut edge band, 4 chrome-finished steel tube legs, 2 solid walnut stretchers, and adjustable glides. Dimensions:
Overall: 29.39" 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 Work 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.