We first started making our Nancy dining table around 16 years ago, if memory serves correctly. The shape of this table couldn’t be any simpler for a four-legged table. The legs, extending down naturally from the tabletop are tapered, narrowing downwards like animal legs. The overall look of the table is very smart. For the first 10 years, up to 2011, we didn’t modify the specifications at all. The outlines were defined by flat surfaces, each surface lined with sharp edges, giving the table a rather “cubic” and “tense” look.
The main body of the table was constructed by the frame that connects the four legs and the table was offered with either a glass top or wood veneer top.
In 2011, without sacrificing the characteristic outline, we softened the overall feeling and look of the table by shaving away the sharp edges. Since the “tense”, sharp look of this product was so representative of our brand, we racked our brains to figure out if we could soften the look and feel without losing its iconic presence. Thinking that the table would lose its “tension” if we smoothed the distinctive edges, we struggled to come up with an answer.
However, as we worked on the problem, hands-on, shaving away wood from the edges and checking the look and feel, we made a discovery. The sharp, “tense” look that we had been insisting on would not be lost by smoothing the edges — provided the legs are connected by organic lines, the “tense” and the sharp look created by the edges are preserved. Nevertheless, it was not possible to give the table a refined look merely by smoothing all the edges to form gently curved surfaces. Sharpness and softness can coexist only if the curved surfaces are given sufficient “tension”, by connecting the shaved rounded edge corners with natural lines.
Our products are not principally designed to serve as stand-alone beautiful objects. In a living space, a table needs chairs, for example. The true value of a table manifests when everything is connected, including the plates, glasses and other utensils used for the meals served on the table each day. How expressive a table appears as a stand-alone product, its visual features can become a hindrance to function in some cases. When we create our individual products, we carefully ponder the way that a living space is composed of the connections between sofas, center tables, etc. The connections of each element are fundamental and uppermost in our minds.
The outline of this table has not changed since the day we started making it. Naturally, the original, sharp-edged version of the table remains dear to our heart, but by giving soft curved surfaces to this table, which is touched and handled daily by its owners, we produce a table that offers a fresh dynamic appeal, as well as the simple structure with a quiet presence. Our desire is to make a product that people touch and take care of every day; that allows them to delight in the beautiful aspects of natural wood.