365 Objects Of Design

Black and Brass Nest of Coffee Tables

15th November 2014
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conran brass and black coffee table

My Grandmother had a nest of tables. Nasty, spindly things they were. You felt the legs would snap as soon as you looked at them and they certainly couldn’t cope with all the children and dogs that roamed about that house.

But she liked them; the largest was good for her giant glass ashtray, the Daily Telegraph crossword and a pen, the middle one held a pink gin nicely and the smallest was perfect for a grandchild and a plate of fishfingers to be eaten while the 6 o’clock news was on. Because after that small children had to disappear while the grown ups got on with the serious business of being grown-ups. And try as I might, however much I listened at the door, I could never fathom quite what that business was. There was definitely more gin. And lots more cigarettes. But life didn’t seem to change that radically from when I was there munching those fishfingers.

Of course that I’m a grown-up, I notice that my children have the same fascination for what happens downstairs after they are supposed to be in bed. I will always remember the look of utter joy, mingled with a rather hurt expression, on the face of my youngest when, aged about six, he came downstairs at about 8.30 one evening to discover that not only were we watching telly, but we were drinking wine and EATING CRISPS. The realisation that the television doesn’t break at 7pm after all (yes better stop telling that particular white lie people) but, more shockingly, that we didn’t go to bed at the same time as him. Life Continued After He Was No Longer In The Room.

He was back down the next night and the one after that until we basically had to just scatter broccoli about in an attempt to convince him that we weren’t just waiting to put him to bed so we could have a party. Which, in all honesty we probably were. Hands up parents of toddlers and smalls, who doesn’t feel like having a party when you’ve finally got them into bed?


Anyway, I digress (I know what’s new) nests of tables have always felt rather pointless and needlessly grown up to me. Except that now I have seen these. They’re Content by Conran from John Lewis and I want them.

So if you’re passing my windows and see lots of dancing and drinking, then you’ll know the kids are in bed and the nest of tables is filled with wine and crisps and all manner of grown-up treats.



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  • Sophie Martin 15th November 2014 at 8:11 am

    I’ve loved reading about your memories of nests of tables and giant ashtrays – have many similar memories myself, in fact, it could have been me writing this piece except I wouldn’t have made nearly as good a job of it as you have. Really great. Sophie.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 15th November 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Ah thank you so much Sophie, that’s so kind of you x

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