With its sleek tapered legs, rounded corners, and smooth simple lines, the iconic Havalance dining table ushered in a new era of pared-down Scandinavian style. First designed in the 1950s, this timeless piece captures mid-century modern design at its finest. The Havalance table shaped the look of dining spaces for decades to come. Let’s unbox the history and appeal of this influential table.
Origins of the Havalance Table Design
The progenitor of the Havalance table was Swedish architect and designer Nils Strinning. While working for renowned Stockholm-based furniture company NEUM in the 1950s, Strinning created a beautiful teak table with subtle details that embodied mid-century style.
Strinning’s table featured a slim profile, gently rounded corners, and angled tapered legs for a light, airy aesthetic. Its simple yet elegant form referenced Japanese principles of minimalism and restraint. This fusion of Scandinavian and Asian sensibilities resulted in a forward-thinking design that still appears strikingly current.
NEUM debuted Strinning’s creation as the Havalance dining table in 1958. It immediately stood out from clunkier traditional wood tables. The Havalance table’s low stance and clean lines reflected evolving casual postwar lifestyles. Its understated silhouette suited formal dining rooms yet didn’t overwhelm smaller urban apartments. This versatility spurred huge popularity in Sweden.
By the 1960s, the Havalance table gained international fans attracted to its minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic. As mid-century design surged worldwide, the table became iconic for personifying pared-down elegance and graceful practicality.
Signature Elements of Havalance Table Design
Several specific features define the Havalance table’s signature profile:
- Slender tapered legs – The angled thin legs lighten the visual weight. Their tapered shape adds subtle retro flair.
- Rounded corners – Soft beveled edges on the tabletop reflect refined restraint.
- Smooth teak or walnut – The table epitomizes Scandinavian affinity for light wood tones and natural finishes.
- Sparse details – Absence of ornate carvings or hardware conveys harmonious simplicity.
- Subtle end leaves – Built-in expandable end leaves increase seating capacity when needed.
- Timeless low profile – At just 28 inches high, the table promotes relaxed, casual dining.
By focusing on graceful lines and texture, Strinning created an elegant table both decorative and highly functional. Havalance’s legacy endures through numerous furniture tributes and replicas celebrating its influential fusion of mid-century style, Nordic simplicity, and Asian zen-inspired restraint.
Tips for Styling and Placement
The Havalance’s minimalist form makes it endlessly versatile to style. Here are some tips:
- Mix with other mid-century pieces – Try pairing with wishbone chairs or a marble tulip table.
- Add soft contrast – Play with texture by layering on a cozy sheepskin rug underfoot.
- Incorporate houseplants – Trailing ivy, potted palms, and succulents complement the natural wood.
- Use as a room divider – Position the Havalance to separate a studio living area from the kitchen.
- Anchor smaller spaces – The compact silhouette fits perfectly even in tight dining nooks.
- Display art above – Hang modern graphic art, prints, or a sculptural light fixture above the tabletop.
- Dress with global textiles – Vibrant kilim pillows, Balinese batiks, or Andean blankets bring in eclectic flair.
The Havalance’s simple form makes a welcoming clean slate for your own creative expression.
Where to Buy Havalance-Inspired Modern Tables
Given the Havalance’s popularity over decades, it’s no surprise replicas and lookalikes abound today. Here are some options if you love the Havalance style but also value affordability:
- Article Arch Dining Table – This spot-on reproduction perfectly channels the original Havalance’s spirit. Available in walnut or ash wood.
- Burrow Seine Dining Table – A budget-friendly slender tulip-base table with rounded corners and modern appeal.
- Rove Concepts Mid-Century Replica Table – At 60″ long, this tapered-leg teak table mirrors the Havalance profile. Extends to 86”.
- Thuma Wren Dining Table – Hairpin legs and gently rounded corners exude airy mid-century flair.
- West Elm Riviera Rectangular Dining Table – A pared-down classic with retro roots at an accessible price point.
The iconic Havalance pioneered a dining table archetype that still feels chic and livable today. Its refined yet welcoming aesthetic remains perpetually in style. Invoke the Scandinavian-inspired minimalism that captures this table’s spirit while gathering friends and family in any space.
Beyond the Basics: Customizing Your Modern Havalance-Style Table
The simple, tapered-leg Havalance silhouette makes a graceful statement on its own. But today’s reproductions and inspired designs also allow tailoring the table to your personal needs and tastes. Customization options let you own this mid-century icon without sacrificing originality.
Consider Custom Sizing
While most replica tables mimic the original 60″ Havalance length, custom sizing can better fit your room layout. Have your table made longer to seat large gatherings or smaller for cozy spaces. Just specify dimensions to suit your family and traffic flow.
Select a Unique Tabletop
The Havalance’s laminate top is part of its retro appeal. But opting for alternative tabletop materials puts a modern spin on tradition:
- Solid wood slab in walnut, oak or ash adds organic warmth.
- Marble, soapstone or concrete offer cool contrast and texture.
- Glass, acrylic or luxe laminates make a sleek statement.
- Distressed, etched or inlaid finishes provide visual depth.
Match or Mix Table Base and Top
Consider mixing base and top colors and textures: a marble top with black coated steel legs has dramatic impact. Or choose matched sets like a solid maple slab atop maple wood legs for tonal harmony. Different pairings inspire different moods.
Add Storage Solutions
Since many contemporary homes lack extensive dining storage, clever solutions built into the table keep serving essentials accessible but out of sight:
- Discreet cabinetry, cubbies or shelves built into the table skirt or apron offer generous storage. Just don’t overload weight capacity.
- A drawer fitted beneath the tabletop can corral table linens, silverware, candles and dinner party essentials.
- Space at ends of a bench seat can house baskets for napkins, placemats or other dining gear.
Custom seating like storage bench Ottomans adds function.
Personalize with Special Details
Make the table truly yours with touches like:
- Hand painted or wood burned designs around the table edge or legs
- Custom text or quotes engraved into the tabletop
- Inlaid tile, bottle caps, or mosaic patterns decorating aprons
- Signatures of family members engraved on table underside
Injecting personal flair makes a store-bought table special.
The Havalance’s adaptability is why it remains iconic. Follow its ethos of sleek practicality blended with subtle custom details. Your modern heirloom will reflect what endures – great design, family memories, and furniture built to last.