Hairpin Table Legs: Embracing MidCentury Modern Home and Restaurant Design

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A simple search for hairpin table legs you will reveal countless results for what is now a staple in furniture design. You know, the slender steel rods that are bent into a deeply curved V. The highly versatile function and sturdy, sleek design makes it the perfect support. Attach it to almost any surface to instantly create a beautiful table. They can be found new, used, and vintage from individuals all over, but only a few companies craft them from high-quality hard steel to bring the quality your furniture deserves. 

Upping Your Style Game with Hairpin Table Legs 

Hairpin table legs may not be something new, but they sure have gained a fresh perspective in high-end home and restaurant design alike. If you are new to hairpin legs, or just looking for tips on how to incorporate hairpin legs into your space, keep reading to learn more. 

Versatile for Any Space 

Hairpin table legs offer unique flexibility not found in other table bases. Contemporary designers often lean towards hairpin legs because of their excellent form and blank slate without taking away from a room’s theme. Well-made steel hairpins quickly offer hints of mid-century design with a rustic or industrial flair to your bedside, living room, and eating establishment. Side tables, larger tables, and even small coffee tables look great with this design. 

It isn’t surprising considering that they are a product of the post World War II design boom. The hairpin table leg was crafted and highly favored for its little production material while retaining the strength of a traditional table leg. It was in this era, that functional and practical design was born. Decades later, simplified elegance hasn’t lost much steam and has only aged better since its mid century beginnings. 

High-End Design 

One of the most favorable aspects of hairpin table legs is that they are easy to attach to a variety of surfaces, such as wood tabletops. Hairpin legs traditionally come with a flat welded plate at the point of the “V.” Pre-drilled holes make it easy to pair with tabletops and surfaces of your choosing. 

Three and four hairpin legs are what we generally see on sturdy tables, but in some cases fewer may work too. Drawing inspiration from timeless post war design, a collaboration between Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran features a single leg to support a unique wall-mounted entrance table in their apartment in Milan (found in Making House: Designers at Home Rizzoli, 2017). 

History of Hairpin Legs 

The introduction of hairpin table legs has been credited to Henry Glass, an American-Austrian designer who lived in Chicago during World War II. At a time of rationing and great adversity, the material solution defines one of the idioms of American design. Glass’s hand-crafted hairpin table legs were initially commissioned by Russel Wright, a respected mid-century designer. The piece found its way into the particularly ambitious initiative known as the American Way line. 

While the American Way line did not experience widespread commercial success, Glass earned his name as part of a larger company of reputable designers of the midcentury. Surprisingly, Henry Glass holds 52 patents to his name, and the hairpin table leg isn’t one of them! Glass did not gain recognition for the Hairpin Group invention until many years after its release. Today, Glass’s furniture is regarded as the embrace of American needs and consumer culture in a way that other designers of his time did not consider. 

Hairpin Table Legs Today 

As World War II came to an end and material rationing ceased the distinctive hairpin table leg became a popular and widespread commodity. Established designer Florence Knoll imitated a version of the hairpin table leg in his furniture, along with other lesser-known designers in the low-end furniture market. Hairpin legs are available today in the same quality and craftsmanship one would expect from the mid-century designer. 

It’s hard to say if hairpin table legs truly ever disappeared from home and restaurant design, but it appears that 2019 is bringing with it a new wave of mid-century favorites. Discover fantastic collections of the functional piece that oozes beauty and versatility in any mid-century modern, industrial, rustic, and contemporary settings. We simply can’t get enough of it! 

Hairpin Table Legs in Your Home and Restaurant Design 

Hairpin table legs are a versatile and attractive addition to virtually any home decor trend and restaurant design scheme. Incorporate hairpin legs into your design today for use on side tables, entryways, coffee tables, larger tables, and dining tables. The hairpin table legs is a simple aesthetic and flexible option that adds simple elegance to your design. Make a statement, without taking away from your current design scheme, with a beautify mid century modern crafted hairpin table legs today.

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Abbie M

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