A Designer Table That Embraces Embarrassing Cords

You don’t see a lot of extension cords or power strips in furniture ads. But the clutter- and cable-free apartments of the showroom don’t exist in the real world. So how’s that fancy designer side table of yours really going to look when there’s a snake’s nest of power cables underneath it?

Designed by Thomas Schnur, Station is a side table that owns that mess of cords. It’s basically a side table that can integrate with an extension cord and power brick, forming a table you can tether to an electric socket across the room.

On his website, Schnur himself calls the Station something between a cable drum and a side table. The table itself is a simple black number made out of powder-coated metal, with a foot like a conductor’s pedestal and a top like a lift lid desk. Beneath the table top and the foot is a reel, sort of like what’s on a MacBook power brick or the back of your vacuum cleaner, for winding an extension cord around.

On the top of the Station is room for a small power strip, allowing you to charge three different gadgets at a time. There’s also a compartment that can be used to store tablets, laptops, magazines, or smartphones when they aren’t in use.

I like it. What to do about messy cords is a design problem that still hasn’t been solved. On the tech end, you’ve got MIT working to reinvent the power cord. And on the design end, you’ve got projects like the Station, trying to integrate power cables into furniture in new, dare we say elegant, ways.

Schnur’s Station table debuted at the IMM Cologne design fair in late January. You can see more of the designer’s work here.