What is a Tulip Table?  A Complete Beginner's Guide

What is a Tulip Table? A Complete Beginner's Guide

When was the Tulip Table invented? and just how and why did it become one of the most popular furniture designs of all time, find out more

What is a Tulip Table?

To furnish a home with the iconic mid-century Tulip Table is to make a statement. How big and bold or subtle and sophisticated that statement is, is entirely your choice with a variety of shapes, sizes and styles available. But where and how did this classic form originate? How do you best integrate one into your home? And how many style options are available? Read on to find out more about this seminal piece of modernist furniture.


What is the history of the Tulip Table?

The Tulip Chair and Table were launched by the Knoll furniture company in 1955-56 as part of the Pedestal Collection, although its designer, Eero Saarinen, had been working on the design for some time. His goal from the outset was to create a furniture ensemble that worked with any room where it was situated and benefitted from a single leg structure, making placement and seating both simple and flexible.

Over the course of five years, he used his sculpting skills to create miniature scale models in clay but in order to see them in context and adjust them accordingly, he placed them in doll’s house-sized rooms to best understand how different versions worked. He would then construct full-sized prototypes for testing in his own home, and it was only when he was happy with his creation, did he proceed to manufacture.


Which styles match a Tulip Table?

Thanks to the simplicity of its design, the Tulip Table can work in almost any setting and with any other décor. You can choose whether to bring out its futuristic feel or its organic form, blend it with colourful surroundings or make it stand out against an understated background. Go modern, vintage or retro, or simply follow your own instinct. As you might expect, a Tulip Table works exceptionally well alongside other designs of Saarinen’s such as the stunning Grasshopper Lounge Chair as well as contemporary pieces such as the exquisite Eames Chair.


Which types of Tulip Table are available?

The Tulip Table is available in a range of sizes from a simple 50cm diameter side table right up to a grand 200cm x 120cm oval dining table. So, whatever dimensions the room you’re looking to complete, there’s a table that will suit it perfectly. What’s more, there is a choice of three finishes: crisp, pure white laminate, the classic, grey-veined Carrera marble or the stunning black and mother-of-pearl Portoro marble. And your choice isn’t limited only to indoors; some Tulip Tables are designed specifically for outdoor use, perfect for those al fresco moments and lazy coffee mornings.

Furthermore, the design is customisable as well to create an even more bespoke look; replica marble, wood veneer and different metal bases create a multitude of variations, something for all tastes and spaces.


How can I buy a Tulip Table?

Original Tulip Tables command premium prices these days as collector’s pieces but a brand-new side, coffee or dining table is far more affordable and of excellent quality. What’s more, the range of sizes and shapes means there’s certain to be a choice that fits both your budget and your living space. Take a browse through our collections and use our custom filters to choose according to, for example, size, shape, number of seats or finish. If you’d like to discuss bespoke options, please don’t hesitate to contact us.