Design Classic: Saarinen Tulip Table

A cult classic never goes out of style

Designer: Eero Saarinen, 1956

Details: From £6,948, The Conran Shop

Great designs often arise from a single overarching preoccupation on the part of their creator. In the case of Eero Saarinen’s Pedestal collection, it was his distaste for the ‘slum’ of table legs, which he believed made for an ‘ugly, confusing, unrestful world.’

The Finnish-American’s solution was to eliminate legs and replace them with a single stem connected to a curved base, opening up space under the table and providing a cleaner, more organic look.

The Pedestal collection seemed wildly futuristic when it was introduced in 1956 – the Tulip chair was a regular fixture on the Starship Enterprise, while the table featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Explore more modern dining room ideas

But the real genius of the design is its versatility: it looks equally effective in a range of sizes and configurations – from round side table to oval dining table – and is at home in both the kitchen and the boardroom.

Not only is the table itself able to blend into any aesthetic or environment, but the modern design can also be produced in a wide range of materials for the surface, furthering its adaptability and appeal among designer furniture fans.

Surround it with matching tulip chairs for an ultra designer look.

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