Designer: Eero Saarinen, 1956

Details: From £6,948, The Conran Shop

Great designs often arisefrom 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 foran ‘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 whenit was introduced in 1956 – the Tulip chair wasa regular fixture on the Starship Enterprise, while the table featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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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.

Shining a spotlight on the now and the next in home design and decor, Livingetc is the UK's best selling high end and contemporary home design magazine. As a brand, Livingetc showcases the world's very best homes, breaks and makes the trends, and has access to leading international designers for insight and ideas. It was first published in 1998, and is currently edited by Pip Rich.