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Why the Tulip Table is the Most Versatile Dining Table


The Tulip table is one of the most iconic table designs the world has ever seen and continues to be one of the most innovative designs to date. It’s a masterpiece of design borne out of the mind of a designer who was way ahead of his time. It’s a unique piece of furniture that tells a story.

How the Tulip Table Came to Be

The Tulip table was designed by renowned Finnish-American architect and designer Eero Saarinen, who is also saluted for several architectural marvels that are still appreciated today.

In 1956, Saarinen described what he disparagingly referred to as the “ugly, confusing, unrestful world resulting from the slum of legs underneath typical chairs and tables.” Later that year, he unveiled what is today known as the Tulip table to address this need.

The original Tulip table was made from fiberglass and an aluminum pedestal base with a striking semi-glossy luster. It features a large round or oval tabletop, a single leg that flares out towards a wide base as a trumpet. It makes a grand statement while at the same time adds a mid century flair to any space. Its structure is quite minimalistic, yet it needs little accessories to make it stand out.

Saarinen formed a partnership with Hans and Florence Knoll in the 1940s and, till his death at 51 years of age, they created furniture together. The Knoll furniture has continued to sell his original designs.

White Carrara Marble Tulip Dining Table - Oval


Ages Like Fine Wine

More than sixty years since its conception and the Tulip table continues to stand the test of time! It has long outlived the period from which it sprang. With the passing of time, the Tulip table is only getting better.

You may rightfully wonder: What gives the Tulip table such incredible immortality? This table’s unique shape and curvilinear beauty combined with its opulence and guaranteed quality have been the backbone of its longevity. Its design embodies the delicate and masterful balance of subtlety, simplicity, and versatility. Let’s zoom in on the latter and elaborate why the Tulip table is the most versatile dining table ever created.

1. Timeless design

Interior designers over the decades have long admired the Tulip table’s modern look and sublime materials while at the same time being drawn to its simple form and versatile pairings. Its timeless and simplistic design allows this masterpiece of design to match every interior style you may think of, and this adds unity to any interior setup.

For instance, you can mix it with antiques and still achieve a tasty design. At the same time, it will sit perfectly in a modern or contemporary interior design style.

This table effortlessly polishes off any room it is put into. No wonder it is regarded as the most technologically advanced table design from the mid century modern era. Despite coming from antiquity, this table will instantly pack your space with style.

2. No Space is Too Small

Visually, the Tulip table is lighter in weight than a table with four legs, making the table ideal for small dining rooms. This visual illusion is as a result of the Tulip table’s singular central leg which minimizes the “slum of legs” that Saarinen referred to.

Likewise, its circular base and the fluid circular and oval shapes afford it more flexibility and versatility, allowing it to be squeezed into small spaces while still keeping them functional and appealing.

Interestingly, the absence of legs also makes the room to feel larger. If it had corners, for instance, it would have been easy to find yourself banging into the corners if your space is small. This makes the Tulip table an ideal candidate for a dining area that is tight on space.

White Carrara Marble Tulip Dining Table - Round


3. Beauty and Strength in One Package

Don’t be fooled by the beauty of the Tulip table to assume it is a delicate piece of furniture. No, this table is sturdy and designed to be used. Its centrally placed single leg may have you second-guessing its stability, but you can rest assured that it is as steady as its reputation.

And, as mentioned earlier, the base is made from aluminum giving it extra strength, durability, and stability and rules out the possibility of toppling.

Moreover, the marble top variety is resistant to scratches and chips. Indeed, this is one aesthetic, and hardy table that you can guarantee will give you good service.

4. Unmatched Comfort

By having only one pedestal base, the Tulip table keeps your space simple and clean. The absence of bulky legs means your guests can fit comfortably around this table. People can move their legs at will beneath the table without fearing that they’ll stumble on a table leg. And the fact that no one will end up in a seat with a table leg is exactly what Saarinen envisaged.

5. Fully Optional, Customizable Design

The stylish and classic Tulip table works with practically everything. This has been made possible by the different renditions that have been developed over the years. So you can choose a Tulip table that can effectively suit your needs and taste.

Consider, for example, that you can choose from different tabletop sizes and either a circular or oval shape. Typically, the table is made white, although there are black varieties available in the market too. And it is also available in a variety of shades and finishes. The bases are also available in different metals such as aluminum, iron and other alloys.

There are also about a dozen tabletop material options you can choose from such as glass, walnut, plain white laminate, wood veneer, and many more. But designers are unanimous that it’s the marble top that makes the Tulip table look the most gorgeous, making it a good candidate for a focal piece. Furthermore, the marble-finish table top is both elegantly stylish and super-versatile. And it blends in with almost every design.

Nonetheless, countless chair options can work superbly with it. But if you desire to complement its design, opt for chairs with a somewhat similar design, such as the Pablo chair. And did you know that some Tulip tables are specifically made for outdoor use? So if you are thinking of having one on your porch or deck as well, your desire is covered.

The different sizes, shades, and finishes available on offer mean the Tulip table is not only ideal as a full-size dining table but can also serve as a coffee table, side table, or even as an office meeting table. This will allow you great versatility in selecting the perfect choice for your needs and space.

6. More than Just a Dining Table

As a fine work of art, the Tulip table doesn’t always have to be confined to the dining room. It can also be perfect in kitchen settings and even in offices. To create a beautiful contrast with the Tulip table’s shiny marble top, consider incorporating different materials into your design such as wood or chrome or a bit of greenery. You could also accessorize with pieces that are rich in color and bold patterns.

Bianca Neve Calacatta Quartz© Tulip Dining Table - Round

Bianca Neve Calacatta Quartz© Tulip Dining Table - Round

Enjoy Unlimited Versatility with Tulip Table

The possibilities with the Tulip table are, without doubt, endless. As a result, not only has it earmarked itself as a staple piece in the sphere of mid century modern design, but it integrates seamlessly with literally every style. Its sleek, unconventional look defies the typical table design and blends perfectly with different interior design styles.

Despite being in the market for decades, the Tulip table’s trendy design and diverse aesthetic appeal have made it become a seminal interior masterpiece. And although it has been modified over the years, it strives to uphold its timeless design.

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