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Why Tulip Table: Like the Modern Icon


tulip table

Who Designed the Tulip Table?

Eero Saarinen. He is a Finnish-American designer and architect who grew up surrounded by design. His father Eliel Saarinen, was a world famous architect while his mother Loja Saarinen was a textile designer. He steadily helped his father design furniture even during his teens. His accomplishments include experimenting with new materials and coming up with groundbreaking designs. He is considered a trailblazer in the American furniture design movement.

Eero Saarinen was also a pioneer designer and architect of the modernist movement. His most famous works include the TWA Flight Terminal at the Kennedy International Airport. That building is still considered one of the most innovative and symbolic buildings of the late modernist era. His work redefined the modern movement by including organic and curvilinear forms in the otherwise straight-laced modern designs of that time.

Saarinen’s legacy remains even to this day. His design of the TWA terminal is being refurbished into a hotel and his furniture designs are breaking ground to this day.

What is a tulip table?

Saarinen designed the Tulip table at Knoll. He was invited there by longtime family friend Florence Schust, who joined the company in the 1940s. It was there that Saarinen fully unleashed his creative genius on designing some of the best furniture pieces of the modern era, including the Tulip Table.

Tulip tables were a modernized and innovative take on table design back in the mid twentieth century. Modernism was high in style, and the furniture design genre was seeing perpetual innovation. It was then that Eero Sarinen came up with the idea of Tulip tables. He wanted to design a table that was free of all under-table clutter; i.e., many legs and footings. He dubbed the typical table design as the ‘slum of legs’ which the Tulip table had to forego.

Saarinen considered the four-legged table designs ‘unrestful and ugly’ with too much clutter to be visually or physically comfortable. So he started designing a table that would forego that kind of typical design for something sleeker and much more imaginative. He worked on a number of initial sketches and drawings, which further morphed into scaled models. Saarinen had sculptor training early in his life, so he drew from that experience and later worked on full-scale models that were hand-sculpted through clay. He also drew inspiration from the ‘biomorphic’ shapes that were trending during that era.

Saarinen was assisted by Don Petit of Knoll’s design team, who helped him work out some of the kinks in the final design. When the prototypes were completed, they were tested in dining and living room settings of Saarinen’s own home.

Thus the Tulip table is a product of ingenious innovation and some out-of-the-box thinking. It is simple in design, but also pretty impactful. To this day, Tulip tables are the preferred style of furniture in true modern as well as contemporary style interior designs.


tulip table

What makes tulip table special?

The Tulip table was clearly a spearhead design that brought on a brand new aesthetic when it was introduced in the mainstream market. It revolutionized the way people thought of table and chair designs. Its fluid form and curvilinear shape were an avant-garde addition that lives up to its name even today. If those are not reasons enough, let’s look at some of the benefits of having a Tulip table in your homes:


tulip table

Convenience of design and aesthetics

The Tulip table has an inherently sophisticated design. It would look great in any contemporary interior. It has the added benefit of being able to fit in small alcoves. The biomorphic design of tulip tables and chairs are perfect for emulating that upscale, modern vibe in your homes.

Attractive focal points

If you’re looking for some innovative furniture designs to act as the major focal point in your interior space, then this would be it. The Tulip table design has a timeless elegance and an unconventional form that will definitely attract the eye. It would anchor your interior design in the best possible way without dismantling the rest of the aesthetic.

Versatile aesthetics

Although authenticity requires the Tulip table to be paired with Eero Saarinen’s Womb chair, that doesn’t mean it’s a hard and fast rule. The beauty of the Tulip table is that it has a versatile aesthetic and can be paired with chairs and even sofas of all manner and design. You can play with the upholstery color and chair design to get the desired outlook.

Sturdy and long-lasting

The original Saarinen Tulip table produced by Knoll has an extremely sturdy build. Its base is made up of single piece aluminum coated with a plastic called Rilsan. The table top features a marble topping that gives the overall design a refined elegance and a solid build. The marble fixes into the base with a steel rod hidden along the middle of the base part.


Where to buy tulip table?

If you are looking for a Tulip Table, there is no better place compared to https://tuliptable.com. We offer the best Saarinen Tulip Table reproduction.

The marbles are made by highly skilled craftsmen to create a table of architectural elegance.  Each table is completely unique in its natural characteristics (ie veining, color patterns etc).  Our beautiful, natural stones are imported from the city of Carrara, Italy (located at the tip of the Tuscan region)

The Tulip Table base is a perfect combination of function and design. The streamlined effect leaves plenty of leg room under the table. Cast aluminum is used because of its strength as well as its lighter construction.

Our products are quality reproductions that will definitely appeal to you. Check out our Tulip Table collection here!

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