The iconic Knoll Tulip Dining Table and Chairs by Eero SaarinenThe iconic Tulip Dining Table and Chairs by Eero Saarinen

It may have originally been designed back in the 1950s, but Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Dining Table is arguably more covetable now than it ever was.

In many ways it’s the perfect example of mid-century modern design: it’s transcendental, contemporary, and of course, endlessly versatile. As Knoll celebrates 80 years of iconic design, we delve a little deeper into the story of one of its finest pieces.

Who, where and when?

Eero, Aline and Eames Saarinen at their Knoll Tulip dining room table, Eero and Aline Saarinen at work and Eero Saarinen with Florence Knoll working on the Pedestal LineEero, Aline and Eames Saarinen at their Knoll Tulip dining room table, Eero and Aline Saarinen at work and Eero Saarinen with Florence Knoll working on the Pedestal Line. Images courtesy of Yale University.

The Tulip table was designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen in the 1950s while he was living in Michigan in the United States. It was part of a collection nicknamed the ‘Pedestal collection’ which also included his Tulip Chair, Tulip Armchair, Tulip Stool, Tulip Coffee Table and Tulip Side Table.

A ‘slum of legs’

Knoll Saarinen Tulip Dining Tables with Tulip Chairs and Krusin Dining Chairs

At the time, Eero couldn’t believe that no designer had ever tackled what he thought of as the ‘ugly, confusing, unrestful world’ hidden underneath the dining table. He saw legs as a distraction and vowed to create a table that negated the need for them. His revolutionary Tulip Dining Table brought this simple yet effective idea to life and changed the way we dined forever.

It’s all in the detail

Design-Icon-Knoll-Tulip-Dining-Table-marble-top.jpgClockwise from left: Knoll Saarinen Large Tulip Dining Table Oval with Brown Emperador marble top, Knoll Saarinen Tulip Dining Table - 120cm Diameter with white laminate top and Knoll Saarinen Large Tulip Dining Table Oval with Nero Marquina marble top

Though initially released in a limited colour palette, the Knoll Tulip Dining Table is now available in a wide range of chic finishes. From the classic white-and-grey Arabescato marble to the gloriously green Alpi Verde, there’s a beautiful marble finish for every home. Plus, for the minimalists, there’s even a glossy white laminate version.

Style and inspiration

Eero contributed many other iconic designs to the design world throughout his career, including the famous Womb Chair. His signature sweeping curves are a defining feature of his work, a style which he developed after studying sculpture in Paris and architecture at Yale.

A piece of forever

The true beauty of the Tulip Dining Table is that whatever your personal style, whether it’s loud and colourful or neat and pared-back, it’ll fit into your home seamlessly - and keep looking great for years to come.

The true beauty of the Tulip Dining Table is that it will fit into your home seamlessly for years to come

Why not order your very own heirloom today? We’ve Knoll Tulip Dining Tables in sizes of 120cm, 137cm and 152cm and oval styles in 198cm and 244cm. You could even treat yourself to some matching Tulip Dining Chairs too. What are you waiting for?