7 Ways To Style A Saarinen Tulip Table

7 Ways To Style A Saarinen Tulip Table

You’ve probably heard of the Saarinen Dining Table. You might even have coveted one. But how should you go about styling this most sought-after of tables? Part furnishing, part sculpture, its pedestal base shoots upwards like a futuristic bloom, a sinuous solution to what Saarinen called “the slum of legs” beneath tables. Artistic and iconic, it lends itself to a variety of environments, 7 of which we explore here.

As The Centrepiece Of A Mid-Century Mash Up

In the words of Wham!, If you’re going to do it, do it right. For the die-hard aesthetes, that means styling your Saarinen with objects and ideas from design’s golden age — the exciting years between 1950 and 60.

One mid-century seating collection with which the Saarinen finds special affinity are the eponymous Platner Side Chairs. When paired together, they work like two mirrors reflecting a shared ideal: design that is modern, industrial and eternal. 

Saarinen Dining Table & Cesca Chairs by Knoll

Image via Jean-Charles Thomas

As The Anchor For Eccentricity

Even the most maximalist of interiors need an anchor: a bold idea, styled simply, that will ground some of the more kooky elements. The Saarinen works beautifully in this context as a generous focal point that can be styled up or down. In this instance, we recommend sticking to more understated finishes. Knoll’s Arabescato or Marquina Marble, for example. Or else the classic collection of laminate tops.

Home of Christina Juarez as pictured in Elle Decor

Ruth Lande Shuman's Apartment designed by Gaetano Pesce

As The Star In A Petite Interior Power Play

A Saarinen doesn’t need a lot of space to work its magic. In fact, its singular base means it can sit quietly and beautifully in city or suburban homes alike. In the gorgeous image bottom-right, you’ll see how former Elle Decoration Editor Michelle O’Gundehin styles it her own Brighton home. The svelte curves are met by lithe wooden dining chairs only to be echoed again in the artfully placed Panthella Table Lamp.

Home of Michelle O'Gundehin via Clever

As The Lead In A Monochrome Masterpiece

Monochrome interiors are anything but basic. Visually striking, they can be tricky to pull off, but well worth their weight in drama when you get it right. One of the best spaces we’ve seen so far is the aptly named Monochrome House. In the light-filled octagonal loggia, Studio Niels have paired a Saarinen Dining Table with matching swivel chairs. Nestled inside each are contrasting leather cushions, a beautiful little flourish that lends the scheme its crispness.

Monochrome House by Studio Niels | Photography Thomas De Bruyne

As a Hardworking Home Office Hero

While the majority of offices are characterised by orthopaedic-looking chairs, designers have a long history of producing statement styles. Some of the best date back to the mid-century, including iconic collections such as the EAMES ALUMINIUM and KNOLL’S EXECUTIVE SAARINEN collection. Indeed, so ergonomic are the standard Saarinen Tables and Chairs that we’ve even seen stylists inviting them into home offices as a daring alternative to traditional furnishings. For ample leg room and perfect posture, we recommend opting for the oval variant with the Swivel Saarinen Chair in plush velvet.

As The Foundation For A Serene Scandi Setup

Born in Finland but raised by America, it’s easy to forget to that Eero Saarinen was in fact one of the great Scandi designers. As such, we rarely think of his designs as Scandi. Partly because of where they found popularity first. But also because of the choice of material. However, having seen the Saarinen Dining Table incorporated in many a Nordic scheme, its allure as a starting point for serene family dinners is difficult to deny. Try pairing it with Gubi’s Beetle Chairs for a space that feels soft and sculpted all at once.

As The Baseline For Outdoor Adventures

Design knows no boundaries, so why should you? This sinuous, weather-hardy Saarinen is free to explore outside, extending the residential panorama and inviting statement style into the Great Outdoors.

Feeling inspired?  

Shop the entire Saarinen Tulip collection online, with exclusive Quickship delivery options for UK aesthetes.

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