Tulip Tables Will Never Go Out of Style — Here Are Our 10 Favorites

updated Oct 25, 2023
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Dining nook with small white tulip table, 2 pink chairs with black legs wood floor, vase of pink and red flowers, full length mirror on floor
Credit: Natalie Jeffcott

I’m going to make a bold statement and say that searching for the perfect dining table is an art form. There’s so much to consider, like the size and shape of your dining space, how many people need to be accommodated, and how you’ll use it — are you working on your laptop, going through your mail, enjoying a morning coffee, or, dare I say, actually eating a meal? And perhaps most important of all, when you sit down to do any of those things, are your legs and feet bumping into a clunky table base or the other chairs

Just recently, I was out to dinner with a friend and we were noticing how surprisingly beautiful the restaurant’s tables were from the bottom up. We were commenting on how often the tops are attended to in material and shape — and even adorned in layers of beautiful serveware, linens, and ambient lighting — but the design of the bases is either underwhelming or not at all practical. 

That’s where the iconic tulip table comes in. It’s classic, timeless, and has everything when it comes to versatile and stylish ergonomics.

So, What Is a Tulip Table?

In the 1950s, Finnish American architect and designer Eero Saarinen wanted to do something about that often-overlooked space underneath a table. So he designed the OG of pedestal tables for Knoll, a brand that’s become synonymous with modern design. These pedestal tables comprised a collection of rounded or oval tabletops with slender, tapered bases that offered space-saving solutions and comfort-minded proportions while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing silhouette (think: equal parts style, leg room and ample space for tucking in your seats when you’re not in them).

Like many designs that were born of this era, its focus on form and function made Saarinen’s pedestal table — and its Tulip dining chair counterpart — stand the test of time and feel at home with multiple design styles. 

Saarinen created these pedestal tables with a sculptural approach in coffee, side, and dining configurations. And Knoll still produces them with the designer’s original intent: a beveled edge for the top and an elongated, graceful shape for the base. Named after the tulip for the chair’s flowering seat and the dining duo’s single, stem-like center leg, the pair have become icons of classic style, and have inspired a whole new generation of dining tables with clean lines and elegant curves. 

Ahead, our 10 favorite tulip tables in a range of materials, styles, and prices to fit any interior.

The Best Tulip Tables

1 / 10

This is it — the one that started it all. The Saarinen pedestal tables from Knoll come in several sizes, base colors, and tabletop finishes, making them a universal and customizable choice; the only constant is the heavy molded cast-aluminum base and beveled edge up top. The popular 35-inch diameter means it’s the perfect bistro table to tuck into a kitchen nook or create a dining space in an apartment or small room, and the contrasting black laminate top with a satin finish renders it a statement piece.

2 / 10
was $339.99

With its 40-inch diameter, the Eatman pedestal dining table is still space-conscious but seats an additional dinner guest. The color story has been swapped here, with a matte black steel pedestal and an anti-scratch engineered wood top with a white finish and marble-look veining for a touch of fancy.

3 / 10
was $429.00

The Odyssey brass dining table brings a little bit of glam to your dining area with its high-gloss lacquered surface and beveled edge, and a brass-plated metal pedestal base that brings to mind the original tulip’s flower stem concept. While we love the luster and sheen seen in this combo, it’s also available in walnut wood and white tops with white powder-coated metal bases. With a 39.25-inch diameter, the table comfortably seats four.

4 / 10

Not all pedestal tables have to be white, black, or brass. Just look at the Palissade Cone table by HAY. Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, this steel table has an added geometric cone design and comes in three colorways: olive green, charcoal, and red. Its powder-coated finish and concrete-filled base give the table durability that can withstand the outdoor elements.

5 / 10
Crate & Barrel

The oval shape of the Nero table is what immediately comes to mind when I think of a Tulip-style table. The mix of brass and concrete gives it a modern approach, and the 60-inch diameter and weighted cast-aluminum base make it a formidable contender. Coasters and placemats are suggested, as concrete can show water spots and marks after use. (Who doesn’t love a good excuse to buy more coasters?)

6 / 10
West Elm

Leave it to West Elm to offer an artisanal twist. They’ve taken the pedestal table and crafted a Tulip-style version using aluminum in an antique rust or raw nickel finish that almost looks like melted metal. The imperfect nature of this table reads organic and industrial at the same time.

7 / 10
Rove Concepts

This table pays homage to the minimalist design ethos of mid-century architecture and comprises a lacquered, satin-finish top and cast-aluminum base. It’s a no-frills version that celebrates simplicity and timeless beauty.

8 / 10
Pottery Barn

The Celano table brings European-style cafe dining into your home through its petit bistro disposition featuring a cast iron base and a top made with iron mesh and laminated MDF with a faux marble finish (there’s a tempered glass version, too). Its weather-resistant quality makes that dream of sitting at an outdoor European cafe more of a reality.

9 / 10

For a more traditional take, the Annaway dining table has a bulbous base that draws as much attention as the glossy marble top. With a surface spanning 46 inches in diameter, it’s a spacious option whose look and feel were inspired by a French bistro table.

10 / 10
was $189.99

Getting back to its roots, this compact modern round dining table brings back the style of the 1950s in approachable metal and MDF materials with a sophisticated all-black finish. Its 31.5-inch diameter accommodates two to four people and its compact composition can be easily worked into a cozy corner.