Friday, January 30, 2009

Vintage Friday - Saarinen Tulip Table

I enjoyed my earlier post of Tolix so much it inspired me to create a regular feature on my blog called 'Vintage Friday'. Granted, many of these iconic designs are still in production so you can still buy them new, however, you can easily source an original classic. There are often certain pieces you really love, an Eames lounger or a tulip table, and the pursuit to find an original can be a years long pursuit. In my opinion, that just ensures that you really want it, and it gives you a sense of pride and joy when you finally find it. And of course, vintage is always eco. So, every Friday, pop by to see what new iconic design I've featured, and enjoy the pursuit to find one of your own that you love.

So, for my first official Vintage Friday, I've chosen the Tulip table, which is really enjoying a revival right now; you can find one in virtually every issue of Living Etc., for instance. I remember my grandmother had one for the longest time - if I only knew where it went!

The Tulip is flexible: mix and match with chairs, go rustic or contemporary. It also comes in varying tops, from marble to wood.

A little history: design by Eero Saarinen in 1950's midwest America. Saarinen emmigrated to America in 1923 at the age of 14. While studying art, he became friends with design icon Charles Eames and Florence Knoll, who would go on to produce the Tulip through her firm, Knoll Associates. Post-war industrial advances such as moulded plastic allowed Saarinen to create the flowing, organic lines of the Tulip table and chair. Otherworldly in the 60's, it later picked up many design awards and became one of the world's most coveted designs.

It comes in many different sizes, from eight person to small side tables.

Pair it with other classics, such as these Eames chairs.

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  1. I love all the different styles of these photos with the same table...... so neat to see how it changes to suit any taste........

  2. magnificent design. Any idea where I can purchase an original? in rosewood or marble or white? 48 inches or so?

    also in market for rosewood Eames and Bertoia

  3. Hi Ginger - wow, sorry for the delayed response, my life is crazy right now. I just got married last weekend, and I run my own business, can imagine. Anyway, a great source for vintage finds that are the real thing is LushPad, ( Its a fantastic, easy to use online market. Be prepared though, design classics can be pricy! If you are patient, you can also scour flea markets and yard sales for vintage discards. I've known a few that have gotten lucky! Hope this helps.

  4. I have an original tulip table and 6 chairs for sale on ebay right now. #120487849267

  5. I think a 42 inch round saarinen table will be perfect in a kitchen where we are moving. It's a house built in the 20s, with a small but bright and cheery kitchen with oak floors and white cupboards. I am really struggling with the "all white" look or a wood top! Any advice to help me decide?? Thank you!

  6. Hi Maureen! If you can get a Saarinen table with a wood top that is somewhat close to your floors I would go with that. What colour are the countertops? Usually they are the dominant feature in a kitchen. Paint the walls a lovely white too... or, if the room allows it, perhaps a dark, charcoal bluish grey. That colour is really on trend right now, and the combo of wood, white and charcoal is usually quite lovely!

    Good luck! Send me a pic of the finished project!



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