So dining room option two should be an easy and not unexpected one. How about a classic Eero Saarinen Tulip table? The lines are pure and timeless. It comes in a few different diameters and a large oval. And because it is a modern classic, some version of it tends to be easy to find anywhere in the world. One of the things that is so great about the tulip table is that it works with just about any dining chair, from its matching Tulip mate, to Thonet style bentwood to quirky vintage. Danish modern chairs with neutrals tends to be one of my favorite pairings like here…

tulip table - designers call via willow bee inspired

…and here..

saarinen and danish modern

…and here in the Chicago apartment I have been working on this past year.

kathleen's saarinen tulip table

Since our space is so light and I am working with a few clear colors in the living room/dining room – lavender, pink and green – something modern and white might just be perfect. But it does need to mix with my antiques at the same time. Charleston, SC designer Angie Hranowsky has a fabulous way of blending the old and new, all while being daring with color. She used a Saarinen style table in her own dining room, which was open to her living room with an art wall on one side and a full wall of windows on another, quite similar to my space. Her chandelier even reminds me of my own vintage brass piece from Japan. Bright silks for chair cushions would be easy to come by too.

angie hranosky saarinen tulip table

I passed up an amazing zebra skin at a shrine sale just before I left Tokyo. It was so not a Japan “thing” that I didn’t buy it. I’ve been regretting that decision ever since.

Angie Hranowsky dining room

Since then, she has used the table again with bold lavender(!) walls and a different set of brightly upholstered chairs. But I see something else sneaking in there – two black antique chairs to add some funky mix.


The chairs are quite similar to an antique staple – Hitchcock chairs – and as you know I have a set of those which happen to be currently residing in my kitchen. But we have a few extras and it is nice to see that in the case of dinner guests, we could pull them up to the table and it would look good.

Angie Hranowsky Lonny-Mag-April-2 tulip table lavender

While we are talking about antique black chairs around a Saarinen tulip table, I have to pause and worship at one of my favorite dining spaces of all time  – the NYC apartment of jewelry designer Temple St. Clair. Her chairs are actually rush seated Washington vase backs, but the idea is similar. A moment of silence for this one.

Temple St. Clair NYC Saarinen tulip table Washington vase back chairs

Whether to buy a real one or a copied reproduction, the marble or the laminate, are the usual questions people ask themselves. Well so far in my pretty extensive travels around Doha furniture stores I have not seen a single one. Not even vaguely. How that is possible, I don’t know. So this whole plan was off the burner until yesterday. Upon reading my Dining Room Option One post, my dear friend George of Paper Glue Bamboo mentioned that she has the large marble-topped oval version she needs to unload. Yowsa!

tulip table from George

The catch? The table is currently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! We are looking into shipping and vaguely hoping to find an expat moving from KL to Doha who might have room in their shipment. Cross your fingers…

Related Posts:
Dining Room Option One…Inspiration from Isabel Lopez-Quesada