Blossoming Style: the Tulip Chair

The typical chair tends to be very… leggy. Take a peek under your table and chairs; chances are, legs abound. If you’re the minimalistic, streamlined type, all those legs bug you; they just clutter up the space.

That was Eero Saarinen’s inspiration when he created his now-iconic tulip chair (and, later, the matching table).
Dining Room by Godsmark Architecture Ltd
The Finnish-American architect wished to design a one-piece, integrated, “holistic” chair. His finished design: the sculpted tulip chair, which consists of a round base, single pedestal, and molded fiberglass seat (with or without armrests). It’s a fresh, lightweight piece that’s effortlessly stylish.
Dining Room by Laura U Interior Design
Kitchen by Urban Myth
Dining Room by Morph Interior Ltd
The chair base, made of durable cast aluminum with a nylon coating, may be stationary or swivel, but if it’s not round, it’s not a tulip chair – don’t settle for an impostor! Genuine tulip chairs have been manufactured exclusively by Knoll since the 1950s and are still as stylish as ever. The shell is designed to hold its occupant comfortably and ergonomically and features a removable cushion. The chair’s arms (or seat edge, in the absence of arms) curl gently, reminiscent of its floral namesake.
Photo by KuDa Photography
Kids’ Room by JAC Interiors
With its sleek shape and classic style, the tulip chair works in virtually every room, even with a mix of chairs or furnishings in other styles.
Kids’ Room by Last Detail Interior Design
Dining Room by Godrich Interiors
While the classic tulip chair is white, it’s also available in black; some prefer to paint them to match, but for many the colorful cushion is enough of a contrast.
Dining Room by WHAT_architecture
Home Office by Niche Interiors
Dining Room by James R. Meyer
Dining Room by aegis interior design ltd

Like the chair, the tulip table is versatile, minimalist, and stylish. It may be paired with matching or contrasting chairs and looks fabulous in any decor scheme.

Dining Room by Fiorella Design
Dining Room by Amy Lau Design
Living Room by Sarah Greenman
The only downside: you’ll definitely pay for what you get. Tulip chairs start at over $1,300 (for an armless version); imitations are often not as durable or comfortable. But since tulip chairs have been around for decades, you may have luck scoring some secondhand!

Which chair style is your favorite?