Dining tables are arguably the heart of the home; it's the place to sit down and eat a wholesome meal over a glass of wine, enjoy being surrounded by family laughter or maybe to savour a much-needed quiet moment. But no matter the reason, the primary function of a dining table remains a focal point for life at home to us all.
While there are many styles and shapes to choose from and different dining table trends come and go, a few iconic tables are backed by decades of legendary craftsmanship. From the detailed research on the functions they must perform, to the creative and intuitive designs that have stood the test of time, here we have curated some of the most iconic dining tables worldwide so you can incorporate our favourite designs into your home.
The instantly recognisable Nesting Tables were designed by Josef Albers, who was working on the Moellenhof House project at the Bauhaus in Weimar during 1926 as the artistic director of the furniture shop. His tables swept Europe by storm with their unique flexibility and attractiveness during the early 20th century. These functionalist set tables also provided flexibility and simplicity, combining precise geometric shapes with various primary colours from Albers' painterly oeuvre.
Crafted from solid oak wood and featuring a colourful glass tabletop, these designs can accent any modern space. As a result of this timeless design, many brands have adopted it in different fashions because of its practical nature. Seen in many homes today, it's hard to argue with their simple brilliance. Our artisan, Ariane Thakore Ginwala, also embraced this design, creating a nesting table that weaves in the majesty of nature by utilising reclaimed teak.
Tulip Dining Tables
The Tulip Dining Tables inspired many massive retailers who appreciated Eero Saarinen’s vision to successfully resolve the issue he called “the slum of legs in the U.S. home”, with a single leg creating way less visual clutter than four. If you’ve ever accidentally hurt a finger or someone else from trying to make space under the table, then Eero famously fixed this issue with his celebrated collection introduced by Knoll in 1957.
This table design is perfect for the minimalist lover. The designer, part of the Modernist movement, was inspired to create a table design from a desire for simpler furniture. The sculptural and sensuous monobloc bases have become so popular that hundreds of pedestal dining tables pay homage to the original.
Eames Dining Table
Rooted in Charles and Ray Eames' love for social gatherings, which aimed to bring pleasure to each guest at the table, the Eames Tables bears the signature Eames mark of beauty and utility in design. Going far beyond aesthetic considerations, it focuses on stability and an artistic eye for proportions. Charles and Ray Eames were most famous for their iconic chairs, which transformed the idea of modern furniture, but this was merely one facet of their work. The Eames Segmented Table is characterised by an interplay of materials, dimensions, and colours, transforming an everyday staple into a comfortable, elegant dining table.
The Eames Segmented Table has versatile functionality and classic style, adorning meeting and conference rooms for many years now, extending design boundaries and serving up a modern aesthetic. The round or boat-shaped tabletop serves most by offering various sizes and allows for an intuitive yet relaxed seating arrangements in diverse dining settings.
‘Il Colonnato’ Table
Mario Bellini designed the large and round' Il Colonnato' table from a basic architectural elemental structure. The dining table is sought-after for its commanding monumental presence within a space. However, Bellini kept the table minimal in design, with five-column legs constructed entirely from solid red travertine marble. As a result, when seen from different viewpoints, perception changes. The columns no longer overlap, and the space appears empty.
The rich earthy red tones, accented beautiful ochre streaks, and varied neutral tones merge well in a contemporary home that strives for a minimalist, yet down to earth approach.
Smalto is an elegant table designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. They approached Knoll, eager to work with new materials such as enamel, which was new territory for the studio. They explained that the material produced excellent durability, and the enamelling process produced both intense colour and quality of tactility. The piece was eventually made entirely from enamelled steel and is the result of a project studied in detail to invent a long-lasting, contemporary, and eye-catching table.
The tabletop has a highly scratch-resistant enamel finish, making the piece more durable and glossier. Smalto's refined and luxurious appearance allows it to be placed in any context, private, lounge or business. The tabletop has a highly scratch-resistant enamel finish, making the piece more enduring while maintaining its flair. Smalto's refined and luxurious appearance allows it to be placed in any context, private, lounge or business. The sheen of the material is like a high gloss lacquer used on high-end furniture for its longevity and protection against liquid. Our artisan Frank Chou adopted the popularised style in his Vane table series.
Vestige Rectangular Table
Note Design Studio designs the Vestige table with a rectangular top and two feet. Undoubtedly, the sculptural base is the statement detail of the piece, consisting of two unique rectangular blocks that rest beneath the champagne-coloured glass top. As a result, the table has a delicate appearance but a solid frame. The fanfare surrounding glass tabletops has waned in recent years. However, with a greater appreciation for minimalism, they are back and effortlessly styled by many to maximise on the natural light within homes. In addition, tinted glass adds greater depth to the home, much like Ideal Afternoon's Pool Table series.
This table would pair perfectly in a contemporary home with a postmodern spirit. The winning combination of materials and colours makes this vestige collection a genuinely refined and popular piece in the house.
Drop Leaf Table
Drop Leaf Tables appeared in the early 17th century in the gate-leg form. The invention was made to save space in little houses. Today, the design is still loved for its functionality and convenience of tucking tables away from sight.
The grain of the wood truly enhances the design of this dining table, paired with its ergonomic edges, it feels wholesome and stylish all at once. The material is solid and versatile, making a well-ground wooden dining table that effortlessly adapts to Japandi-style homes.
The Nomos Table
The Nomos Table is a pioneering industrial design icon. Designed by architect Norman Foster in 1987, the table's glass surface rests on the splayed metal legs, angled as if poised for a fight. The table was designed to maximise flexibility intended for home and office functions.
The aesthetically pleasing structure has been compared to a lunar landing craft. Earthy and nature-inspired colour schemes would work exceptionally well to soften this harsh lines of this industrial table design. It is the quintessential executive’s desk and remains just as relevant today.