The Parsons Table: Modern Classic Style That Knows How to 'Make It Work'

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One of my rules of thumb for anyone working on an interior is: when in doubt, go with a classic piece. With this advice, no matter the situation, using tried and true furnishings will allow you to have a solid foundation for your décor. One of the great timeless pieces is the Parsons Table. Designed by Jean-Michel Frank at Parsons Paris School of Art and Design almost a century ago, the design is so basic it works in a variety of materials and settings. The only requirement of a true Parsons Table is for the legs to be square, flush-mounted, and of equal thickness as the top.

Glass and Metal Dining

Metal Glass Parson's Table - on The Interior CollectiveImage: Decoist
Made of metal with a clear glass top surface, this example is perfect for a contemporary dining space.

Mirrored Desk

Modern Parson's Table - on The Interior CollectiveImage: Sue At Home

Add a couple drawers and dress the whole thing in mirror, and you’ve got a glamorous desk. This is the kind of piece that begs to be cared for cautiously, so it makes more sense in a home office than a commercial space.

Distressed Utilitarian Wood

Wood Parson's Table - on The Interior Collective Image: Pinterest

This wooden example displays plenty of texture and rugged beauty. I can see it used as anything from a workbench to an outdoor (or indoor) dining table.

The Original Parsons Table

Parson's Table - on The Interior CollectiveImage: George Chinsee for The New School

And here we have the original Parsons Table. Legend (and Wikipedia) holds that after being designed by Frank it was constructed by a workman at Parsons Paris. Do you think they knew their experiment would stand the test of time and become a classic?

What design classics are your favorites?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.