It all started with this.
Thomas Jayne's work in Architectural Digest.
Then in the same issue......Amelia Handegan. Same type table, very different rooms.
The simple Parsons table is one of the most adaptable. Suitable in any type of material, in any type of environment. A chameleon of sorts. Dress it up or down. Lacquer it, leave it in a natural wood, perhaps enliven it with a special finish, or douse it with a bold color. It can take a back seat and allow the more ornate around it to stand out or it can command all the attention with it's boxy, simple, structural form.
The Parsons table design is credited to Jean-Michel Frank from Parsons Paris School of Art and Design in the 1930's. It came out of a project from one of his courses, according to the NY Times in an article in 2006. The challenge was to create a table that despite the finish, could maintain it's integrity.
I do believe it has.
This project featured in Lonny, is where one might expect a Parsons table to be found. Modern, clean-lined, plain and simple next to all that pattern.
David deMatei and Patrick Wade - House Beautiful
However, it is at home in a more traditional environment. (While not a true Parsons, where the leg thickness equals the top thickness, this is an adaption of one.)
Parsons tables make great desks, coffee tables, or dining tables.
Sig Bergamin - Elle Decor
Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada - Elle Decor
Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller - Elle Decor
Juan Carlos Garcia - Elle Decor
Elaine Griffin - Elle Decor
Good design is functional, timeless, adaptable, and beautiful.