What is Parsons Table?

A Parsons table is a simple, rectangular table characterized by square legs that are the same thickness as the tabletop.


The Parsons table is a modernist design icon recognized for its minimalistic style and versatility. It first emerged from the Parsons School of Design in Paris in the 1930s when Jean-Michel Frank, a French designer, challenged his students to create a table so elemental that it would retain its integrity whether wrapped in mink, burlap, or painted neon. The result was a table that epitomizes simplicity and functionality, with straight lines and a focus on form rather than ornamentation.

This table is distinguished by its straightforward design: the top of the table is flush with the legs, and each leg is square, giving it a uniform look. This simplicity makes the Parsons table incredibly versatile, allowing it to fit into various design styles from modern to traditional. Moreover, its construction typically involves materials such as wood, metal, or glass, enabling a range of stylistic expressions within its fundamental design.

Over the years, the Parsons table has found a place in virtually every room of the home and in commercial spaces alike, embodying the principle that form follows function. Its adaptability has led to various adaptations, including dining tables, desks, coffee tables, and side tables, further cementing its status as a timeless piece in the world of interior design.


The Parsons table serves a wide range of uses across different settings, thanks to its clean lines and simple structure. It can be found as a dining table in a modern minimalist kitchen, a coffee table in a cozy living room, a desk in a sleek home office, or even a bedside table in a contemporary bedroom. Its design is such that it complements both bold, decorative items and simple, understated decor, making it a favorite choice among interior designers for projects that call for versatility and elegance.


  • Who created the Parsons table?

    The Parsons table was created by students at the Parsons School of Design in Paris under the guidance of French designer Jean-Michel Frank in the 1930s.

  • Can the Parsons table be used as a desk?

    Yes, the Parsons table can be used as a desk. Its simplistic design and sturdy structure make it ideal for a sleek and functional home office setup.

  • How do interior designers incorporate Parsons tables into their designs?

    Interior designers often use Parsons tables for their versatility and minimalist appeal, incorporating them into various design styles and settings, from dining rooms and living areas to offices and bedrooms. Its simplicity allows for creative accessorizing with lamps, books, or art pieces.

  • Are Parsons tables available in different materials?

    Yes, Parsons tables are available in a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and glass, each offering a different aesthetic appeal while maintaining the table's iconic design.

Practical Application

When choosing a Parsons table for your space, consider the material and size to ensure it complements your existing decor and fits the intended area. Its simplicity makes it a blank canvas for decorative objects and accessories, so have fun styling it with your favorite pieces. Whether you’re aiming for a modern, traditional, or eclectic look, the Parsons table can be seamlessly integrated into your design scheme.