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Hand-Me-Down Dining Table

By House*Tweaking on Nov 15, 2011

I told you a few weeks ago that the black dining table in our previous home stayed with the sale of the house per the agreed upon sales contract.

{the dining area in our previous home}

That means I’ve been on the hunt for a new one for the Underdog.  Well, I guess, technically I’ve been searching for an old one.  I’d like to incorporate more antiques and thrift finds into this house than I did in our last one.  I figured a dining table would be a good place to start. As a main multifunctional piece in our future mudroom/dining room, it’s sure to receive tons of abuse in the form of spilled food/drink, toy-banging, kid crafting, laundry folding, machine sewing and family game playing.  I thought a scratch-and-dent find would fit the bill.

{our future mudroom/dining room}

From the get-to, I was set on a round table.  The shape would suit the modest space well and still allow for easy traffic flow around it. {The room will receive traffic from the adjoining garage, laundry nook, backyard and great room.}  As a bonus, I wanted to find a round table that could be extended into an oval with an optional leaf to allow for extra dining space when necessary.  As a result of downsizing by over 1,000 sq ft, I’m having to contemplate the size, scale and function of each furniture piece that we’ll use.  Everything needs a purpose…preferably several purposes…and the dining table is no exception.

After months of hitting up all the local thrift and antique stores nearby, I found a few round tables with extending leaves but they were either 1) too expensive or 2) too ornate or 3) too badly damaged.  Taking a breather from the task at hand, I decided to let up a bit on finding the table. Oddly enough, it was during this ‘break’ that I stumbled upon our future dining table.

The boys and I were visiting my dad and stepmom {I hate that word because it carries such a negative connotation.  I assure you my dad’s wife, Karen, is not your typical stepmom…I love her and am so thankful my dad found her!} when Layne asked me to retrieve one of his dump trucks from Grandpa’s barn where we’ve been storing the kids’ outdoor toys.  It’s also the same barn I lived in as a child for a decade. {I promise.  I’m gonna write about that someday.}

Layne and I walked down to the barn in search of a dump truck.  Imagine my surprise when, lo and behold, there next to our pile o’ boy toys was the exact dining table that had been floating around in my head for months!  It was an older wooden pedestal table in need of some TLC but had warm tones and simple lines.

I quickly found Layne’s dump truck then all but ran back to the house to ask about the table.  I had an inkling it was Karen’s since it was unfamiliar to me.  I was right.  Karen had bought the table when her first son was born almost 30 years ago.  The table had lived in her home then her brother-in-law’s office building then her sister’s home.  Her sister had recently moved and returned the table to Karen. Karen immediately asked if we would be able to use the table in our fixer-upper. I excitedly nodded yes.  I told her I’d buy it from her but she refused to talk money.  She was happy to know we could use it {she and my dad didn’t need it} and happily said it was ours – free of charge.  I was elated!  Even more so when she told me that she had a leaf for it.

That’s right.  The round table with an optional extending leaf that I’d been searching for pretty much fell into my lap.  The table is still in my dad’s barn for now.  I had planned on stripping, sanding and staining {nope, I’m NOT painting it!} it in the barn…I still do.  But Karen beat me to the beginning stages.  On a more recent trip to my dad’s, I found the table cleaned up and stripped of its thirty-year-old polyurethane topcoat.  {All the images shown in this post are from after the table was stripped.}

Karen is the best!

I haven’t decided on a stain yet but I don’t want to venture too far from the table’s original wood tone.  I’d also like to use a food safe topcoat.

I have visions of slipcovering the petite sofa from our previous living room and using it settee style with the pedestal table and simple side chairs in the mudroom/dining room.  Something along the lines of this…

I’ve had the image of that dainty dining space in my inspiration folder for a while now.  I love the mix of the traditional settee + warm mid century table + Bertoia wire chairs.  It feels fresh, modern, casual and homey all at the same time.  That’s what I’m aiming for.

{future mudroom/dining room looking towards the laundry nook}

Since we already have the sofa on hand and the table was free, that leaves me with a little money for a light fixture, textiles, a window treatment, storage options {remember…our dining room has to double as a mudroom} and a clever yet stylish way to disguise the laundry nook.  So much to consider!  But it’s definitely fun thinking about all the possibilities.

So what about you?  Have you ever discovered the perfect piece just sitting in your parent’s attic/garage/basement/barn?  Have you ever given up on finding that certain something – only to have it fall into place all on its own?  Share!

images:  1-6 & 8 ) all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking  7) Erin McLaughlin’s dining space via Style at Home found on DecorPad

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