A better fit

This post has been a long time coming, but it took me a while to track down these pictures. I guess I was trying to forget how horrible our kitchen table situation was before…

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We bought this table when we first got married for $30 at a garage sale. It was the perfect size when we were living in a 600 square foot duplex (married housing at our university), but then we moved into our house…

Despite the very average size of our house, it has a surprisingly large 12′ x 12′ eat-in area in the kitchen. It really feels more like a dining room attached to the kitchen. And our little apartment-sized table was just not a good fit.

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We’d been contemplating what type of table we wanted, what size, leaves or no leaves, how many it should seat, etc. We considered building a table and even went to see a guy about reclaimed wood, but the wood ended up being too rough for our liking.

We thought about using new lumber to build a farmhouse style table…

Don’t get me wrong. We love the farmhouse look…but there were a few reasons we just weren’t sure it would work for us.

  1. We couldn’t get past the square, chunky legs. Our table wouldn’t be as long as most, so the legs would look even bigger. We tried to think of other options for the legs, but we didn’t like any alternatives.
  2. We weren’t sure when we’d find the time to build it between all our other projects.
  3. I worried I would mourn the possibility of having had a more charming, classic style.
  4. Our chairs are already VERY rustic, simple, and “farmhousey.” We thought they might be too matchy-matchy with the table. And the chairs have to stay…
  5. We like actual old things more than new things made to look old.
  6. We don’t want to have the same thing as everyone else.

While we were pondering all of these things and still considering making a table, this turned up on Craigslist.

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At first it looked oddly square in the picture, and then I realized it came with a leaf. I emailed the seller and asked for dimensions with the leaf, and they were almost exactly what we had determined we would need! I sent the picture to Andrew, and we decided to pick it up that night.

It also helps that we’ve made so many other changes to the space, so this before and after is not just about the table…Here’s the before with the pathetically small table, the old paint color, popcorn ceilings, and a chandelier that just wasn’t really our style.

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And here’s the after!

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The table is a much better fit for the large space, we love our new paint color (Abalone by Benjamin Moore), the smooth ceilings are AMAZING and the chandelier makes me giddy (and it was such a great deal!) It finally feels like the space is starting to reflect us…minus the floors.

See what I mean about our chairs, though?

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Very rustic. And old. We’ve redone a few in a black stain, which we like, but is decidedly more modern than the unfinished ones. We had planned to do them all, but now we’re debating keeping some au natural. Plus these are old chairs with old stain. Sanding them is hard work!! It all might depend on what color of tiles we choose for the floor (whenever we get to that.)

Here’s another angle of the 2 tables…

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The new table is substantial enough for our space, but still allows enough room to walk around it on every side. We also love that we can have just four chairs or comfortably seat six. We also have two more of these chairs that we keep stacked in the garage (I’m hoping to clear some closet space for them) to pull out and use when my family is in town. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze with eight, but it does work! Such an improvement from our previous table which really didn’t even comfortably work for four!

And it’s just so cute! I love the little legs underneath! We leave the leaf in all the time, but if we ever moved and had a smaller eat-in area, it might be a good size without the leaf. And our eat-in area is still big enough that we can still slide the table up against the door to make room for projects, like when I stenciled my curtains.

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You can’t necessarily tell from the picture, but it is fairly “rustic”, too. It creaks when you put weight on it to stand up, there’s a crack in the leaf, and the bottom might need repainted at some point….but we love that about it. I also love my current centerpiece – garage sale fake flowers and a flea market pitcher. $4 well spent!

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It’s probably not a forever table or worth being an heirloom, but we love it! And if we ever decide to part with it, we don’t have to feel guilty about how much we spent on it. For $80, I think this table turned out to be pretty perfect.

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