Monday, September 27, 2010

Dining Room Tables

Scroll back to" The Dining Room Before" if you want to see the original, raw state of the dining room. It's looking a bit better now, I think. But I still have lots of plans for it! Like the free piano I have yet to haul in, paint black, plant in the dining room, and devise ways to fascilitate secondary use of as a serving buffet. And some creative lighting. Oh, and Mark sold 4 of my chairs with an RV so I have to get more chairs (no, HE DOES!). Anyway, let me tell you about the dining table!

Tables are actually pretty easy to come by. I have passed up several including one very nice pedestal table that I didn't get back with the truck in time to snag! They're also pretty easy to create: doors can be great table tops, a tablecloth can hide an improvised tabletop. And I've always wanted to build a vintage-looking farm table out of old, chippy, white boards. I'll do that one of these days! And I'll tell you about it when I do!  I was planning to build one for this house until I came upon this table in the parking lot at the thrift store one day.

It just has SO much character!  I say it's 100 years old.  I don't know but I know it's OLD!  I also say that great grandpa built it out of boards from the wagon from the land run (this part of Oklahoma was founded with the running of the Cherokee Strip Land Run on September 16, 1893.  Mark and I both had great grandparents who ran in the land run -- wouldn't it be cool if there were some family connection to THIS table over the decades?).  It really COULD be that old.  If I were selling it in a flea market I'd start at $400-600.  When I found it at the thrift store it didn't have a price on it.  They said "$30".  I said "SOLD!".  And then the supervisor came along and raised the price to $50 (because it is clearly a find) which I gladly paid (with only a small wince at the big ding in my FreeSourceFull budget).

By the way, below is a Pottery Barn table that is very similar.  It is priced at $1500!

The chairs came one at a time from curbside.  Windsor-back dining chairs are plentiful.  Often they need a little wood glue or a screw for reinforcement but they are easy to find.  So I found four of those.  And two other vintage dining chairs.  And painted them all black for uniformity.  After this photo was taken (at Christmas -- BTW, the free, dumpster Christmas tree is gorgeous, high-quality, pre-lit, and would have cost $250 to $300 if I'd bought it at Lowe's!) I found two more chairs and had seating for eight -- both of us plus all five of our children plus a friend! 

My favorite story about the chairs:  Mark met one of the neighbors before I did and, when Mark mentioned me, the neighbor said, "Oh, I know who your wife is!  She's the one who was spray painting chairs in the front yard at 1 a.m.!"  Guilty. 

The office chair seen peeking into the photo at right is awaiting it's transformation.  One day it will be metallic chrome with a black and white toile fabric seat.  That wall is where the piano will go.

Another wonderful old dining table belongs to my friend John.  It was free!  He likes to photograph old abandoned farm houses.  One day, as he was prowling around taking pictures, one of the neighbors stopped by.  John told him not to worry, that he was just taking pictures.  As the two chatted, John told the man that he was worried about this wonderful old table because the ceiling was about to come in on it and it would be ruined by rain in no time at all after surviving all these decades.  The neighbor told him he should take it, helped him load it up, and said he would explain to the owner of the property if anyone ever had an issue about it. 

I think it has wonderful patina! That's Lacey the Great Pyrenees underneath, by the way! And DO admire part of John's mug collection in the background! I hated mugs with a passion until John's eye for them gave me a new appreciation. He favors vintage diner mugs and others with obvious history. That "persimmon" orange Fiesta one on the left side was a gift from ME!
Back in MY dining room:. The shelves along the dining room wall are old shutter bi-fold doors that I hung on L-brackets.  I saw them on the curb and screeched on the brakes.  They're great because they're very narrow and, therefore, not too imposing. 

Other dining room stuff:  Mark found the curtain in the doorway to the kitchen in a dumpster.  It ties in with the butternut dining room and the green tones in the dining room and the living room (which you haven't seen yet!).  The vintage-looking lace window scarf was $1.96 at the thrift store. 

The green Haegar vases on the dining table were $2, $2.99, and $.99 at the thrift store.  I've collected white matte-finish Haegar vases for years.  I always hated the green.  But so do lots of other people so the green is cheap!  Because it's in my price range and because I saw it used to perfection in a magazine (see below), I decided to give it another chance.  And I have come to love it!  Expect more pieces to come!

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