...because home doesn't happen overnight.

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

54 Comments

15.November.2011

Love that table. Its perfect! I think the look you are going for is going to work out great! I cannot wait to see the end result!

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15.November.2011

Love when something falls into your lap…especially when it’s perfect, and FREE!

PS – Finally went to Waynesvill and the Fabric Shack, IN LOVE! Found so many great patterns for my house.

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15.November.2011

Just inherited a very similar table with chairs to match but would really like to paint them white…though I have zero experience with this. Can’t wait to see what you do with yours!

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15.November.2011

What a gorgeous table!

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15.November.2011

what a perfect table! i can’t wait to see how it looks after its stained! i struggled finding a dining table for our new house too. i wanted a used, farmhouse style table, but i could never find one with the clean lines i desired, that was also in my price range. finally i found one that seemed to be perfect. unfortunately i had to buy it sight unseen, from an online store…so i’m patiently waiting until i can take a look at it with my own two eyes!

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15.November.2011

There’s a Craig’s List app, apparently, that can send you updates when you enter an item you’re looking for with a price range. When something in that realm is posted, you’ll get a notice. A friend was praying for the right roll-top desk and it literally fell in her lap when another friend sent her the Craig’s List notification from her phone. Craig’s list can really be an amazing thing as long as you’re careful!

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15.November.2011

My husband and I love a clutter free home, so we’re never likely to have much sitting around unused. However, we feel super lucky to have a few friends and family who hold on to everything. We’ve definitely inherited a few treasures over the years. But our best find was an eames-style coffee table awaiting the garbage truck on a neighbors curb. It was such a great find that we now go garbage hunting periodically.

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15.November.2011

As a matter of fact…I did come across something I’ve been searching for, just yesterday! Too cool…:) We too downsized and the kiddos have to share rooms (11 & 7 yo boys and 12 & 7 yo girls). Well, I decided a pretty loft bed for the girls would suit the space better and give the girls a “space” of their own. I found a bunkbed that is very girly to turn into the younger girl’s loft bed. However, my daughter has been bugging me for a headboard for her queen size that will fit under the loft. Well, I’ve been looking for what seems like FOREVER. I knew I didn’t want to spend too much, and while my man has building skills…his furniture building skills leave something to be desired…so creating one was out. Anyways, I finally told her she didn’t need one since you wouldn’t see the bed anyways. UNTIL…yesterday…heehee! I was driving home and low and behold just TWO DOORS DOWN…there was a headboard out on the curb. I parked my car and walked (after debating and then worrying someone else would snatch it up) up to the neighbor’s house. Keep in mind, I know NOBODY on this street. We JUST moved…lol. After looking at the headboard, I discovered that there wasn’t anything wrong with it..other than a really ugly finish, and missing finials. So I grabbed it up and walked it home. I showed my daughter and she’s elated to find out that it’s going to match the mirror I redid for her…turquoise with a white glaze. All I have to do is clean it and paint int and VOILA!
And it was…say it with me…FREE, FREEEEEE,…FREEE!!!

Whoop!

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That’ll be awesome! Also… wish MY barn had a corvette in it!!

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replied on November 15th, 2011

John – Yeah, my Dad didn’t offer up his corvette to us! Not that it’s the most practical family car {2-seater, convertible}. I was wondering if any of the guys out there would catch that in the background. Good eye!

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15.November.2011

Almost completely unrelated (love the table, btw!) but I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with putting a title on my parent’s significant others. Both of my parents have long-term partners who are a major part of my life, but neither want to re-marry. It’s so awkward to describe my 60-year-old father’s partner, who I love and adore, and who is a grandmother of 2, as his “girlfriend.” Step-mom/dad is even worse.

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15.November.2011

I have been dreaming of a table exactly like that for YEARS! I saw an episode of some HGTV show where they tiled over top of a table like that. I want to do the same & have been scouring antique shows & garage sales since then. Guess I need to start invading barns!

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15.November.2011

I too hate the term step. I am a step mother and I am not eveil. :) The term I choose to use is bonus children when refering to my SK’s. Because they are a bonus. Weather bonus works for you or not – please fee free to use it.

That table is a GREAT find. When I moved in with my fiance (now husband) I had a huge table that I wanted to downsize. I really wanted a round one that had a leaf. I had taken some old china to a place that would list it for you for a small percentage. We ended up not listing the china but they had the table of my dreams in their office. They had gotten it that day. I bought it for $100 and refinished it in gloss black and I love it!

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15.November.2011

What luck! That’s awesome! I’ve had that same image of the dining area in my desktop folder for a while too. Love everything about it. :)

What chairs are you thinking of going with it? Bertoia, Eiffel, Tabouret?

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replied on November 15th, 2011

Alecia – Haven’t thought too much about the chairs yet but I know I want something minimal, maybe even ‘see-through.’ With the stealthy table in warm wood tones and the slipcovered sofa, I think it will be important to balance out such solid pieces with more dainty chairs that sort of fall away when looking at the space. Right now, we have a few white IKEA chairs we may use a while until we pick the perfect mix-and-match for our dining table. I know for sure I don’t want slipcovered chairs just because the sofa will be slipcovered. Wire, acrylic or aluminum could work well, so Bertoia and Tabouret would be great picks. I want to make sure they’re comfy too! I’ll keep you posted as we go…

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15.November.2011

Had been searching for a desk to fit in an odd corner of my bedroom and finally happened upon it at a pawn shop for $10!

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15.November.2011

Love the table and really love the look you’re aiming for … can’t wait to see the final finished result .. in fact can’t wait to see the whole house!!

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15.November.2011

What an awesome score!! That table is perfect!

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15.November.2011

When my girlfriend was talking to her boyfriend about what his kids should call her when they eventually got married (he ended up popping the question this summer and are getting married in January!), she suggested they call her “bonus-mom” instead of step-mom because she just thought that had such a negative vibe to it. Since Karen clearly doesn’t fit the stereotypical “step-mom” mold, I thought you would like to use it too. Funny enough when they announced their engagement to the kids, they just started calling her mom.

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replied on November 15th, 2011

Elizabeth – I’ve never referred to Karen as my ‘stepmom’ until this post. I’ve been avoiding it! Not because I don’t like her…quite the opposite…she deserves a much better title!! So far, my boys think it’s funny to call her ‘Carrot’ – which sounds a lot like ‘Karen.’ Must be a term of endearment to 3 and 6-year-old boys ;)

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15.November.2011

If only I could find the living room coffee table that I grew up with. It was huge and round and oak — not a pedestal, but these sort of picnic table-style legs which I never realized could be adjusted up or down until one Christmas it magically grew to do double dining table duty. Think Mid-century rustic California beach style (it was the ’50s-’60s). It would be so perfect in my own living room now. No barns to search through, though! Does your new table magically adjust in height, too?

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replied on November 15th, 2011

Bunny – Sadly, no. Your old coffee table sounds unique and practical!

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15.November.2011

YES! I had been searching for the perfect sewing table. While cleaning out my grandmother’s basement after selling her house I came across an antique cherry dressing table that matched the bedroom set my sister in law was getting. She had no use for the dressing table in a boy’s room but we could not get rid of it because all the furniture was made from cherry harvested from my great grandparents farm. So, I am not storing/using the dressing table and it is perfect for sewing. I love it when things work out like this!

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replied on November 15th, 2011

Amy – Oooh, that sounds very Amy Butler-esque. She has an old antique table in her office/sewing room.

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15.November.2011

lucky girl!! the table is beautiful and the inspiration photo is wonderful! can’t wait to see you pull it all together.

as for the laundry, have you considered another barn door?

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replied on November 15th, 2011

Holly – No, we haven’t thought about a barn door. I don’t think it would work since we opened up the former laundry closet all the way to the ceiling. I’d really like the laundry nook to double as a bar/dessert table when we have get-togethers. I’m picturing a wood countertop, overhead storage of some sort and maybe a mirror…I’ll keep you posted!

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15.November.2011

That’s great! I love when that happens. We have my old childhood dresser sitting in our garage right now, waiting to be refinished. I was trying to find a nice dresser that would work in our son’s room and then I realized that the one I had growing up would be perfect. I called my parents and they got it out of storage for us. It’s so nice to be able to use the money I was going to spend on the dresser for something else.

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15.November.2011

I had almost completely given up on finding the ‘right’ man to marry- a few months later I found the man who is now my husband of 12 years!

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replied on November 15th, 2011

Sherron – Congrats on your perfect catch!

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15.November.2011

Dana, That looks like it’ll be a great table for your room. Maybe this would be a good finish for it: http://isabellaandmaxrooms.blogspot.com/search/label/Liming%20Wax.

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You found yourself a great table! And, I’m happy to hear that you don’t plan on painting it!

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15.November.2011

hey dana….i was just going to send you the same link as peggy did above: (http://isabellaandmaxrooms.blogspot.com/search/label/Liming%20Wax)

i have almost the exact table and was going to try the lime wax technique. i am going for more of a grey/brown look.

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replied on November 16th, 2011

Emily – The lime wax looks like a great product! Thanks for the link. Since there will be tile flooring in the mudroom/dining room, I’d like to have one piece of warm wood in there to keep things from feeling too sterile. I think the table will be my warm piece. I love the look of the gray-brown lime finish though – maybe somewhere else in the Underdog???

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15.November.2011

Where did you find the petite sofa? Was it thrifted or did you buy new?

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replied on November 16th, 2011

Shelly – I found the petite sofa on Target.com a few years back when it was on sale with free shipping. Looks like it’s still available…

http://www.target.com/p/Manhattan-Upholstered-Loveseat-Dark-Khaki/-/A-10771177

It’s definitely not a lounging, TV-watching sofa {it’s a very upright sitting couch} but should be great for dining, crafting, sewing and board game playing at the pedestal table. In the 2+ years we’ve had it, it’s held up very well and hasn’t lost any of its firmness.

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15.November.2011

Can’t wait to see what you do with the table! I recently was given an old metal bed frame that belonged to my MIL when she was a little girl plus a dresser & chiffarobe (not sure of the spelling) that belonged to my great great grandmother to use in our upstairs bedroom. Love old finds like that.

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15.November.2011

I have this one on my design wish list too!! I can’t wait to see it all come together!

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15.November.2011

that image you found with the wire chairs has me swoooooning.
because of dominique browning {and what she wrote about it in her book “around the house and in the garden”}, in my next house i, too, will have a sofa in the kitchen.

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15.November.2011

I love how that happens. Lately, I have been the one dropping treasures in my lap. I will be out and about and I will see something and with no idea how I will use it, I feel inspired to get it. Months later, I see how it all fits together and the little treasure I found was exactly what I wanted. I love the simplicity of the table and can’t wait to see how you finish it.

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16.November.2011

Don’t mean to rain on your parade – but how well will the love seat work as seating at the round table? The shapes just don’t seem to work well together to me – seems like it would be hard for everyone sitting on the love seat to be close enough to the table.

Putting in the leaf and using the love seat with the oval makes more sense – more like your inspiration picture. But will you have enough room to leave the leaf in all the time?

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replied on November 16th, 2011

Cheryl – You’re right! The oval shape will balance the shape of the sofa better. But the majority of the time, the dining table won’t be used for dining.

We’re guessing that most regular meals will be eaten as a family at our kitchen island. More often than dining, the table will be used for crafting, sewing, folding laundry, playing games, homework, etc. When we need extra dining space, we’ll extend the table into an oval with the leaf. I haven’t measured the height of the sofa’s seat versus the table’s height yet but if necessary I’ve already thought I could DIY a single, long seat cushion for the sofa {currently it has no loose seat cushions} to give it some extra height. We’ll see!

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16.November.2011

We have a table set very similar to this one! My husband and I were just married and bought a new place so we had two scenarios – no furniture and no $$! I think we went six months or more eating in our living room at the coffee table. Until the day my husband stopped at our local “Country Store” and there was a man with this dining set in the back of his truck. So long story short and $75 later we were the proud owners. Eight years and three kids later we now have a eight seat table, but this one sits in my attic waiting for me to re-vamp it!

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16.November.2011

I love the term “bonus mom” and/or “bonus” children. It feels more respectful and caring than the traditional “step”.

Love your blog! How is the pregnancy going for you?

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replied on November 16th, 2011

Celeste – The pregnancy is going well. Since this one wasn’t planned to a T like our other 2, I’ve worried a little about the baby’s health. {I wasn’t taking prenatal vitamins, eating right, etc…for months ahead of time like with the other two.} But so far doctor says baby is showing all signs and progress of a healthy li’ one. I hope it continues!

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16.November.2011

Wow, great find! It will no doubt serve you well in the years to come.

I have to tell you I’ve been reading your blog for the last month or so and feel so fortunate to have found it. I absolutely LOVE your design sense and way of writing. You are my top favorite blog, which says a lot since I have about 50 that I really like. Keep the great posts coming!

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16.November.2011

We’ve had stepmothers and stepfathers (along with stepbrothers/sisters) in my family for a couple of generations, and to us they were always just “family”. I don’t know why everyone thinks it’s such a horrible word. “Bonus”child/parent/whatever is good, if you can’t think of anything else.

Great table, by the way. I had a round one, but it didn’t open up which was a big pain. I had many a dinner with a round table shoved up against a square table. It was always fun, though.

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We found a similar round pedestal table for our eat in kitchen, and I finished it with India Ink from the art supply store. http://oneprojectatatime.blogspot.com/2011/06/46-table-talk.html
It gives you an incredibly easy, jet black finish, that still shows the beautiful details of the wood grain. I loved the finish so much, I used it on the wood sectional I built for our screened in porch too!

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replied on November 17th, 2011

Erin – What a great table makeover! Love it!

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16.November.2011

Great find for sure!!! I didn’t realize you weren’t closing off the laundry nook area with doors. I love that you want to use it as a multi purpose area. The wood counter sounds awesome. How about cute material hidding the washer/dryer OR even making doors that open out for the washer/dryer {then it would look like a cabinet or a side board}. Good luck on your decision for that space. You could even hang a curtain from one side to make it feel loungy when you have guests over or you could drop the curtain and draw it closed if it’s laundry day. ;) The underdog is really coming together!

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17.November.2011

For the laundry nook – don’t know if you’d consider putting sliding or swinging bookcase doors on it but this idea struck me as really fun (and a great way to insulate the area to mask the noise of laundry being done from the rest of the room):
http://pinterest.com/pin/183803228511670346/

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replied on November 17th, 2011

Monica – A swinging bookcase door?! Fab.

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17.November.2011

LOVE that table:-) Congrats on your feature on Today’s Creative Blog!!

I’m following along now:-)

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17.November.2011

Your idea to use your settee at the new pedestal table reminded me of this photo….
http://alifesdesign.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-10-17T07%3A31%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=7
You may have to scroll down to see it. I think it looks fabulous! I can’t wait to see your rendition!

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replied on November 18th, 2011

AJ – Yes! I see it too! The styling is a bit more traditional than what I have planned but you get the idea.

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