Wanna really dive into the brain of an insane lady today? GREAT! This post is for you. Some rooms come together easier than others. This one has been a big struggle for me and I’m not making any headway so far. My big disclaimer: balancing all the mom needs, with the kids needs, with the stylist’s desire and my husbands last minute opinions is EXTREMELY challenging… paralyzing even. Then add in the fact that I don’t want it to be totally traditional/country or mid-century modern. But mixing those two is hard is proving to be very hard.
More context …
When we moved in we brought over the Saarinen table from the office and the windsor chairs from Target. Like so:
It’s too small for the space and not the vibe that I wanted. What is the vibe I want? Good question. Warm, inviting, comfortable with a modern edge (could be in the table, chairs, lighting). I’ve been extremely attracted to primitive, shaker style furniture – the kind with no bells and whistles but maybe you see a nail or defined wood grain. Well when I was shopping I found a table that I fell IN LOVE with.
It’s 100 years old and has tons of character/love but it is so simple. The sad news is that I bought it for a different orientation of the room, and when it floats this way I fear that it’s too small. Here is a super distorted photo to show you where we are in the house.
You see, all the doors will be open 7 months of the year, with the kitchen windows opening into the room, too. So for a while I thought maybe we should orient it this way:
Then I’d get a bench for the front side and we’d still have room for dance parties in the middle of the dining room, which we do. Way too often. We sat in it this way for a while and kinda liked it (thus the weird lamp swagging over the table).
Ultimately it did feel like a big waste of space in the middle … ugh, except the fact that when you have two toddlers all they want is space to run, play, drag their toys around, or twirl until they get dizzy, fall over and cry as if it’s my fault.
They both kinda work, right? One is more breakfast nooky – think upholstered bench in front and two more substantial king chairs … and the other is more of a normal kitchen table in a dining room.
IF I were a normal person this would be good enough, but i’m a “designer” and this room will be featured in a magazine shoot that we have coming up of the new house so it does need to be perfect in scale, finish, style and of course function/comfort.
Here is my list of needs and wants:
1. Comfortable chairs, preferably with a cushion or upholstered. Not a generic upholstered chair.
2. If it’s upholstery it should be family friendly or slip covered. We have cushions on those chairs now and man they are disgusting from the kids spills and food.
3. Nothing too fussy or over designed. I like tufting but it has to be perfectly done to satisfy me, and I like carved legs a lot, but the finish has to be perfect and waxed or matte instead of shiny or faux aged.
4. Something that feels classic and timeless – six chairs will be an investment so I want something that I will love forever.
5. They have to look good with the windows and the rest of kitchen. I love these black windsor chairs, but with all the lines of the window frames/iron railing, beadboard and bentwood stools, they are just too busy. They would be way better in white (for the busy-ness) and I have considered for the time being selling these, buying the white so I can at least be 28% happier when I walk into this room, but that just seems so wasteful. The search goes on.
So I started pinning chairs I liked, chairs that I thought could work or chairs that I want to sit in. I pinned A LOT. These are all over the place, mostly because until I know the table we are going to get, I have no idea what type of chair I want. Many of these are more shabby-chic (that could look great with an industrial table), or on the mid-century side which could look good with the right table. Some of these are even pretty boring, but the fact that I pinned them means that I felt something about them when I saw them. So here we go.
1. Slipcover Short Skirt Armchair | 2. Coppice Side Chair | 3. Julia Skirted Linen Side Chair | 4. Gaston Chair | 5. Fenton Dining Chair | 6. Jackson Armchair | 7. Comfort Upholstered Dining Chair | 8. Blue Striped Chairs Pair | 9. Keaton Side Chair | 10. Ladder Chair | 11. Octavia Side Chair | 12. Square Guest Chair | 13. Light Gray Slip Armchair | 14. Ward White Side Chairs Pair | 15. Piana Bea Dining Chair | 16. Newell Armchair | 17. Angel Dining Chair | 18. Slip Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair | 19. Low Belgian Track Arm Slipcovered Armchair | 20. Ladder Chair | 21. Pink Cushion Dining Chair | 22. Savoy Dining Side Chair | 23. Navy Elloree Side Chair Pair | 24. Afternoon Tea Chair | 25. Saddle Dining Chair | 26. Mid-Century Olive Chair Set | 27. Cameron Side Chair | 28. Brownstone Marcel Pewter Chair | 29. Grace Chair | 30. French Victorian Tufted Arm Chair | 31. Lancaster Chair | 32. Folio Chair | 33. Dane Dining Chair | 34. Marvin Dining Arm Chair | 35. Framework Dining Chair | 36. Palecek Emery Arm Chair | 37. Isabelle Side Chair | 38. Grammercy Upholstered Tufted Chair | 39. Ray Dining Chair | 40. Alaina Slipcovered Dining Side Chair | 41. Lloyd Dining Chair | 42. Newell Armchair | 43. Vienna White Wood Dining Chair | 44. School House Chair | 45. Bowie Arm Chair | 46. Classic Cafe Dining Chair | 47. Emma Dining Chair | 48. Richmond Dining Chair | 49. Steel X Back Side Chair | 50. Dering Upholstered Dining Chair | 51. Bradley Dining Chair | 52. Whirl Swivel Grey Upholstered Dining Chair | 53. Lino Dining Chair | 54. Danish Arm Chair | 55. Sloan Dining Chair | 56. Finley Chair | 57. Brown Bistro Chair
My favorites up there are #12 (but that doesn’t look comfortable and they are a fortune), #14 (a great option and an absolute contender), #16 (great – classic, yet upholstered, and less slats than the vertical one so I’m less concerned about them being busy) and #24, although I’d love for all four feet to be turned – they are also expensive but I love the simple rounded shape, the pretty front legs, and they look super comfortable. I could get them upholstered in a color to make them more kid-friendly.
I don’t need both the table and the chairs to be standouts, but either the chair OR the table needs to be awesome. Ok, fine, preferably both. My ideal table is mine, but 6-10″ longer, and 6-10″ wider.
My requirements for the table are as follows:
- Beat-up-able. Nothing too precious for me or those spaghetti smashing monsters. This is why i’m leaning towards rustic or farm style, but every now and again I see a classic Paul McCobb and say, “yes, that’s my table”.
- Not huge or wide – We really shouldn’t go wider than 40″ to be able to easily access the doors, or longer than 84″ to keep flow at both ends.
- Wood, white, or black, and no marble since there is marble on the countertops.
So I pinned and pinned and pinned and I’m so sick of looking for this table. Oh and I’d really like for it to not be $4k but all of my favorites are around that price. We are going to the Round Top flea market at the end of March so I feel pretty confidant I will find it there (fingers crossed).
Until we find the perfect one, here are all the dining tables i’m toying with:
1. Baluster Round Table | 2. Vintage Wooden Table | 3. Walnut Oval Dining Table | 4. Reclaimed Lumber Table | 5. Oak Turned Table | 6. Dovetail Table | 7. Ball and Claw Table | 8. Shaker Style Table | 9. Rustic Pine Table | 10. Campbell Table | 11. Bendelle Table | 12. Beck Table | 13. Gazzda Table | 14. Ansel Black Table | 15. Phillippe Starck Table | 16. Sarreid Wood Table | 17. Zinc Top Table | 18. Paul McCobb Mid Century Table | 19. Zinnia Table | 20. Steel Top Table | 21. Vintage Heywood Table | 22. Gideon Table | 23. Madison Table | 24. Teak Oval Table | 25. Belgian Stripped Table | 26. Paul McCobb Table | 27. Oval Zinc Table | 28. Farm House Table | 29. Solid Walnut X-Base Table | 30. French Oblong Table | 31. Viyet Italian Table | 32. Teak Dining Table | 33. Harvester Table | 34. | 35. British Campaign Table | 36. French Urn Pedestal Table
So many options, and yet none feel quite right. My dream table (I think) is #3 because it’s a 1930’s burlwood oval pedestal table and would really ground the room without being too big. It’s a cool $14k. I love a lot of the more industrial tables (which pair really well with upholstered chairs) but then I think – I want it to be warm and happy and not cool and cold. Also the other side of the kitchen is light and bright so it can’t feel too heavy ….
I wish I had more news for you, but I can’t buy the chairs without the table. In a perfect world the table should be rustic/farm-style we kinda need to find it first to pull any chair triggers to make sure that wood tones work together. Meanwhile if you are in LA and interested in my current table I’ll be selling it for what I purchased it for, $1200 (which I know is a lot, but getting the modern country look with real antiques in a big city is always more expensive – you should be able to get this look WAY cheaper most other places, and the table is stunning).
Help. Any thoughts?
**UPDATE: Since finishing this post on Friday I shopped a ton online and found THE table on Etsy over the weekend. YAY! I’m trying to pull together an ask the audience for this week since I can narrow down the chair options now. Also I pinned a ton more chairs and tables over the weekend so you want to see even more of a selection of what I’m going for head on over to my pin board.