Mar 30, 2015

Our New Dining Room Table - A Sneak Peek

Hello friends! 

We've been doing some spring cleaning around our yard while we're on hold waiting for the family room floors to be installed. I know it must seem to you like this has gone on forever! It's a fact of life that contractor schedules are a delicate and mysterious thing, and we've learned to happily go with the flow. We actually took advantage of having extra time while the family room sits demolished for a week to repaint all the trim back there.

I do have a bit of exciting indoor news to share today, though!

As you probably know if you're a follower of my blog, I inherited this 75 year-old maple drop leaf table about thirty years ago. I painted and refinished it, and it's been well loved and used for many family meals at our house over the years. However, as you can see in this photo, at 54" round it's always been a bit of a tight squeeze to walk around the table from the living room to the back rooms of our house, a regular necessity due to our shotgun floor plan.

 Back in January of last year, I asked your opinions about table shapes in this post. I cut a large rectangle of cardboard and put it on top of our table to see how we liked it. We loved that we could fit more chairs around this shape without having to add extra leaves and how we had more room on the sides to walk. So it was decided we'd get a new rectangular farmhouse style table. 

Whoa, not so fast there, Nellie. 

It turns out that almost all tables have aprons around them that would keep the 27"- high arms of our Windsor chairs from fitting beneath the table top, and we really wanted to keep our six comfy very sturdy maple chairs. We thought about building our own farmhouse style table to fit, but those big solid wood tables are so darn heavy! So, we've been shopping for the just-right table for over a year. If we found one without an apron, it wasn't wide enough between the legs to fit two chairs side by side or maybe the table was too short or maybe it was too long or too narrow or too something

You get the picture. Gosh, we're picky!

We were becoming pretty much resigned to keeping our old table, when yesterday we finally found one, and here's a sneak peek! 

This is all I can show you today because just out of camera range our house is still piled high with all the stuff from getting our floors redone. A mess, in other words.

See how two of our black arm chairs fit under the table top side by side between the legs with room to spare? We can now fit six chairs here, and even eight in a pinch. No more lugging heavy leaves and extra chairs to the table when all the kids are here for Sunday dinner. And the ends of the table are just right for our big wicker mom and dad chairs. This table is 72" long and 39" wide, which is just right for six uncrowded place mats and platters of food down the middle, but still narrow enough to walk around. And unlike our unusually sized round table, I can now purchase standard size table cloths and runners. And (maybe best of all) you wouldn't even believe the great price we got on the table on sale and with a coupon. 

Can you tell we LOVE our new rustic industrial farmhouse dining room table!?!

This table isn't heirloom quality furniture like my antique maple table, but it's sturdy, heavy, well made, and the exact size, shape, and eclectic farmhouse look and feel we've been wanting. The finish on the metal legs even matches our new pewter chandelier. We're doing a big ol' happy dance in our dining room today because the long search for a table is over!

For now, our round family heirloom table is pushed into the corner for now, awaiting its fate. It will be either going to my daughter's new house in her own dining room or upstairs in our loft as a game table. Wherever it ends up, it will always be cherished.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us that our floors will finally be finished this week. I'm getting excited to unpack our boxes of stuff and do some spring decorating!

Meanwhile, have a great week!

I'm sharing today at

Between Naps On The Porch 

Mar 23, 2015

A Moment of Spring in the Dining Room

The sun broke through the clouds for just a moment today during a heavy rain storm here. I was sitting in the dining room drinking my tea and listening to the rain when the glimmer of sunlight on the wall next to me inspired me to grab my phone and take a picture. 

These flowers are the only bit of spring I've managed to add to our home during the disorganization of installing new floors. It's wonderful how a bit of sunshine and some pretty flowers can lift one's spirits!

Rain or shine, I hope you have a lovely spring day!

A spring party sounds fun!

Mar 20, 2015

New Hardwood Floors - Reveal

This afternoon, with the installation of the base shoe molding and the last of the touch-up painting, our new hardwood floors were completed in the living room and dining room. Tomorrow, we'll move the furniture back in, but first I thought you might like to see the new floors without anything on them. I visited many websites and blogs searching for examples of different floors when deciding on ours, and I wanted to give as much information here as possible to help others doing so.

These are sanded and sealed on site hardwood floors, meaning the bare tongue and groove boards were nailed down to the sub floor then sanded and sealed on site, as opposed to manufactured hardwood floors which are installed already finished. Our wood is rift and quarter sawn white oak, which gives it the characteristic tiger grain pattern and makes it very strong and stable, minimizing cupping and shrinking. 

Our floors were stained with one coat of Minwax Special Walnut stain and finished with two coats of very durable satin Glitza. We chose a medium neutral brown color that won't show dust and will darken over time. We'll need to have a maintenance coat of Glitza applied every five to eight years, but the rustic grain pattern of our wood should minimize the appearance of scratches.  

The staining and sealing stage is toxic and extremely smelly, so we stayed at my daughter's house for four nights and kept our windows open for another four days after returning before the odor dissipated completely

I've tried to minimize editing of these photos so that what I'm seeing on my computer screen is what I see when I look at my floors. When choosing a stain I found that Special Walnut on white oak tended to have a slightly yellow cast rather than an orange (Early American) or red (Chestnut) one.

 I love how the late afternoon sunlight warms the wood and makes it glow. Going through the whole process of having our floors finished on site really makes us appreciate that this beautiful wood was once a living oak tree. It's a long messy process to live through, but we feel a connection to our floors and absolutely love every single knot and grain pattern. Sounds sappy (pun intended), but we'd do it all over again.

And in fact we are, because this weekend we start the whole process over again on our family room floors.

We bought this baby gate to keep Tucker off the floors until they're fully cured and we can put our area rugs back down, especially at the front door where he does his happy dance when someone knocks at the door. At the bottom of this photo in front of the gate and behind my watermark you can see how well the kitchen tile color and new wood floor color blends. Even though the surfaces are different, the similar colors help make the floor appear fairly seamless.

We couldn't be happier with how our floors turned out. We did a lot of homework before deciding on site finished floors, the wood, color, and finish, and then we waited for the best contractor. We feel like all the careful preparation really paid off with the beautiful floors we always wanted. 

Thanks for taking the journey with us!

Read more about our hardwood floor saga:

New Hardwood Floors - Preparation

New Hardwood Floors - Demolition

New Hardwood Floors - Installation

Mar 19, 2015

DIY Tea Caddy

Happy first day of spring, everyone!

As our new floor project progresses I've been staying tucked out of the way back in my studio working on a few small DIY projects. The first one I have to share is my new tea caddy.

I recently gave up drinking coffee and started drinking a cup of green tea every morning instead. I absolutely love coffee, so it wasn't an easy switch, but tea is much friendlier to my tummy these days. My husband, affectionately known as "the toughest gut in the west," still drinks a few cups of coffee each day. To help keep me from feeling deprived I started treating myself to all kinds of different teas, and they have become a little bit of a hobby for me now.

Instead of rummaging through boxes in the pantry for my teabags, I thought it would be nice to display them on the counter where they'd be easy to choose from. I had this little wood box I found at the thrift store for a few dollars a couple years ago...

Bonne Maman
...and I'd been saving up these cute preserve jars that happened to fit the little shelves perfectly. (These preserves are wonderful, by the way.) When I discovered my tea bags fit the jars perfectly too, I knew I had my tea caddy!

I painted the box white and protected it with a coat of poly and then filled the jars up with my teas. Now, I can easily see the tea bag labels through the jars, and it's fun to look them over and choose a tea to match my mood.

A spoonful of honey in my tea is an occasional special treat, and the jar fits just right on top of the box. And did you notice the jar lids match my farmhouse curtains? 

My husband is so sweet, he rinses out the coffee pot every morning when he's done with his coffee and leaves me a fresh pot of filtered hot water for my tea. 

The cups and mugs are in this cabinet right above the coffee pot. Having a cute tea "center" at my fingertips is definitely making it easier for me to give up coffee. 

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your first day of spring is filled with sunshine!

Let's go to a party!

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