Just this very morning my lovely sister-in-law, Molly, came to me with a Temporary Nest dilemma. She and my brother are moving into Manhattan from New Jersey. While they currently have a small 4 seater from IKEA, their new kitchen is apparently the size of a grand ballroom and want to expand their dining set. Molly loves to cook and bake up a storm and more importantly do those things for her house guests (I do get to benefit from this on occasion when I visit... YES!). So she wanted to know... where could she find an old farmhouse, rustic looking dining table for cheap that will seat potentially up to 12 people.
When she first asked, I was thinking of 4 major key words 1: New 2: Farm House 3: HUGE! 4: Cheap. So I started pulling out pictures and links to items like this:
This is JC Penny's New England Table which is on sale for a mere $399 right now! Check for New, Farm House and Cheap!
Or this Raleigh Table also from JC Penny and on sale for $439.
While she thought these would be nice for someone else, she said she wanted something more heavy duty and to steal her phraseology, "weathered". What it came out to was that these were all too new!
So I changed my key words:
New Old 'n' Weathered 2: Farm House 3: HUGE! 4: Cheap
...and since we can't buy the one above from the Apostles (its a wee bit out of our price range) it brought me to the idea of an antique door re-purposed as a table top. Something along the lines of this....
Keep in mind, finding a door may be only a part of the solution. Most doors you'll find would be too narrow and not quite long enough for a 12 seater table. But you can always attach 2 doors together to make a larger more square table. Grab a few L brackets from your local hardware store and screw the under side of the 2 doors together to the brackets and no one will ever have to see them! For added security and a great decorative feature on the table top, add a couple of these iron Barn Strap hinges across the break in the tables. They'll look cool and make it sturdier.
I also thought that it would be great to get a longer thinner door like this:
Also a Craiglist find, this could be made really interesting if you got 4 planks of wood and (perhaps with the help of a woodworker) adhered extensions to all 4 sides. This would allow for extra interest in the piece with a change in wood grain or even stain color and texture, allowing the paneled door center of the table be its own piece of art.
As for bases Molly suggested something cheap and easy from IKEA.
But the visual weight of these legs vs the visual weight of the table top would look precarious at best. So I took her idea of the industrial look and ran with it. Looking up old cast iron table bases and legs and found these gorgeous zinc and pewter top tables with iron bases for sale.
Courtesy: Christopher Lee Plummer
Courtesy: North Star Antiques
Aren't they both brilliant? Of course they are both insanely expensive and therefore does not fulfill key word #4: Cheap. Bummah.
That's when I had my epiphany. Where can you find funky, interesting but fairly uniform iron bases everywhere and on the cheap?
They all are approximately the same height and people are constantly selling these on Craigslist for next to nothing! Just detach it from the base of the sewing table and screw it onto the new door or table top of your dreams! Depending on how long the table is, you may want one at each end. If its a little too low for your liking add a brick of wood between the table top and the base, no one will notice it since its under the table!
I can't wait to see what the end up with!
They have been sweet enough to invited me to their new home (once they move in of course) to help them decorate and photograph the transformation for your viewing pleasure. So, hopefully we can all see the craftsmanship that comes out of their new inspirational space!
Stay tuned for more ideas from Temporary Nest!