Tuesday, April 23, 2013

straight up dining room

in general i like to consider myself a fairly even-tempered person. there arent’t many things that really get my blood boiling. actually, besides the one i’m about to mention i can think of only one other thing guaranteed to send me into a full on tizzy: that being The Lost TV Remote—which takes me from sleepy and about to climb into bed hey where’s the rem…ARGHGHTHEHTLEIGHE HULK SMASH ALL THE THINGS PHDRLDKFKEQUEKJG!!!! in like .0003 seconds flat.

googiedaddy will attest to the truth of that. moving on, however…#2 on my list of rage inducers.

all due regard to ms. abdul, but the two steps forward, two steps back type of home decorating/renovation gets me all sorts of worked up. (dude…please take a moment to click that link and bask in the epic 80’s-ness of that music video)

bear with me for a moment as i explain: it’s no revelation that home decor and home reno can be all-consuming and a huge time suck. we’ve been working on this house—on a strict budget--since we bought it as a “fixer-upper” ten years ago. sometimes there are things you want to do that require months—or even years—of patience before they are purchased or finished. truth: i’ve made my peace with that. i haven’t had threshholds in my doorways ummm…ever. just breaks from one flooring type to another, wide enough to capture crumbs and detritus galore. i calmly vacuum them out on occasion, secure in the knowledge that eventually (hopefully?) it will be finished. and i’m not even talking about paint colors. we’re notorious amongst friends and family for repainting rooms before they even have trim.

it’s when you finally, FINALLY pull the trigger, invest the money, time, blood, sweat and tears and get it done…and then (no ‘and then!’) it goes wrong. it gets ruined: chipped, scratched, dented, damaged or otherwise broken and ruined.

two steps forward, two steps back.

no matter how small or big—instant rage inducer. which is why when i finally took the leap to buy 3 RIBBA frames from IKEA for our dining room, and brought them home, and then decided four would be better, and so didn’t properly hang them but instead just left them leaning against the wall and then one fell and the glass smashed and the frame broke…

let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

and i know that in the grand scheme $45 on three frames isn’t like i bought the mona lisa to hang there…but home decorating when you’re raising a family of seven? yeah, even $45 is a lot.
i finally took the leap—committed to the frames, bought them, and then…

thus concludes my dining room post.


ok, ha, i lied. in reality this is part one of a big “DINING ROOM REVEAL” post. and all the above was my long-winded and overly dramatic segue way/explanation of just why it took so long for me to do this stinkin’ blog post.

it took me making my peace with the broken glass, hot gluing the frame back together, and just hanging those bad boys on the wall. that moved the frames from the “one step back” column into the “eventually” column: eventually i’ll get to IKEA and buy a new one.

in the meantime, stick a fork in it, because she’s done (ish).

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come on in. don’t mind the still-needs-scraping left door. it’s my when-i’m-bored project. (ha)

remember what it used to look like? (blogged here)


quite a change, huh? lighter, brighter, cleaner.

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i want to cover so much, but that would be SUPER PICTURE OVERLOAD-ODE-ODE. so today’s post is going to deal with the obvious show-stopper. my table. that way you only get BASIC PICTURE OVERLOAD-ODE-ODE.

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yes, it is MY table. this table was built for me, secretly, over the course of a week by my husband and children as a belated anniversary present.

photo (2)photo (1)photo (3)photo (4)photo (5)

some after the fact phone shots of the construction he shared with me. they really did all have a part in it. <3

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the wood has a long history. it is solid cherry, from a tree cut down by a landscaper…errr…20+ years ago? he eventually passed the business—and rough cut cherry planks--on to his son, who in turn gave them to jeremy when he moved south about five years ago. they’ve been stored in our shed since, waiting for their destiny.


i’d say their destiny has been fulfilled, dovetail joints and all.

this thing weighs…umm, quite a bit. no veneer—just solid heavy wood. i love the grain of cherry, not so much the traditional reddish finish. so he put a lot of green in the stain to combat the red, and it came out this lovely dark brown.

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the design was cobbled together from perusing hundreds and hundreds of “rustic farmhouse table” photos. there is a fine balance between too rustic and too fancy that i wanted to straddle. the final result was heavily influenced by this table from ana white.

it’s big enough to seat ten—two chairs fit on each end. considering that a normal dinner around here fills seven of those spots, i’d say that was a necessity.

bonus: it’s a far cry from the table we had for the first 14 years of our marriage. you served us well, ye ole MDF top.


this is a table for life. it’s a table built to see generations of googies, and grandgoogies, and great-grandgoogies. it’s a table for giant pots of spaghetti and huge turkey dinners and squishing another chair or two or three around to laugh and converse.

you can’t hurt this table. (witness the above shot of elliot distressing the top) and that’s just what we wanted—something that will only get better with age.

of all the things jeremy has built in this house, we both agreed that the dining room table is one of the most symbolic and meaningful. this is no “for looks only” dining room—we eat here every single night as a family. it’s seen hard use in the past few months, and will continue to. sitting as a family around this table—this table that my husband and children built—is something i look forward to doing for a long, long time.


this was the first Family Dinner on the new table, a mere week after it came home.



and that would be eleven pounds of potatoes, mashed, that my father-in-law is contemplating. ELEVEN. #doinitright

now if you’ll excuse me, i have a dance appointment with a cartoon cat (cause opp-O-SITES attract) come back tomorrow for more dining room deets.

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