Saturday, October 15, 2011

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread...

And a lovely table on which to eat.

My brother Levi made me the most amazing kitchen table, he is so talented. I literally told him I wanted a huge table, but one that didn't have to be so huge now while it is living in my little apartment with me. He came up with the most brilliant design, just for me.

He used pine (I think) and it is basically built like your average farm table, only with a few Levi-esque bonuses to make his sister (me) so very happy. Before I took my new table home we distressed it with a chain, a machete, a saw, a ceramic tile and a blowtorch. Just your average distressing tools. I think Levi enjoyed the blowtorch the most.

There was some concern that the table would not fit into my new Cruze, but looky here:

That's impressive Chevrolet. Helpful that the table breaks down into a few pieces!

I have a number of pieces in my furniture collection that are stained a rich mahogany and I wanted my table to be the same. Here it is just after I stained it:

It was still wet so it has a glow in the picture that has faded (thank goodness!) And here it is with one of the end extensions (there are two):

Yes, you read that right, extensions! I didn't want a "leaf" because I didn't think it would look right with the farm-style table. It was Levi who thought of the extensions and the method in how they attach. Again, he's a smarty. With both extensions on the table it seats 10 and without, six. It's fabulous.

Levi told me he would make me a bench for one side of the table, but for the other seats I wanted to do something a little different. I love really old, previously loved items. I love that someone else had experiences while using what you are using now. So I am using an array of previously loved chairs to seat my dinner guests. My plan is that each chair will at least compliment the others, but none will match. So far I couldn't be happier with the results.

This is my dearest friend Jennifer & I at Euro Treasures in Salt Lake City:

I love having a story to go along with an everyday item (like a dining room chair) and it means even more to me that my first two chairs were discovered with Jennifer.

Back to your previously scheduled story...this is Jennifer in the top floor of Euro Treasures, in what we call the chair grave yard:

This place was spectacular, I couldn't even catch my breath for all the amazing chairs, literally row after row after row. So many impressive chairs with very impressive price tags. Jennifer and I managed to find three perfect treasures.

These are the two treasures I purchased:

I love them both, but that balloon back chair is exquisite. Jennifer's parents were in town visiting (they live in Chile serving a mission for our church) and they pitched in (again, love that we all did it together) to clean off the old/broken thatched seat bottom.

And how did I get them home to Georgia? The US Postal Service of course!

I haven't seen these two chairs since they left Utah because I had them shipped to Levi for a look-see and repair. I'll be getting them soon and will hopefully have a full before & after in no time.

The next two chairs were picked up on a trip to Charlotte for a work event. The most exciting part about this first chair is that it cost me $5. Yes, $5!

I'm not a big fan of the harp and I'm sure people will flip out when I say this, but I am going to have Levi cut it out. I am not using it in a music room and it just looks funny at the kitchen table. For the most part this chair was lovely when I bought it. The fabric on the seat is awful and the chair had a layer of grime or stain, I'm not sure which. With a little help from a can of acetone, a rag and a pair of heavy duty rubber gloves, I have wiped it down pretty good and it actually looks like wood now. I thought it would maybe need some sanding and staining, but I think a little warm soapy water will be sufficient.

Now, the next chair is definitely the favorite of the two, especially after I stripped it down of all the black paint it had been accosted with:

I'm pretty sure the chair (under all the black paint) has some sort of wood veneer. I wouldn't have thought that except there is a tiny spot on one of the front corners that is broken and looks as if a child got bored in algebra class. I rather like that little flaw so I think I will keep it. Besides, after stripping all the black paint off (what a nasty process that is - and probably not one my apartment complex would approve of my doing in my living room) it is such a gorgeous chair.

So, there you have it. Now I am left with the challenge of choosing a fabric to cover the new seats Levi has/will cut for me. I have an idea in the works, we'll see if I can make it happen.

I am happy to report that my old kitchen table (the lovely shabby chic green & white beauty) has gone to a young lady who just moved into her first apartment. When it wouldn't sell on Craig's List I opted to put it on FreeCycle and after meeting the young lady today when she picked it up, I'm so glad I did.

Here is what my new table (sans extensions) looks like in my apartment with her new dinner guest tush holders:

Please notice the beautiful table legs. My parents contributed to the cause by sending money for two of those puppies!
Thanks again Mom & Dad

It looks amazing even in this small space and I can't wait to get the other chairs here. Oh, and in case you are curious about that little green metal beauty sitting on the right - first of all, I love it, so don't be a hater. And Charley loves it too and fits perfectly at the table when she comes to visit. Again, I love it when my household items have stories...this little green monster was found in an antique store in my home town last summer when we were in town for our family reunion. It reminds me so much of the stool that sat in the back room of my grandparent's house - I would sit on that stool with Grandpa watching black & white television eating pecans. There was never a question that it was coming home with me. If you know me you also know that the hometown I speak of is many miles away from my current home. In Katherine fashion I wrapped this little guy up (along with a few other finds at the same shop) and sent him packing through the United States Postal Service. He arrived home no worse for the wear and any scratches along the way only made him that much more appealing to me.

Now, stay tuned for the FINAL before and after photos when I finally make a decision on the fabric and everything comes together for my first dinner party. Who will be resting their tush in these seats first? Of the six (or 10) at the table, one will always be reserved for Levi. Thank you for everything little brother.

p.s. I just realized that my amazing
brother Levi wrote about the entire
"build my sister a table" process
on his blog HERE. Check it out!


MonikaC said...

I love your table!

Jen Thomas said...

Love the table.. and can't wait to see the finished chairs!