Monday, September 9, 2013

perfectly imperfect

I've been meaning to post a before and after of our dining room table for a long time. There are a few reasons I didn't right away, which I'll explain. But first, here's the before, in all it's heat-marked, scratched-up glory:

My Grandad gave us a gift certificate to Crate & Barrel when we got married and we bought this table and chairs. I loved it at the time. Over ten years later, it had seen better days. I still vividly remember the first time it got a white heat mark from a bunch of pizza boxes when we moved into our second home. I was pretty devastated. (Yeah, that was obviously before we had kids. I've since learned to not feel so much connection to inanimate objects. Nothing is sacred now when left to their destructive devices.) And judging by all of those iron shaped marks, obviously I gave up completely and just started ironing my table cloth RIGHT ON THE TABLE. 
My genius hubby got his hands on some barn wood and, true to form, whipped up my dream table in just a few weekends. He's handy like that. 

So, this table has been done for many months. Here are the reasons I haven't posted until today: 
  1. The bottom needs another coat of white paint, preferably some chalk paint. But frankly, that's not happening any time soon. Sometimes good enough is good enough. 
  2. When Target came out with these chairs, I thought we were going to get a couple of them right away so I wanted to wait til we had those. But we didn't. We'll get all new seating eventually but I'm not sure when that will be. My plan is the two metal chairs at either end, three different antique wooden farmhouse chairs, all painted white, on one side, and a barn wood bench on the other. What do you think? I'll probably just need to see it all together to decide if I'd rather have all chairs or two benches. (Also, honey, those chairs are on sale now! *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*)
  3. In order to photograph and post about the table, that would require the room be clean and my side table looking mostly decorated! Let's just say this was my biggest hold-up :) Here's a good before for you of the space. 
Oh, and just to keep things real around here, this is what the table looked like before I cleaned it off to take pictures. This is our normal. I get discouraged sometimes when I see people (who have at least three kids) with beautifully decorated and spotless homes in the background of their pictures and wonder how the heck they keep it that way. Its beyond me. I spend all my energy during the day keeping them fed and not yelling at them: 
So without further ado:
 The first few days it was in, I found myself lovingly petting it as I walked by. I couldn't believe this beauty was in my house.
 I had to fight a praying mantis for these flowers today. (And by fight, I mean stay far far away from.)
I feel like the decorations here are just a tad too formal looking for my taste, and not enough personality, but I like it for now. Would you paint the birdcage white too?? I've debated that since I bought it a couple of years ago. This side table is my favorite piece of furniture we own. We got it at 50% off when an Asian antique store in Des Moines went out of business. It was one of those things that I absolutely could not believe we could actually afford and bring home. I will love it forever.

 I love every little imperfect piece:
 Here you can see how Jon just mounted the barn wood top right onto our old, newly painted, table:
I think there's way too much wood going on on this side of the room. I'm just working with what I have for decorations. Someday I'll move the antique shutters somewhere else and do a gallery wall of 9 botanical prints, evenly spaced in three rows.  
 And the full room shot with the casing Jon added around the doorway last year, which you can see better here.:
Jon even cut the leaf in the middle of the old table down so it was the perfect length. We can comfortably seat eight. Jon's been whipping these up from scratch and selling them now! We have a table for sale currently in our garage that Jon's anxious to get rid of, so if you're local and know of anyone who'd be interested, let me know! 
There's a long way to go to feel like this home is really "me" but I'm content to take it slow and revel in each new piece I'm able to add. I've kept this quote a friend told me a long time ago in the forefront of my mind: "Happiness lies not in getting what you want but in wanting what you already have." I'm beyond blessed and I would be a fool to see it any other way. 


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! Girl, if we were close enough I'd definitely be a customer!! We are in the market for a new table when we ever get home!! :) Jon did a great job, and you do an awesome job decorating!! I love how nice your house looks, but it also feels like you can live in it and not be scared to sit down!! Keep posting decorating tips!! I can't wait to get to our new house this offseason and decorate!!

  2. As usual, you made me laugh. And in your defense, I think the iron marks are from when you attempted to remove the white marks with a warm iron. Ummm, maybe too warm?

  3. Gorgeous! Oh, and a secret... If you ever see a picture of my kiddos, and the area around them appears neat and tidy, that's because I shoved all the crap from view of the camera or cropped it out! ;). Your dining room looks fabulous and Jon did a great job on the table!

  4. I love it! The whole room is beautiful, and that table is amazing! I like your idea of mixing different types of chairs & a bench. That's my goal as well, to eventually have different style chairs, all painted the same color.

  5. I love the idea of metal chairs and a bench. One of my friends did metal chairs on one side and ends and bench on the other :) what if you painted the bird cage a really bring pop of color and the little plant pot striped in an opposite but coordinating hue - like yellow for the bird cage and navy for the planter or your favorite colors :) Looks great!!!

  6. i love your table! and word to your mom, my house is always {ALWAYS} a mess. xo *stac

  7. Love the table...Crazy that we just bought your exact crate & barrel table and chairs on craigslist a couple of weeks ago. I kept telling Nicholas that it would be easy to refinish or change up this set so it wouldn't matter if it got some marks. So far we have already put a white heat mark on the leaf...i can't believe that the people that had it before us never put a mark on it. Now seeing your new table it gives me great inspiration for what to do to the table in the future! Your house looks great! And I love that antique table and agree that you should paint the birdcage a color!

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE this table! I had to "pin it" to my pinterest to do to our dining room table down the road ;)!

  9. That table is AMAZING! Way to go, Jon! Your whole dining room is lovely.

  10. The very last sentence is my favorite! I love this slowly coming together (but already beautiful) home you have made.

  11. I absolutely love your table and I would totally buy one from you :) Do you still have one sitting in the garage or has it found a home already.
    Let me know.

  12. Love your new table! Does Jon regularly make tables?! I have been looking for one for awhile!

  13. I have no idea if you'll see this but hopefully you will. (I know a couple of Angela's and not sure which one this is.) We do still have one for sale, I believe! I can double check. Or he may be willing to build another one. Email me if you're interested!


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