Friday, January 17, 2014

Kids Plus Antique Furniture Equals No Bueno

I've mentioned before that I am not fond of cooking, however I am a fan of family meals and gathering around the table (even if it is a pizza night). Last year I mentioned how we tried eating in our dining room when we first moved in our house two years ago but then quickly realized that our kids were just too little (aka too many spills) to not completely destroy the antique table that we inherited from the previous owner. 

Over the next year we gathered in the kitchen for meals. 

Then this past summer my parents moved in with us which brought our daily dining numbers from seven to nine. The kids were also getting bigger so we thought that it would be a great time to try eating in the dining room. Thus began my investment in buying plastic tablecloths. 

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with them...actually I just simply dislike them all together. They slide around when you are trying to clean them, rip easily and looked wrinkled all of the time.

I give you "Exhibit A"

a dining room table with plastic tablecloth

and "Exhibit B"

rips in the tablecloth

The funny part is that we are protecting a table that looks like this...

large dining room table

The most noticeable difference is the table color versus the color of the leaves. Without the leaves the table is too small for our crew. And at the far side which you can't really see from here there are white stains from the first time that we ate at the table without a cover. It only took one meal for two spills...that sounds about right.  

We've thought about re-finishing the table top but then a bigger issue happened. I'll present the pictures and see if you can figure it out.

a broken table

Do you see it?

Here is a closeup shot.

problem with the table

Let's just say that you can put a marble at the center of the table and I can predict which way it is going to go...every single time!

For some reason that corner of the table is a prime spot for the kids to lean on. One of those times the table cracked and it has proceeded to get worse with time. Two nights ago our dinner guests were down at that end and it looked like the rice & beans were going to end up in their lap!

We have another problem too.

The chairs are breaking left and right. 

"Exhibit C"

broken chair

An adult all the way down to small children have leaned back ever so slightly and the backs just crack. Yikes! Not to mention that the chairs were super wobbly already and every time I sit down I wonder if THIS is the time that I am going to fall on the floor (I'm completely serious!)

"Exhibit D"

broken dining room chair

Not the best scenario for our family's daily meals nor having a suitable place for our guests either. So I guess the first step is admitting the problem. I've also decided that I'm not going to spend one more penny on plastic tablecloths!

Then it happened. Last night we had a gathering at our house and a group of people were sitting around the table. All it took was a little lean and the leg broke which caused a greater tip than before. Yikes again!

No one was injured and it was then and there that we decided that...

It is time for a new table. Oh and currently our dining room looks like this.

Kids Plus Antique Furniture Equals No Bueno

Interestingly enough, I had been scouring the web recently looking at all of the DIY tables that are out there. The inspiration is great and the price is even better!

Here are a few of my favorites so far...

Pecan Farmhouse Dining Table

Domestic Imperfection's Pecan Farmhouse Dining Table

DIY Dining Room Table

Elsie's DIY Dining Room Table at A Beautiful Mess

DIY Restoration Hardware Dining Table

Modern Farm Table

Modern Farm Table plans by Ana White

Here are some things that we're looking for in a new table:
  1. Not a Fragile Antique, But Something Sturdy
  2. Long Enough To Sit at Least 10 People
  3. Durable and Easy to Clean Surface...No Tablecloth Required
Is there a piece of furniture in your house that is on its last leg? (Get it!?!) ;-)

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  1. Check out East Coast Creative's Ikea Hack. They take 2 ikea tables and tranform them into a large farmhouse table. This might work for you.

    1. Thanks Tracy! I had seen their original farmhouse table where they had used two of the same tables but hadn't seen this updated version with the IKEA ones. Hmmm...


  2. I had this same exact problem , both table legs and chairs. I have found those type backing chairs break easily including woven mesh ones I loved so much. You know the kind with the little holes, yep, kids , and sometimes the adults, make those holes bigger and bigger get the idea. The legs you have on that table I have always had break on me, they seem to be more decorative than useful. I had an old base (strong and sturdy) for a table that wasn't vintage or pretty so I pretty much ignored for some time. Until I saw one used as a farm table. I just picked up unfinished boards from home depot at less than $40 and attached them. EASY & Cheap!! The boards are 10 feet long so you can customize the length you want !

    1. I know exactly what you mean! An accident just waiting to happen...

      So excited that you found a solution and at such a great price. Definitely food for thought!


  3. The first and second are my most favorite! I fell in Love with the first, but the second I am a sucker for polka dots, and the yellow matches that book end. Chantal votes for the second or the first.

  4. Chairs are cheap at Ikea too. The ones we have we bought there, 10 for less then it would have cost for 4 @ reg furniture stores. They have held up well with our crew for the last 8 years.


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