Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dining Table Project

I have been yearning for a new dining room table and chairs for quite some time now. I had even found a table I loved on Etsy... but I am proud to say that rather than spend $3,000 on a new dinette set ($1,200 for the table plus eight chairs ~$200 each, and shipping, ouch!), Matt and I figured out a way to save a lot of money and still end up with something we love, with the added benefit of knowing we made it with our own four hands!

The idea began to form with a chance stop into a local shop called The Garden Gate in Arcata, CA. There was a table there with a similar design to what we ended up making (though I must say ours is way nicer!) - but anyways, it opened my mind to the possibility of a metal frame rather than an all-wood table. This was a critical distinction because Matt is an absolute whiz with metal fabrication (woodworking, not so much).

The next question was where the wood would come from. Ideally we hoped to find reclaimed material but we weren't sure where. We were incredibly fortunate that a family friend offered us as much wood as we wanted for free - he had somehow come into possession of a bunch of salvaged oak floor boards from a past renovation of San Francisco city hall and was happy to think about them going to good use after sitting in his barn for quite some time.

I happened to find a set of four chairs that I liked at a local used furniture store that was closing, so I got a great deal.

Matt set out to build the frame and I started sanding and staining chairs like a mad woman, and within two weeks of deciding what we wanted, here we are with a beautiful new table and chairs!

The table is large enough to seat eight. For normal day-to-day use I'll probably keep six chairs out - I'm thinking about adding two upholstered dining chairs (something simple like these or these perhaps?) - one on each end - and making covers for those two chairs out of laminated cotton so spills can easily be wiped off. One of those new chairs will be designated for Carlos - I don't want him messing up my pretty new wood chairs! :-) I'm having trouble deciding on the pattern for those two chairs though - I want something colorful but not garish - here are some that I like - which do you like?

(click to enlarge)


  1. Beautiful job! I like the turquoise circle print - it would add a fun pop of color and look beautiful against the wood.

  2. Wow, so impressive! I love seeing all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into your projects. I agree with Jen that the turquoise circle print is super cool if they are spill proof. If staining could be an issue obviously a busier pattern would help hide the spots.

  3. Yes, the laminated cotton is spill proof! :-) I might wait to choose the chair fabric until I get my new rug... but I love hearing your opinions!