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Another Self-Indulgence [Sep. 13th, 2011|11:51 am]
[Current Mood |happy]

This past spring, I bought real chairs for our kitchen.   I'd been looking for chairs to replace aging and mismatched folding chairs we'd used throughout our 40+ year marriage, and finally ordered library chairs.  Loved 'em.  That immediately brought up the issue of tables.  The kitchen table was too small to seat six, though we'd crammed six into it from time to time.  So I had a leaf made for it.  It's still uncomfortably narrow (but the kitchen isn't big enough for a wider table--people would have their backs on the refrigerator and stove on one side, and cabinets on the other) but at least we can seat six in the kitchen.  And on chairs that the seat won't sag out of, nor the folding mechanism collapse.  "No more folding chairs!" was my motto.

But the big thing was a table to replace the makeshift table complex in the room at the other house where we have big dinners.  It was my mother's house, and is now our weekend-guest-and-big-dinners house.   For almost thirty years, since she moved there, we've used a combination of old and cheap-made tables to seat guests.   There's the dining table from when I was a child, and the dining table my husband and I had in our first house (my mother was still using the other one) and a table I made out of plywood and purchased metal folding legs...no two the same width or height.    The main T-day table (and we always have over a dozen for T-day)  is the two old dining tables, both drop-leaf tables with additional leaves.    One has four legs, slightly curved. The other is a sort of pedestal-leg combo (hard to explain, but there's a central pedestal at each end with legs that splay out from its bottom.)  I drop the leaves on the ends where they're pushed together,  but use the internal leaves, and it makes a long table...one wider and higher, the other narrower and lower.  Thanks to the dropped leaves and the inconsistent legs, though technically quite long enough for 12, it's uncomfortable for more than 10.   (We've put 12 at it, using the narrow folding chairs, but...not comfortable.)

And that's going to change, because I've ordered a "French Farm Table" that is the same width (and 2 inches wider than the wider of the two old dining tables--the width of the table I made) all the way down.  6 feet long to start with, and four one-foot leaves to take it to a full 10 feet, 120 inches...it will seat 12 in 6 inches less length than the two old ones as now arranged.   No more worrying that the end leaves will give way when someone puts their elbows on one...no more struggle to get the tablecloth to look good over the "joint"...more space between seats and across the table so I can put dishes down the middle.

And I'll need more chairs, because the old chairs of the old tables are wearing out (the older are more than 60 years old; the younger more than 40.) 

The new table won't be here by Thanksgiving, but may be here by Christmas, so I'm looking forward to a new year in which all guests at every feast can have a solid, comfortable table and chairs.  There won't be any pictures until everything's in place.


[User Picture]From: controuble
2011-09-13 06:10 pm (UTC)
You will probably have to either special order a tablecloth for it or use multiples. I have never seen a tablecloth in a store that was more than 120 inches long. That's what I have to use on my dining room table when I put all the leaves into it.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-09-13 06:58 pm (UTC)
I already have a blue tablecloth (used for T-day) that covers both the existing tables...one store in the city used to carry 144" tablecloths. So I'm "covered" for that. Bought it years ago and use it only for that one day a year. And a checked tablecloth (I had bought the end of a big roll of this--it's a herringbone weave check, really nice) that's long enough, though it's not really wide enough.

So I'm "covered" for that.

I have more problems with my kitchen table because it's so much narrower than the modern tables and many tablecloths are too wide and hang to the floor.
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[User Picture]From: controuble
2011-09-13 07:34 pm (UTC)
My kitchen table is pretty small, too. I fold the tablecloth in half and turn it sideway to its normal orientation and end up with only a couple of inches hanging down on each side - and I can turn it over and inside out and over again getting effectively 4 uses out of it per wash (unless something really bad spills).
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[User Picture]From: gifted
2011-09-13 11:01 pm (UTC)
Lovely! I get excited about furniture. 8]
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[User Picture]From: keristor
2011-09-14 04:42 pm (UTC)
Ooh. That sounds wonderful, especially when you get a set of chairs to match. I don't have anywhere to put a large table, I've always wanted (perhaps when I retire) to have a house with a large kitchen or dining room to have an old 'farmhouse' style table and chairs for proper meals with a reasonable number of people (like a dozen).

Have fun!
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[User Picture]From: xrian
2011-09-15 02:57 pm (UTC)
Wish I could offer you the big Victorian dining table we have just sent into storage from my Dad's old house. We're not sure what to do with it, and it's HUGE. It's difficult enough to move that the former owners sold it to us along with the house (also big and Victorian).

We also just discovered that the baby grand piano (also bought with the house) dates to 1893 and is definitely worth repairing, although I think we will let the piano company have it for $0 in return for their taking it out of the house for us. It would take $10K-$11K to restore and might sell for $15K; we don't really have the capital. We are happy that it will go to an appreciative home and not the landfill.
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