By now you all should be aware that dining room has had me super stuck from a design standpoint. I wrote a post about it here, and in that post I mentioned how last step when tackling a room that you're having trouble with is to assess what's working and what's not. So, I did. I took a step back and imagined: If I was starting from complete scratch, what would I keep, and what would stay? What items could I bare to part with, or want to change up?
Since I'm not one to get too attached to furniture (generally speaking), I could let nearly everything in this room go. But for the sake of budget, and because I genuinely love them, there is one item that I wanted to stay in here, and that's our dining chairs. As for other items, some of you had suggested switching out the rug, so I'm going to try that out for sure. I've also been reimagining the walls in every sense: paint color, art, you name it. But you know what the elephant in the room is: the dining table. Well guess what? I've finally finally finally been given the green light from my hubs to replace it!
Now all you strong feminists or take-over-the-house designers might be like "Why do you need your husband's permission girl, just do it!". But as many of you know, it's not that easy. Even if it's begrudgingly and due to my continual harassment, I really need my other half to be on board with larger decisions in the house. And I think he finally realized that I would never stop fussing with space unless I got a table I really wanted. SO. It's time to reimagine this space completely, and I need your help!!!
Let's jump right into to this thing! Many of you suggested that our dining room has too many hard angles and that we should try an oval table. Lemme tell ya: this is easier said than done. In an ideal world, I'd be purchasing my dream table from Nickey Kehoe, but at $7k, that ain't happening. I'd love oval in here but I'm struggling guys.
The closest I've found is this table from Anthropologie which is no longer available, except for in the UK. I'd had it bookmarked forever, but it felt overpriced for oak veneer (vs solid oak) and by the time it went on sale, I didn't pull the trigger fast enough and it was gone. I suppose it's for the best, but I'm still kinda crying about it. However, there is one contender that I'm eager to get your opinion on. More on that in a sec.
My first inclination when starting to look at tables was immediately to go with oak. You guys have seen the house - you know how much I love this tone. This is a safe bet for me, and since this table needs to be our forever table, I'd feel pretty confident about this option. A lighter wood will compliment our current chairs while also contrasting them just a bit.
My only concerns are: Do we already have too much oak? Is it boring with the chairs? And, to be honest, I'm struggling to find one in the right size (all too big or too small), with that natural finish that I really like. I'm 100% being impatient now that I have the green light on this, and I want a new table like, yesterday! So waiting for the perfect one to come along might be hard for me to do. Also, pro tip: Now is the time of year that all the dining sales are happening, so it's a good time to buy!
Ok, so if not oak, then... what?
Bet ya didn't see black coming. There's not much of it in our house, but if there's one room that can handle it (and might even need it?), it's the dining room. I would absolutely only do it on a stained wood. I love the way it looks with the warm tone of the chairs, and it would lend some focus to the space! Some of what's missing in there is anchoring and focal points, and a black table could really help with that.
And, finally we have the opposite option: white... or a really light gray.
This table was custom stained by Studio Mcgee for one of their client projects. I absolutely love the softness of it and that it feels different from most of the options out there. I actually found this image while searching for a decent example of a white table that didn't feel overly beachy or farmhouse. I couldn't find one... which might be a sign to stay away from white! Except... one of my options definitely includes a white table that I actually really dig.
So now that I have spent hours and hours and hours scouring for options here, I found some really gorgeous tables. Some of these are ones that are in the running for me, while others are just some damn good deals or beautiful pieces. And since you might be in the same shopping boat as me, I figured I'd share them all! Oh, and, psssst, they are all under $2,000 because that was my budget for this piece! I'll link to all of them below (as usual) but it's a long list so keep scrollin...
1. west elm | 2. anthropologie | 3. muuto | 4. wisteria | 5. pottery barn | 6. salt creek mercantile on etsy | 7. joss & main | 8. serena & lily | 9. rejuvenation | 10. four hands | 11. ikea | 12. anthropologie UK | 13. hay
Ok, so I have to call out the very first table on this list because, if you are a designer or even a design enthusiast you may remember the classic Crate & Barrel Big Sur dining table that pretty much everyone loved. Well, they recently(ish) discontinued it and this table is a dead ringer. I have no idea if the quality is the same, but I'm happy to see someone (a competitor, no less!) bringing it back! My only complaint is that it only comes in two sizes - small and large - with nothing in between to accommodate. Ugh.
Second call out is the very last table on this list. This is my unicorn oval table. And right above it we have my ideal chunky farmhouse oval table to compare it to. You can see why I like the farmhouse one, but I actually really like the Hay version a lot and I'm starting to realize that it might be a better option with my current chairs.
As for the rest of them, some of these were ruled out based on size, finish, or style being not quite right. Here are your final contenders:
For the sake of fun, I've switched up the lighting in each of these options, but don't worry - I haven't actually picked anything yet. Table first! Then everything else. For the sake of sanity, I've opted to show the room with neutral paint color vs the current blue because there's a good chance we'll be painting. The artwork is one we currently have hanging in our bedroom, but could work in here potentially. And the rug is one I just ordered, so fingers crossed that it works out!
Now that that's out of the way... what do you think about this table!? The skinnier legs are actually feeling nice to me because the legs on the chairs are so fussy.
Pros: Love that it adds a curve to the space. Like a lot. The length is perfect - just a little shorter than what we have now. And it's solid oak.
Cons: It's skinnier than other tables - measuring 33.5". Our current dining table is nearly 40" so it will feel like a big change. We'd be getting a smaller table all around and I'm not sure that's good.
My second runner up is this simple Parsons style from Rejuvenation. It's super similar to the oval table in tone, but in a classic rectangle and a more average depth.
Pros: The shape is classic, and that allows the rest of the room to be really flexible in style!
Cons: Classic can feel predictable, and I don't want to be bored with it in a year. I wouldn't mind something with a tad more character.
While I haven't done any research on black table options yet, I thought I'd try out this one (from Restoration Hardware) so you guys could see how a simple table in a dark charcoal might at least be a bit more dramatic than the oak option. What do you think?
Pros: Great contrast, and it really anchors the room. I like how it brings out the bit of black in the chairs too! I'm more drawn to this simple shape in the black than the oak.
Cons: Visually heavy and more of a risk for me. Even though I try not to make decisions based on this, I also always have to consider what it's going to be like to shoot in here with a black table vs something lighter.
And last but not least... a table you never saw coming! This is the extendable version of the Serena & Lily table that I showed in the roundup. Normally this wouldn't be in my budget, but because I have some credit to spend with them, it brings the price down to a reasonable ballpark for me! Also, I ordered a sample because I wanted to see the white in person, and I have to say that I love that its a bit more soft white/grey in person. Surprisingly, this doesn't read overly farmhouse or beach house to me - but I'd welcome a second opinion on that one.
Pros: The fact that this table starts at 72" and opens up to 96" is a huge deal for me. You guys know I love entertaining, so having a table that can grow is a big time bonus. I also love that when it's not extended it will give us more room to work with!
Cons: My husband will probably hate it because it's white. Again, just like the black, I'm taking a risk that I may not love it as much in the next few years.
So what's it going to be, design friends?? I need all the thoughts and opinions on this one!! Please vote below, but I'd also love to hear your feedback and reasons why you like one over the other!!