It’s no secret that I love vintage and antique pieces of furniture. As much as I love contemporary pieces, when it comes to larger pieces of furniture I always resort to vintage or antique. For me dining room tables are both personal and sentimental pieces of furniture. They matter. Memories are made around a table, joy and heartache as well as huge life changing decisions are often made around a table.
When we moved to the UK, I was on the hunt for another table more suitable for the smaller space so I browsed eBay to find my table. I knew what I was looking for and when I found it up in Kent I was thrilled, unfortunately hubby didn’t share my sentiments. He didn’t think the trek to Kent was worth the price of the table. A few weeks later over one weekend we bought two tables, both of which were returned within a day of purchase because I knew in my heart they didn’t have the character I was looking for. My advice is don’t settle for less but persevere until you find exactly what you’re looking for – that goes for all things in life I guess!
A trip to Ardingly Antiques fair a couple of weeks later and I found my table as I walked through the covered sheds to the open stalls. There he was in all his battered oak glory; solid, dependable, handsome but it a rugged sort of way, with lovely turned legs. I touched him, inspected him, got right up underneath him and gazed lovingly at his maker’s signature dated 1932……this was my table!
Apparently my table came out of an old pub. I can just imagine these working men and women sitting in a smoke filled pub, ruminating on their troubles and the threat of war as well as celebrating happier occasions. What I love about my table is the patina of years of wear and tear. But that’s not for everyone. I like to have contrast in my interiors, so a slightly rustic beaten up table teamed with sleek Philippe Starke Ghost chairs and a few odd wooden ones is a match made in heaven - I don’t want a table I have to be too precious about. Your choice of dining table will depend on a lot of things, how you live, if you like a formal or a more casual feel, whether you entertain a lot or not at all, even children and pets, they all play a role.
If you are looking for a table with character, then a visit to a few antique fairs is a good place to start. You’ll find plenty of tables from the more highly polished and refined to those like mine with a few knocks and dings of life etched on it. Take a day trip and visit a few towns that are known for their antique stores like Petworth. You can also look on eBay and even ask your local antique store to look out for a table for you.
A round up of a few tables I found online: slightly rustic, formal, french country, mid-century and industrial style.
or you might be looking for a table worthy of a banquet and fit for a king, in which case you might like this.
Have a great week!