The dining room refresh is in full swing! One of our goals for this year was to get our home to a place where it’s working harder for us. That will look different for everyone, depending on your own needs, wishes and like-to-haves. For us, it means we’re refreshing paint colors (correcting decisions made 8 years ago), fine tuning toy storage, clearing out kitchen cabinets, and – perhaps our favorite thing we’ll do this year – we’re preparing our home for future gatherings.
The Dining Room Shuffle
Our dining table was an accidental purchase many, many years ago from an outlet. It’s a beautiful table and has served us so well! It easily accommodates 6 people, and it has seen countless messes and spills, yet it handles everything with grace. The mango wood is gorgeous (even more so after its yearly oiling), and any dents or scratches that have occurred over the years only add to its charm. But! It’s time to say goodbye.
We have always wanted a big round table, one where our friends and family can get cozy, laugh until their sides hurt, pass the salad and bread and cheers and make eye contact with everyone. Round tables are so special, don’t you think? They encourage you to nestle in, they provide a sense of community. We’ve always thought that our space was too small for a round table, but after laying down tape to get a sense of how the room would flow, we are sold! Above, we created a 65″ circle with a 30″ pedestal base.
There are a few round tables that have held a special place in my heart, but they are either too small, too big, too dark, too light. I’ve long loved this oak pedestal table, and after crossing my fingers for the last year that they’ll offer it in a larger size, I’ve moved on. Here are a few others that caught my eye (you’ll notice they all have similar lines; pay no attention to material):
We ultimately reached out to Norman Leigh, and we’ve decided to go custom! After commissioning them to create the Tree House Table of Our Dreams, we have full confidence that they can do the same here! You might be surprised by the cost of a custom table. In our case, the quote was no different than a nice table from a big box store, but we’ll get exactly what we want. Below, a photo of the dreamboat table we dreamed up for Tree House, created by Norman Leigh:
We already sent Leigh-Anne photos of our inspiration table, and now we’re dialing in the details. We’re asking ourselves, What do we want the edge profile to look like? How thick do we want the top? What kind of wood and finish do we want? Which brings me to…
Wood + Stain Options
We debated between oak and maple, but since most of the wood in our home is oak, that’s what we’ll stick to. Norman Leigh has been loving and experimenting with a new product called Rubio Monocoat, which has the most beautiful finishes! (Here’s a stunning coffee table they recently built and finished with Cotton White.) They’ll be providing us with oak samples in these finishes that caught our eye (below). Which one would you choose?! It’s going to be a tough decision.
Dining Chairs: To Buy Or Not to Buy?
We love, love, love our dining chairs. We have 4, so we’ll need to buy at least 2 more. In our current dining set up, we have 2 extra bistro chairs that we pull up when we have guests (remember having guests?). But with our new table, we’ll have 6 chairs at all times, and we’ll use the extra 2 bistro chairs for a larger gathering. Wow, we’ll be able to seat 8 people for the first time!
All this to say, we can’t seem to commit to purchasing 2 more of the same chairs. While we love them (to the moon and back), Catfish’s fur is a magnet to them. We’re debating faux leather – at the very least, something wipeable – but no wood or plastic. Since we work from our dining table, they need to be extra comfortable.
Do you have chairs you cherish that sound like it could fit the bill? If so, please share in the comments!
The Waiting Is the Hardest Part
The most difficult part of going custom is the wait, but we’ve waited this long, right? Sing it with me: The waaaiiiting is the hardst part. And to our friends and family: We couldn’t be more excited to hang out with you again – around this table with good food, better wine and lots of cake. Soon, we hope!
Love ALL your ideas & Can’t wait to see the table! I think having 2 different chairs in a faux is a fabulous idea…..Let’s you have so many shopping options.. Liking the White 5%. Not a white wash,but let’s the grain come thru,pretty. Good Luck deciding :-)
Have you considered reupholstering your dining chairs? I love the shape and wood color.
Oohhh that’s interesting!
Hi Kim and Scott! Great update- a round table really is so cozy.
I’ve been waiting for this post! I’ve been on the look out for a round 54-60” dining table as well. Do you have other ones you’ve come across in different styles than the ones you’ve shared?
Also- since you went the custom route, would you be willing to share tips on how to search for/find custom furniture makers for these kinds of jobs?
Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Heather! We first found Norman Leigh through a dog walking group we were a part of YEARS ago. They also make the rounds at the bug craft fairs in Chicago! I’d always suggest asking for a recommendation from a friend first, and then searching through Yelp or even locally on Instagram. There’s a lot of talent out there!
I round table is a must in my dream house, along with a piano. I’m excited to see how yours turns out. Where’d the old table go? We have these chairs, and while they are basic, the style and material is the best for cleaning up (easy to wipe material, no cracks for crumbs, etc.)
Thanks, Julie! Are they comfortable? We still have the old table, we won’t let it go until the new one arrives.
I got these in dark brown: https://www.target.com/p/2pk-bowden-faux-leather-and-metal-dining-chair-project-62-153/-/A-53543244?preselect=53524906#lnk=sametab
they’re pretty comfortable. we’ve got two cats and one of them sheds like crazy but it only really sticks because of static electricity and it gets vacuumed up easily without having to break out all 45 of the vacuum attachments. they’re very wipeable, and the only thing I would recommend is getting better felt pads because the ones that come with it are so flat that whole bar of the leg ends up on the ground. the first time I scooted my chair in, the scrape-y noise sent me through the five stages of grief. they’re also a little bit low but I never sit in chairs the correct way so it’s never bothered me.
Those are cute, thank you!
check out the Mazie faux leather chair from Room & Board, just $199, BUT its not available until May. It’s on my wish list.
Stop it right now. Those are so pretty, thank you!
I cannot wait to see your table (we are anxiously awaiting our custom furniture from our walnut trees) I prefer the “biscuit” finish. Have you checked out the Folio chairs from Crate & Barrel – an investment, yes, but worth it. We have had ours in a much loved and much used lake house for nearly 10 years. Definitely hold up well! Good luck in your search.
Thank you, checking them out now!
Sling Upholstered Side Chairhttps://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/mad-furniture-sling-upholstered-side-chair-w000130823.html
I just got these chairs and they are super comfortable. Watched the price for months before I pulled the trigger and of course they are now the lowest price.
Surprisingly I really like our ikea chairs: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ekedalen-chair-black-idekulla-blue-s09317603/
They were meant to be a place holder but I’ve had them I think three years now. They are comfortable (I work at our round table too!), solidly built, fit lots of different sized people and straddle modern/traditional well in my eyes. I recovered the seat in a black matte linen-look vinyl from joann’s fabrics which has been effortless to keep clean. Can’t wait to see what you pick!
Smoke or Biscuit would be my first choices. What did you do with your old table, I loved that table and considered purchasing it for my own home.
We still have it! We’ll make sure it goes to a good home. :)
We’ve still got the CB2 Blox table and will be selling it locally once the custom round table is complete.
We put Rubio Monocoat on our floors and it is amazing stuff! Non-toxic, easy to work with and looks beautiful. The wood feels so velvety (lovely on bare feet….which I guess you won’t likely be putting on your dinning table!!) It’s really easy to touch up if you get a deep scratch too – it just adheres to the bare wood, so you don’t need to sand down the whole thing to refinish it. You can get small sample bottles of it, so I would get one of those in whatever color you go with for easy touch ups!
Oh wow awesome advice, thank you! This makes us more excited!
Will you switch out the rug as well?
What did you oil your previous table with? I recently bought this table, which I love, and want to keep looking good for many years to come!
About once a year we’d use a SMALL amount of butcher block oil and let us soak in overnight.