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A New Table + The Dining Room Before & Afters!

October 28, 2015  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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We got ourselves a new dining room table! When we shared the before and afters of our kitchen renovation, so many of you wanted to see how the rest of the great room worked into the new kitchen, specifically the dining room since they are so close in proximity. At the time, we were in the process of finalizing a new dining table, and I felt our old dining room table would detract from the new kitchen, so I held off sharing a pulled back view. But today we finally get to share those photos and details–our new kitchen has a new dining table to go with it and they complement each other so well.

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Our last dining room set we bought for our first apartment when we were first married nearly 7 years ago. Although it was in terrible shape when we sold it last week, it held a lot of memories and lasted through 4 different moves. I would never recommend buying a dark, incredibly smooth dining room table to anyone–especially anyone with kids–but we were naive at the time. Here’s how it looked in this home when we first moved in:

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And here’s how the space looks today:

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After a long search, stretching over several months, we finally landed on the 91″ Blu Dot Branch Dining Table from AllModern and we really really love it so much! When we were searching for a new dining room table, there were a few main must haves for us:

1. It had to be narrow. Our previous dining room table was 42″ W x 82″ L (when extended). Pretty standard, but it felt too wide for us and cramped the kitchen a little. Our new table is 34″W x 91″L. (Restoration Hardware has a few tables with a 36″ W that were on our short list, but the price points were all so high to check off the rest of our must-haves, and the raw finishes concerned me at times.)

2. Something lighter in color. Having come off years of fighting every scratch on a dark table, when we first set out on our search we didn’t know if that looked like some sort of stone or lighter wood, but light was the name of the game. We knew that we didn’t want it to compete with the neighboring black walnut island countertop, so we decided on something closer to the floor color. This table is almost a perfect match.

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3. Kid-proof. Do those exist? Well, turns out they do, but they aren’t very pretty. In fact, they’re plastic and probably say “Little Tikes” somewhere on it. BUT! I’m happy to report, this table is really close. On AllModern’s site, it said the top was solid Oak and the legs were powder coated steel–which is a great combination. But, when it arrived, the Oak top definitely has some sort of super hard, waterproof wax coating on it. It’s amazing! Indestructible? Knock on all the oak. (It did just go through its first party with 100+ guests like a champ.)

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4. Seating for 8+. Here comes the part when I blab on again about how often we have a group of people over. We have 4 seats at the island, and we currently have 8 chairs at the table, but it can fit 10. Needless to say, we’re in entertaining heaven.

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Back to those powder-coated steel legs, the branch shape is so cool and simple, discreet even, and a little quirky–which we like mixing into our modern traditional aesthetic. Besides the table, the beige shell chairs (from here) we’ve had for over a year and still look brand new (!!), but these modern black windsor chairs we purchased over the summer and they are the cherries on top.

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I wanted something a little taller with a hint of traditional for the host chairs, and these play so well with the shell chairs. I especially love how the Windsor chairs pick up the black detailing in the shell chairs.

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As for the space between the dining room and kitchen? There’s plenty now. Room for Charly to lay and  eat scraps from both sides as they fall. Don’t let that face fool you–she’s thrilled.

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And really, so are we. Before our party, we also got the pantry done (post soon!) and maybe I’m just exhausted or overjoyed or finally feeling like I’m home, but seeing these spaces transform into something we only dreamed of two years ago–it’s emotional. (I’m probably exhausted haha) It’s so much more than a table and chairs, it’s the people we share it with proudly, including you.

Sources: Table | Black Chairs | Shell Chairs | Chandelier;  Sonneman Tempo Wide Rubbed Bronze Chandelier (originally from Lamps Plus, but is no longer on their site)

What do you think?

  1. Mandy says:

    Hi! Wondering how you would review the top of this table! I’ve read the reviews online and a lot of them say that the top is too grainy to keep clean easily, etc.

    Thanks!

  2. Tasneem says:

    May I ask how wide your dining area is roughly – from the end of the couch/chair to the counter. I am trying to squeeze a dining table between a open kitchen and sofa on the other side and am wondering if this table will work for us. Thanks!

  3. Furniture is an investment, and getting the right dining room table will prove to be a good investment in the long run.

  4. Christina says:

    Can I ask how the table has held up now that you’ve had it for a few months? I have a newborn and a toddler now and made the mistake of purchasing a dark wood table when we moved. I love the look of the table and that the wood top may actually be child friendly! By the way, your home is beautiful!!

  5. emily says:

    love the choice, and your chairs make the modern shape tie into your kitchen perfectly!

  6. Linda says:

    I just discovered your blog today. As a fellow Idahoan (I’m in the panhandle), I can attest to the fact that you and Chris have an incredible knack for turning basic builder houses into things of unique and stunning beauty. I am in love with this gorgeous kitchen! Great job!

  7. Cherlyn Kuecker says:

    I really love how bright and light these rooms are even with dark cabinetry and furniture pieces. I am currently in the process of designing my own house (in the modern farmhouse style) and was wondering about the overall dimensions (length and width) in your combined living/dining/kitchen. I really want to be efficient in designing these spaces and your house seems like you have enough room to maneuver without being cramped or overly spacious.

  8. Judith says:

    I’m blown away. I’ve seen the other reveal, but now seeing it all next to each other here… Wow! That looks A M A Z I N G !!! And the difference to before is just insane. I absolutely get what you mean with feeling finally at home. The old kitchen looked positively forbidding compared to the new one, like it kind of tolerated you being there, but you better not get too comfortable. All closed off and grumpy. And the new kitchen is all Hi! Come in! Do stuff, cook things, have friends over, be merry!
    You truly did a great job.

    Also, apropos of nothing: I’m currently debating rehanging the curtains in my living room, putting the bar higher and changing the curtains themselves (dark blue and cheap atm), and I just brought some white ones I still had in to see if I liked them but I wasn’t happy. But suddenly seeing the glimpse of the curtain hanging in the third picture reminded me that I had one set from Ikea also with those included metal rings, in a light grey with some nice light pattern on, that would be perfect. I had completely forgotten about them until now, and they would be perfect and I can now take care to put the hardware at the correct height. I’m happy! And how’s that for random, heh :)

  9. Lilly says:

    It’s all so beautiful. You guys have great taste. It must be such a wonderful feeling when a space feels so true to you after so much hard work. I hope you can enjoy your space for many many years to come. You guys totally rocked it.

  10. The before and after is just stunning! You’ve created such an inviting space, and I totally want to take a nap on your couch now (while Chris makes me dinner in your kitchen, obviously).

  11. Heather says:

    I love the shell chairs, we have vintage Herman Miller chairs in our own dining room. However, I think the the bases you are using are too busy and distract from the beautiful room you’ve created. I love the idea of benches like someone above suggested.
    I’d also love to know where Faye sits?

    • Julia says:

      She’s still in a high chair. We have a simple white one from Ikea I pulled out of the photo but maybe I’ll take a candid dinner shot one of these evenings. :)

  12. I love this table! I have a dark table and I can’t wait to replace it with a lighter one!

  13. Nicole says:

    Congratulations, it’s just beautiful. I couldn’t have imagined it would look like this back when you bought the house!

  14. Mara says:

    Love that table and the Windsor chairs!! Can I be honest about the easel chairs? They look out of place and take away from the table and Windsor chairs. I think a bench on both sides or even a simpler Windsor chair would look much better.

    The transformation is amazing and I really do love how you’ve been able to mix modern with traditional. Just lovely!

    • Julia says:

      I love the idea of a bench! We chose these shell chairs because of their low profile (no high lines into the kitchen), they’re easy to clean–all things a bench could check off to. But! BUT! These shell chairs are so stinking comfortable though and I’m not sure I’m willing to part with that. I know they aren’t for everyone, but we really do love them. Thanks so much for reading and your thoughts.

      • Mara says:

        I have two of the easels, I understand the comfort of the chairs. Maybe you could move them downstairs and one to the desk where you work?

        I saw AllModern/Bludot have benches for that table. You could probably easily DIY some too!

      • Judith says:

        I don’t mind the chairs at all (really like them actually), and I think they probably keep the room from becoming too bottom-heavy with the dark cabinets, though I understand how they can feel too fussy depending on taste. But the main reason I wouldn’t change to a bench is comfort. Not only do those individual seats mold better to people’s butts, but they have backs. And over longer periods of time, it makes a huge difference if you can sometimes lean back for a while or not. Having to lean forward all the time and resting on your arms gets pretty old, at least for me. And since Julia and Chris entertain so often, the decision should probably lean towards comfort over other factors.

  15. Evelina says:

    That table is stunning! I love its legs!

  16. Alexis says:

    Wow, it really is gorgeous, and your comment about not wanting the wood to compete has got me thinking about how to balance our butcher’s block island/floors/dining table. It seems obvious now but I never thought about making sure my choices have enough contrast between them.

  17. WOW! Love it, totally worth the wait. Those legs are hot, too.

  18. Kara says:

    Perfection.

  19. Gina says:

    Oh my goshhhhhhhh I am in love with this table. Wantneedmusthave

  20. Haley says:

    Lovely! I hear you on the dark tables. I don’t even have kids but my table that has a lacquer like finish drives me nuts! I love how you used Charlie for scale!

  21. Samantha says:

    Stunning! It’s the perfect table next to your gorgeous kitchen! I want to call all the magazine editors and tell them to *run* to your kitchen/dining room and do a big wide spread on it! :) You guys knocked it out of the park!

  22. Jordan says:

    Everything about this is dreamy! I love that is beautiful AND functional for you guys! Oh man, just pure awesomeness.

  23. susan says:

    It is astonishing how much larger the whole place looks now. Y’all have done an incredible job, especially in just two years when you take into account everything else you were working on. Spectacular.

  24. It’s gorgeous! The table AND the whole space. Well done – fantastic vision and so fun to see it all come together. Thanks for keeping us all posted along the way!

  25. Yup! So much better. You have a great eye.

  26. Sue says:

    The transformation is astounding. The rooms look so much bigger, and yet, feel cozier, and I totally empathize with your feelings of being *home*. Kudos on a home renovation well done!

  27. Hannah says:

    Wow, you guys… you’ve really outdone yourselves! I must be really tired, too (I blame postpartum hormones), because I’m actually a bit teary-eyed over this whole space! I’m just going to sit here all day and study how everything plays so perfectly together. :) Well done!

  28. Sara says:

    The before and afters are stunning!!

  29. Kates says:

    I love everything about your kitchen, dining room and living room it all just flows together so well! By far my favorite kitchen renovation! The black is such a bold choice but looks amazing! Love that table too! It all looks great!

  30. Sherri says:

    Swoon! This is drop dead gorgeous. Magazine worthy, the best of the rest. Love your details on every last thing. No way, on the before and after! Will you put a kilim rug under the table? It really doesn’t need it, but I can also visualize one there. You guys knocked it out of the park, as always!!

    • Julia says:

      Thanks so much, Sherri! We love the idea of an area rug under here, but with little ones we decided to pass for now. With our big blue one in the living room and our persian runner in the kitchen, it’s okay for now. Maybe in 10 years! Hahaha

    • Martha says:

      What a beautiful transformation! And the new table complements the black kitchen cabinets and light fixture over the table so well! It must be a pleasure to be in your new space! Kudos!

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