Honestly, I was happy with how my dining room looked. Ever since we changed it a few years ago, it felt like it all went together well. I had no plans to do any painting or redecorating in the house this summer.
Until...my brother Tim called me at my mother's house on July 4 to see if we were interested in buying a table he just made. Like, with his own hands, from re-purposed wood. Ummmm....yeah. Ever since I saw the stuff Tim makes, I've wanted him to make us a dining table.
But then, of course, the dining table didn't work with the rest of the room. And so--as I had, in fairness, warned my husband might happen if we bought this table--I had to change almost everything else. Wall color. Shelving. Artwork. Curtains. We even replaced the drawer pulls on the secretary (though I didn't think to take a specific picture of that). Only the chairs remain from the room's previous incarnation, and thank heavens that worked (chairs are expensive, even at Ikea). The resulting room looks like this:
It's hard to tell in the pictures, but I went with grey again (gull wing grey, which seemed appropriate for a table from Rockport, MA). The sideboard, shelf, and curtains are from Ikea, and the rest...is mostly stuff I had around, some of it used in new ways.
I love the table, and I think I am pretty good with the rest of the room. I'll have to see how it makes it through winter. I never used to like the dining room in winter until its last incarnation. At any rate, this is it for me with dining tables. I now have one that is sustainable and has character, a story, and a personal connection. It's not quite as big as the old one (which could seat up to 12 if I put in all the leaves), but I can still fit 8 comfortably, and that's good enough for me. The room now feels less polished, but the dialed down, less fancy look does a better job of reflecting my casual nature.
(And, um, thank you Howard--for putting up with my need to change everything right away. I am working on that patience thing, but don't quite have it figured out yet.)