A Change of Heart, and of Table
One Sunday afternoon nearly three months ago, Mr. GDC, Jr. and I wandered to the East end of the island following bright lime green signs to an estate sale. The house was mid-century modern, I didn't have much hope for treasure. As I entered the dining room, an antique, oval, French style table, and chair set introduced herself. I was certainly interested. We walked about the house, room to room, while the table with its hand carved Cabriole legs, and graceful apron began calling to me. As I came back for a second look, the sale hostess approached whispering, "Its 50% off day". "I'm sorry what?" This angel in a blue apron smiled at me, "Its 50% off day, the price is actually half of the price on the tag." Hello, precious! Mr. GDC and Jr. grinned at me, they knew I was smitten. A local dealer, offered to purchase the set curbside as we loaded her in our truck. I had a feeling about the table, a feeling we needed one another -
The space we chose for dining is at the center of our cottage. The room has multiple pathways through it travel to other parts of our cottage. Our rectangular, French farm table failed to function as I hoped. My bruises from bumping into table corners, and chairs while colorful, were causing me to grow disgruntled. Our new treasure oval, with two leaves, and graceful curves I felt would be home with us - she simply needed a "facelift".
She bore the remnants of homework, cracks in her varnish, water mark from a plant, and small divot. A bit of sanding not only smoothed her face, and removed the lettering, it revealed a surprise; a burlwood inlay edge. My love was growing for this lady.
She's can be petite at 64 X 44, long and lean at 82 X 44 or willowy at 100 X 44. A lady who changes with the moment, could she better suited for me?
Sanding back the layers of varnish, also revealed mahogany veneer. I hoped to dress the table in a pale grey finish. Unfortunately, the grey finishing technique doesn't take well upon mahogany, due to the red undertones, it turns pinkish. We discussed it, she and I, then settled upon dressing her in brooding darkness; leaving her carved details a bit lighter, with a touch of grey wash to marry our chairs with her.
The legs and burlwood band hold the mahogany undertones, while the apron and top are brushed with Jacobean for a deep dark contrast.
Our dining chairs wear the pale grey finish upon their frames, and a combination of taupe faux suede seats, paired with velvet damask interior backs and tiny harlequin exterior backs. Mr. GDC and I spent three years gathering the chairs; four from a favorite Lakeway resale shop, two at time as the seller slowly released them, and the two armchairs from a NW Hills estate sale.
The oval shape is soft and inviting when stepping into the dining space from the foyer. She gives a graceful curve against the squared casing opening, geometric pocket doors and large French paned window.
This week, I chose an antique silver plate tray, our Santos, a sunburst mirror, and herbs in rustic clay pots as her table scape. (don't fret, the clay saucers are sealed to prevent moisture)
The darker finish on the table picks up the charcoal velvet pattern on the Martha Washington chairs.
Our previous French farm table for comparison. (before)
Our "new" lady, we believe, dates back to the late 1800's, when our cottage was built. Clues to her age are hand cut dove tail joints, hand carving, and large heavy screws. The versatility of having a small oval that can extend with two leaves will allow us the option of multiple guest. Ponder dark grey ceilings, something to rest below the tapestry fragments, and if our lady needs a little something plush beneath her feet...
Wishing you all the best, until next time -