OH I LOVE IT.
See, the thing about our old dining room furniture – that distressed round table and clear Ikea chairs – was that I loved it, too. But it really didn’t work in the new space: our round table, which had felt so perfectly sized in our teeny colonial dining room, looked like dollhouse furniture in our California place (which isn’t massive at all, but for whatever reason has a disproportionately big dining room).
For years now, I’ve been staring at those rustic iron-and-wood tables they sell at Restoration Hardware, but when it actually came time to purchase, I decided: eh. You know what a Restoration Hardware table looks like? A table you got at Restoration Hardware. Which isn’t bad at all – their stuff is beautiful – but I have a really big thing for pieces with history beyond “this was made by a company and then put in a store to be sold.”
When I went to Big Daddy’s Antiques a couple of weeks ago I was planning on picking up a big table and six chairs, or maybe two chairs and two benches. You know, what you expect to see in a dining room. But the cool thing about Big Daddy’s is that “expected” is not exactly their jam, and the time I spent wandering around in their maze of amazing pieces ended up inspiring me to do something totally different.
Basically: I found this enormous green farmhouse-style bench with a high back and arms (and storage underneath, YAY), and knew that I wanted to build the entire set around it. So I dragged the thing all over the warehouse, putting it next to first one piece and then another, and worked with their in-house design consultant to pick out a table and chairs that both worked with the bench and came with their own stories (that table – which, as an aside, is the heaviest piece of furniture I have ever encountered in my life – is constructed from reclaimed bowling alley lanes, which I think is completely amazing).
The truth: I totally wasn’t sure if these pieces would work in the space – they’re huge, and dramatic, and mismatched, and I thought the whole thing might end up looking a little over-the-top even for me…but I couldn’t possibly love the finished product more. The oversize pieces add balance to the space; the bench (with a couple of Kantha pillows on top to make it cozy) is the perfect place for Indy to work on art projects (and then store them afterwards); the chairs add just enough classic, traditional style to balance it all out.
Dining room: done.