Adventures in Building a Dining Table

Some of our recent posts show changes we have made to our dining room.  I have hated our dining table for the past year or so, but Ben loves our table.  It’s solid oak and the price was great.  The problem?  The table measures in at a whopping 4 foot diameter.  The pedestal base makes it impossible to push the large chairs within 6 inches of the table.  Our small (9 foot wide by 10.5 foot long) dining room is even smaller. 

After discussing a new table with Ben and looking around town, the search died; we couldn’t agree on a table.  We discussed building a wooden table and painting it white.  But how to make it sturdy enough?  Back to the drawing board.  Then, Ben had a great idea.  Why not build the table out of steel?  It’s cheap, durable and rigid. 

Ben went to the local steel supply warehouse to see what he could find.  He found three-inch square steel tubing for the legs and three-inch ‘L’ pieces for the rails.  Score!  The supply yard cut the pieces to length, too.  Ben left $58.00 poorer and 100 pounds heavier, ready to start welding.

We decided on four outer legs connected by a 1/2 inch inset apron with a cross support.  Pass about 4 hours and we had this:

Here’s Ben touching up some areas:

Ben is so amazing, he even added feet!

Add some spray primer and three coats of gloss white Rustoleum spray paint and we had this:

And this:

Because we plan to sell our entire dining set, we began searching for new dining chairs.  The plan is to have 4 matching chairs at the table at all times, with these stacking chairs  available for larger groups-we already have two. 

I loved World Market’s Loft Chairs (see below), but at $100.00 each, they are a little out of our current price range.   

 After some online searching, Ben found these:

They aren’t quite as good-looking as the Loft chairs, but the price was definitely right and they are nice, solid chairs.  The chairs are discounted because they are discontinued.  We were sold-we bought four.  World Market offers 10% off your entire purchase if you open a World Market credit card, so we got an additional $14.00 off!  Here’s our receipt.  I love when stores show the amount you’ve saved.  I really love when the amount saved is more than the amount spent.  Check it out:

Yep, we spent $125.96 and saved $154.00!!  Amazing!

We went to our local granite and marble yard.  We found a dark greenish-black marble with white swirls.  It’s b.e.a.utiful and it’s a remnant!  Ben helped cut the slab at the granite supply- it was too heavy and large to cut at home. 

Then he hauled the 4 1/2 foot by 3 foot cut piece home and polished the edges using granite specific polishing pads on a right angle grinder.  Here he is, hard at work:

Living Room Phases

It seems our living room has made some dramatic changes every year since Ben and I got married in 2006. 

When I met Ben in 2005, our living room looked like this.  Fortunately, we have made some improvements.  I moved in (with a love seat and some accessories) and the living room looked like this in 2006.

Ouch.  Not much better.  We still had the 80’s hand-me-down entertainment center, cow rug, mismatched furniture and a lot of clutter.  Oh, and we didn’t have trim around the windows.  Ben was recovering from knee surgery, so we also had a total gym upstairs. 

2006 became 2007 and we found a black leather couch and love seat set in the paper for $800.00.  It wasn’t the best looking, but at least it matched and fit our budget.  We repainted the trim white and the upper color became a darker beige.  We donated the entertainment center and built cabinets.  Ben also cased out the windows, so we had a more finished looking room.  But, we were still waiting to build the bookshelves until we got a new flat panel TV.

2008 was a much better year for our living room.   That was the year we got model furniture from the builder I worked for.  Now we’re getting somewhere.  The couch and chair matched, but we still had the rocker.  I bought a new rug from Flor.  It added some style and warmth.  I made some throw pillows to add more color.  At the time, the scheme was blue and red. 

We got our new TV and finished the bookshelves.  What a big difference that made!  A few accessories later and we had this:

Ben’s boss gave us a little desk.  Nothing great, but it works.  We finally got some framed pictures on the walls, too.  Notice I said some. 

Fast forward to 2009 when we bought two side chairs and side tables from Target.  We moved some furniture around and changed up the color scheme to blue and green.  I sewed a few pillow covers and made some artwork to add more color.   

Green and white books, silver picture frames, candles and new artwork and photos revamped the entertainment center.  I also switched out the door hardware for a more modern feel.

That’s where our living room is now.  What is going to happen in 2010?