I started refinishing the table

Refinished with a pretty table setting.
Last weekend was very warm. I think it hit 70 degrees, which is surprising for Michigan in November. But I took advantage of the warm weather and took the top of our table out to the shed to strip the finish from it and start refinishing it.

Unfinished table in the dining area of our kitchen
Once we set it up in the dining area of our kitchen, we knew we didn't want to move our old oak table back in. The "new" old mahogany table, which turns out to actually be cherry, just fit the room so much better.  It was as though it had been made the space. The more we looked at it in the room, the more we loved it. We kept looking at it, and we kept saying to each other how nice it look and how happy we were with it.

Unfinished table with the chairs that go with our oak table.
Unfortunately, it really couldn't be used the way it was. The previous owners had partially stripped the top, which left it vulnerable to damage from spills and anything else that might get on it.  That's why when the weather turned warm, I decided to refinish the top...then later this spring, when the weather gets warm again, I'll refinish the rest, but in the meantime, we're able to use it and enjoy it.

Oak table shoved in the corner, blocking my desk and the front entrance.
During all this time, our oak table was shoved in the corner of the living room, not exactly in the way, but definitely taking up space and making life a little more crowded.  My plan was to list it on Craigslist after I finished the other table, because we were still squishing in to eat dinner on it. Which is exactly what I did. I posted it on Wednesday morning, and within an hour, someone emailed me wanting to buy it. She sent her mom to look at it, and less than three hours after I posted it, it was sold along with the four chairs that went with it.

I have to say, I was kind of sad to sell it. I had been a gift from my parents, but even my mom thought we should sell it. Having her blessing made it a lot easier. Still, I felt a little nostalgic when the people drove away with it, because I had had it for 16 years.

The table refinished with the heavier chairs.
After we sold the table, we drove up to my mom and dad's to get our other chairs...the ones that went with Jim's old dining set. These chairs looked so much better with the table than our old oak chairs did. The oak chairs were just a little too contemporary and delicate looking for the table. But these chairs blend with all the other furniture nicely, or at least they will once we paint them.  I think I'll paint them white, but I'm also thinking about green just just to bring in a little more color into the room.  I guess I have a bit of time to figure that out though!

Sitting pretty and ready for company!
Doesn't it look nice?

Craigslist Find: Mahogany Dining Table

So it was a few days before Halloween, and I was checking out Craigslist just to see what was there, and there was a headline that caught my eye.

Maybe Maybe Not Haunted Dining Room Table

I had to check it out. Sure we didn't need a dining room table, but how can you ignore a headline like that, especially three days before Halloween? Let me tell you, I'm so glad I did, because the table is beautiful, or at least it will be once it's refinished.

So why did she think it was haunted? Because every time she took a picture of it orbs showed up in the picture. I don't know if I believe in furniture being haunted, but I might get some holy water and sprinkle on it just in case!  Do you think it's possible it could be haunted?

Table to refinish
From the ad
Jim and I both thought it was a good deal for $75. It has four leaves and it's solid.  The only concern we had was there were some screws in the legs that didn't attach to anything. But once we got it home, we realized that the legs were on backwards. Once they were on the right way, all the screws had a place to go...although there are a few that are missing that will have to be replaced.

Now, I'll admit there is a part of me that wants to paint the legs and the apron, but we're not going to do that. Instead, we're going to ask my dad to strip it and restain it with mahogany stain. Yes, I know, I know. It would look so nice with the white legs, but we both love mahogany. Plus, by not painting it, it will blend very nicely with the library table we bought a few years ago that my dad refinished for us. And then there's the coffee table I finished this summer.

Our library table
Our coffee table
See how everything is going to look nice together? But there is one problem... Mahogany is very formal, and our little house is not formal. We're not formal. Although, I like to think home is kind of an elegant country casual...yes, my own term. Plus, I don't want everything to be matchy-matchy.

So what am I going to do? I actually have a plan. I'm hoping it will work out, because I haven't found any inspiration pictures that look anything like I'm thinking. All the mismatched dining sets I've found have casual tables, and our table will be formal.

Jim's old table and chairs
I think that getting mahogany chairs--although it would look beautiful--would be too formal; plus, finding six matching chairs would be really hard. Like I said, it's just not our style, but we have some chairs from Jim's old dining room set. We've sold the table, but we still have the chairs. They're heavy, and they're totally the wrong kind of wood. So this is what I'm thinking... What if I painted them white, and then got a bench like the one below?

Dining bench
Found on the Kmart website
I found this bench on the Kmart website. It shows the look I was thinking of to go with the table. Between the antique table, the old chairs and the new bench, I think I could get the eclectic country look I want.

The reason I'm thinking about getting a bench is because the dining area in our kitchen isn't very large, and because we rarely have people over.  The bench could be pushed completely under the table, which would open up a little more room to get around the table.

The more I think about this, the more excited I'm getting. I wish I could move it into the kitchen right now!!

So what do you think of my Craigslist find and my ideas?  Do you have any other ideas that might work for the table?

Oh! I didn't show you the picture with all the orbs!  Here it is!

Table with orbs
Picture from the ad with orbs.
UPDATE:
We brought the table in tonight to take a look at how it would fit in the dining area.  It's a little larger than what I thought it would be, but I think it is actually going to give the room more of the cottage country look that we wanted. Our other table is just so new looking, and we do like the antique look of it.  So, Jim has been busily replacing missing hardware, and I've been cleaning all the dust and grime off it. I can already tell it is liking its new home. You can see that its already feeling loved again.

Antique mahogany table
Seeing how it fits in our kitchen dining area
Here it is in dining area, with the legs on the correct way. This is before being cleaned up.  We may possibly end up painting after all, because a lot more of the veneer is missing than we originally thought, but we'll know better as we go along. My original bench idea, might not work...

Close-up of legs
OH! and notice... No orbs on the pictures I took. I think it's safe to say there are no spirits attached to this table. But then again, maybe they're just so glad the table is being loved and going to be beautiful again that they've decided not to reveal themselves!