Monday, April 12, 2010

Can I swing contemporary?

I desperately want a new table and chairs. 
With 5 people in our family, I want to be able to have friends over to eat with us and not be pulling up lawn chairs and folding chairs. 

I want a table that is easily wiped down. 
Heck I’d like to be able to take a hose to it if necessary.


Enter Ikea. 
And my neighbor. 
My neighbor is trendy, contemporary, artsy.
She loves grey…in every shade.  I LOVE Love her style…
Yet it isn’t quite me.  
I am Potterybarn and Ballard Design… on a Goodwill Budget.
She is more West Elm…and Ikea.

So, my neighbor just got this tableyou could fit a lot of kids at this table

I know it may look like a plain boring white table, but this baby is pretty swanky…and at it’s current set-up can seat 8. 

YEP…8 people…that’s my family of 5 plus 3 friends.
  And…if you’re not drooling already like I was…
There is an extra leafNORDEN Dining table


And bam!  You can pop it and it will seat 10…comfortably.

She has these plastic (very Green) chairs all around the table.IKEA | Chairs | Folding & stackable chairs | URBAN | Chair

8 of them. all their green-ness.
And remember, she can pop up a 2nd leaf and make that 10.
Drool, drool, covet covet.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s new table.

But why am I drooling?  While I think this table is uber cool.  The total look just isn’t me…at all.  The chairs look a little nickelodeon…but for her and her style it fits, it works, and I love it.   In her house.

But what about me?
What is my style?

I like to call it traditional whimsy.  
Shabby chic… Maybe A little French Country? Not Sure.
What is that, you ask?  Good Question…
Basically it means…take what you can and make it work. 

This is my current table


Nice that I cleaned up for ya, huh
Notice the Glue again sitting out…
I am so crafty like that.

My table seats 4-6. 
And we only have 4 chairs, and the arm chair on the end is really a library chair, that belongs in a study, or living room….or library.
It’s partner is in our bedroom. 
It is not intended to be a dining room chair.

I recovered the chairs a few years ago in an adorable fabric (gasp, yes I did put black with brown wood!) print.  
It complemented my Yellow kitchen with black and white tile.

And I listened when the brilliant fabric lady said
“do it in outdoor fabric…
it is much more stain resilient and wipable”


Yeah… She lied.
Or had no idea what kind of wild animals
(aka, Llamas) I live with.
This fabric has NOT been stain resilient, and is not so wipable.
Thanks a lot not-so-brilliant fabric lady.

So I resolved to recover the chairs in a faux leather that was wipable…you know the kind…that sticks to your hot thighs in the summer.  Sounds just like what you want in your dining room, huh?


Do you see the problem that I encountered after 1 meal?
No stains… crumbs wiped clean.  But greasy finger prints remained.  This was a chair recover FAIL.  I did one chair, and I decided not to do the others. 

Then I began dreaming of my my neighbor’s table and chairs.
Could I pull it off, if I got a brown table with a different style chair?
If I got a white table with brown chairs?

BJURSTA Dining tableLike the table above and chairs below?

Product Image Modern Stacking Chairs 2 pk - Green

Or even the above chairs in brown

Product Image Modern Stacking Chairs 2 pk - Espresso

What if i added some tradition table linens or centerpiece?

Vintage Floral Dinner Napkin, 22", Set of 6, Blue

Think I can pull it off??
What do you think??
I really need your opinion here… but don’t just say “I hate it” because it might be in my Dining room one day,
and then you’d feel absolutely horrible…
but at least you’d have some place to sit and join us for dinner.

So, What is your style?
Are your traditional, contemporary, comfortable, formal?

Have you ever branched out from your typical style?
Do you think I should go for it? 



  1. Carrie - This post made me chuckle and look really, really closely. I seriously think we have the exact same table and almost the exact same chair - down to the fact that I covered mine as well and struggle with the constant stains! I love your "style" - very similar to mine and I love the Ikea table. I think you could put any chair with it and dress it up to a more traditional look. The chairs are too contemporary for me, but look SUPER easy to clean. I could pull them off in a kitchen eating area, but not in a dining room. I say stick with the table and keep searching for chairs that are more "you." Good luck!! BTW, I love your blog - it's one of the few that I follow! Thanks for sharing!
    Kristin (Shoger)

  2. So, I totally think you can mix and match styles. I, personally, am more contemporary- but as of late have mixed some traditional warmer tones in the mix and I love it! Good luck on the decisions.

  3. I agree with Kristin... love the table, but the chairs are more contemporary than what i think of for dining room. Do the table and search for chairs that are more traditional- maybe even yard sale finds that are cheap, too!

  4. Carrie,

    This post is too funny! Kevin and I just bought a foreclosure that we are going to flip and move into. I am super excited and thus enter our Sunday trip to Ikea!!! I totally almost bought that table (in addition to the $700 worth of stuff I actually did buy!) but decided to re-paint my brown kitchen table white, the chairs I have now blue and I bought 2 of the kids stools to put at the table. The only difference in my kitchen table now and yours is that mine does have the extra leaf. I say recycle and add to what you have...but don't miss out on a fun trip to Ikea. They have super great ideas!

  5. style...shabby..but no chic. I can't afford the chic yet. I'll get there! Your table is actually quite nice!

  6. I was just at IKEA last week and they had some Pottery Barn-ish looking chairs! I'll see if I can find them & send you the link... maybe those would go with that table!!! :)

  7. Okay, I'm such a nerd! I just went to IKEA to search till I found them. My dining room chairs are from Pottery Barn (from waaaaay back before we had kids and somehow had some extra money... ha ha) and they are super similar to these!

    There's also these:

  8. Thanks for checking out my Crafty Mommy Diva blog. Loved your chairs in the black and white fabric; too bad they weren't stain resilient.
    Love the brown table with chairs, but I'm just not sure about the green with your red walls. I think some chairs with colors/patterns would be good though so not the brown chairs unless you can somehow add color/pattern to those.
    I don't quite know our style seeing as that we don't own any furniture still except a glider, some bookcases and our son's crib. Our current place came with bar stools and a counter table. I like how you said your style was just taking what you can and making it work.
    Good luck. Hope you post what you end up doing.


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