Hoarder’s Paradise

tables and chairs

When you complain about having too much furniture the common response is “That’s not a bad problem to have!”  But you know what? My first floor is a crowded mess right now and its stressing me out.  Forget Hoarder’s Paradise, this is more like a drive by furniture dump.

If you haven’t guessed, my wood table was delivered last week…

traditional wood table

It’s a nice little piece.  In theory, I like how it mixes with most of my stuff.  I like that its a family heirloom and was free.  I also like that it has leaves and expands for future dinner parties.  I say “future” because I have yet to throw a dinner party, but a girl can always dream she’ll turn into Martha one of these days.

So those are the pros.

Then there are the cons…  It’s too low: only 28″ high.  Chair arms (and thighs for that matter) do not fit underneath of the apron.  It needs to be refinished/ sanded / re-stained / painted?  Oh and it doesn’t really go with my new favorite vintage chairs.

traditional wood table with chrome and leather chairs

Too much mixology?  

What if I hoist it up 2 or 3 inches and paint it black?  Or strip it and do weathered wood?

Originally, before I stumbled upon the chrome and leather goodness, I was planning to purchase some (faux) Panton chairs or even refinish my original Tulip chairs to pair with my table.  I wanted to be all Vicente Wolf and do my dining room up like this…

vincente wolf ralph pucci dining room

or like this…

traditional wood table with tulip chairs

But in order to do that, I need to fix both my table and tackle my chair project.  That means an automotive paint job for the tulip chairs and new cushions.  So $$ and some $$.

And then, two weeks ago, I found my lovely chrome and leather chairs.  And I really like them.  But they really look better with a table like this…

nate berkus chrome chairs dining roomNate Berkus

chrome chairs round table ken fulk

Ken Fulk

David_Oldroyd_SF 1179

David Oldroyd

That last one is my absolute favorite.  I just need a tree trunk and some glass!!  That’s easy enough, right?  Then I would have 3 tables.


So I am in a quandary.  I obviously I need to get rid of a set of table and chairs because my basement is filling up quickly and my living room can’t handle this many occupants.

 What would you do?

And for those of you who like the Docksta/ Fake Tulip table… well honestly it looks like crap in person.  It’s always dirty looking and just brings down the quality and finish of my whole first floor.  So it may stay for a bit, but its not a keeper.

  1. Anna

    I am in love with those chrome chairs, so I would try to keep those in the space by putting the antique table on a pedestal. But I do like the idea of painting the antique table black or a fun color (like the turquoise) and pairing them with the tulip chairs. Whatever you end up doing will be great though!

  2. My VOTE: Heirloom table // Tulip Chairs

    Then separate and scatter those amazing chrome & leather babies around the house, but definitely keepers!!!

  3. No, Naomi, your small house isn’t stupid, just a challenge. And the challenge is makes for, i think, better and more creative design. Personally, i love your table and the idea of casters bringing it up. And I also love the evident inperfections of your table which I would not erase but embrace! They’re signs of life being lived. Beyond which, I personally am always in favour of paying down the mortgage over buying more furniture. Use what you got, be smart, be creative. You’ll make it gorgeous

    • Naomi

      whoa, I would never think to paint the table turquoise, but that is pretty fab!!

  4. Does heirloom table come apart? Could you use it as a pair of demilune tables somehow until it came time to host a big party? I know, kind of an oddball suggestion but your (smart) readers have already given you some good feedback.

    Personally I do not think chrome chairs will ever go with heirloom table. I think casters are a great idea. I think either heirloom with pantons or chrome chairs with a pedestal table… both could be awesome.

    • Naomi

      Ooo demilunes would be cute, but too big for my own space. Stupid small house.

  5. Kim Grey

    The wooden table is beautiful. I think you should keep it, both because it is beautiful, and because it’s a family heirloom. The metal and leather chairs look good with it, to me, as they have a similar worn, chocolatey look. I say, raise the table up, and make it work. Also, keep those original Panton chairs!

  6. Karena

    Naomi, me again, also be interested in the bamboo stools if you would sell them!


  7. Karena

    Naomi I can see the new table black, and you have to raise it to really use it as a dining table; so casters.. Love the leather chairs very cool! Do you want to sell your bamboo chairs if so I am interested.

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  8. Jennifer

    Aw, grrrrl. I’d be happy get those fine new chairs outta yo way! Lemme know.

  9. amy

    I may be the only one, but I’d ditch the table and keep those chairs. I know NOTHING about decorating so please don’t listen to me. I just like the feel of the chairs in your space but don’t think the table vibes as well. But really….I know nothing…..

  10. Shannon

    The heirloom table is amazeballs – hoist that bad boy up a few inches and you’re golden. You’re right about the Docksta. I painted mine a glossy black so it sucks less visually, but it’s still a crappy table.

  11. angie

    It’s a great table, but the inspiration pics you’ve posted tell me that what is putting you off now is there are too many legs all in the same places. Your first two pics the table is leggy but the chairs are not. The remaining pics the chairs are leggy but the tables are not. I’m not sure you’re ever going to be happy with leggy chairs and leggy table combined, even if you raise it up.

    • Naomi

      MMM good eye, Angie. Hadn’t thought about it from that angle!

  12. Arman

    Build a circular platform/footrest

  13. sue

    castors on the legs to hoist it up a bit & a date with a french polisher to bring it back to former glory… i think such an open space needs a solid piece like this to weight the space down {oh, & it’s beautiful!}

  14. Nancy

    I’d keep it and put tall rolling casters on it! Love it with your chairs if you just refinished the top it may be all you have to do! good luck, it’s a keeper!
    xo Nancy

  15. furniture hoarding, a term that I know all too well! I agree scrapping the ikea table soon. I have one myself and mine is looking rough too. I can’t wait to replace it! I personally love the new heirloom table as is and would spend the money on sprucing up the tulip chairs and storing the ones you have going on now. In with the tulip chairs, out with the faux tulip table !

  16. Sara

    I love the table, I think I would strip it and refinish it, but then again, I love the last image you showed. I think some driftwood and a glass top would bring your dining room to another level. I feel like the heirloom table (as beautiful as it is) kind of takes away from your chairs, which I absolutely love!! I’m a hoarder as well, and have a hard time saying no to amaze-balls pieces that I always rationalize for future use. Excited to see what you come up with, good luck!!

  17. Ashley

    Given that I’m chiming in late this might already have been suggested but…could you rework the top of the table and have a new pedestal base made for it? That way, you’d be keeping an heirloom but still modifying it to fit your space and needs.

    If you do that, I vote for stripping and bleaching the top. Just my 2¢!

    • Naomi

      Thanks, Ashley! Do you have experience bleaching? It’s new to me and freaking me out a little.

  18. keith

    I would normally say paint it, but, what’s feeling right is a set of china casters and a refinishing with those gorge chairs.

  19. jody

    The first thing I thought of was casters! I LOVE that idea! And keep those new to you modern chairs with the vintage table–the contrast just makes them both shine. I hate painting vintage pieces, but I have to say it would probably look stunning in your home….shiny black or a bright something that would pick up all the color in your pillows and art…

  20. I also think you’ll appreciate the leaf for extra seating when the time comes to host your dinner party! Especially around the holidays…

  21. As Julia said, I love the heirloom table as-is. A good cleaning/ touch up paired with the tulip chairs. (even though the chrome chairs you just found are fantastic). I think casters would be perfect to raise the height.
    If the table is free, can you splurge a tad on fixing up the chairs? I would suggest ghost chairs (I had a similar table with Lucite chairs) but just remembered you have stools in the kitchen.
    Can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

    • Naomi

      Yes, I have those ghost stools, so I wouldn’t repeat. I am seriously considering fixing up the tulip chairs though. They’ve been abandoned in the basement for too long. I should either fix them and sell them or fix them and use them…

  22. Sarah

    Storage unit time! Seriously. After living in 5 houses in the last 7 years a storage unit is totally worth it. Something might not work in this house, but it might be perfect in the next one. There are several pieces I wish I had kept as I now have the right spot, or a new purpose for.

    You could raise the table, but I don’t love it with these chairs…But…it is a fab table…and could work in an eat in kitchen or library or dining room…so many possibilities. You’ll use it someday. AND since it is family too…don’t get rid of it…you’ll regret it later…

  23. Lynn

    I love that antique table. I love that it has a story. I have never been totally taken with the chairs – at least, not as dining room chairs – armrests are comfy, but just seem to get in the way somehow. They looked excellent with the Docksta, but at the same time they looked like they were slung a bit low, like eating might be awkward, elbows at ears and all that.
    Which is to say: I dunno. Definitely the heritage table, either sanded back or painted matte black. Maybe with casters (brilliant idea) the table would welcome the leather chairs. Otherwise, maybe pair it with more streamlined, armless, chairs.
    You will get it right! You always do!

  24. Ann

    I was just looking at the photos again. Is the problem with the height of the table, or the depth of the edge? It may be that the table is not too low, but the apron of the table may be deeper than usual, so there is no room for knees.

    • Naomi

      Hi Ann- the table is only 28″, so that is pretty low. Most tables are 29-31″. Yes the height of the apron doesn’t help, either!

  25. Ann

    I have been thinking about how you would raise your heirloom table. I don’t like the idea of a new base, because the carved legs are charming, and an important part of the table. What about adding a block of wood to the top of each table leg? It would peek out from under the top for the two or three inches that you need, and then the carved part would begin. If the blocks were refinished with the rest of the table, I doubt if you would even notice. If you removed the finish or stained, then you’d have to use the same wood. If you painted, you could use anything. Just an idea.

  26. OK, I am an antique nut, so I am gravely biased. But I LOVE the heirloom table. I wouldn’t strip or paint it – I would use some tinted oil on it to even out the finish and then go to town on it with colorless satin wax (so it will survive many more years). And then, because it has to work with chairs, I would do the very simplest thing possible to make it work (which has the added bonus of looking like you might’ve meant to do it all along): add casters. Like these: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hickory-Hardware-2-5-8-in-x-1-in-Brown-Windsor-Antique-Furniture-Caster-405349165/203080076?MERCH=REC-_-product-1-_-203080077-_-203080076-_-N.

    I realize this doesn’t offer a solution with respect to the chairs. I like the leather chairs, too, and can’t decide whether (provided they fit under the new table) they would work with it. I see that some contrast would be nice. And I certainly don’t advocate spending a pile on redoing your existing chairs. And buying a THIRD set of dining chairs would be, well, odd. But I certainly would be biased in favor of that heirloom table first of all. Are there any chairs you could handle parting with that might fetch a decent price on resale, thus reducing your furniture infestation and plumping up the budge for your next move?

    • Naomi

      I could probably sell either set of chairs and make a little money.

      As for the finish… it really needs something. The apron had to be repaired in places so the wood is quite lighter in certain areas.
      Thanks for the ideas, though!
      Agree about casters. It used to have them and they seemed to have been lost during the table repair.

  27. I’d strip it down to natural wood and find some antique/vintage casters to raise it up a little…it’s such a pretty piece!

    • Naomi

      Katie the natural wood is only a few shades lighter than the current stain. But at least, it would contrast the floors. Right now they are practically the same shade.

  28. rok

    I’d try to make the table work and get some other chairs (such as the tulip or panton)…in context, the new chairs seem busy for the space (based on the last few shots of them) but definitely go with what is comfortable. If the wood is looking good, then keep it natural (vs. bleaching).

  29. Julia

    Here’s my two cents….personally, I love the table just the way it is. I’d just give it a good cleaning and use some “crisp” chairs!

  30. I was going to suggest what Angeline said about finding alternative pedestal bases for your heirloom table top, and then refinishing it as you see fit. Maybe scour your local antique/flea markets to see if there is a viable dual pedestal situation (so you can retain the ability to open up the table), and go from there? I maintain that comfort is key in dinner party success – if your guests are too uncomfortable to linger for that second bottle of wine with dessert, you won’t care what your room looks like. Pick the chairs you like to sit in the best, and then design around them. Oh, and win the lottery or something.

    • Naomi

      yes lotto woo hoo! Then I’m dumping all of it and buying a glass house in the woods 🙂

    • Shelby

      I love the idea of changing it to a pedestal table! Those chrome and leather chairs are worth the change up to the table- I love them! And seeing what you’ve been able to do with your awesome place, I have every confidence in your abilities. Good luck!

  31. Angeline

    I vote for the hoisting and stripping it to bare wood…what if you found a table base and used the heirloom table top you have – that would get the height and look you were after…? Whatever you do, know that when you do have that dinner party, you’ll probably want to move furniture, etc. around for the party – so do this just for you and what will make you happy every day.

    • Naomi

      hmm interesting thought. Finding a new base and still being able to expand could be challenge, but also totally awesome. Would you like it with bleached wood or just natural?

  32. your instincts are always spot on so I am sure will find a great solution. agree about the docksta – not so bueno up close and personal. i wouldn’t have a moment of heartburn goodwilling that. loving the chairs you found and the wood table is a definite keeper. raise the sucker up and refinish it at some point. all will come together even if you have to break up the chairs as a set for now – storing one or two and scattering the others throughout the house etc etc etc

  33. I like your idea of hoisting the table up a bit — knowing you, you’ll figure out some creative way to do it! And trust me, you’ll eventually want a table that expands for future guests! I love your cottage! Cheers!

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