Table for Eight

It’s high time I showed you the newest furniture addition to our household: the farmhouse table Dr. Jay’s dad made.


It’s made out of beautiful walnut he acquired in Georgia, and it’s not even stained, just a few coats of poly.

It’s very large, 95” long and 42” wide.  We wanted it to be able to seat at least eight people, and we can certainly do that.  I bet we could even squeeze two more if we really tried.


I know, can you believe he made that?  We are so in love with it.  He did a beautiful job with the proportions, considering every detail from the thickness of the top and skirt to the tapering on the legs.  The legs are even bolted on so we can remove them should we need to move the table. 

Dr. Jay and I have been talking about getting a dining table for a while.  When we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary last June we decided that since wood is the traditional fifth wedding anniversary gift, it made sense to get serious about a dining table whenever we found a home to move into.  Thank you, Grandpa, for making our farmhouse table dreams come true.

Side chairs are from West Elm, end chairs are Tolix knock-offs from World Market.  I was able to buy all of them during January furniture sales, and all the chairs are very sturdy and proving to be kid-proof.

Originally I was thinking that we should have a rug underneath the table to protect the floors and for some pattern, but then I realized that we don’t have quite enough space for two feet of rug on each side of the table.  You need two feet on each side so that the chairs stay on the rug when you pull them out from the table, and because of the way the window bumps out, I don’t have the clearance on one end.

window bump 

(Excuse the quarter-round molding we still need to attach from after the floor refinishing.  And the walls that need to be painted.)

Think I should do those FLOR tiles so that I can account for these corners? 


Ahhh, much better


So. Much.  Better.

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My in-laws!  They saved the day!  Literally they should have been wearing super hero capes because they absolutely saved us and I hope they know how much we appreciate it.  Dr. Jay’s parents are die-hard do-it-yourselfers and there is nothing they can’t handle.  They were planning to visit us last weekend anyway to drop off a table that Dr. Jay’s dad BUILT  US (more on that one later) so they modified their plan a little to spend the entire weekend with their son RE-finishing our refinished floors.  They swooped in at 8 a.m Saturday and left before noon on Monday.  Dr. Jay rented two sanders and bought more stain and polyurethane and they all went to town on our floors.  And stairs.  I am making it sound a lot easier than I am sure it was.  It required a LOT of effort to undo some of the wrongs that were committed on those floors.  They put in long hours sanding and removing dust, then stayed up late to get the various coats on in order for the floors to be dry and usable by Tuesday night.  My mom graciously hosted the kids and I last minute so we could be out of the way (and the dust and the fumes) and we returned on Tuesday to a tired Dr. Jay and beautiful floors.  So much better.  Crisis averted, panic attack denied.

This week I am trying to put our house back together and actually unpack a little downstairs.  The floor project was definitely a barrier to that part of the move-in, and now I think we’re ready to get comfortable down there.  TWSS.

And we have a gorgeous new dining room table and chairs just waiting for guests of a dinner party.  Who’s coming over?  I make a mean chicken tikka masala. 

Curbly obsession

I have a new internet obsession:  Curbly.  Have you been there?  It’s a site devoted to DIY, with tutorials on everything from crafts to home decor to easy construction solutions.  This morning I made an envelope pillow with simple-to-follow instructions from Curbly:


This is a terrible depiction of the pillow, but this is what happens when I wait until 10 o’clock at night to take a photo.  There is no natural light and I am too lazy to use the nice camera and I resort to my phone.  Sorry about that, but trust me, I’m proud of the first ever pillow cover I sewed today.  It’s actually a pillow for our future baby girl’s room, and the fabric is a vintage table cloth my mother-in-law bought at a yard sale.

Here are a few of the other tutorials I’ve found recently and put on my “I can do this” Pinterest board:


Fold Down side board (side note, just 10 minutes after I had pinned this, I had 16 Repins and Likes.  Pinterest just blows me away sometimes)

Leather Strap cabinet pulls


These are just so unusual and I could see them on a cabinet in a room where there isn’t much competing furniture, like on a media console.  Or to make something from Ikea look a little less like it came from Ikea.

And here’s something so cool, making use of an old dresser or thrift store find:

Succulent Planter

What a gorgeous way to display succulents, or any plants for that matter. 

And last, but not least, because I am overtaken by Easter this year:

Easter Egg Garland made from paint chips!


I think better get myself over to Ace Hardware this week and find some easter-iffic paint chips!

Curbly has everything from DIY tutorials to tips on cleaning, home maintenance, fun craft projects and inspiring reader Before and After projects.  Check it out if you have a moment.  I plan on hanging out there a lot!

A boy and his kitchen

Well, though the Young House Love couple beat me to the punch, Mark also got a custom-made play kitchen for Christmas.  Dr. Jay’s family began work on the mini-kitchen when we visited Georgia for Thanksgiving. It all started when I suggested that Mark might need a play kitchen and sent some ideas for how it could be done to his grandparents via email. Here’s a link to a few of the other DIYed play kitchens I saved on Pinterest.  Grandma D and I headed out just before Thanksgiving and lucked upon a remnant of cabinetry alongside the road in north Georgia. It was solid cherry, missing a top, and cost $20. We eventually got it home (it did require two trips and mingling with some old gents, but we managed) and Grandpa and uncle G started working to cut it down and make it usable.  This is the best “before” shot I was able to get.  The cabinet is sitting on its side.  They didn’t let it stay in its “before” state too long before hooking up the power tools and hacking into it.


This involved cutting a few inches off the bottom (part of which was water-damaged anyway), cutting about 6 inches from the top to make it more of a toddler-height, replacing the side panel, and adding a top piece. Once this was done, I decided to make things more complicated by suggesting a back-piece with shelves. Somehow I took on the role of design-consultant and managed to stay away from the power tools.JMD_7532


Here’s Mark with it before the side piece was replaced and before the top and back were added.  It’s still a little tall for him, but the intention is for him and his cousins to be able to use it for a few years and grow into it.  And, as of Christmas Eve, Mark now has a brand new cousin to share the kitchen with!  Welcome to the family, Henry Joseph! 

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Grandma found the bowl to be used for a sink basin at the grocery store.  Shelf installation:


We came up short when looking for a faucet at the local Habitat ReStore, though we nearly left with some beautiful tiles for the backsplash, we decided that might be taking it a little too far. My sister-in-law (thrift queen) spotted the perfect faucet and handles at the Humane Society thrift store ($5) and there we gathered most of the other accessories like the pot and pan, wooden salt and pepper shakers, and pillow cases I used as fabric for the curtains.


We decided that the sink side of the bottom would be open to below with curtains. I had a feeling Mark would like this little spot to climb into. We also decided that the two existing drawers would become an oven door and regular drawer- nothing too complicated, just a place to bake stuff and store stuff. Making the oven door hinge was a little complicated, but nothing Grandpa couldn’t figure out.


My mother-in-law (Grandma) graciously painted the nearly-completed kitchen while we were away during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She used leftover wall-paint, a pale-blue from their guest room. We all got back into finalizing when we were together a few weeks ago. My sis-in-law painted on the stove burners and oven front.




Here’s how it looked as we left on Monday (we’re leaving it at Grandma and Grandpa’s for all the kids to enjoy and because we lack space here in Old Town).  In the end, almost everyone helped out with this little kitchen, and the only details remaining are knobs for the stove.  We found those over the weekend, and Grandpa is working on making them moveable because we know our little cook loves moveable parts.  He’s already put the measuring cup under the faucet and turned the handles.  He does not understand why water doesn’t come out of this faucet.

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Here’s Mark using the drawer to stash all his kitchen tools.


And yes, he loves his little hiding spot.


And lest you think that for some reason this play kitchen is a little feminine for our rough and tumble boy, his Uncle G also constructed a real soccer goal for him this Christmas.  He is one lucky kid.