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The Trouble with Tables

February 23, 2009

p_f860_pip_we09a276_sp09_081125123340_pip_xlthumbp_p001_pip_we09a080_sp09_081125125702_pip_xlthumbI have a small kitchen. Hell, I have a small house. But the kitchen, which I have been working on for close to two years, is a 140-square-foot box. I’ve taken down horrid lattice work and painted the cabinets and transformed them from country bumpkin ugly to well, clean, white and simple with a mid-century vibe. Heinous wallpaper has been replaced with Sherwin-Williams’ Mandarin. And as soon as the faux brick linoleum (that’s real nice, btw) is replaced with a black-and-white checkerboard, I’m finally going to put a small table in the middle of the room. We have a big hand-me-down dining table in the nook in the living room/dining room, but save for a Thanksgiving feast for two or those unfortunate holidays when we’re doing the hosting, it’s nothing but a big ol’ catch-all for all sorts of shit. Catalogs that need to go in the recycling? Check. Painting supplies? Check. Leftover Christmas stuff? Sad but true. So I’ve decided we’re getting rid of the dining table (and matching bar/hutch thingie) and installing built-ins in the nook. I’m sure my husband will be thrilled to hear my plans. The kitchen is just the size for a small table in the center of the room. But for the person who took roughly three months to decide on what shade of blue to paint a 13-square-foot half bathroom, I’m having a hard time choosing. I can’t even settle on a shape. Do I want a round table to justapose all of the squareness of the space, or do I want a square table that can easily be pushed against the wall or relocated back to the nook? The table now is oval, and fits horribly in that space. While I’d put a Sarrinen table in there in a hearbeat if I had the funds, I do not, and really can’t do the fake thing either. It’s just so wrong. So instead, two current favorite contenders are both from West Elm: the Parsons table and the round table with the cutout base. I had the chance to test out the round table at a friend’s house recently and really liked it. The chairs fit underneath nicely, plenty of legroom, and the 30-inch diameter top was a lot more spacious than I’d expected. And I like the price. And it’s white. That’s the one thing I know I want from this potential table: for it to be sleek and white and shiny. I need to know more about the Parsons table, but unfortch there’s nary a West Elm store near me. Right now I feel like it will come down to cutting out a template to represent the size and shape of each table and taping them to the floor to get the best idea of what shape works best.

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