A Tale of Two Tables

So, friends in from out of town, dinner planned, what next? Facials, manicures, injections? Extra trips to the personal trainor?
Heavens no. A little do-it-yourself face lift for the Dream House.
Inspired by Nick Olsen’s post I went on the hunt for local tables that could be used for consoles in the dining room. I like the tables he recommended from Target, but did not want to pay for shipping. And I didn’t want to wait. I’m bad about waiting.
Latin American Imports here in town usually has a good selection of iron table bases and they had a style that I thought would work. The rusted finish was not what I had in mind, but change is nothing but a spray can away. I had queried darling Nicky if he thought I should gold leaf the entire table. “Just the circles.” Wonderful. Just the circles is easy.
Per his suggestion I purchased paint grade wood for the tops and painted them with Rustoleum oil based paint. I used Sunset Red in gloss and mixed in a little glossy black to make it darker. Mr. Blandings popped in mid-project. “Is the black oil based, too?” His gentle way of checking to see if I had botched the whole thing. “Mmm-hmmm.” “Huh. Wonder if you sanded it between coats if it would look even more like lacquer?” Knee-deep in passive aggression I replied, “Excellent idea.”
Nick suggested moving the blanc de chine, which was spot on, but the wall still seemed a little bare. These paintings were together on a different wall of the dining room, but I’d never been comfortable with them there. The scale wasn’t right. They seem happy here. They like each other, but they get along better with a little distance.
It’s not Paul McCobb. It’s more Jolly McNow.
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42 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Tables

  1. This is a really good job! Very good idea! The tables look so nice!! And putting the blanc de chine on the tables and hanging the paintings above, it is marvellous!
    I love the white of the blanc de chine pots which refers to the white colouf of the windows and seating!
    I love it!


  2. Mrs. B —

    Those tables look good and I love the ginger jars and the pictures — perfect! I had wanted a similar look at Linderhof but alas, filled it up with other things instead (much needed storage things) . . . You are so clever — they are wonderful!

  3. So chic Patricia! I think just gold leafing the circles was brilliant and I love your choice of red for the tops. Wow.

    The sconces, blanc de chine, paintings — perfection! Well done.

  4. Gorgeous! Great job. I love the red top especially- looks great against the black and gold base. The Blanc de Chine vases are a swell touch. Fantastic!

  5. Mrs B-
    The tables look great! The sage advice you received form Mr. Olsen has served you well.
    The memory of the McCobb has been forgotten.

    Bon Appetite!

    David @ Ashfield Hansen Design

  6. A French friend always referred to "un note de rouge" as being essential in any room, and your red topped iron consoles prove that point beautifully. Well done,
    Mrs B….

  7. I think you and Nick make a swellegant team. And I think you have mentioned before you want red leather on your dining room chairs. That will make the consoles even better, don't you think? As a Sooner girl, I'm not sure too much red is possible. Another lovely job here, Mrs. B.

  8. HBD – I was just telling that I want those chairs (and the table) to GO. But they won't. I am longing for leather; silk was a foolish and somewhat arrogant choice. We do, certainly, have a lot in common. Thanks so much.

  9. Mary – gold leaf is a piece of cake. You can find small kits at any craft store, or buy a la carte at art supply stores. The enclosed instructions walk you through it, but basically it is painting the base, applying the sizing, laying the leaf and then some sealing. It is not hard. It does take a little time, and it's a bit messy, but finding a little gold leaf confetti down the road can be fun.

  10. Love the red tops, but gotta admit, I also love the way you can see both pairs of circles in the top pictures, which makes me wonder if glass tops might have been preferable? (Still: good story material as is.)

  11. Beautiful project and outcome! One suggestion…especially for the holidays…what about removing the lids from the jars and filling them with tall branches…magnolia leaves, roses, fresh holly…anything tall and full and festive…might be nice for a seasonal change…I love your inspirational ideas as well as your clever and entertaining verse!

  12. MRS B-

    John Dickinson, the great San Francisco designer, used to talk about 'THE STRENGTH OF REPETITION'…which is very evident here.
    I love the perfect balanced pairs.
    They give harmony and balance to your room.
    i also like the CONTRAST of cheap and good…fritzy appliques and plain white urns.
    Chic, chic.
    cheers, http://www.thestylesaloniste.com

  13. Oh, I'm all about Jolly McNow. 🙂 And it looks great! The paintings also seem to get along fine with those fabulous white ginger jars.

  14. They look REALLY great. Consoles are maybe the biggest seller in the store these days. People are using them in so many ways. But what you did to those two and their accoutrements look like a million dollars. Now there's a dinner party room looking for a fancy hostess with a BIG FAT DIAMOND RING!!! Cheers, Bob.

  15. Anon – point taken. I think it needed the color – and, actually, at seated height you can see both sets of circles. Everybody wins.

  16. Looks great! Love the console tables and the jars. I always love to see your DIY projects. Just curious, what did you ever decide about curtains for your dining room? I remember all the ideas for fabric, trim, etc.

  17. Anon – Nothing! she cried while stomping her foot. Nothing is happening with curtains. It is always the "next" project. So much yardage. And labor. And rods. I feel like I'm buying a car every time I think about it.

    It doesn't take much to work me up into a tantrum. By the time I can afford them we will be moving into the empty nester house.

  18. RT – I'd email you to say thanks but I'm worried about the repercussions of ending up in your in box just now. So, thanks.

  19. Would it be too much if you had scarlet lampshades on the chandelier?
    Years ago, I had a chintz-walled dining room and it looked so good, I made matching slip-covers for the chandelier shades. I wonder if a bright red would resonate just enough with the deep red of the now gorgeous tables! Really a beautiful room and a wonderful wall color too! All that and food too! Yum!

  20. Patricia! How did I miss this post? I can hardly take any credit but the results are absolutely DEE-vine… am in awe of your DIY color field canvases, too, and the Nancy Lancaster yellow living room peeking through behind them!!

    Now, do we see red pleated silk shades on those sconces and the chandelier?

    Yours in dream house decorating,

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