What Type of Kitchen Table/Chairs Do You Have & Where Did You Buy

cupofkindnessJanuary 19, 2006

My fairly-insignficant-in-the-scheme-of-things problem is this: my family outgrew our kitchen table a few years ago and I'm having a hard time replacing it for a table that seats ten that will still fit in a kitchen breakfast nook. I need a table about 84-90" long, 36"-42" wide a trestle or double pedestal base is preferable, though ordinary legs are fine too. The only extensive collection of suitable tables that I've found are on-line, alledgedly made by the Amish, and are custom, that is, made to order. This link below shows an example of the type of table I'm considering.

In any case, has anyone had any experience with purchasing tables or kitchen chairs from an internet source? What about a particular sticks and bricks store? Can you recommend any particular brand or advise against a certain manufacturer? I believe that you get what you pay for, so I'm steering away from Target/Walmart products. But I don't want to spend a small fortune either, so I'm also steering clear of upscale furniture stores.It seems that you cannot walk into a store and find really large tables unless they are of dining room scale, but even then, dining chairs that match the table are often really big too, so you can only seat eight at most dining tables anyway. Chairs that I'm looking at are bow back chairs, because the chair back isn't formed by the rear set of legs. My children rock in their chairs (they aren't supposed to but they do), so the chairs need to be hardwood and well-constructed. Also, my favorite unfinished wood furniture store (and the only one around) is closing, so unfinished isn't an option. Plus, I don't want to buy a project, that is, the task of finishing the table and chairs. My house is filled with half-finished projects and I don't want any more. You know, if I didn't care what my house looked like, I'd love to buy those cheap, plastic 5-wheel rolling office chairs (with pneumatic lift and springy backs) that come in a rainbow of colors. I could color code each child with a chair. And no more chair feet scraping the floor. But, that's not going to happen....

The kitchen table needs to seat ten, four on each side and one on each end. As such the chairs need to be of a smaller scale, no wider than 18" each.

Thank you in advance for your replies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Custom Amish Tables

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My table is 83" by 38" and has a distressed finish. It's really quite nice and I'm very happy with it so far, but we've only had it about 7 months. We got it at World Market (Cost Plus). Because we have little kids, we got a matching bench for one side rather than all chairs. We bought 4 chairs and a bench, plus we have several spare chairs stored away for those times when we need more seating. The bench has been great; I was worried about it because my mom tried very hard to talk me out of it as being a hassle and uncomfortable. However, you can easily seat a lot more people on a bench, it slides under the table to give you more room when not dining, and does not visually impact the space like chairs do. This was a big thing for us because our only dining area adjoins the kitchen and is fairly narrow. The kids love it and the adults have chairs so everyone is happy. I'll link to their tables below - ours is the Sourav. I love that it has no seams, leaves, etc and the distressed finish is great with little kids around! We bought it during one of their 20% off sales (frequent) plus saved another 10% by opening an account. We paid it off and closed it right away. There is some assembly but it's very very basic and if my dh can do it, anyone can. We're talking about a man who cannot put a hook in the wall without stripping out the screws. Oh, and we did not buy the Sourav chairs because my dh thought they weren't as comfortable as the ones we bought, but I can't remember the name of that line. Many of the chairs and tables mix and match. You can see that our chairs are slightly lighter than the table, but in real life it isn't noticeable like it is in the picture. The chairs we have are probably too big for what you want - we can only comfortably fit 3 of that type on one side, but we use our smaller spares for extra seating.

Here is my dining room:

Here is a link that might be useful: World Market dining tables

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 1:47AM
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Been there, done that! My step-father made us a wonderful table out of reclaimed bowling alley. It's more narrow than standard, and it's 6 feet long. So, not long enough for you, but in my searches, I came across Pop's Furniture. I bought my chairs & bench from them. I bought the Maywood line. Agree with Seekig that a bench is a super option for kids. Our furniture was unfinished, and the bench was only $149. I have no qualms about referring this company to you, especially if you or your husband is handy with putting together the furniture (very easy) and finishing it (a pain, but not hard). http://www.popsfurniture.com/kitchen.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's my table, chairs and bench

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 6:29AM
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Oops, just re-read, and saw you don't want to assemble/finish your furniture. Pop's also sells finished furniture for a slightly higher cost, but I don't know if you need to assemble. Also, I think I recollect you're west of the Missippi, which results in *much* cheaper shipping than I paid, since Pop's is (I think) in Texas. But my shipping was only $149 for 5 chairs and the bench, and some of their products already have free shipping promotions.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 7:18AM
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We have a table with a bench on one side as well. It's great for young children. Ours was my parent's table (the one I 'grew up' with. It's hand made by a local carpenter and clearly was well built considering it's at least 25 years old, been through my family of 7 (4 siblings) now my family of 5.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 10:09AM
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Thank you for your great replies! Proudmama, the color of your table is exactly what I'm looking for. And I like that it's narrower - an easy way to save space without making everyone feel crammed around the table. I have run across Pop's on the internet. It looks reputable and the prices are good. Seekingadvice, your set is beautiful, such an understated look. I'm going to have to find a Cost Plus in Dallas. Or perhaps Pier I will have similar tables? Skivino, what a treasure to have your family table. I would love a bench, I'll keep that in mind as well. Right now I'm off to our now-liquidating unfinished store to look at their 90" table in maple. They want about $500 for the table, it has clipped corners (for those who remember that my kitchen nook is shaped like an octagon, the clipped corners compliment that kooky room). I'm meeting my husband there in 15 minutes and will decide whether we want to buy a project.... Thanks again, everyone!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 11:42AM
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I saw a trestle table of the type you're describing at Pottery Barn recently. It was pretty nice, and around $800 I think. I'm planning on making my own smaller version, and $800 is probably cheaper than it would cost me in terms of time and materials. If your kids rock in the chairs, then you should look for pinned tenons. That's where a "pin" or dowel is drilled through the side of the tenon for additional mechanical strength. You'd want to have this construction for the rail that connects the front and rear legs of the chair.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 12:27PM
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Cup, I don't know if you bought your table. I'm in the market for one at least this size, though not this wood. This one is almost a perfect size imho.

Here is a link that might be useful: Double Pedestal Trestle Table, by Sunset Trading

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 1:46AM
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Well, we didn't buy the table. My husband "kicked the tires" and it wobbled quite a bit. And there were gaps between the leaves along the apron of the table. Plus, it's a project that I simply don't want to add to my list. However, there is something to be said about buying something that you can see. And the table top has clipped corners, a hard detail to find in a real store. In any case, thank you for these replies, they are extremely helpful in thinking through this process.

I've searched long and hard on the internet and I always come back to the "Amish' tables because I'm looking for a natural maple finish (so the wood is very light, a finish that matches my kitchen cabinets) and the predominate look I find on-line is country oak with a medium to dark stain, like Sheri's link, very beautiful, but a little darker than the look I want for my kitchen.

But here's my question. If the Amish people, as a part of their religious beliefs, eschew technology in every day life, how is it that "Amish" carpenters are building these tables? Certainly for $1200 the tables are created using electric power tools. Are there different degrees of "Amishness?" I'm beginning to wonder if furniture constructed by true Amish carpenters is handmade using 18th century tools and very expensive as a result. And that this Amish furniture industry is a ploy to trade on the belief that if it's crafted by Amish people the furniture is of top quality materials and workmanship. I do believe that the furniture is custom made out of hardwood, which is why it takes up to 16 weeks to receive the order and it is expensive compared to imported goods.

Can anyone speak to this issue, that is whether the Amish furniture industry is really drawing from true Amish carpenters? Moreover, has anyone bought furniture on-line and what is your experience? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 9:57AM
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Cup, do a search on Bond Dinette's. I have seen a couple of their tables/chair and the quality looks good. They are at least semi custom.
As for the Amish, I don't think they can afford enough land to continue to make a living farming so they have broadened their living. Furniture, quilts, food, and unfortunately pets/dogs.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 10:04AM
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hi cup -

We had a similar heavy, oak trestle table for years. It withstood alot of abuse until one day DH leaned on it with his buttocks (he won't admit to sitting on it!) and the leg snapped off. I won't ever again buy another table like this because we were unable to fix the leg. (We ended up giving it away on freecycle to a guy who used just the tabletop.)

We are now looking for a table with replaceable legs (since DH is still a "leaner"). Have you ever seen John Greenleaf's "Create-A-Table" collection? They come in lots of shapes and sizes and leg styles; and the price (unfinished) is reasonable. I saw them in a local unfinished furniture shop... maybe there's one near you? The nice part is they will also finish the table... and there are many stains to choose from. I think that Pops sells them, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: John Greenleaf Create-A-Table

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 4:18PM
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Cup, this link below is the inspiration for the table my step father made for us. The craftsman will make these to order, and the quality seems incredible. The prices are very high though. I *LOVE* his table.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gorgeous Expensive Trestle Table

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 4:23PM
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Is this what you're looking at? It seems to match your description. Personally, though, I will not buy from anything from the Amish because of their involvement in the puppy mills. But they do make beautiful things.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amish Table with Clipped Corners

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 4:32PM
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These are my chairs. They're ladderbacked, I bought them years ago unfinished from JC Penny. I put 6 coats of lacquer
on them. Originally they had hard rush seats. We hated them, even with chair pads! DH made hardwood seats and I padded and covered them myself.

I'm thinking of painting them black?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 6:05PM
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Re: Old Order Amish using power tools to make furniture:

In October I went to a building trade show and spoke with the Old Order Amish president of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company with 60 employees. He does not use electricity in his own home -- he has gas-powered appliances. But he was using a laptop computer at his exhibit, and the cabinet factory uses power equipment. I suppose it could be run off of a gas-powered generator, but not necessarily. Individual Amish and Mennonite congregations have considerable autonomy over exactly to what extent they eschew modern technology.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 7:35PM
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Guess what topic is banned from Friday night sundown until sundown on Saturday....Anything Kitchen!


    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 8:10PM
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Yes, that's exactly what I'm looking for in a light maple. Puppy farms? Egads, just another category of purchases to feel guilty about.... I can't buy anything from China without a twinge of guilt either....

Ellen: Thanks for the insight into Amish business practices. I'm glad they've found a way to survive and still hold their belief system together. I admire those people for their lifestyle and discipline.

Thanks again for all of the replies!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 10:25AM
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Does anyone have a table with a Corian top?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 4:04PM
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Can anyone recommend a source for inexpensive, bow-back chairs in maple or birch? By inexpensive I mean between $75-$100. Bow-back is sometimes called windsor. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 11:15AM
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"Does anyone have a table with a Corian top?"

Not yet, but I will....I guess that doesn't help you...

Here's my "corian guy" kitchen - his own kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 2:31PM
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Here is a site with great "antique-ish" furniture, including tables. I really, really want 4 of their stools for my kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tables

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 4:44PM
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Cup, my sister in law recently purchased Windsor chairs for a song at JCPenney's online outlet store. She also bought matching swivel bar stools. Not sure if they have your color left, but it's worth a look. Looked them up for you. This are shipped assembled from North Carolina. Excellent bargain and quality product. A pair runs $129, the swivel stool $69.99.

Here is a link that might be useful: JCPenney's spindle chair...also check out the country chair

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 2:18AM
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Here is one from Pier 1 I am considering - the Torrance table.

It doesn't show in the photo, but the table has a rustic distressed look to it. My dilemma is that I don't like the matching chairs which are wicker, so I am trying to find something else.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pier1's Torrance dining table

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 10:06PM
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lilathabit, that table is very similar to mine, from Cost Plus (see my post at the top). You might try them for chairs - my dh preferred different chairs, too, so we got a different style. I would guess the finishes would be very similar to the table you're considering.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 4:05PM
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I would, but I don't live anywhere near a cost plus. I wish I did - it looks like a great store!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 4:15PM
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