a very first in our 7.5 years of marriage

it's quite amazing to me, you see, that doug and i only, just today, bought our very first dining table set in our almost-eight years of marriage.

though, i will tell you this – up until now, we've had two kitchen tables. both that i hated. with a passion,

the first was a light peach set given to us by my parents as a hand-me down. it was used in our old house. as much as i never liked the colour they chose, i was still grateful. it was sturdy, after all. the quality, at least, was good.

so that was what we used in our dining/living room. but of course, it didn't match. the colours of the room consisted of a deep red and beige colour. if anything, we needed a nice dark colour to accent the room.

hey – we were starting off as a family – trying to make ends meet. so long as the table worked, we were happy.

then my parents bought us a kitchen table made out of pine. a round table with four chairs – all for $200.

this is where i became educated of what you get when you only have to pay $200 for a wooden table set. this is also where i learned the difference between types of wood. because you see, pine is one of the crappiest types of wood to use as a dining type table that you need daily. it's a soft wood, especially when cheaply made, in which the screws become loose with wear and tear.

and it didn't take much. every few days, we needed to tighten the screws. and every time we tightened the screws, we made the holes bigger and bigger. it basically got to the point where i didn't trust the stability of the table and asked doug to swap it with our then, light-peach dining room table. which was really a kitchen table anyway.

for the past year, we've kept the pine-wood set in our dining room, being used mainly as somewhere to hold our mail.

and so i just couldn't bare it anymore. and it's not like we have a lot of money right now but for crying out loud, i figured we could at least find a decent table and decent chairs, nothing fancy, but sturdy and modern and clean enough, at a fairly reasonable price.

and so, we got a BJURSTA table that seats four but expands out to seat up to eight. we also got the GILBERT stackable chairs. they are not fancy at all, but they stack, which is great for our narrow townhouse. and the wood part is oak.

and my attempts at not making everything match, i will choose nicer chairs for the table ends. my thoughts are on the below chair as he cover can be taken off and machine washed:

it's a good start. assuming we do move to a bigger place one day, we'll look into a bigger table that expands out to a seating of 12. but this is a perfect size for our small area right now.

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10 thoughts on “a very first in our 7.5 years of marriage

  1. What a wonderful choice!! I have a hand me down table that has leaves that can be added so that it can seat more people. That sure has come in handy with our large family and when we have company over or our kids have friends over. We learned quickly about water damage to the wood finish so, even though they are not the most attractive things around, I either have used plastic table clothes or plastic place mats. That has saved the finish somewhat. Someday, I perhaps will refinish it but by then, we may have grandchildren so, I will probably never bother. We do not have chairs that match. Ours are a hodge podge. I love the chairs you chose and I especially love the chairs with the material on them. I think you did an excellent job in picking something that can grow with you and is attractive!! My mother finally broke down and got the things they make to wrap around the leaves of the table to protect them. We don't have those. We used to keep the leaves under the bed, but now we lean them up in the side of the closet. My neighbor had her leaves fall on her from her closet and give her a black eye so it is a good idea to make sure they are very secure. Enjoy your new table!!!

  2. I love the table you chose! I was actually eying that exact model and stain/finish when I was at IKEA. However, we don't have any space for a dining table, so we won't be buying one until we get a larger home. Right now we use our new LEKSVIK coffee table (dark stain of course) for everything from dining to crafting. I really like the combination of chairs you chose for your dining set. The cloth chairs add a nice contrast to the wood table and chairs.

  3. i'm actually kind of nervous about showing this to my family. my aunt/uncle are planning to move this year to a smaller appartment and they have an old teak set they want to pass down to us. i would take it as well but it's so big! and it doesn't match. but… it is something i would use in another room if we ever move. perhaps to keep in a finished basement. i know teak is a great material – hard to find these days and if you do, very expensive. my master bedroom set is my parents' old teak set from the 70's. i love it. it's got a retro and yet contemporary look that doesn't look old fashion throughout the changing trends. the material is truly amazing to have lasted this long and still be holding strong!

  4. i know others scoff at ikea because it's cheap. but i like their stuff! and i'm learning to be careful what i choose in ikea. i think if you are smart about what types of materials you choose for specific purposes, you can get some stable stuff there.the table we bought has been tested by a few of our friends. passed with flying colours. :)i plan on getting some dinnerware from ikea soon, too. very reasonsble price! at the moment, we have a mix 'n match of hand-me downs. i did buy this cheap asian-theme set but am sick of it. looks cheesy.

  5. Ah, yes, we have had many thing passed down to us and some of them are in the attic. So hard to say no. Too bad too, because when my aunt passed away, she had beautiful pieces and we have no space for them.

  6. I like the idea of having the two different end chairs…it's going to look nice I bet! I also need to buy a new table…they have some beautiful ones at geovin.com (Canadian), but I'm afraid to go there and see how much they are…I wish things didn't have to cost so darn much.

  7. I really like IKEA's stuff. Their contemporary style suits my tastes very well. I agree, they offer a mixed bag of durable items. I like the look of their chunky hollow-core bookshelves and coffee tables, but I know they wouldn't last more than a year in our house. Whenever we are there, I always inspect any items I'm interested in before making a purchase. For that reason, I'm so glad they have most of their items on display.

  8. That's one of the two tables we were considering! We ended up going with the Stornas, as you already saw, but I loved the Bjursta, too. Ikea gets a bad rap, but I don't know where else we could find a solid wood table for under $500. Not to mention that I've found furniture shopping to be a torturous experience, sucking up weekend after weekend. Just not possible with kids. So, a one-stop trip to Ikea it is… still lengthy, boring for the kids, but we bribe them with ice cream and a stop in the kids' section, and at the end of the afternoon and $60 flat-rate shipping, we've got furniture for 3 rooms being delivered the next day. Setting it up, well… that's a different story. 🙂

  9. i wanted the biggest BJURSTA size but it would not have fit in our dining room. i am sort of wondering if i should have purchased the next size up (3 rectangular sizes in the series) mainly because while it would have been cramped extended, it would still have fit when in it's compact length. and it was only $60 more then what we spent.
    maybe if we move, we'll get one of the bigger ones and use this one as a work table or kitchen table if it fits the colour scheme.
    i think ikea is good so long as you do your research on the material. i have heard that if you take it appart for a move and put it back, you compromise it's stability. having said that – i would think that if you were to move, you would want to keep everything in one piece (why take it appart and cause extra work?)
    chaeli loves ikea – mainly for the kids section.
    that's why we didn't take her this time – we wanted to be in and out that day. had a lot to do – our day actually started off with us waking up at 7:30am on a saturday morning (we wanted to go to the gym by 8:45am – had to do weights followed by a yoga class). we were out of ikea by lunch time.

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