cast your vote - athena's table

What dining room table comes to mind when you see the following images? This was the challenge presented to me by one of my readers. She wanted my help finding her a solid wood dining room table that evoked something of the above. (She actually sent me about 31 inspiration photos in total so this is just a small selection.) Luckily, I think we're sort of on the same wavelength when it comes to what inspires us so I instantly had a few ideas.

Athena's dining room presently looks like this:

It has loads of potential and I think a new dining room table and chairs will make a huge difference. I should also mention that the black bookshelf is being replaced and that they are building a wood sideboard for the back wall. She's also purchased two black Caravaggio pendant lights (pictured below) that she intends to place above the table. Her only other request to me was to that the table had to cost no more than $2000. No easy feat!

So let's get started and remember please, cast your vote at the end to let Athena know which table you think would work best.

Table 1 - Design Within Reach - Harvest Table

I've already broken one of the rules with this piece as it is just over the $2000 mark ($2495 to be exact) but I think it is worth the extra money. It is made from solid walnut and has two drop leaves that makes it very adaptable. It would work well with both modern or more traditional chairs.

Table 2 - Crate and Barrel - Big SurI love solid white oak especially when it is naturally treated like this table is. I think it would look fabulous with the two Caravaggio pendants hanging above. I would prefer to see it paired with more refined and streamlined chairs that balance the heaviness of the table. Maybe something like the Thonet Era chair. There's just too much chunkiness in the above photo. It's also well within Athena's budget at around $1699.

Table 3 - Design Within Reach - Adaptable Table

It was the second photo of the table in the room that really sold me on this one. You can just imagine how it would look in Athena's dining room. I love the bursts of orangey-red in the chairs and the poster. The great thing about this table is that it comes in multiple different colour ways. It's also right on budget at $1995. However, it doesn't fulfill one of Athena's requests which was that the table be made of solid wood. The tabletop is either painted MDF or made of veneer coated MDF.

Table 4 - Restoration Hardware - Flatiron Dining Table

This table is handcrafted from antique elm doors and cast metal. It has an industrial feeling that I picked up on in some of Athena's inspiration photos. Personally, I love seeing these rustic pieces paired with softer and more curvaceous chairs. I can even imagine a random assortment of chairs maybe some covered in sheepskin throws around this table. In terms of budget, this table is the best value at only $1095. Restoration Hardware also has another all wood table called the Boulangerie that might fit the bill.

Table 5 - Canvas - Strap Trestle Table

I wasn't sure whether or not I should include this table because I thought it might be too much black. However, I think if it was paired with some wood chairs (or maybe all white chairs) it could look really amazing. It has a birch plywood top and solid pine legs and apron. It just makes the price range at $1925.

Table 6 - CB2 - Darjeeling Table

This table is similar in feel to the Flatiron table from Restoration Hardware. It is made from reclaimed rail ties and powder coated metal legs. I think the black Caravaggio lights would really bring out the black detail on the legs. This one is also very reasonably priced at approximately $1099.

Table 7 - Design Within Reach - Kayu Teak Table

The Kayu Table is made of solid teak from sustainably managed plantations in Indonesia. It has a raw, unfinished top that would develop a lovely patina with time. I even think it looks great with the mismatched chairs above although I would probably just stick to a combination of the Emeco, Tolix and Era chairs (especially if you're on a budget). The table is priced at $1890.

Regardless of which table you choose I think how you dress the remainder of the room will be important. I would love to see a patterned kilim rug under the table, some interesting art or a graphic poster on the wall, and interesting, sculptural objects displayed on the dining room table or sideboard. One of the things I noticed in all of the above photos is that it is what surrounds the table that really makes the room interesting. Think of the table as a building block that you can build upon for years to come.

So, now it's your turn....which one would you choose for Athena?

Image Credits:
1- Chris Dyson Architects
2- Lazaro Rosa-Violan
3 - Mark Tuckey
4 - Commune Design
5 - The White House - Daylesford, Australia