Living, Dining, and Bringing the Farm to the Ranch

To me, one of the greatest joys of home ownership is sharing our space with loved ones. Specifically, I’m talking about dinner parties. What’s better than enjoying great food and conversation in the comfort of your own home? Especially for those of us – ahem… HUSBAND – who suffer from the chronic and incurable condition known as the “food coma.”

We love our adorable, comfortable home, and have also loved having the opportunity to get a little creative with how we use our space. The original dining room had great natural light and looked out over the back yard, but the dimensions were a wee too teeny for all the guests we envisioned hosting. Here is the listing picture:


Additionally, we had this big, beautiful, “formal” living room that we couldn’t really see ourselves using the way it was designed. Again… the listing picture. (I can’t believe how much furniture this room holds!!)


After pondering this too little / too much space quandary, my husband had the ingenious idea to reinvent and repurpose our space in the way we saw fit – and that meant turning the living room into a big-o formal dining room and the dining room into a sunroom. (It’s cozy enough, after all!) This of course gave me license to have a great big dining room table. WOO HOO!!!!! Happy dance. Let’s get to work!

I found a tutorial on Pinterest for a homemade farm table from the Domesticated Engineer. She provided a cut list and step by step instructions, which we printed and took to Home Depot to collect lumber and supplies. The nice man in the lumber department made all the cuts for us so it was easy to load up the car with all the pieces. We got them home and laid them out to see what the final size would be.


Turns out it will be about 7 feet long and 3 feet wide. (Don’t you love that I waited until after I bought and cut the lumber to really assess the final size?) Anyway, it’ll be long enough to fit 3 parsons chairs on each side and 1 on each end… just in case someday  we can afford that many chairs! 🙂  Here’s what it looks like all put together… thanks to my sweet, drill-wielding husband!


I gotta say, the sanding took FOREVER, even with an orbital sander. There are just so many pieces and you have to sand each one the same way, rounding off the planed edges just so. If you try it yourself, make sure you wear a dust mask! Once we got it all sanded and assembled… Adam’s work was done and it was my turn working to get it all finished. We picked a dark walnut stain… and word the wise… that stuff needs professional shaking! I had never stained anything before in my life, so when the can said to “shake before using” I figured a few cocktail-style over-the-shoulder moves would suffice. NOT! The first half was water and the last half was tar. Miraculously. it turned out OK in the end after about 4 coats. Next time I’ll have the paint folks at the hardware store put the can on the paint shaker for me. (That’s probably what it would have taken to mix it thoroughly.)

So here’s what it looks like after 3 bad coats of watered down stain and one really extra thick one:




Here’s what it looks like all finished and in its new home in the transitional dining room.


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