Love draws closer

By Mir
February 19, 2009

What I told Otto—and what I thought was the truth—was that if we replaced the kitchen table, then I could tolerate everything ELSE I want to change about the kitchen, a while longer. The truth is that the kitchen is probably the only room left that’s still in its original-to-the-house state. I suppose it’s possible that the (ugly) wallpaper isn’t original, or that the (cracking) vinyl was replaced once along the way, but the cabinets and countertops and quite possibly the stove are ooooooold.

Not that there’s anything wrong with old. But in my mind’s eye, I see fresh paint, new cabinets, a stainless steel countertop, new appliances, and a floor I won’t mind mopping because MOPPING WILL ACTUALLY IMPROVE ITS APPEARANCE.

Someday, we’ll redo the kitchen, and it will make me deliriously happy. But probably not until the kids are grown and gone. In the meantime, I wanted a shiny dinette.

So I got my shiny dinette and it did just what I wanted it to do—it made the kitchen seem like it was MEANT to be sort of old-school on PURPOSE. It no longer feels like “go through the crappy kitchen into the nice dining room,” but more like “go through the kitschy kitchen into the nice dining room,” instead. I can dig it.

What I didn’t realize, when we brought it home, was that I’d wanted it for the wrong reasons.

It’s very shiny and pretty, true. But it’s also smaller than our old wooden table. Instead of sitting two on one side and two on the other, we each have our own side to sit on. This means I’m next to both kids and directly across from Otto. This means that I can rest one instep gently along the curve of his foot for an entire meal, and that when Monkey drops something I can reach it, and when Chickadee needs help opening the salad dressing I can easily reach over and assist.

This table top is significantly noisier than our old table, too. Silverware clatters. Dishes scrape. Setting a glass down causes a faint clanging that I don’t remember from the old table. I don’t know if it’s the extra noise or something else, but so far our conversations at dinner seem more jovial. It’s hard not to laugh when setting down a dish causes your fork to jump up and make a little music with the edge of your plate.

It’s fun to look at, but even better—when I walk past it in the morning, after Otto and the kids have headed off to work and school, I know that no matter what the day brings, we’ll all be sitting there together, tonight, talking and laughing.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Here’s to those small, noisy places where all is right with the world.


  1. Otto

    Hey, you forgot the part about how now we can look longingly into each other’s eyes across that table …

    Jeez …


  2. Jen

    I thought this post was VERY GOOD until I read Otto’s comment, now it’s PERFECT!

  3. Katie in MA

    Awwwww! Is there room for two or three hundred of your favorite readers to come join you? No?…but what if we promised to take care of clean-up? Still no? What if we promised to be clangy and noisy and full of laughter, too? Because you painted the perfect family moment to me and I want to share!

  4. Megan

    Now you need two squeezy bottles – red and yellow – and a glass sugar shaker with a shiny steel top.

    What a fun table, and I love the swishy curves!

  5. Debbi

    Happy Love Thursday! What a wonderful story and table!

  6. Randi

    I love that table! Very ‘retro’. But what happens when you’ve got company over?!

  7. Mir

    We eat in the dining room, of course! Silly! ;)

  8. Randi

    Ooooh! Duh!!

    I blame my lack of brains on the fact that my husband has been HOME for three weeks STRAIGHT and I’m going CRAZEE and just when he goes back to work the KIDS are off on VACATION for a WEEK AND A HALF and just when they go back to school my HUSBAND has ANOTHER TWO WEEKS off because the owner of the factory he works at is a MORON and the economy STINKS so I’m not going to have any time to myself AT ALL.

    Huh. Guess I had to get that off my chest. Thanks Mir!

  9. Tammy

    LOL @ Otto. Mir, how could you forget that part? Gaahhhh!

    Love the table & I agree with Megan…I hear those ketchup & mustard bottles can be found @ Sam’s.

  10. ChristieNY

    Aw I love it! My husband’s been working late and the kids eat much earlier – I miss those family dinners so much. Enjoy your new table and all the good times that you share around it! :)

  11. Barbara

    Love it! Even if I guessed the wrong color – who would have guessed gray? It is quite lovely, Mir.

  12. Casey

    Ohhhhhh…me likey. Nice choice.(but then I’ve always admired your taste)

  13. BethR

    And along with the sugar shaker and ketchup/mustard bottles, you need a straw dispenser ( )!

  14. BethR

    OOH, I forgot the most important part… bendy straws!

  15. Foodie


  16. Dyan

    Awwwwww :)

  17. Lori N

    We have an oval table that converts to a small circle. I love being within arms reach of everyone.

  18. Jill in Atlanta

    It didn’t work for me. I replaced the easy stuff and I just started itching for the rest of it. My kitchen is sad, and the last part of the house to get any attention too. I’m not sure what can be done within the budget- if anything.

  19. Scottsdale Girl

    I have a beautiful old two oven with retractable burners stove that would match beautifully with that table and your shiny new counters when you get them. Problem is the oven is OLD like 1950something and neither oven works and only one burner. And that only works on HIGH. Like red glow HIGH.

    So, you probably don’t want it …right?

  20. Sharon

    I like the kitchen table and chairs, a lot. It reminds me of the set in my grandmother’s kitchen when I was growing up. More than that, though, I like the reasons that the “new” table brings your family closer together at dinner, which is the most important meal of the day for a growing family. My children are all grown, and when they come home the thing they want most is a family dinner. Me, too.

  21. margie

    kath has that same table, in red.

  22. Heather

    How sweet! We eat dinner together as a family, and it’s loud, but not in the happy way that your dinner tables are loud. Like last night, for example, when hubby got home late and we dropped by a food establishment that my 5-year-old pointed out was the result of “not planning ahead” for dinner (aka fast food), and when we got home my 18-month-old was in hysterics because he hadn’t had a good nap that day, and then the 5-year-old wanted to watch Hannah Montana and it was already over, and so then she got hysterical.

    Good times. Can I come join your table?

  23. Karen

    OMGosh….Otto’s comment cracks me up. How lucky are you to have him, your kids and that table.

  24. jennielynn

    I am so glad you love your dinette set. I absolutely HATE mine and would scrap it in a minute, if I could just talk my husband into a new one!

  25. Jessica

    I looooovvveee the table and how it makes the room look homey and a sense of togetherness about it. Old school ya know.

    I love it love it.

  26. Jackie Joy

    *sniff* these love Thursday posts make me tear up every time, darn you.

  27. amy

    I love it! I always wanted one of those but now it wouldn’t work in my kitchen…Still do yourself a favor and skip the stainless steel countertops you mentioned wanting. They will make you crazy with finger smudges and smears and honestly don’t even get me started. I would definitely go with anything but.

  28. Sarah

    I’m glad that you like it! I’m sure that you’re planting the seeds of many, many happy dinnertime memories around that table for your children; what a great gift =)

  29. Giyen

    If I come over for dinner will you wait on me? Can I call you Flo?

    That dinette set is gorgeous. Well worth the drive. That napkin holder and S & P shakers are fabulous too.

  30. Cele

    No matter how long since my last visit here, one blog, or one month of blogs between, it’s always like coming home. I love Love Thursday.

  31. mama speak

    Jeez Mir, only you could write a post about a cool table & make it into a LOVE Thursday Post. That, is true talent.

    I lurve the table BTW. Just say no to stainless steel counters; you’ll constantly be cleaning the finger prints off. I’m just saying…

  32. hollygee

    An oilcloth tablecloth will help with the noisy clatter. I would go for a real tablecloth, but wiping down the oilcloth is much easier.

  33. karen

    Beautiful post :-)

  34. Ladybug Crossing

    OMG! It’s my grandmother’s dinette set! Her chairs were gray in the back and red on the seat. I LOVED that set – it was just “Gram”.

    I hope you have many years of happy meals at that table – I know we did!

  35. Michelle

    It really is a lovely set. And next to those beautiful windows!

  36. Asianmommy cute!

  37. Stephanie

    Great table, Mir! You’re one lucky gal. all ’round. ;-)

  38. Stephanie

    Oh, and those “don’t do stainless steel countertops” posters are spot on!

    The SS fridge is bad enough! Go for concrete, granite or some other “stone” type material…when you do it.

  39. Amber

    Nice table! And even better that your whole family is enjoying it. :)

  40. Amanda

    This was lovely, as your kitchen is in its mealtime magic, and will be another time, in a crisp, magazine kind of way.

  41. Catootes

    Oh OH OOOHHHH, Where oh where did you get that?
    Seriously. I’ve been looking for one just like it.

  42. Kate

    I have to say, and it really has nothing to do with the fact that our family owns a granite Co. but more for the fact that we’ve removed so many stainless steel counters – think long and hard about stainless, and as I look at your new
    kitchen table, I see so many colours in my mind in granite
    (which will last 500,000 years) on top of it all – I hope when it’s time you give granite a shot.

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