My husband and I recently bought our first house. Like all moves, it started out totally chaotic—until we got a small tulip table and two chairs set up in my new kitchen’s breakfast nook. With a place to sit and eat lunch in between unpacking boxes, my husband and I found stability. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t immediately start dreaming how we could put a built-in banquette along the corner and upgrade the light fixture to something more our style, but we still had that comforting feeling that we were finally beginning the new chapter we had long imagined. And even when the unpacking took way longer than anticipated, as it always does, the daily routine of gathering at the table made our new house feel like home.
As I look back on memories of past homes, most of the noteworthy moments happened around the dinner table or saddled up to the kitchen counter. The dining table in my childhood home hosted holiday dinners and, with newspaper protecting the wood, was a great place for my brother to paint model airplanes and cars while I played with my paper dolls. In college, my friends and I gathered around our hand-me-down tables, eating cheap pizza, studying for finals, and laughing at the weekend’s events. My apartment in San Francisco was the setting for my first Thanksgiving away from family, and it was where I learned that you need to buy groceries long before the Macy’s Parade begins. That morning we discovered our local market had sold out of turkey, ham, and even rotisserie chicken! We grabbed a few slices of deli meat, and it became one of my most memorable meals, enjoyed by candlelight in the bay window of our dining room.
Needless to say, the dining table is where life happens.
Family-friendly yet elegant, designer Katie Hodges’ work shows us it’s possible. Constructed with unsealed salvaged wood, which intentionally shows imperfections like nicks, nail holes, and knots, this farm-style table has an antiqued, time-worn quality from the start (a spill will only add to its character), while the chairs can be easily wiped down.
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