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Diary of a Mad Renovator: In Search of the Perfect Table

Written by Jaqui Lividini

Now that we are ready to move in, the fun really begins—it's time to furnish the place! Our first order of business: finding the perfect table to complement our bay window/window seat. The spot has a gorgeous view, so we knew it needed to be a multi-purpose table—right for a game of chess or a cup of tea, a computer, or an afternoon snack. The question became what kind of table should we pair with this three-sided banquette. Round? Oval? High? Low? 

John had been campaigning for an old antique trunk we found at Farmington years ago. It is quite beautiful, with just a trace of century’s old blue paint and ancient carvings. My issue with the trunk is that it’s the wrong shape, and especially height, for the space. It is equal to the coffee table in height and is too long and narrow to be nestled in the banquette. My preference was a higher table either round or square—but not as high as tea table height—that would be too high. It should be somewhere in between.

I've spent a lot of time looking for solutions on One Kings Lane. We actually purchased an antique replica of an oval Georgian tea table. It didn’t work.

Georgian style oval table — too fancy for a beachhous

Then we found an authentic vintage chessboard table—gorgeous. At first it seemed perfect, not only because of the perfectly worn old paint, but also because John collects nautical chess sets. This table would be the perfect accessory for displaying a vintage set. Again, size and dimension became an issue. We found, in our over-stuffed storage facility, a side table that was about the same dimensions as the chess table. It’s so important when buying online to try to replicate a piece of furniture in the space. UGH! the perfect chess table felt dinky in size. I also thought the price ($1000) was a bit high for our budget. Back to the drawing board—or table in this case!

This substitute table was a stand-in for the vintage chess table we found on One Kings lane — the size and scale was not right, too small 

On this particular Saturday, we decided to take a ride to our favorite store in Branford, Taken for Granite, to buy a birthday gift for a friend of Calliope’s. TFG is a treasure trove of new and vintage accessories, both home and fashion. The owner has exquisite taste—there is always something new and unique to tempt you into a purchase. We hadn't been there for a while, and to our delight there was an octagonal table staring us straight in the face as we walked in.

The octagonal table when we first discovered it at Taken for Granite 

Perfect for my half-octagon window seat. It didn’t even occur to me until I saw this table that an octagon shaped table was an option. Kismet! It was the perfect size and shape—painted white with an iron base painted grey blue. And it was a steal at only $175! We purchased it immediately and brought it home. If you wait long enough the perfect piece always finds you!  

The table in nestled in the bay window 


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