The progress in our dining nook has been slow going and a space that’s taken a while to get right mostly because we made a lot of mistakes a long the way.
When we toured the house, the previous owners had it set up like this:
We got rid of the table we had at the condo before we moved in because we knew there was no way that beast was going to fit here and in doing so, it made figuring out our dining situation #1 priority after moving in. Otherwise, we had no where else to eat but the couch of course!
Since our house is on the small side (just under 1350 sqft) this little spot tucked into the corner of our kitchen is literally our “dining room” and after touring the house and seeing the previous owner’s set up, I knew almost immediately that a built-in bench paired with a round table would make better use of the space than just plopping a round table in the corner and calling it good.
Re-Imagining the Space
I knew that by putting a bench here along the back wall it would really open up the space because when we did our initial walk through of the house, this area felt particularly cramped. If you scroll up a bit to the listing photo, you’ll see how the table has to sit away from the wall so that chairs can be pulled out when someone needs to sit down and because of that, the table and chairs were taking up more of the actual kitchen space. This blocked access to the backyard slider on the right and just made the entire corner feel cramped and a lot smaller than it really was.
With a built-in bench, the I knew that the table could tuck right up close to the bench which would free up a lot of floor space / walkways in the kitchen so that’s really the logic that drove our decision to do a built-in banquette here.
I’ve written a separate blog post about how we built the bench that’s coming next week so if you’re interested in the step-by-step tutorial , check back later. In the meantime, let’s discuss some of the major hiccups we dealt with when putting this space together that caused it to sit in limbo for nearly a year. More below…
My Big Fat (Expensive) Mistake
I ordered a round table with a marble top (it’s since been discontinued) but it didn’t even occur to me when I was ordering that it had legs. A table with a pedestal base would allow the table to tuck right up against the bench which frees up floor space, walkways, and is all around more comfortable to eat around when sitting at the bench. Purchasing a table with four legs completely defeated all my objectives for the space plus we basically had to straddle the table legs when we sat down to eat. Major fail on my part.
Aside from the order being a massive flub, when it arrived it was also total piece of junk. The round marble top was about 1/2″ too small for the base which made it dangerously wobbly with even the slightest touch. I contacted the company I purchased the table from and requested a return but since the table was discontinued (my guess is because of the poor design/quality) they refunded our purchase but told us to keep the table. Ummm…okay??
With our refund in hand, I started looking for a replacement table and figured we’d just sell this one, massively discount it, and also provide a really big disclaimer about the wobbling in the listing but I never found another table that I liked enough to pull the trigger on. I think I was just so afraid to make another – very wrong, very expensive decision – that we shoved thick paper in the gaps to help the wobbly top and have made due with it for the last year or so.
That was until my Mom sent me a picture of a pedestal table she found at a local thrift store and it immediately sparked an idea!
We took the thrifted table base, painted it, and glued the marble table top to the base. Ta-da!
So so much better! Not only aesthetically but the table is waaaaay sturdier too!
After the table debacle was resolved, I decided to refresh everything else too including new chairs (we’ve been using our patio chairs), painting this corner, and switching out the art. A true if you give a mouse a cookie situation…
Ready to see where we’re at today?
I’d love to swap the light fixture too, recover the bench cushion, and find the perfect baskets for storage underneath but baby steps right?