Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Anthro Inspired Farmhouse Table

Spoiler! This is what it looks like finished.

Before I moved into my new place I decided it was time to invest in a table.  It wasn't exactly essential; my roommate had one we were using that was in perfectly good repair and impossibly comfortable (If you've never known the comfort and ease of an upholstered rolling chair from the early 80's I am sorry).  I just wanted to, you know? I had a bit of money saved up, so I started looking...

...and what I found out is that I have expensive taste. In tables, at least. I wanted one of those rustic farmhouse-esque  tables, which despite their shabby chic appearance can actually be quite pricey (we live in a weird world). I found the perfect thing on the Anthropologie website (Anthro fans know what's coming). Now, I know it is tacky to talk about money a whole bunch but I'm going to suspend my Emily Post sensibilities for a while because this needs to happen. Unfortunately, the Anthro farmhouse table costs about 2,000 dollars which was ever so many more dollars that I was ready/willing/able to spend. (Side note: I own 2 things from Anthro; they are both mugs and someone else bought them for me and I love them (in the way that one loves mugs))

I resigned myself to not having a cool farmhouse table and started looking at tables I could actually afford, all of which were pretty okay (more "okay" than "pretty"). Then, one day over the summer I was hanging out on Pinterest after a particularly demanding day and I spotted THIS.  Did you click on it? Did  you SEEwhat that is?! It's plans to build the table from Anthro for..*gasp*  $65.00!  I know, I know.  It isn't fancy wood.  It also isn't $2,000! (Did I mention I'm a perpetual grad student? You mostly know our deal, right? Yeah. PINE IS FINE.) 

I'm getting there. I read over the instructions and thought "Hey, I could do this. I mean, my Dad could do this...and I could help." I hastened (I really did) to the phone to call him.

"Hey Dad, you know how I wanted that cool table and it was so expensive and I thought I could never ever have anything like it well I found instructions on the internet and I thought maybe we could build one and I know you're super busy but you always say woodworking relaxes you and I thought maybe you could help me do this pretty please but really do say no if you can't I understand" said I, in the world's greatest run on sentence. 

"Send me an email with the link and I will look at it" said my father.  This is my father's response to most things of this nature. He did look at it, and called back later to say "Yes!" Actually, what he said was "Yes, but we can't do it right away so you'll have to wait if you really want it" and I said "you mean like till August?" (It was June) and he just laughed and said "Probably later than that, baby." 

Fast forward to December:
I came home for Christmas and Dad said "Let's do this" and I literally jumped from excitement.  We went to Home Depot and I walked out with a whole bunch of lumber and a receipt that said $76.50 (okay, more than $65.00 but still well within my range of acceptable spending for this project).  I won't go through every stepsince the folks I got the instructions from have already done that, but here are some pictures from our "build" (I feel like I'm on Trading Spaces! Or  Extreme Makeover Home Edition! I had a "build"!) I would say the whole thing took us about 5 days but we really only worked on it in the evenings.
Master Carpenter and Sassafras Apprentice

This isn't the end- at this point the table was still unfinished- no stain, and no distressing. I was going to make this two posts since it is already oppressively long, but I changed my mind.

Once the table was constructed, my Dad brought it from my parent’s house to my house and we moved it into the garage with some assistance from a kind neighbor.  Then, my mother and I set to whacking it with chains of varying sizes, hammers, crowbars and the like. This, you see, is what makes it look old and more farmhousey.  In fact, the other day some one asked me “where I found the reclaimed wood “ for my table so SCORE! It worked.  I tricked you all! 

Once the distressing was done, my dad sanded the top for me one last time and they headed out, leaving me with a mammoth of a table in the garage to work on.  I stained it “Dark Walnut”. This took a long time, and it was pretty cold in the garage.  Luckily my friend Kathryn came over and sat on the washing machine straightening her hair while I did this, so I had someone to talk to. THANKS GIRL!  I did get some wood stain in my hair, which was pretty gross. Once the staining was done, I applied the polyurethane.  1 coat everywhere and 3 on the tabletop itself.  I used a satin finish.  After that, the table itself was done! Can you believe it?

However, it was still in the garage, weighing a ton.  No way I was moving that fellbeast by myself.  My Dad said he’d come up later to help me, so I set to work on the chairs.  I collected a variety of ladderback chairs from antique shops and then painted them red.  I think they look pretty cool, in a funky mismatched kind of way.  

If you’re still reading, you’ll notice that EVERYTHING was really done at this point, except the table was in the garage. It was kind of killing me, because I had this awesome table I could be using, but it was in the garage, ever fixed and immovable by my own strength.  Then the other day I had some pals over to play some music (ukulele, guitar, keyboard, shaker, mandolin- we were getting pretty good haha) and when we stopped for a break I was just like “Hey pals, want to help me move my table pretty please?” and because they are all so very awesome they immediately agreed.  Thanks Aimee, Erin, Tamara, and Josh!  After trying to get it in one door and failing, we tried the other door and got it in. Much moving of furniture was required, these folks were really good sports.

So there! It’s done!  I’m so glad to have a place for all my wonderful friends and family to gather around.


  1. This is so awesome! I'm so impressed that you made that table, Court! What a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dad! Do you ever read the blog ABeautifulMess? They made a table recently just like you did! So impressed with you!

  2. Why isn't there a video of you and your mom distressing the table? I AM DISTRESSED over this oversight.

    Also, cool job, cuz!

  3. Ahhh! It looks SO good, and what great memories to have with it already!

  4. I love and approve of everything this post is about. The table is everything that Anthro wishes it could be.

  5. Love your blog! I've just purchased a farmhouse table and can't wait for it to be delivered!