How To Transform A 60″ Desk Into Comfortable Dining For TEN!

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

Hope y’all in the US had a beautiful Turkey Day. Ours was small [just the five of us] but warm, loving and full of great food. I make pretty much the same thing every year, so have it down now. In a sec, I’m going to show you how I turned my 60″ x 33″ desk into comfortable seating for ten. Yes, 10. This was corroborated by all five of us.

Before I go on… I just want to say how grateful I am for this blog… for the incredible support and friendships as a result and for allowing me to infiltrate your inbox, for those of you who subscribe.

Yesterday, however, my 16 yr old precious kitty Peaches woke me up early–vomiting and crying… This was repeated several more times during the day amongst other unusual behaviors. After we ate our dinner and were starting to think about dessert, he threw up again and was NOT moving. Oh dear. Long story short, he’s in the hospital now and they are doing a uhhh… a CAT Scan. Okay actually an MRI, but I couldn’t resist. Oh, don’t be fooled by my jokes. I’m the sort that would be cracking jokes on my death bed. But truth be told, I’m beside myself with worry because he’s still throwing up in the hospital. I will have more news later today.

Back to the post subject which is how I turned my 34″ x 60″ into comfortable dining for TEN! Yes, TEN!

I have a confession to make. I’m not the best when it comes to laying a great table. Cooking is no problem! But tablescapes? I dunno, it’s a lot of work for a couple of hours. Can’t be bothered. Surprised? Well, it’s not that I don’t like it. I do, but I’m only three people and something has to give!  Maybe one day I’ll be able to invest, maybe not. I have other priorities. And believe me when I tell you that no one but no one in my family cares one iota. In fact, some of them would feel mighty uncomfortable with something worthy of a blog post.

I do enjoy is the challenge of figuring out solutions for the bigger problems that relate to everyday living needs. And if I don’t know the solution, I’ll research it until I find the answers.

Some of you may know that nearly two years ago, I moved to a lovely 800 sq. foot one-bedroom apartment in a gracious Tudor building built in 1920. It has a lovely little entrance foyer. A good-sized galley kitchen. And the living room is quite spacious too. It’s difficult to give room measurements because none of the rooms are perfectly square. The brilliant architect constructed the building with two slightly trapezoidal wings. Everyone has some part of their home that faces south or west or both.

But anyway, I work in my living room and when I have more than three people over and there’s a turkey and other dishes, I need more than my 60″ desk to use as a dining table. Yes, we could squeeze 6 people around the desk, but at only 34″ deep, not at all comfortable for more than four; and no place to put anything else!

IMG_0059

When I was laying out the floor plan for my place, I needed a lot more storage as well as lighting. But, I also needed to have a large dining table for the times when I had more than four people for dinner. And that table needed to serve as a desk on a daily basis.

Well, I already had a nice desk. The one above with the turquoise lamp that once again looks blue in the photo.

I’ve always been intrigued by this table below. It’s a Swedish Gustavian reproduction by Tara Shaw Maison. It all comes apart with many variations available.

tara_shaw_maison_swedish_formal_dining_table_lt1005m

tara-shaw-table

Then, it came to me. What if I could put two demi-lune tables on either end of the desk and then put a table pad over the whole thing to make one big long table?

eff0dbcd415975796adf77a9922f92bb

I found this gorgeous piece at Wisteria. This is the darker gray color. But I prefer the lighter gray, below.

demilune_vignette

 

Here it is in my living room. They look lovely flanking my big painted Donald cabinet and the lamps with the mirrors, also from Wisteria give off a soft warm light.

There was just one problem. Well, actually 2 problems. One the demi-lune tables were about 2 inches taller than the table. That wasn’t so difficult. I had the legs cut down.

However, the other problem which ended up being a blessing is that the demi-lune tables are 42″ wide. Yes, 8 inches wider than the desk which is really narrow for a dining table. I figured that I could just get a pad for the desk 42″ wide and a pad for the demi-lunes to fit exactly the demi-lunes, but I figured wrong.

IMG_0066

I called the Pioneer Table Pad Company and the owner told me that it was fine to cantilever the table pads, however, it required an extra strong pad, made to do that. In addition, he knew to make it so that the demilune D-pads went several inches over to the desk side for additional strength. Then they get velcroed together.

IMG_0072

Here you can see the pads on top of the three tables to make one large table which fit beautifully in my living room. I just had to move the club chairs to one end.  The trio in the background? That is my son Cale on trombone,  son Aaron on guitar and Maureen, the daughter I always wished to have. AKA: Cale’s girlfriend.

Okay. Are you ready? I bet you are expecting some incredibly gorgeous-I-could-never-do-that-in-a-million-years-table-scape.

Right?

IMG_0075
LAUREL???????  is that a HALLMARK PLASTIC TABLE CLOTH?

Yes, why thank you for noticing. They’re all the rage ya know… And to complete the look, I recommend using paper towel napkins. So easy. throw it all on the table. Rip it all away and dump.

Besides… I live with a drove of pigs. Remember? ;]

and just so ya know… I’m the clumsiest pig of them all.

IMG_0074

To compliment the decor, I served the stuffing straight away in it’s grody aluminum baking dish. Oh dear… the skirt on the chair is all smooched up. That’s a problem. But folks, I felt like sewer sludge by this point. [I have had those chairs for about 13 years and love them just as much as I did then.]

Well, the family loved it! It was as we are…warm, down-to-earth, casual, a bit left of center… with a huge table that could easily accommodate comfortable dining for ten We had fun and enjoyed ourselves immensely. We each took turns saying what we are grateful for.

It was perfect.

And then, just as we were ready to think about dessert. Peaches took a turn for the worse… so dessert was delayed by a few hours.

I started working on this post several hours ago. Since then, I heard from the vet. Peaches doesn’t appear to have anything life threatening at the moment. He’s still in the hospital but should be coming home tomorrow. One more thing to be grateful for!

I can’t wait to spoil the crap outta him.

And I saved him some turkey.

xo,

laurel

Save

Save

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Karen Richardson - November 22, 2015 - 10:30 AM

    A new reader…better late than never. What a great post – thanks for keeping it real. After seeing your “tablescape” anything I throw on the table will make me feel like a design star! Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - November 22, 2015 - 6:00 PM

      Hi Karen,

      LOL. I know! That’s why I posted it. While of course it’s wonderful to see all of the “fantasy” tablescapes, reality has a way of biting us in the butt, now doesn’t it? I barely made it through the day as it was! I guess people with the gorgeous tables have a lot of help! Happy TG to you too and welcome aboard! ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Verhagen - November 22, 2015 - 8:35 AM

    This is brilliant! We bought a 42″ round table for our new home. It’s beautiful but only seats 4, and I later regretted buying this table without a leaf. My designer and I didn’t even think of it at the time of purchase, unfortunately. However, thanks to your blog, I’ve learned about extended table pads. What a wonderful solution. Thank you for sharing your source, Pioneer Table Pad Company. P.s. I love your blog. Love the photos! I am learning so much about practical interior design from you. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - November 22, 2015 - 5:33 PM

      Thank you Elizabeth. I did get some flack from a designer who would never dream of laying her table in plastic. Obviously, she does not live with a “drove of pigs.” lol — Tough memory. It was the day my darling Peaches (kitty) took gravely ill and died a few days later. I’m going to my son this year. ReplyCancel

  • Christina Rodriguez - November 29, 2014 - 2:55 PM

    Love it. I don’t feel so bad about not wanting to decorate my table now. I did. Well, my son did it and I took pics, but I was already tired and was glad he wanted too. I say, as long as everyone has fun fancy doesn’t matterReplyCancel

  • Vee evans - November 29, 2014 - 12:02 AM

    Is your child really sick or am I reading too quickly and missing the joke? Been there so I hope all turns out well for everyone. Don’t know how it would work with my round glass table but I really love this idea. Hope you and yours had a great holiday and that Peaches gets well soon.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - November 29, 2014 - 12:13 AM

      Hi Vee, Thank you for your kind words. I’m so tired, forgot to put that Peaches is my kitty and the one who has always been there when I needed someone the most. He’s one of those very special animals–pure love. He was a stray that we took in 13.5 years ago.

      But… yes, you can do this with a round table too! I did it for clients and turned their 30″ table into a 42″ table. It’s a small sun room and normally a larger table wouldn’t fit, but with the pad, they can have a table large enough to seat four.ReplyCancel

  • JANET CORNWALL - November 28, 2014 - 8:03 PM

    Love those vases, however they block half your blog! Goway!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - November 28, 2014 - 9:12 PM

      Hi Janet,

      There is an X to make it go away. It’s been tested on numerous devices. ReplyCancel