Not your normal Farm Table

One of my aunts was recently switching up her house and my great grandmother’s table didn’t fit her needs anymore, so I jumped at the chance to have it.  My mom’s grandmother Nanny had this table on the farm in western Kansas (hence the blog post title).  And it is BEAUTIFUL.  It has been well taken care of over its years.


The chairs are a little creaky, but I think that adds to some of the fun of having such a meaningful table in my house.


They look a little more orange in the picture above than they are in person, and they coordinate well with the furniture I already have in there.  I have a few more plans for the hutch in the corner… so stay tuned for some updates for that.


The fabric on the chairs is a beautifully textured champagne color that my aunt had chosen.  I love the fabric right now, but if in a few years I want to change it up, these are easy to recover!



I love the way it looks! And it is pretty incredible to think about all of the people who have sat around it, or shared meals together around that table.

Christmas Table

If you didn’t hear this last weekend (then you must not have any friends in Texas), Texas had a major ice storm come through.  This happens about once every 2 or 3 years but it always shuts the whole world down.  Until all the snow and ice melt.  Seriously.  But it was beautiful!


I should probably have brought all my potted plants inside, but I didn’t get around to it as we barely had time to get home from DC before the weather hit.  Good thing I never got around to replanting the pansies in this:


I thought the tree in my neighbor’s backyard was gorgeous, the way the top of the tree iced, but left the bottom tree still red, made me think of the ombre trend which is so popular right now.



Anyway, being iced in for 3 days gave me plenty of time to haul out my Christmas decorations and get started on Christmasing up my house.  I’m one of those people who refuses to start thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  I know lots of bloggers out there who like to decorate early so they can get their posts up early for Christmas, I just can’t bring myself to do it.  Well travelling for Thanksgiving and then our little detour through Washington DC meant I was WAY behind on getting my decor up.

But Mother Nature was kind to me and iced me in so that I had no choice but to get caught up.  Most of my facebook feed included people complaining about getting cabin fever, but apparently that part of me is broken, I LOVED being locked inside while it was snowy icy outside. But enough about the storm… want to see what I cooked up for my dining table?

I went with a red and silver winter woodland theme.  Sorry for the yellowish lighting in the pics… like I said: iced in.


I love the pinecones and fake greenery (I don’t like to use real greenery on tables because I’d rather not have pine needles in my food… or near candles).


This little bird was a gift from my grandmother a few years ago.  I think she was originally from Crate and Barrel.  The red candle holders are also from C&B (last season), as are the silver snowflakes (maybe 3 years ago?).  Those silver snowflakes are really neat, but they don’t survive the packing well.  I’ve tried packing them different ways and I always lose a snowflake arm or two.



And just so you can see how pretty it looks in the daylight and set for a party:



Just so that you know that I love you all… I took this picture with the front door open so I could get enough light… and it was 18 at the time.  And I really really don’t like being cold.

Stay tuned tomorrow, I’ll have a great cinnamon roll recipe for you!

The Dining Room Drilled Down

dining-room-after I love our dining room.  I love it mostly because we have already had many, many memorable nights of good friends and good food around that table.  I actually nixed one of the houses I looked at because despite my realtor’s knowledge that they weren’t necessary and hardly used anymore, I knew I wanted the ability to host dinner parties.  Since I didn’t have a stick of dining room furniture when I moved in, I went to my grandmother’s house and she had this large hutch she was willing to part with (it had been in the basement), as well as a dining table that had been in my grandfather’s office (the dining table actually collapses down without the leaves to make a pretty good sideboard).  My grandmother bought the hutch from a neighbor when she and my grandfather returned to Kansas from WWII and paid someone to strip it down to its ‘au naturale’ state it is currently in. And can you see the holes in the sides? I’ve been told that was so you could put pies in there to cool and the holes would allow the heat to escape. 


On top of it I have a collection of glassware… in addition to being a great place to store them, I love the feeling it gives off of an old general store.


The table is in pretty bad shape with lots of water rings and scratches and dings on the top, but it serves its purpose pretty well! I plan to refinish or paint it in the future, but for now it just means I can relax at dinner parties and not worry about someone’s water sweating onto the table or a stray wine drip ruining my perfectly good finish!


I come from a family in which seasonal decorating is an Olympic sport (you should see our houses at Christmas!!) but the only decorations I change much season to season are my dining room table layout.   Right now it is summertime so I have out my beach-y stuff.

Funny side story: after a scuba diving trip with my family I decided to bring some shells I had collected home to use for just this purpose.  My ever intelligent father said… you aren’t supposed to do that, they are part of nature; it’s not a good idea. I smartly retorted that I didn’t think customs cared about a few shells in the bottom of my bag. Come to find out… when I got home and dumped out my suitcase, I had brought a (now very dead) crab home in one of the shells.  Lesson learned: customs didn’t care… but that crab did! I will now thoroughly investigate my shells before bringing them home.

Back to the dining room…  the buffet on the left side of this picture was the first big gift my husband bought me.  We had seen it at a store closing sale here in Dallas, marked down from $1500 to $500 dollars.  At the time I debated whether or not to purchase, but decided I didn’t have the money to spend and passed it up.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and told the husband I might go back the next weekend when I returned from a work trip and see if it was still there.  While I was gone he went and bought it for me! (and he and a good friend hauled and installed it in the house…. and let me tell you, that thing is SOLID).  It has three drawers across the top, but the rest are cabinets that just look like drawers.  I’m not sure where I’d have stored all our wedding gifts if it weren’t for this buffet!!


I have two of those triplet window things in my house and curtains are so hard for those! In the Office I just hung two small curtain rods, but decided I wanted to try my hand at Roman shades. The curtains are THESE from IKEA.  (Unfortunately that was before I was blogging… so I don’t have pictures of them in process… but if you google DIY roman shades there are tons of tutorials out there).  The one thing I would have done differently would be to iron the curtains more carefully before attaching the strings for the roman shades… being a novice sewer I had no idea how important ironing was (hint: VERY IMPORTANT)!!

The rug is similar to this one from Pottery Barn. It works pretty well for the space.  When it originally came from PB it had a bit of a musty odor to it, but after a couple of days being rolled out, that went away.

The two end chairs are from overstock found a while ago.  The other four I got at an antique place in my grandmother’s hometown… for $25… TOTAL. I keep thinking I’ll paint them white, or do something fun to them, but I haven’t gotten around to that just yet! They have good bones, and are just the right size to fit between the legs of the table, so I’ll be keeping them for the foreseeable future.


Every fall in Kansas the farmers burn some of their fields (I think to return nutrients to the ground) But they typically do it at night and it is usually a controlled burn and can be BEAUTIFUL to see.  For graduation from graduate school my older brother and sister-in-law gave me a gorgeous print from a photographer who catches that process.  It hangs above my mantel in the living room, but they also gave me a book with all his pictures in it, autographed by him.  I loved the pictures and thought they would look beautiful framed in a collection in the dining room (don’t worry I ordered a second book instead of cutting up the autographed one).  I had a friend cut navy mats to fit the pictures and hung these six in a grid on the wall. I think they look AWESOME.

Philosophical moment: I love the idea of the controlled burn because sometimes I feel like that happens in our own lives… we need a little pain and hurt to be able to develop into all we can be.  Okay, moment over… back to the dining room.


The artwork on the flipside is a framed copy of our wedding invitation (also a gift from my sister-in-law… she is a fantastic gift giver!), as well as some candles and a mirror.

And there you have it… all the details you never needed to know about the dining room!