I’m Still Laughing About Blardware

(You’ll get the meaning of that post title in a minute)

Exciting news, guys – we finally found something to take the spot of our too-small pedestal table in the eat-in part of our kitchen.

And we’re happy to report that it’s a lot more proportionate – and functional! – for the space. Now we can seat six or even eight people in a pinch, which has already proven to be useful with our big families (and my spread-out-all-the-tear-sheets propensities). Of course we’re still on the hunt for dining chairs so these are just for the meantime, but man, it’s such an upgrade to have room for adult sized plates again.

Just try not to stare too hard at pretty much anything except for the table. So ignore the faux-brick vinyl flooring, all that wood everywhere, and that graph-tastic wallpaper (I’ve already stripped about half of the room– so I owe you a post about that). Let’s just say that when we’re done with this kitchen, the table should make a lot more sense “in context.” In fact, here’s a similar table in a pretty BHG kitchen. Nice, right?

And you’ll never guess where this baby is originally from. I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with Festoration Blardware.

But we didn’t pay $1795 – $2495 for ours. It actually turned up at one of our favorite local shops called The Decorating Outlet (which is the outlet for Shades of Light). It’s where a lot of returned merchandise or used-once-for-a-catalog-shoot items end up – so it’s an awesome place to score a deal (we bought the pendants in our last house’s kitchen and our old bedroom rug that now lives in Clara’s room there). Turns out this 60″ table hails from Restoration Hardware (where it’s sold for $2095) and it was just used a few times in some catalog shots before it sat in a storage room for a while and eventually ended up at the outlet… priced at a cool $650 (a 70% markdown!).

The top is awesomely weathered and the whole thing is made of reclaimed wood (so no two are ever alike). As a mom I like that Clara and the bun can beat on this table until the cows come home and all of those dents will be filed under “character.” See, when I was growing up we had a shiny lacquered table and it was waaaay too precious (there was a certain especially intense spirographing incident where I scratched it and never lived to hear the end of it).

It’s nice to know that now I can spirigraph my little heart out without fear of marring some perfectly smooth surface. And really, isn’t that the definition of happiness?

The fact that it’s such a well-made, solid piece makes us so happy (it’s crazy heavy! there’s nothing hollow or veneered about it). I’m hoping it will be one of those hand-down-to-your-kids pieces that outlives me and John. Who knows, maybe in 2113 our great great grandkids will be spirographing the days away on it. Sigh. Update: We’ve had a few questions about where our dining table from our previous house is, and the answer is that it’s in the dining room. The reason we didn’t contemplate bringing that into the eat-in kitchen area is because it’s around a foot wider (70?) and has larger chairs, so it works better in there and would be too cramped for the kitchen.

So that marks the second piece of furniture we’ve purchased since moving in around four months ago (which seems to be our pattern since we moved into our second house and bought our sectional and our dining table within a few months). Between our new West Elm dresser and this score of a table, so far we’ve spent $750 less than we did on those two initial purchases for our last house – but since our sunroom makeover is going to come in a bit higher than our patio project (which was the first big DIY undertaking that we tackled four months into that house) we’re most likely going to be on exactly the same track with the ol’ bank balance. Isn’t it funny how these things seem to have a pattern?

All mathy comparisons aside, we’re psyched to have two well-made furniture additions in our new house – especially since slowly acquiring more quality pieces was our goal here (we’ll always love thrift stores and Ikea along with building stuff, but we hope to have a nice mix of things in this forever home of ours). Now if only we could get the chairs for this table right on the first try. If our former dining room chair debacle is any indication, it might be a long road…

But at least our table is pretty. Even with our shinnnny fake brick floors. Just focus on this still life with lemon. Don’t look down.

Anyone else buying furniture? Or saving up for something solid and beat-up-able?


  1. says

    Oh man, I wish, wish, wish you would do the kitchen make-over soon! If this table is any indication, I am going to love it and Pin all of the associated posts.

    But alas, I am a responsible reader and I totally understand why you’re waiting to do a major reno. Now off to sulk . . .

    • Joan says

      Speaking of the House Tour page, will you get a chance to update it soon? You have made so much progress since the last update!

      The House Tour is one of my favorite sections of your blog. I like seeing eye candy all at once. :)

    • says

      Oh yes it’s on the list! I keep putting off taking photos of some areas since they’re sort of mid-project (tiling the sunroom, peeling the kitchen wallpaper, and we’re also working on Clara’s wall above her bed too!). Soon I hope!


  2. says

    OMG I LOOOOOVED the comment about the intense spirographing incident!! Those things were tricky and required much concentration and skill…who had time to worry what it was doing to the table!! :) LOL

    • Kathrynk says

      Seriously. I flunked out of spirographing so hard. Even the stick-your-tongue-out-while-you-do-it-method didn’t help. (Totally looking for one on Amazon right now. I *will* slay this dragon!)

  3. says

    The nostalgia in this post! I used to LOVE spirographing when I was little (and had a similar incident on our kitchen table) AND my grandmother’s house growing up had faux brick floors. We used to drive mini-Hotwheels along the faux grout for hours!

    Oh, and your table is GORGEOUS. I need to find an outlet like that!

  4. says

    That is such an amazing deal! That’s a gorgeous table and if it looks that good in the space now just imagine how pretty it is going to be once the kitchen is remodeled. Congratulations on such a great find. I might have to check out the Decorating Outlet when I’m in Richmond next month for the Richmond Marathon.


  5. says

    Gorgeouuuuus!! (I sang that in my head the whole time I was reading.)

    Did you know there’s a Spirograph app?? No kitchen table casualties anymore! Kids these days have it so easy. And by kids, I mean me because I play on it all the time.

    • says

      That’s in the dining room (this is the eat-in area of the kitchen, so we wanted a table instead of adding an off-centered island with stools since a casual breakfast table seemed more functional with this layout).


  6. says

    It’s gorgeous and I can totally see it looking good in lots of different rooms – which makes for great heirloom potential! My mum’s dining room table is from her grandparent’s house and it’s gorgeous, but “ruined” by scratches from my grandma’s belt buckle when she was spun on it as a child, but obviously that stuff all makes it better when you keep it in the family!

    The dining table we use was my grandma’s kitchen table and I love love love it (although it gets more use for sewing than anything else!). You can see it in our messy living room here: http://www.annabelvita.com/2012/10/19/stashing-sewing-stuff-in-living-room/

  7. says

    Love, love, love the new table! We got our kitchen table from the PB Outlet, and since it was already scratched and dented, we haven’t had to worry about any further character being added to it. I wouldn’t ever confuse it with being a beautiful table, though. I would love to get a reclaimed wood table – beautiful with additional character-adding-capacity :)

  8. says

    We went to a no kill animal shelter garage sale this weekend looking for dressers, but couldn’t find any. We asked the main guy and he took our number, told us about an off-site house where they keep bigger items, and said he’d call us later.

    2 hours later, we were looking through a garage filled with items. I saw dresser drawers, that they were dove-tailed, and declared we wanted it without looking at the front.

    We settled on a price- $40, again without even seeing the front or the condition. When they moved everything out so we could get the dresser, it was a gorgeous antique, 9-drawer dresser that needed to be refinished. Perfect!

    It’s too big for our daughter’s room, but will go in ours. We’re bumping our dresser to the dining room to be used as a buffet which we needed!

  9. says

    I love that table! Like you, I’m always looking to add to my collection of quality furniture pieces. But, man, that stuff can be expensive! I do love those Restoration Hardware tables though. Can you tell me more about the quality? I saw a few of them at an outlet and they were all torn up and didn’t actually feel like real wood? They sure do look nice in blogs and in catalogs though! And where is The Decorating Outlet? I’m in DC, but may be able to make a trek for some deals if its worth it. Thanks!

    • says

      Weird! I think if you see something in a branded outlet, sometimes it’s a lower brand piece made for the outlet (I learned that about Banana Republic, sometimes the clothes are made cheaper for the outlet and sold cheaper so people think it’s a deal but it’s just a lower quality “outlet” line). So maybe the tables there weren’t real wood? Ours wasn’t from an RH Outlet, it was purchased directly from RH and then used in a few shoots and then ended up in the furniture outlet here in Richmond so maybe that explains it? Ours is definitely made from gorgeous old planks of solid wood for that rustic/reclaimed vibe. It’s like old beat up 2x4s were molded into a table and somehow curved around the edge and the base. It’s easily the nicest piece of furniture we’ve owned. As for The Decorating Outlet, it’s here in Richmond on Midlothian. I think it comes up if you google it. Hope it helps!


    • says

      I used to work at a call center for Restoration Hardware. The items at their Outlet stores are items that were returned (because they were damaged, but still salvageable, or arrived from the vendor in a condition not able to be sold full price through a regular store/online.) At least that is what I was told during training.

  10. karen says

    Wow, you guys are my superheros when it comes to finding deals!!!!

    Question: Are you planning on staining it, painting it, decoupaging it (har har)???

    • says

      Aw thanks Karen! My tip is just to hold out until you find something you love. We have been here 4+ months just eating on a tiny table and keeping an eye out for something better, so it definitely wasn’t the first place we looked, but it was worth the wait! As for the finish, I love the unfinished raw look (if you click the link in the post to the BHG kitchen you can sort of imagine it in a lighter room with white trim, etc). Ahh, can’t wait!


  11. Steph says

    silly question but does anyone know of a good online resource to track down stores like this?! We are in MA and would LOVE to find a good home decor place like this… we really only know about Habitat restores and Homegoods… halp?!

    • says

      I like to just ask around (friends, neighbors, at a fabric store I’ll ask where the furniture they reupholster comes from, etc). I also like googling things like “Richmond outlet” and just seeing what comes up (along with “Richmind thrift store” or “Richmond wholesale”). And don’t forget craigslist too! Hope it helps!


    • Kim says

      LOVE the table and love reclaimed type pieces. I can not wait to trade out our very traditional/formal dining room set one day for one of my own choosing.
      I was going to ask the same question – how to find places like the lighting outlet that has been mentioned and this place. I too am in MA so if anyone has any ideas, please share.

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