Our New Old Dining Table

Think about your house.  What is the one piece of furniture that you use every day, multiple times a day?  It gets the most use and can be used for many purposes.  Everyone in your family gathers around it.  It’s often central to parties and gatherings. You need this whether you’re single or have a family of 10.

Did you guess it? I’m talking about your dining table!

Our Dining Table

Our dining table is a hand-me-down.   It originally belonged to my mother-in-law…one of the first pieces of furniture she purchased.  We didn’t know much about the table, except that we thought it was Danish teak.  My parents lived in Denmark for many years and I grew up with a very similar table in my house as well.  This style of table has two expandable leaves, which was always great for parties, and came with 6 chairs – plenty for our household!  We loved the straight lines and simplicity of the piece, but were looking to buy a new dining table because of a bit of damage that the piece had.  For starters, there was a bit of discolouration from before we were given the table.  In addition, there was a bit of scratching on the table top from moving the table (aka cramming the table into the car and then propping the chairs up against the top!).  Add in the veneer from the sides falling off (I suppose my belt loop attacked it?) and some marker from Little Bear (pff, so much for washable), and this clean, simple table that fit perfectly in our space just wasn’t cutting it anymore!

Then, completely by accident, I stumbled upon Melissa Ketel’s fabulous restoration work.  I was interested when I saw the pictures of the work, but after talking to Melissa (and discovering we have a mutual friend) I became even more excited about the possibility of her refinishing our dining room table and chairs.  Even better than my excitement was Melissa’s excitement! She had tonnes of knowledge and knew all about our table as soon as she looked at it.  Her positive energy was contagious! So contagious, that we eagerly took the table apart without taking a good before picture of it! Lucky for us, Melissa took some before and after shots of our dining room table.

before table


before chairs

After Melissa began working on the furniture she discovered that it was not Danish teak, as we had thought, but was instead clear white oak (my father-in-law was able to confirm this). Melissa, who is currently on her mat leave, worked tireless with her mother over 3 days while her little one was sleeping and somehow finished staining, painting and distressing, and recovering the fabric on the chairs. By the time we saw the set after it was all finished, we couldn’t even recognize it anymore.  What a transformation!


If you live in the Lower Mainland and are interested in contacting Melissa about having some furniture refinished, send her an email at theblueburning @ gmail . com!

Sometimes when you have something forever, you lose sight of the potential it has.  Do you have a piece of furniture that has been handed down to you? Have you refinished it or is it still in its original form?

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