A House Becomes a Home, Slowly But Surely: Finding My Round Pedestal Dining Table

Apr 17, 2019

Sometimes it takes a long time to find what you’re looking for, but once you know what it is, I have learned to not wait for it to present itself. Rather to seek it out, inquire, let people know what you are looking for because more people than you may realize want to help you find it.

Such was the case with my new-to-me dining room table that arrived at my home last week.

I have never before had a full-size dining room table that was large enough for a full dinner party of more than six people. However, I have never let that be an obstacle to hosting dinner parties, something I love to do.

In my first apartment in Portland, I would serve the dinner buffet style on the small pub table I had and then we would all sit in the living room in any seat we could find. In the first home I owned, a townhouse in Portland, I would extend the pub table and squeeze in four chairs as best as I could, and at my beloved Normandy-style home in Pendleton, I found an oak table in pieces and with the expertise of my father who put it back together, dined on a beautiful square table that could tightly squeeze six, but could not bear much weight due to its fragility (view this table below).

~my dining room and oak table in my previous home, tour the entire home here~

As much as I would have loved to have brought this table with me to Bend, I was fearful it wouldn’t be able to make the journey in one piece, and I also knew I eventually wanted a larger table (and a sturdier one as well). So this table which saw many lovely intimate dinner parties, cocktail parties, a holiday party I will never forget as it boasted all of the food for guests, and all sorts of conversations with individuals from my life in eastern Oregon, found a new home with a family who was as excited to welcome it into their life as I was when I first laid eyes on it nine years previously.

And so I arrived in Bend with nothing more than my small, white kitchenette pedestal table to serve as my primary dining furniture.

Since then, yet again, I have not let the small tabletop prevent me from hosting dinner parties. As I shared this past fall, I simply placed another small table next to my kitchenette table, threw tablecloths on top, and all was perfectly well prepared for a dinner of six. But admittedly, I knew more certainly than ever before, a full dining room table was a necessity in any house that I would call a home.

I have always been drawn to large round dining room tables with a sturdy pedestal. My interest in a circular design began probably ten or more years ago as the shape was inclusive, allowing any and all to engage in the conversation without feeling excluded, but at the same time, enabling anyone to hold the conversation without pressure placed on any one person to speak. No one is placed at the had of the table, which I prefer, and the pedestal eliminates legs and knees from being bumped or ran into.

Or course, the aesthetic beauty of a pedestal table is its grandeur and simplicity coming together to create a piece of luxury in many ways. Of course, the luxury descriptor depends upon the material from which the table is made and the finish. But as I learned with my small kitchenette table, the finish can be changed, having painted the bargain wood white to brighten the space it originally inhabited as both the morning and evening light would shine through enlarges the small eating area.

Upon traveling to France this past summer, I had the good fortunate to stay in a vacation rental in the Luberon which had a pedestal dining room table (see below). I can remember immediately gawking at its size, structure and unique patina finish. The owner shared with me that they had found it at a warehouse and quickly brought it home. I too would have done the same – what a treasure. Needless to say, having had the opportunity to work at this table, I became more than certain that indeed, it was a round pedestal dining room table I would wait until I found to welcome into my home.

~TSLL’s IG photo: tour the entire home I stayed at while in Luberon here~

I’m like Jane Austen – I work on the corner of the dining table.

—A.N. Wilson

Tentatively beginning my search in earnest for a round, oak, pedestal dining room table with leaves this fall, I scoured eBay, Etsy and the local papers. Nearly all asking upwards of at least $1200, I kept looking.

And then I simply let someone who would know people with such furniture to sell what I was looking for, and in fewer than 30 seconds, I was pointed in the direction of the table that would eventually find a place in my home to reside.

At a local secondhand/vintage/antique shop here in Bend, one that I frequent often (I found my bed here as well, as well as these Bavarian teacup sets, and this copper mixing bowl – see below), I simply asked if they would be willing to take my name and give me a call when such a table became available. Keeping a large notebook of customer requests, they said sure; and upon hearing my request, the owner confirmed what I was looking for. Yep, a round pedestal dining room table. “I have two you can look at.”

In two weeks time I had visited his storage facility, was amazed at the fact that not only was one of the tables large enough – 54″ in diamater without leaves – it had two matching oak leaves! And it was sturdy! And not painted! Then, I waited on pins of doubt assuming the price would be sky high. Nope, a fraction of what I had expected, as he shared, few people in the area want these types of tables. Mind you, the table was made in the 1890s, had never been painted and still had all of the pieces. Well, I wasn’t about to debate and after measuring and confirming the size at home, it became the dining table I had been looking for.

As I shared on Instagram last week, in the future, I look forward to pulling out the carpet, laying down oak chevron floors and placing a wool rug, that has yet to be found, down upon which the table will be placed. But at least now I have a dining room table, and future dinner parties can comfortably seat 8 people, 10 in a pinch, as it stretches to 70+ inches in length.

Life doesn’t often fall into place in the order we would prefer, or think would be best. I may still be renting my cottage in Bend at the moment, but I need not put making-this-house-a-home on hold any longer. Someday I will own a home of my own again, and when I do, I can rest assured that immediately upon moving in, I will have a dining room table ready to sit around and enjoy a celebratory dinner commemorating my much anticipated purchase.

Not everyone wants a table from the past. More and more millenials prefer a modern aesthetic which is beautiful as well. However, I have always been drawn to more traditional tables. In many ways, this preference is inspired by my travels to Europe, as well as my own family’s tables – oak, round and with it, a story having been passed down and cared for with many conversations, meals and memories. But as much as I love the oak tables, I also dislike hard wooden chairs, so as you can see, it is the balance of the soft upholestry with the hard wood textures that create a welcoming space for my sanctuary. I’d like to think I am following interior decorator Michael S. Smith’s advice, “Buy a beautiful dining table, well-made upholstery. It’s almost like dressing for success”.

At the moment, I am typing away at the corner of my dining table, tickled to have found it, and reminded that the journey of curating our sanctuary, a true and cozy and restful sanctuary, takes time. And in this case, the wait was certainly worth it.

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” 

Ruth Reichl
~When the table arrived, my attention was diverted from Norman, and he quickly realized he need place himself between the table and myself to gain my attention. First he sat in front of me, and then he laid down until I composed myself realizing it was a table, not a pup. 🙂 ~

26 thoughts on “A House Becomes a Home, Slowly But Surely: Finding My Round Pedestal Dining Table

  1. I love the story of your beautiful table. I agree, finding the right piece takes time. I spent three years looking for the right lighting for my somewhat lopsided dining room. I think a round table is perfect for conversations. I wish you many excellent dinner parties with good friends and lively conversations.

  2. Your table is stunning. What a perfect fit! Don’t you just love a piece with history? Congratulations on your perfect find.

  3. A beautiful find, indeed, Shannon. I also love it. My own story, I inherited lovely, but newer, dining room furniture. Yet, when I remarried and moved, I relinquished my set for an antique set my husband had from his grandmother. It needs some TLC, but once that is done, it will return to its former glory. These pieces come with stories and history, like yours, and are so lovely. Enjoy your table, your dinners around it, and all of your other “finds.” I still have mine so many years later and recall the memory each time I use them.


    1. Thank you for sharing Bev. Your table has a lovely history, it sounds like. The refurbishing is a lovely process as well as we care for something that remains and wishes to be shared if only someone would take the time. Enjoy your many meals as well ☺️

  4. Shannon, I love your story. We just bought a vacation home in Bend. Would love to know where you found your perfect table!

  5. What a lovely table, Shannon. I’m inspired by your patient focus on creating a beautiful home. We purchased a gorgeous, round, antique pedestal table with three leaves from the previous owner of our home, and happily enjoyed it for years until we renovated our home. It simply didn’t fit either the design or new space, so now it is in our basement, grudgingly (I’m assuming!) performing storage duty for large kitchen appliances not used daily. I feel some guilt over this, and give it a little loving caress whenever I pass it. I’m certain there will come a period of our lives when it is once again center stage…I’ve had offers from others to purchase it, but can’t bring myself to give it up. Enjoy the day!

  6. Exquisite! Definitely one to be shown, not covered up with a cloth – at least on a day-to-day basis. I am a little jealous of the extension leaves, though. I have a table, from bachelorette days of moving to variously-sized apartments, that is 42-inch square, but has attached leaves that make it into a 54-inch round. Fits anywhere & everywhere. But I still long for a formal dining room with a table extendable for 12!

  7. What a gorgeous table.I also love round antique tables. I had to paint my ball and claw oak table however due to the rough shape it was in when I found it. I pair it with comfy wicker chairs and absolutely love it! Congrats on you new table!

  8. Your table is just beautiful Shannon – congratulations on the great find! I think the upholstered chairs with the antique wood is so welcoming – the round shape reminds me of the dining room table in “Something’s Gotta Give” (my favorite movie set dining room!)

  9. A wise and wonderful choice. Buying antiques is the ultimate in recycling. They are beautifully and strongly made, they must be to have survived 100 years or more, and they are usually made of lovely timbers that are now scarce and expensive. I doubt if in 100 years time there will be many of the present day furniture still surviving, but your beautiful table will still be there. May you enjoy many wonderful meals around her.

  10. Hi Shannon, I’m new to TSLL and I am having a wonderful time exploring all of your inspiring work, books (audio & hard copy) podcasts, blog, recipies and petit plaisirs!!
    This is such a gorgeous table! and your chairs go beautifully with it! I love your idea of having comfortable chairs at the dining table to encourage people to linger, but how do you keep them clean?? Thank you for guiding me to a simply luxuirious life, Andrea xx

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