Friday, March 5, 2010

Table Talk

I think I have more tables in my house than any other type of furniture!  I have end, coffee, dropleaf, farm, tea, and bedside tables all throughout my house.  Some I inherited, others I helped make, and some were even purchased.

Two of my favorites are one that I helped make, a tiger maple tea table in our living room, and the other is a rustic coffee table that I purchased from The Vintage Source.

I've always loved tiger maple.  There is just something about the swirling grain and color variations in the wood that gives it a warm mellow feel.  And when you give it a simple hand rubbed finish, that gorgeous grain pops out at you giving it instant age and patina even if it's a brand new piece.  So when my parents decided to build a few tea tables and asked if I wanted cherry or tiger maple, for me it was a no brainer.

Tiger maple is known as a "figured" wood meaning that the grain of the wood grows in a very distinctive pattern, it almost resembles waves.  When this particular type of maple is cut across the grain, it reveals the unusual grain pattern which has an almost iridescent quality to it.  Simply sanding tiger maple will not fully reveal the grain, it requires finishing techniques to help accentuate the beauty of the wood.




I love the delicate legs on this table and the little "spoon" feet.



See how interesting the grain is with tiger maple?!  I love how it almost has a 3-D effect.



For such a small table, it has lots of character like the curved top and this beautifully cut apron.  My parents actually built this table, but I finished it with a hand rubbed finish of Tung Oil.

Another table in my house that I really love is one I picked up at The Vintage Source last year.  We were knee deep in renovations at the time and when I showed up at home with "more" furniture for a house that had stuff shoved everywhere, my husband looked at me like I had finally lost my mind.

I really had no idea where we would store it until after the reno was over, and I also had no idea where it was going to go once the house was completed, but I did know that I loved everything about this little rustic table!



I fell in love with the wide pine boards that were used to make the top.  



And how perfectly imperfect it was with it's gouges, nicks, and burn marks.  It's lived life and I love that!



And I loved how the legs reminded me of a little picnic table.  It now hangs out in a little sitting area just off our our kitchen and the table provides the perfect place to put a cup of tea, hold my magazines, or just a place to kick your feet up and look out the windows.

I'm always inspired and amazed by how a simple piece of wood can be transformed into a useful and beautiful piece of furniture!  It's like bringing a piece of nature indoors to love and cherish for years to come.


To see more great furniture head on over to Miss Mustard Seed's for Furniture Feature Friday.

Furniture Feature Fridays

 And

For more inspiring things visit The Inspired Room.







17 comments:

  1. Your maple table is stunning. Just gorgeous and I love the coffee table too. Both are fabulous. Hugs, Marty

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  2. Although I love a painted piece, I lean towards the natural aged wood most often. I have a wonderful sofa table/desk from Home Impressions, big purchase but I love it everyday. As all my other mixed wood pieces. Thanks for sharing, they are beautiful.

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  3. Hi Kat - hope you're having a good Friday! I love that rustic table! Well, I also love the tiger wood, but especially the rustic one :) In fact, I wanted to do something like that for a new dining room table and had the top made already (by our cabinet guy). Unfortunately, we got wide cherry boards to use and specifically told him that we wanted 3 WIDE boards for the table top. Well, the moron brought it back and had cut them all into 6 NARROW symmetrical boards. I could have killed him. I honestly should have told him that he was going to have to reimburse us for the cost of the wood to buy more, but just didn't even want to deal with him any more after that (story of my life, as you know!). But anyway, I plan to somehow distress the wood myself, maybe by beating it with chains or something - any ideas? :)

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  4. Hi Traci, I owe you and about a bazillion other people emails! That's too bad about your wide boards! People use all kinds of cool things to distress furniture, like chains, irons, ice picks, cleats, hammers, you name it. It just depends on what look you're after. Hopefully others who know more about it will chime in and give you more ideas!

    Kat :)

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  5. I've got tables and the chairs to go with them in my house! I love the tabletop shape of that first table. Very pretty and its such a great size to fit in anywhere.

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  6. Forgive my ignorance, I had never heard of Tiger Maple. What a beautiful wood!

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  7. This was an interesting article...I love it when I learn something I didn't know!

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  8. I have some feaux tiger maple, but not any REAL t.m. The pictures of the details are wonderful!!

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  9. Great post, and the first table is just gorgeous!

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  10. We'd be a good team. I'm nuts for chairs. Love the tiger maple too!

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  11. I've always been a big fan of bird's eye maple and until your post I never knew about the tiger maple, which is gorgeous too. Love the rustic one showing all the wonderfully worn places too. (I just bought another table too, that I really did not need, but it was such a good price and it called to me really loud.) ~Lili

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  12. So that's what that wood is? Tiger maple. It's really beautiful.

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  13. Your tables are wonderful! I love the picnic table legs on the rustic table! And I agree with you- I would go for the tiger maple any day, too!

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  14. I love that table your parents made and you finished - such pretty details. I think you were very smart to snatch up the rustic table when you did. It fits perfectly in the space you have and you can't pass up a perfect table, now can you?

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  15. They are both beautiful. I am particularly drawn to the second one. The picnic-style base and the tattered edges are wonderful!!

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  16. I love both of these gorgeous tables Kat! I really like the lived in look of the rustic table! ~ Tina x

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  17. I love those "x" legs...gorgeous. And the wood on the first table is amazing. Great tables.

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