Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Dining Room By Any Other Name is a.....Workshop

How often each year do we really share a meal in our formal dining rooms?  For some of us, we may never dine in our dining room.  Sure it looks beautiful and is situated in a prominent place in our homes as if to welcome everyone around the table. But the truth is, we bypass it almost every day to opt to sit at our kitchen table. For us, that kitchen table is the hub of the house.  We're around it for breakfast and dinner and sometimes even for lunch.  We've had lighthearted conversations around it and we've had heated debates.  But, we always know it is a sacred spot where we will have a wonderful dinner and ample opportunity to participate in family discussions.  Can you tell, I love my kitchen table.

The truth is, I love my dining room table too.  I don't mean to neglect it; it was once our kitchen table.  Two of my favorite homes we have lived in (as you may remember, we moved many times with the Navy) did not even have dining rooms.  We had one table and that was certainly enough.  But since we bought our farm kitchen table eight years ago, our old kitchen table had been relegated to the dining room.  Some would think that was a promotion!   Moving up to the dining room!   No, that is not the case.  The old kitchen table sat in a room where no one pulled up a chair for a meal, except for a large gathering or celebration.  

Well, I am  happy to report that the old kitchen table/now dining room table has a new life!  In addition to the fork marks scratched into the surface by one second oldest son (then age one, now age 23), it now holds drying racks, waxed paper for surface protection, and containers of paint brushes and sandpaper.  The table is the most important piece in my new workshop!  I am so happy to bring it life again.  The fact is, we now have two tables in our dining room.  One is my planning desk, (you saw it in an earlier post after I painted it) and the other is this newly re-purposed work table.  You can see a glimpse of the table top in the photo above.  It is solid oak and will last forever. We bought it in 1989 after losing our first table in a move.
That's another story for another blog post!  

On the table you can catch a glimpse of some of the items I've been making to list in the Hartley Rowe Etsy Shop, which opens on July 8th.  I must admit, I love working in that room now.  It still resembles a dining room, but in its current chaotic state, I am having a blast.  I am so glad we decided to give the room a new sense of purpose and am elated I am not banished to the garage to do all my creating.  This afternoon, my daughter was cooking brownies in the kitchen while our youngest was upstairs playing his guitar.  I was right in between the two, painting away, and loving life.  It is so amazing what a warm, comfortable room can do for your state of mind. Everywhere I look, I see old familiar objects.  There is an old chest of drawers from my grandmother, that once served as a buffet that now houses old photographs and supplies.  The old, wonderfully worn stool that my grandfather made that has followed us all over the world is sitting in a corner with a basket of books on top.  Leaning against the stool are several old shutters I bought at a terrific flea market.  I am thinking of turning them into bulletin boards, but they look so great propped against the old stool,  I may just leave them there.  

I hope our table is happy and that the room is enjoying being used.  I am certainly enjoying its new lease on life.  I just regret taking so long to realize this was the perfect room for a purpose other than dining. We need to think outside the box (or should I say, room) when it comes to finding purpose for our spaces.  So, do not be afraid to dust off your dining room table and get out your work gloves, or your computer;  or even dust off your sewing machine.  I hope you find out what your dining room is just waiting to become.