Comments (126)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Refined Elements LLC

Nice article, Susan. As owner of Refined Elements LLC and a leading maker of custom tables, I especially love the comments about "sturdy stuff". Our tables are produced from hardwoods that we sawmill from salvaged from fallen or dead trees. So these are "sturdy" from an extreme sense. No veneers, no MDF, no plywood, etc. I feel that you are being a bit hypocritical in point #1 vs #6 in that you don't but do recommend plywood based tables. FYI, the density of plywood is actually higher than most hardwoods; thus, heavier in a 1:1 comparison. So it is not necessarily true statement that plywood is lighter. It does have a higher strength to weight ratio as it is a glue based laminate (it does off-gas in your home). Overall, I enjoyed the article. Glass? It is a horrible, horrible surface to keep clean. I would never, never recommend it as a dining table. Marble, granite, composite engineered stone, and even concrete make some great table tops. Heavy but certainly can offer a "Wow" factor. You talk about farmhouse or reclaimed tables with rustic finishes? I agree but if the furniture maker is using an industrial grade finish (not found on most commercial retail furniture) then the concern about scratching is not a huge factor. A table finish should be as durable as flooring! Problem is, most retail furniture finishes are total junk. What's even more important to consider is staying away from high gloss finishes. They look wonderful initially but overtime will show every small surface scratch. For this reason, we do not go beyond semi-gloss and try to keep the sheen between satin & semi. We go to great expense in purchasing expensive 2-part top coat finishes which we hand buff to create a finish that is extremely durable, yet, brings out the natural figure & character in wood like walnut. Of course, we have the benefit of specializing in custom dining tables here in Texas. Our tables reside from NYC to LA, and we have yet to receive a single complaint. Keep up the good work. BTW, I think Houzz is missing a well written article about dining tables that discusses the ergonomics of table design both from a human factors standpoint but also how a table fits in a particular space. Oh, don't forget about live edge tables for a huge "Wow" factor! We've create some true masterpieces that I feel belong in a museum. Maybe after I've long since left this wonderful world! :)


2 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Refined Elements LLC
Sorry, I do have to add a few more comments. "Forever" furniture should be called solid hardwood furniture. The article recommends both "forever" tables and "temporary" tables or "never" tables for me personally. If u seek generational or heirloom quality, avoid mdf, veneers and engineered materials at all costs. Good quality, handmade, solid hardwood furniture is not cheap. You should consider it an investment for a lifetime and beyond. In our family, we have a 4th generation mahogany dining table that is still a good today as when it was built. My kids will own it some day and we have so many fond memories. I know when I die that a piece of me will be remembered when people are enjoying a wonderful dinner with friends and family. The attached walnut dining table is such a table that we built recently for a young family who will eventually pass it down to their children. This is why I personally take such great pride in the tables we produce for clients. We actually consider each piece a part of our family and view our clients as the adopting family!!

And challenge the sources of your lumber or materials. We focus on salvaged lumber and built urban wood furniture. Outside of genuine reclaimed, it is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly form of lumber available. No reason to cut health trees when we can re-use dead or dying. At our TX Urban Sawmill, we like to say "Saving the environment, one tree at a time!"
2 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Penelope Smith

I just bought my first home this past month, and I need to get a dining room set soon. So, I like that stressed that you stressed that I should think about how sturdy the material it is made out of. It would be bad if my table collapsed on me. http://melbournefurnishingco.yellow.com.au/dining 

   

Related Stories

Bathroom Workbook How to Choose the Right Bathroom Sink
Learn the differences among 8 styles of bathroom sinks, and find the perfect one for your space
Full Story
Kitchen Design 12 Genius Design Moves for Small Kitchens
These space-enhancing tricks can make compact cooking zones look and feel larger
Full Story
Decorating Guides Your Essential Sofa Buying Guide
There comes a time when a make-do piece of furniture won’t do. Here’s what to consider when choosing a quality sofa
Full Story
Decorating Guides Which Dining Table Shape Should You Choose?
Rectangular, oval, round or square: Here are ways to choose your dining table shape (or make the most of the one you already have)
Full Story
Shop Houzz Summer Kitchen Essentials
By Houzz
Shop everything you need for a fresh kitchen design, just in time for summer hosting
See Products
Color How to Design a Neutral Room That Kicks Boring to the Curb
Neutrals need not be dull and lifeless. Here are some inspiring wow-factor designs — and ways to get the look
Full Story
Stairways Inventive Ways to Build Storage Into Your Staircase
Consider these 12 ideas for building in cabinets, shelves and more to better utilize your stairway space
Full Story
Decorating Guides Your Guide to Common Light Fixtures and How to Use Them
Get to know pot lights, track lights, pendants and more to help you create an organized, layered lighting plan
Full Story