Scrolling through Instagram feeds of beautiful homes is my happy place. Well, one of them anyway. To see the beauty, the inviting front entry, the cozy afghans draping over the wingback chair in the fall, or the bright yellow sunflowers on the kitchen island in the spring. It seems an invitation offered – a beckoning to come – have a cup of coffee or a spot of tea. Let’s talk. Let’s share. Let’s laugh, or cry. It speaks to me, these visual representations of what it means at a deeper level.
Someone has to put the effort and time into creating these spaces. It is never without thought or care. Some more intentional than others. Some giving it the majority of their time, others doing small projects as time permits. I think for many it is one of their gifts; the gift of hospitality. You know it when you see it and it doesn’t have anything to do with how big a home is or what someone’s budget is; it is the ability to open up your private living space and invite someone else in to share a piece of you, to let them know that they are important and loved. To share moments with them; holidays, celebrations, milestones, game day, girls night out, weddings, and the like.
The dining room table is often the place where these occasions take place, board games are played, food is shared, conversations run deep, or heated. It’s special – a special place. I had been on the hunt for a dining room table for about two years, since we moved into our home. The table we had sits 6 comfortably with the leaf already in. We have 12′ ceilings and a beautiful fixture to provide a focal point, but in my opinion the table was all wrong due to the size and besides, when we have family and friends over, there are generally way more than just 6 people. But, I wasn’t about to spend thousands for just a table, let alone the added expense for the number of chairs I wanted, so I just kept checking all my sources. The outlets, the websites, the sales. Nothing was quite right, either for the pocketbook, or for the space. I knew that I’d know it when I saw it. I have a few parties coming up and really felt like I wanted to tackle this before much longer.
Just last week, my husband and I went on a whim to our local Potato Barn (Dana Park, Mesa, AZ) and meandered through the warehouse. I’ve you’ve never gone, I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys the updated farmhouse, shabby chic, vintage vibe. Super fun stuff. They were very helpful and informative about the brand and chair decisions!
I stopped at a table after I had already passed it by once and circled the entire store. I noticed first that it had a slightly unusual color; it seemed to be a dark olive color. Hmmm… love that, I thought. The store had paired it with some tufted, parsons-style chairs in simple linen which I also really loved. And, the table was 9′ long – which is exactly what I was looking for. And, peaking at the base, I saw that it was also a trestle style – perfect!!! You can put more chairs around a trestle style than other types of tables due to there not being a leg for the chairs to run into, or created bruises on the knees of your guests. This was looking pretty good at this point! Plus, the price was right!
We went home that day and immediately remeasured the dining room to ensure that was the right size because this table does not have any extension. Yes, 9′ is just right – not too long, not too short. A few days later we went back to finish up the transaction, pick out the chairs and arrange delivery, which just happened to be possible that same day!
I could go into what I then made my entire family go through to prepare to received said new table and chairs. This involves pulling out three different area rugs I have stored in the garage to see if I would like any of them better than the one we have in there now. I could go into the details that it was 107 degrees outside, and we were all outside rolling and unrolling these rugs, dripping in sweat, vacuuming them to determine what we had. And in the end, they all went back into the garage, and we stuck with the one that is in the dining room now. But, I won’t go in to all of that. All I will say is that we removed the small table and 6 chairs and waited for Juan, the delivery guy.
I’m so pleased with how it looks and am most excited to share it with friends and family at the next occasion. That’s what its all about, after all. Sharing life with others, opening up the invitation to share a meal, or just a cup of coffee. Here’s to many happy occasions, memorable occasions, conversations about life and good food. Oh, and here are our fur-babies, AJ and Lucy… They greet each visitor with loud excitement!
I’d love to hear what hospitality means to you! Send me a comment! Share your ideas and maybe a favorite moment. Cheers!