Friday, May 01, 2009


Finding a table one can afford that will sit a family of 11 can be a challenge. I dreamed of a BIG oak table with tons of leaves....but we've never been willing to put out the money for "real furniture" with so many little ones in our home. We want them to love the table and not see it as a thing to be revered. ::snort::

We tried several ideas. We had Mom and Dad's oval table (with 3 leaves) for years. This worked well.....but it was narrow and eventually there were so many table settings that there was no room for food.

We've used a kitchen bar for a "buffet" ... but *I* really like having everyone sit down to PASS FOOD! ::snort::

We've received wonderful suggestions throughout the years: an old door which you can stain and add table legs to, a 6 ft chapel table, framed in tile slab with legs.....

We found our favorite solution in Alaska. We purchased two small tables. In AK we were able to have both set up as two separate seating arrangements....we mixed up various people at each table quite often and this allowed for a lot of smaller group interaction.

Our TX home here has a smaller dining area and so the tables can't be used as separate dining units. We've placed the tables end to end to seat 14.


We most often had them side by side so they resembled a square. This allowed LOTS of room for food and school books....and comfortable seating for 8. It was easy to separate them to play games.


Having been warned by several in Misawa that they couldn't fit their table in their dining room and had to put it in the living room, we KNEW we needed to downsize to one table. I'm not sure we're quite at the spot where one small table is going to work well for us. Fitting 8-9 around this table is tight (though they'll only be 7 in Japan - it's still tight). Deja has suggested we find benches before we leave. That may help. I'm currently setting up "outriggers" to the table. Yep, looks like a maze at dinner time. ::snort:: We pull bar stools over to hold drinks or salad...and I set up wooden "TV" trays at each corner to store food...and the last person to the table has to straddle the leg. ::snort::


I realized today that I DO have one last folding "co-op" table....that would certainly give us more room, though I like the wood look better. What have been some of YOUR table solutions?

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Romany said...

Can you get to an IKEA before you leave? They have (at least here they do) a huge variety of tables that have multiple leaves and they are NOT expensive! Otherwise we couldn't afford to shop there.

And the best thing is that it comes flat-packed anyway, so it's easy to move to Japan.

Michelle said...

Our current table was found in the classifieds. It's reminiscent of an antique *pub* table (where the two leaves pull out from under the table. We've found two benches to use and the rest of the chairs are from yard sales/auctions.

It is a challenge. I'll be praying for you as make decisions that will affect your family for the next several years.

Having downsized 15,000 lbs. in 5 weeks, I can relate.

Renee said...

hmmm?? In Korea (same # of people, probably similar size house), we borrowed a govt table and chairs. There was plenty of room for all 7 of us.. but we fill our plates in the kitchen and bring them to the table.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

We've been told that the loaner furniture is ONLY until your shipment arrives - that won't be an option for us, Renee.

I'll check IKEA online....

Michelle- you're still in my prayers and were throughout that move.

Wild Homeschool Family said...

The Ikea option does sound good and leave it in th box until you get there.

Cynthia said...

No suggestions. I'm still sad you had to sell your other table.... I remember when you figured out that solution. You need solutions more than how often my brain can wrap around finding them (LOL)! Good thing I'm not the one always moving...

Renee said...

Drats, the AF doesn't let you borrow furniture for the entire tour (we were even able to do that for a few pieces in Germany)... my only concern about buying something from IKEA and not opening/assembling it before you depart... what if pieces are missing?
Have you ever looked at unfinished furniture places? We got our table (w/two leaves) there and they even finished it for us.

Diann said...

I'm interested to see how this all works out. We use our eating bar most of the time as our table (but you can sit around it and see each other instead of all looking straight ahead like most eating bars) and I do miss the table, but I love the counter space and island. We do set up a folding table for special occasions and set it to look pretty.

Debbie said...

De'Etta, we have one small table similar to yours. We sit 3 of the smallest children on one side, two people on the other and one on each end. When my folks come over, we squish...two on the ends. I think benches on the sides would work well, although we just use chairs.