Would you like a table or a booth?

Another "secret" to living in a small home and maximizing the space you have: You need creative nooks, crannies, seating and storage. Now, we have done some pretty creative things in our home but I personally think this is the most creative.  We recently installed a restaurant-style booth in our kitchen.  Our floor plan is originally intended to include two bedrooms, a kitchen, laundry, living space and two full baths.  Because we don't have children, we turned our second "bedroom" into a dining room. Look for a post about the dining room later. It is a work in progress.

We use our dining room for when guests come over, in addition to storage for my saddles, our china, the wine rack (ok...one of the wine racks), and Thomas' bed time kennel. Since we moved into the house, we have had a small dinette in the kitchen, just big enough for the two of us.

In an attempt to be more creative with the space, and partly just to see if it would work, I decided I wanted a booth. My sweet husband  gladly accepted the challenge and we started shopping.

If you have ever priced booths (not that it's a normal thing to shop for), you know they are pretty expensive. Wood is also expensive. Luckily, we have a wonderful "wood guy" from Hawkinsville that Chris found on Craigslist who hooked us up with some awesome wood for this project. We truly are the Craigslist King and Queen. Don't worry...I am perpetually watching over my shoulder for the Craigslist killer...no Lifetime movies here.

So...enter booth building phase. After finding the wood for the table top, we needed benches. Rather than build them from scratch, we decided to repurpose some old church pews from a nearby church.  The pews had been sitting outside behind the church for months. We inquired about them and made a donation to purchase them.  Chris refinished them and behold...the beginnings of our restaurant booth!

Now...the booth is not perfect. It is shorter than a normal table (because of the pews), but with some decorative pillows...it looks just right in our kitchen.

The Birth of the Booth    Here is where we ate before we came up with the booth idea. This is a cute little dinette we picked up for about $150 when we first got our house. It has lived a good life and has served its purpose. We have recently re-purposed her to fill another role in the house. 
Stage 1: The Seats
We knew that we would want seats for our booth that were comfortable, functional and unique. We also knew that we would have to some how fit a strict bill for length and height in order to make them fit in the kitchen. Luckily (and through divine intervention, no doubt), we happened upon some old church pews at a neighborhood church. Two pews had, for whatever reason, been removed from the sanctuary and were sitting out behind the church. We inquired as to the fate of the pews and, through the generosity and good nature of the church staff (you know who you are...thank you!), we were able to make a more than reasonable donation in exchange for the pews.  The pews are VERY old and when we got them, had old green upholstery stapled to them. Chris removed the upholstery, cleaned up and sanded the pews and voila!

Stage 2: The Table

Once we got one of the pews situated and attached to the wall, we had to figure out what to do about a table. This is where our new friend from Craigslist enters the picture. With a little help from our new woodworking friend, Chris as able to build the table for the booth himself. He then attached the table to the wall, placing three hinges at the back, and a temporary leg underneath. After the table was placed, the staining party began. Because the pews and the table wood were different in grain, the stain absorbed into each surface differently. I kind of like the variation though. A few quarts of stain and some polyurethane later and there we have it...finished wood.

Stage 3: The Finishing Touches
Once we got everything refurbished, built and attached, it was time to accessorize. Now, we all know that old fashioned church pews are not designed to be comfy, especially without the fabulous upholstery that normally adorns them. In order to make our pews-turned booth seats comfortable to sit in, we needed cushions of some description. Of course, I was tasked with tracking down this essential piece of the puzzle. 

I considered making the cushions, which would probably run anywhere from $5-$10 per yard of fabric, plus the filler, but I then came to my senses. If you have ever shopped for decorative pillows, you know they can be pricey and often very disappointing when actually used for comfort. After a long search, I finally found four pillows that would do the trick.  
The next step in the booth building process required us to shed some light on the situation, literally. We decided that to complete the restaurant experience in our kitchen, we needed a suitable light fixture. Behold: our Apple-bee's lamp. This fixture completed the look and is sure to illuminate our table for "eatin' good in the neighborhood, for years to come". We picked the beauty up at a local charity auction and hired an electrician to install it (we don't do electrical work....it's a bad idea.). 

The final, final touch to conclude a most laborious task to date? Adding a bovine wall, of course. We added cow prints, created by an artist from Sanibel Island, Florida. I just can't resist good cow art. 

And there we go...a perfect table for two.

1 comment:

  1. So cute! I need some creative solutions like that for our old home--it's a big house in some ways, but the layout is so peculiar that we have to figure out ways to maximize all the nooks & crannies. I love how you added pillows--no better way to start the day than drinking coffee in a cozy spot.