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by Grace Bonney

We have all seen the trend of large communal eating tables in hip restaurants around the globe in the last 5 years. I love how this trend is coming home. All these vignettes show wonderful large scale tables, many with an eclectic mix of chairs. I love the idea of having a dinner party with friends around one of these tables. I even think there is a feeling of luxuriousness when there are just 2 people eating at a large table – the sense that you can really spread out seems decadent, too.

This one (above) is from an article in Marie Claire Maison magazine. My French is not great but what I gather is that the table was fabricated from grey planks of vintage wood and bound together with decorative red brads. On the table is a collection of vintage bowls from Uzbekistan. My favorite part of this photo is the line of Chinese chairs repainted in an amazing shade of kelly green. A large factory pendant hangs low over the table.

I also love these chunky wood plank tables. Both rooms have a clean and neutral color palette which I find refreshing. The one on the left is from the home of Dutch designers Piet and Karin Boon living just outside Amsterdam. The large wood table was designed by Piet Boon himself. I love the drama of the huge barrel cactus and all the over-scale accessories on the table. The low-hung white chandelier is by Moooi. (shown in Living, etc. magazine)

The one on the right was shown in Marie Claire Maison as well and (again translating from French) is in the home of architects Toby O’Rorke and Brian Messana who live in Hudson River Valley, NY. The table appears to be made of reclaimed wood with the raw edge of the tree still apparent. It is paired with Hans Wegner “Wishbone” chairs.

This one is another nice chunky and simple wood table with trestle legs. The pairing with the high back “Mathilde sofa” is brilliant. They are both from St. Paul Home of Belgium (link via Remodelista).

And finally we have this fabulous mix of vintage and modern design that I posted on my blog last year. It was printed in Living Etc. magazine. This rustic vintage wood table paired with hot pink Arne Jacobsen “ant” chairs is such a wonderfully eclectic mix.

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  • (sorry if I’m posting twice – I wasn’t sure if the first was submitted properly!)
    Just wanted to say that I’m with Grace about those green chairs – they’re terrific! Any idea where they’re from?
    Otherwise, also wanted to mention another Belgian (big) table source – Heerenhuis (http://www.heerenhuis.be) – which also has some lovely photography of their shop on their site!
    Thanks for the post – it’s extra encouragement – my boyfriend has a huge oak table (from Heerenhuis) but it has been sadly chairless for some time – we’ve looked at Tolix to Emeco navy chairs but have nothing (yet)!

  • salleyanne

    i keep my flickr set private so people don’t get a sneak peek of posts before they’re launched ;)

    if you’d like a larger version of this i’d be happy to email you one.


  • Meg – the chairs are probably vintage as the article says that they were re-painted green. They are yummy! Send me pics when you finish your dining room with the great Heerenhuis table – how exciting!

  • these are beautiful pics… the green chairs are so powerful. that said, as much as i like the idea of community, i can be so anti social that sometimes i hate eating at one of those tables. mostly if i’m grumpy b/c it took too long to get food in my mouth.


  • yay for long tables. I have always loved them and finally have a house where one fits! we got our from ikea (you can see it on here ). It would be nice if it was a little less ikea, but it’s all oak and can fit a bunch of friends around it.

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