Dining Room Shopping + Thrifting

A Completely Blank Canvas

Okay, so I really hesitated on posting photos of the new dining room table – basically since there’s nothing else in the room at the moment. It’s just one of those tables that may not look too spiffy on its own, but once we add chairs, curtains, a light fixture, color!, and wall art – it’s going to be a-freaking-mazing. At least that’s how I see it in my head. So, just be patient with me and try to visualize what this cake will look like with the icing, decorations and candles…

Restoration Hardware Flatiron Dining Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We went with Restoration Hardware’s Flatiron Dining Table. After a bunch of pondering and measuring, we decided to go with the 112″ table and chose the rust finish for the legs. The top is made from amazing antique reclaimed elm doors and we’re kind of obsessed with it. I wish it looked as good in photos as it does in person, but I think it’ll get better once more things are added to the room. Another side note: taking photos of a pretty much empty room is extremely hard (mainly because the light has no where to go) – so bear with me.

So, here’s how we ended up choosing this particular table… Originally, we had our eyes on their Salvaged Wood Trestle Table. My parents actually have this same table in their dining room and Greg and I both love it. If you’ve seen it in person, you know what kind of love I’m talking bout. However, it’s one of those pieces that you own forever and ever amen and it came with a $4k price tag (including shipping). Seeing as how at this point in our lives, we’re pretty sure we aren’t going to live in this house forever, we didn’t want to buy a table and have to buy/build our next house around said table. In the end, it seemed pretty irresponsible to spend that much money on a table for this house. So, the search continued.

Once that was off the table – no pun intended – we searched everywhere for a rustic reclaimed wood table we loved. Local boutiques, big chain furniture stores, Etsy, out of town furniture outlets, local furniture craftsmen, antique stores… you name it, we looked there. I promise. We found a bunch of beautiful tables we liked but we had a really hard time finding one between 100 and 120 inches long. Our old table was 100 inches and we knew another table that size would fit well, but we could also lengthen it just a tad for more elbow room. We toyed around with the idea of building our own table, but we knew we couldn’t get that true reclaimed wood top we wanted without purchasing old barn wood which (around our neck of the woods) would ultimately cost more than buying one. Plus, neither Greg nor myself is a handy woodworker. We wanted a table that would last and wasn’t a DIY project we’d want to get rid of in 12 months. So, our search took us back to Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware's Flatiron Dining Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Over the past few years, I’ve seen their Flatiron Dining Table used in a bunch of different types of spaces (images from here, here and here). It’s so versatile, and I’ve always loved the rustic look of it mixed with more polished/modern finishes. It came in the right length, right width, and at the right price, and the delivery charge wasn’t astronomical like some of the others we looked at. We were also in love with the character and how it looks like a great table to have hours and hours of great conversation around. Like other RH products, this table is built to stand the test of time. Our thought was that if down the road, in our “forever home”, I get my huge home studio space I dream about, I’ll use this table as a meeting/project table and then maybe we’ll plop down a big chunk of change for that beloved Salvaged Wood Trestle Table for the dining room.

Restoration Hardware Flatiron Dining Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Since this particular table is made from reclaimed antique doors, no top is the exact same. I was expecting the top to be substantially rustic but our table ended up being a tad more rustic than the one in the store – or maybe it’s just because it’s surrounded by “normal” smooth surfaces rather than gigantic beautiful rustic pieces in the RH showroom. Either way, we still love it. Unlike our previous dining table, we don’t have to worry about scratching the table in a heated game of Spoons. Oh yeah, that happens.

Restoration Hardware Flatiron Dining Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The table’s description on the RH website says, “Given its previous life as an antique door, tabletop may have holes from hinges or door knob, or remnants of the original hardware.”. So yes, the table is rather rustic. That’s a shot of the “most rustic” area of the table top. There is even a spot of where remnants of masonry has been left in the cracks. With that being said, if you’re looking for a rustic(ish) table with a bit of character, this table is not for you. It’s downright rustic with loads of character.

Coming in at 112″ long, the table top is huge (at least comparatively), so I need to add something decorative to the top to break up the wood – as awesome as it may be. Down the center of the table, I’m imagining maybe a fun grouping of mercury glass hurricanes – some holding candles and some with flowers – or maybe three large glass vases down the center with some sort of seasonal foliage. I saw something like that on display at Crate & Barrel a few weeks ago and it was really pretty. I wish I had a photo!

Now… one thing we’re kind of stumped on is whether or not to seal it. Like most (if not all) wood RH tables, the top is made of unsealed wood. Even though the table is very rustic and has – what I assume to be – old oil spots here and there, I’m constantly worried I or Greg is going to spill a drink and then have a huge stain on our hands. Restoration Hardware has a sealer they recommend, but my parents used it on their table and the table turned out to be a lot darker than they thought it would be, so we’re really hoping to find an alternative on our own. We want something that will protect the surface but not have a shiny finish or turn the table too dark. I know that probably sounds a lot to ask from a sealant, but I’m determined to find a solution. That said, I’ve  talked to some other RH table owners who haven’t sealed their tables at all, and they haven’t had any trouble. Until we make a final decision, coasters and placemats will be the name of the game!

Restoration Hardware Flatiron Dining Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Okay, so there isn’t just one thing we’re stumped on, there’s two. Chairs! The only thing I know so far is that I want different chairs for the ends of the table. But, when it comes to dining chairs, I’m super picky – which is why I’ve already warned Greg that it might be a while before we actually buy the chairs. Even though the style of our last dining table was super traditional, I loved, loved, loved the comfort and quality of the chairs. They were perfect for long talks after dinner with friends and game nights. I want the same comfort and quality but with a modern rustic style. Is that too much to ask? Probably. But I’m on a mission to find our “perfect” chairs that are just right.

Oh, the paint swathes in the above photo! I almost forgot. Long story short, we’re currently shopping around for a sectional for the living room. The top one on our short list is a dark gray and we think it would look really nice pilled up with loads of colorful pillows. Although… we think a dark gray sectional along with the current wall color would be too dark and gloomy – especially since there aren’t any proper windows in the living area. That being the case, we’re toying with the idea of lightening up a bit (or a lot). So, that’s that.

Wow, who knew I could write 1,354 words about a dining table? I’m shutting up now.

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68 Comments

  • Reply
    Julia
    March 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I love this table – pretty much anything from RH is welcome to live in my home. For chairs, my recommendation would be two upholstered arm chairs for the end, but I don’t have a suggestion for the middle chairs. You’ve got great taste though, can’t wait to see this room come together!

  • Reply
    Kerri
    March 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Love the table. Have a friend who paired the same table with some super comfy West Elm chairs and it looks amazing. They also ran into the same issue with sealant and decided to keep it unsealed. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Melanie
    March 19, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Love it! And you’re right, it’s going to look “a-freaking-mazing” haha!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    March 19, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    So jealous! I love all of the tables from Restoration Hardware! They’re made so well and are so versatile.

  • Reply
    Brad
    March 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I love the table, it looks great and we’re on the same page chair-wise, for sure. BUT I’m obsessed with your floors… I want them all over my house, they’re beautiful.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you, we love them too!

  • Reply
    Nicole B.
    March 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I LOVE that table!! Can’t wait to see the finished room! 🙂

  • Reply
    Crystal K
    March 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    This reminds me of that episode of The Big Bang Theory from a few weeks ago. They were shopping for a dining room table and looked at one like this…but Sheldon didn’t like ones with reclaimed wood 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Yeah, we watched that one! haha

  • Reply
    Staci @ My Friend Staci
    March 19, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    This table is gorgeous and amazing! Have you considered a simple oil sealant along with furniture wax? I don’t know how that would do on texture like this but it’s a totally different technique than using polycrylic or anything like that.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Hmmm, we’ll check into that, for sure. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    March 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I cannot wait to see what chairs you pair with this.

  • Reply
    Jordy
    March 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Love it, great choice. Be really careful though!!!! Put down padding and a table cloth when eating on it. I saw a review where someone spilled water on it and the entire table was cracked the next morning!!

    As an alternative, my friend has the same table and got a piece of glass cut for the top. It certainly takes away from the authentic rustic feel of the table but it’s still very nice and practical with the glass on top!!!

    Enjoy!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Yeah, I think I read that same review. We’re most likely going to find a sealing/waxing option so that won’t happen.

  • Reply
    Laura
    March 19, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I love the table – it really reminds me of an Australian furniture designer, Mark Tuckey, whose focus is on that slightly industrial but practical furniture!
    http://www.marktuckey.com.au/

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Very striking pieces! Thanks for sharing : )

  • Reply
    caroline [the diy nurse]
    March 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I’m so excited to see your vision come to life! It’s gorgeous, especially with that color of paint on the wall. I would totally seal it. Maybe contact customer service or ask people at Lowes what’s the most natural way to do so. I think untreated for a long amount of time with exposure to any moisture wouldn’t be good for it

  • Reply
    Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating
    March 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    We have the Flatiron Table too, and I love it! Actually, we have the desk. It’s the exact same size as one of the tables, but the legs go all the way to the corners. We have a small dining room, so it allows us to squeeze three people down each side when needed, instead of just two.

    I was worried about spilling on it too, and we host poker or bunco at our house now and then too, and the rough and uneven texture of the reclaimed wood isn’t great for that, so I had a piece of glass cut to fit it. Now, no spills to worry about and cards slide easily! You can see how it looks via the link below.

    http://www.imbusyprocrastinating.com/p/house-tour.html

    http://www.imbusyprocrastinating.com/p/house-tour.html

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks for the links! Nice to know it’s worked so well : )

  • Reply
    Kelly {the Centsible Life}
    March 20, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Love it! We have the same exact table (length/finish and all!). We use it as a desk for our whole family in our living room. Since we don’t have a dedicated office space our living room has turned into our office/library/game area. We wanted a table to was big enough to play games on, spread out and work on, and big enough that everyone could sit at it at once.

    It’s worked out really well for us. We haven’t sealed it but then we don’t use it as a dining room table and generally don’t keep drinks on it.

    We purchased ours at our local RH Outlet which made it a steal (about 60% off plus no shipping). It was however pretty harrowing getting it home! http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2013/05/why-shopping-furniture-outlets-is-awesome-and-scary/

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 20, 2014 at 8:50 am

      That’s so neat that you were to find it there! I wish we lived closer to a RH Outlet. I’d be there all the time scouting out new arrivals, haha!

  • Reply
    Heidi
    March 20, 2014 at 9:42 am

    My husband and I almost bought this table while it was on sale in the 72″ version! My only concern was the reclaimed wood came from China. I couldn’t stop freaking out about having an unsealed table that may or may not have some form of lead paint or other dangerous chemical in it. I know, absolutely crazy talk, but I am crazy. With that being said, this still is the absolute perfect table for our space and I can’t get it out of my head! Seeing it again is NOT helping.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 20, 2014 at 10:01 am

      I read somewhere that the wood actually comes from Great Britain, but the table is manufactured in China… I think. I could be wrong – not that it really makes a difference I guess, haha. I guess it doesn’t help that it’s on sale again right now either, right? : )

  • Reply
    Debbie
    March 20, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I work in an antique store and we have tables similar to this one. They look great with upholstered armless chairs at the ends and wooden/cane seat chairs on the sides. Play with that a bit to see if you like it. And yes, I would go ahead and seal the table.

  • Reply
    Amy
    March 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    It looks great! We have the RH Boulangerie table and LOVE it! We got it for a steal at the RH outlet because of a minor ding that we were able to fix with a stain pen! We paired ours with a pair of dark gray upholstered chairs from Target for the ends. I can’t remember what they’re called, but they’re tufted on the back cushion, so we have a nice mix of casual and formal but not too stuffy. We paired those with some white chairs and a bench on the sides of the table. Oh and I tried to figure out about sealing the table, but ultimately didn’t find anything that seemed right like you said, not shiny and wouldn’t make it darker. I’ll be interested to see if you guys find something that works! Since we haven’t sealed it though we haven’t had any issues. We just use placemats and I don’t let anyone set a drink down without something under it. I’m kind of protective of it!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Ooh, sounds pretty! I know the feeling, I’ve been really protective of this one too, haha.

  • Reply
    nicole
    March 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    You were right to post. It’s awesome even on its own!!!!!!! Can’t wait to see the room that is built around this!!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Super excited to find you guys! My fiance and I are relocating, him prior to our May wedding and me post, so he sold his house and we bought one together. Its only a few years old but there are a few changes we want to make…and of course lots of decor! I’m starting at the beginning and reading about the renos! So fun!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you and a big congratulations!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    March 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Hi! First- love love love when you guys post a lot! Second- we are going to order the same table (but in the 92″) tonight and have serious concerns about sealing as well. We have an 18 month old and another on the way so we def need some protection from spills. Read about something called Monocoat in the Natural oil finish being used with great success on the flatiron table ( supposedly does not leave a shiny surface nor does it discolor ). Have you heard of it?

    As a side- in your opinion is this table something we’ll be happy with being parents of small children? We love the look but are second guessing the durability? We are having trouble finding something under $1k that’s aesthetically pleasing and also kid friendly. We thought this table may work then use it as a craft table in the future when the need for formal dining is desired?

    Sorry for the long post! Absolutely love your style and enjoy your blog! Oh PS we went with the Brookline upholstered chairs in sandstone from target (on sale for $67 each) but I don’t know that you’ll be happy with them though bc as to comfort I’d rate them at about a 7. Price was right for us though so we went ahead and bought 8.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks so much! We haven’t heard of Monocoat, but it definitely sounds like it might be an option. We don’t have kids, but in my opinion, I think this table is very durable and will be fine for two youngsters. That being said, I’d definitely seal it to protect from spills.

      I keep looking at the Bookline chairs and have wondered how they are in the comfort department – so that’s good to know!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    March 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Oh thanks so much for the prompt reply! You guys are fantastic! I can always count on you for honesty and having done your due diligence! We are pulling the trigger and making the order! Ordering the printers desk for my husband as well. He’s an attorney and will be working from home when the new babe arrives so we thought it’d be a great spot for the 14-16 hour days he puts in.

    I’ll take a picture of the table with the Brookline chairs and send to you in case your bums decide the comfort of a 7 will do! 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Aww, thank you! Yay! I think you’ll really love it. LOVE that desk! My parents have the dresser version of that in their bedroom and it’s amazing. We’d love to see photos of your chairs and table!

  • Reply
    Emmy
    March 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Please let us know what kind of sealer you use. My husband and I are getting a house in a couple of months and this table will be the 1st piece of furniture we buy.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Will do! : )

  • Reply
    Julia
    March 23, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Have you looked at World Market for chairs? I love their dining room chair options!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 24, 2014 at 12:12 am

      We have – multiple times actually, haha. They do have a lot of great options to choose from.

  • Reply
    Jordan
    April 1, 2014 at 10:31 am

    We just purchased the same table today, and I’m hoping to seal it. Did you end up trying anything?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      April 1, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Not yet, but if you do, we’ll be sure to post about it! We might in the next week or two.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    April 2, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Hi! Just wanted to update you on our table. It arrived Saturday! You were so right- we LOVE it! Even more so than the one in store! My Dad me about a sealant by Cabot that we are going to check out tonight (Lowes). Our table actually needs a light sanding (I got a splinter when I was petting it). I read about others having great success using a sanding sponge. I’ll let you know where we end up. I fear the Cabot sealant will leave a shinier finish than we’d like but my Dad said they offer a matte finish in clear. Fingers crossed. We found Monocoat online but it’s rather expensive so we’ll try Cabot first.

    About the Brookline chairs by Threshold- sounds crazy but we are changing our comfort rating from a 7 to a 9.5. Somehow sitting in them at the table produced a different prospective and they are super comfy! We’ve had several guests since Saturday and each has commented on how comfortable the chairs are!

    Anyway hope some of this helps!

    PS I think posts like the curtain post are wonderful! It’s so helpful seeing your process!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      April 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Wow, that’s SO helpful! Thanks for the update! So glad you love the table : ) And petting it is totally normal, haha!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 13, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Just picked up the same table at the outlet for $400, I’m so excited! But running into the same issues, whether to seal, and what chairs. The only ones I’m leaning toward are their remy metal chairs. I’ll have to save up though, unless I can find them at the outlet.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      May 13, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Great price!!

  • Reply
    Apphia
    May 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Emergency Question:

    I just purchased this table and have 2 hours to get an answer to this question before the shut the purchase, maybe you can help!

    I bought the zinc and the natural elm. The rust looked a little red to me on the website, is it? In your photos it doesn’t look rust colored at all, but more charcoalish. Ideally I’d love the Espresso colored wood with dark grey legs, but that combo does not exist. What color are the legs?

    Thanks for any help you can send my way!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      May 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Our table legs are dark charcoal – basically black. Hope that helps! Happy shopping! : )

    • Reply
      Apphia
      May 28, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Also, what sealant did you end up using? How’s it working for you?

      Thanks for the help!

      • Reply
        Ashley
        May 28, 2014 at 9:56 pm

        So glad it helped! We haven’t sealed the table yet, but we plan to in the near future. We’ll be sure to post about it when we do.

    • Reply
      Apphia
      June 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Hey Ashley,

      Just curious, do you have any updates on a sealer for your table? My order is coming in later this week and I was wondering if you had any advice about an effective sealant. Thanks!

      • Reply
        Ashley
        June 9, 2014 at 10:48 am

        No, we’ve been quite busy and haven’t gotten around to it yet. We’ll be sure to post about it when we do.

  • Reply
    Apphia
    May 28, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Awesome! I just called them and switched before seeing this comment so I’m glad I did! I had a feeling after seeing your photos that it was the thing to do. So, thank you so much for your speedy answer and great photos!

  • Reply
    Annie
    July 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hey Ashley,
    I’m hoping you can answer a quick questions–which wood top did you choose. I can’t see where you mentioned that. Did you get the espresso elm or the reclaimed natural elm? And you said you got the rust legs? And they are charcoal colored? I love this table but am stressing about the details. Thanks in advance for the help.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      July 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Ours is natural, but when we purchased the table, there wasn’t an option – though we still would have gone with natural anyway. The legs are “Rust” and are in the charcoal to black family. Don’t stress! It’s a WONDERFUL table! : )

  • Reply
    Kristen
    August 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Hi, thank you for this post! I am considering this table but worried about the fact that it is uneven and not sealed. I love the look of it but am so concerned about hurting it, or it being uneven to the point that setting a glass on it, it may fall over or tip since it’s not perfectly flat? Also concerned about the splinter factor! Did you end up sanding it a little or applying a coat of anything, I’d love to know! If not, how is it holding up? Thanks!

  • Reply
    cj
    August 29, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Have you looked into Monocoat to seal it? I’ve read that it keeps the rustic beauty of the wood, while giving it some protection.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      August 29, 2014 at 11:48 am

      That’s what we’re planning to use – hoping it’s as awesome as we’ve heard. We’ll be sure to post about it when we get around to it!

  • Reply
    Jamie
    September 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    After seeing the round version on an IG account I follow, I couldn’t help but notice that the owner had kids and would place glasses on the wood. I have been paranoid about mine, annoying people with my coasters and placemats…so I asked what she did to her table and she indeed sealed it. I ended up doing mine this morning with a paste wax and it really didn’t darken the wood much at all. It really brought the grain out though and it looks better than befor. Can’t wait to see yours still, dying over here!

  • Reply
    Alison
    June 2, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Hi, I am considering buying the table in the bar option. Was wondering if you ever decided to seal it and how has it held up? If you did seal it, what did you use and did it change the color much? We are doing a complete home remodel and I think it would look great in our kitchen area. Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      January 4, 2016 at 9:51 am

      No, we haven’t sealed it – though it’s held up beautifully. When we do seal it, we’ll be sure to post about it!

  • Reply
    brenda
    July 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Hello! I am on the fence about purchasing this same table from RH…

    How has it held up for you?
    Did you ever end up sealing it? Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      January 4, 2016 at 9:50 am

      We LOVE it! We get compliments on it all the time, and it’s been great! We have yet to seal it. We’ll be sure to post about that once we do.

  • Reply
    Sara
    September 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Love your style. We just ordered this exact same table. I’m so stumped on chairs. What did you end up with?

  • Reply
    Lisa H.
    September 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Hi-

    Love your space– and got the same table:) Wondering what chairs you ended up with to style with it?

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 16, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Hello! Did you ever seal the RH reclaimed wood table? I have the 1900s boulangerie rectangular extension dining table and want to seal it so that it isn’t ruined by glasses, crayons, etc but hoping to keep the natural, reclaimed look.

    What did you end up doing?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      January 4, 2016 at 9:48 am

      No, we have yet to seal it! We’ll definitely post about it once we do!

  • Reply
    Caroline
    April 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Another sealing question! Did you ever end up sealing your table?

    The chairs you chose in the other post are beautiful!

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