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Our Kitchen Table Search!

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it’s pretty obvious by now that if I could do anything in my free time, it would be DECORATING! It’s by far my favorite thing to do! I’d take a Homegoods giftcard over a Cheesecake Factory giftcard any day! … But Michael would disagree. It’s just so much fun to “design” a space! With the new house, I have to admit that I was a little overwhelmed. I have NEVER had so many rooms to decorate and plan out! I learned very quickly that the decorating will take some time and that I should enjoy the process. Well I’m definitely enjoying the process but I’m not one to sit around and put off massive

decorating projects. We’re on a roll here at the Alsop household! Michael and I started furniture shopping before they even had the walls up on the house! We knew there were some pieces that we needed to invest in from the beginning. Dining room table, new couch, bedroom furniture, etc. We found our living room furniture VERY quickly at Bassett and while it was quite an investment to have custom furniture made, it was worth every penny! We haven’t regretted that investment one bit!

However, there has been an investment that we recently realized wasn’t our best decision. We ordered what we thought was going to be a gorgeous farm-like dining room table from Restoration Hardware. Just purchasing something in that store made me feel all grown up and sophisticated. We were so excited that we found something that we liked and we decided it was worth the price tag. So we went into the store and ordered it! This was in April and the table was delivered two weeks ago. That’s right, after one “late arrival notice” after another, our confidence in RH was fading. Once the table was delivered, we were told that the finish on the table wasn’t holding up well and that they would be sending us another table to replace the table that was already 2months late being delivered. WOW, right? And last but not least, where the two leafs come together, there was a giant GAP in the wood. So strange and NOTHING like the image in the catalog.

We stared at the table after it was delivered … and then I squinted at it (because squinting helps me see things evenly… I’m weird, I know)…. and we came to the conclusion that if we are going to spend $1300 on a table… we need to be in LOVE with not only the table, but the whole buying process! That’s a big commitment and we weren’t thrilled in the slightest.

That RH table was returned last week and I told Michael that I think we just needed to stick with what we know…. and that’s IKEA!!! IKEA has come a long way in the last ten years! We have so many pieces from that store and let me tell you, we have yet to be disappointed! Yesterday Michael and I drove up to the northern VA IKEA store and bought a bigger version of the kitchen table we already had and new chairs.  We also bought kitchen accessories, clocks, large and small frames, an organizer thingy for the laundry room, and a ton of other items for the new house.  Guess what, ALL of that was cheaper than the ONE Restoration Hardware table without chairs!

Some would say we sacrificed the quality of our table but we have had our $199 kitchen table from IKEA for 3 years and it has been WELL used! The only thing wrong with it is that it wasn’t quite big enough for the new space and we wanted white chairs! We’ve been so happy with our “do it yourself” furniture and I realized this weekend that without our Target and IKEA purchases, we wouldn’t be able to decorate the way we want. This approach to decorating is working for me and if you’re in decorating mode, I highly recommend finding the nearest IKEA and go have a ball!!

Here’s a little peak of the RH table and then below is an iPhone shot of all that we brought home from IKEA yesterday! (Michael is putting the chairs together as we speak… he’s gotten so fast at this process over the years! :) I’ll be doing a home “update” post soon to show all of the little improvements we’re making… including the new Kitchen Table!!!

We spent $300 less at IKEA and came home with:
– An extendable dining table that seats 8-10
– 4 outdoor patio chairs
– 6 white dining room chairs
– Large and small frames
– Closet scarf organizer & laundry room organization cart
– Kitchen accents
– 3 decorative clocks! 

Here are some tips for furniture shopping if you’re in the market for a dining room table! :

1. Do your research! We looked at everything from handmade Amish tables to custom made Bassett tables! There are so many options out there and it’s smart to know what the average prices are for what you’re shopping for. 

2. Don’t forget the chairs! In most cases, adding chairs and/or a bench or two will double the price of your purchase.  Make sure you remember the chairs before committing to the table! Also, depending on the color and style of the table, there’s a possibility that you could always use chairs from somewhere else! They don’t have to be a part of a “set”! 

3. DIY! If you’re handy and have some time to be crafty, there are so many DIY farm table plans on Pinterest! You could totally do it yourself for a couple hundred bucks and some time!!

4. Don’t get caught up in the “fancy-ness” of certain stores. Once you buy ONE really nice, high end piece of furniture, it’s easy to get sucked into only ever buying from stores like Arhaus, RH, Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrell. You can spend a FORTUNE in those stores and only leave with a table and no chairs! …. I’m talking from experience here. :)

5. Signup for some online furniture and Home Decor sites for deals and inspiration. I LOVE Joss & Main! I don’t order a TON from there but I get really great ideas from their events and whenever I do order something from them, I always love it!

6. Visit your local Homegoods often! They get 2-3 shipments a week and sometimes you can find some really awesome deals and unique pieces that you can’t find anywhere else! And if you see something you LOVE, go ahead a get it right then because it won’t be there long! You can always return it!

7. Be patient! I wanted to order EVERYTHING all at once! … but I’m glad we waited because we ended up getting something we really loved and it was only 1/4 of the cost of our previous purchase from Restoration Hardware.  

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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