When I was pregnant with Missy 5, our last child, there came a point where I panicked. We were at the time, a family of four, with a beautiful, round, solid Jarrah dining table that my father had made for me, with gorgeous matching chairs. We were living in Oatley, with our pokey little dining room at the time, and our dining set crammed into one corner. My dad had made this table for me when I was a single girl renting alone in Kogarah.
I didn’t know quite how to point out to my dad at the time that our beloved little table wasn’t going to fit us anymore! I asked him what the etiquette was; do I buy a bigger dining table and break his heart, give him back the Jarrah table (no space for two dining sets!) or what? In the end, Dad and I agreed to do nothing, as a larger dining table wouldn’t fit anyway.
So, we ended up moving to Stockinbingal. My dad had some health issues which prevented him from making extremely heavy furniture as he was used to. I kept looking at dining settings in shops and online, and was prepared to buy something when we got the money and actually found something I loved enough. I never found the right dining setting. I did pick up a very old, cheap dining set to fit us all for $20 in the meantime. It was horrible, but practical.
When we sold that house to our neighbour, Dad and I agreed to gift him with the Jarrah setting. I do miss it, as it was beautiful, but sometimes the things we love just take too much space! I didn’t want to bring the twenty buck table either.
So, as we tried to work out the right table for us, we’d been eating dinners in front of the telly. Hey, at least we were all together, and had food in our bellies, right? But, it was bugging my dad that we hadn’t sorted this out yet. He came up with a plan: a flat-pack dining table that was made of lighter wood than his pre-illness creations (think Jarrah table, rosewood bed..), that he would send to us and we would put together, sand and stain ourselves.
He sent one part by courier, and delivered what he could fit into his sedan to us on our meet-up at Yass. We’ve been putting together, sanding, staining, and now we’re done! No more TV dinners.
I didn’t give any input into the design with this table, except to give a colour preference for the stain. But how did he pick the exact table design I couldn’t find in any shop? Well done, Dad! I call this my ‘farmhouse table’, despite us not living on a farm. Because our kitchen is tiny, this 8-seater will not only fit us all, but give us more food prep space. For anyone wondering why there is a washing machine in the background, yes! Our dining room has its laundry on the end. It’s a long, thin room.
Now, Dad is in the process of making some beautiful Welsh flat-pack chairs to match. We’re lucky buggers here. Long live handmade!