Vintage tables of all types can offer real substance to your interior decorating plan. You may be on the hunt for the perfect dining table that makes a grand statement. If so, consider classic Chippendale furniture. Its ornate detailing and quality is unmistakable. Although the price tag may be on the high end, you never know what bargains you may find at estate sales. The entire set, including vintage chairs may be last set you ever need.
Perhaps ornate is not for you. Perhaps something a bit more rustic in nature is more appealing. Classic drop-leaf and gate-leg tables, or draw-leaf (those with extendable sides) speak of days past. While antique dealers may be a good source, so is Craigslist. You'd be amazed at some of the items people need to sell quickly and "on the cheap".
Vintage tables need not only be for dining. Look for unique side tables for small walls in your home. Perhaps you found one that is the perfect size but the finish is less than appealing. Update it. This is where upcycling comes in. Take that old table and transform it with some paint to make it more contemporary. Conversely, you may want to give it an aged and weathered patina. Whichever direction you go, you can make it fit your style with a little effort.
Above, an antique butterfly drop-leaf table is the perfect focal for this short wall. Its current finish provides some classic, shabby style.
Again, source Craigslist for local, low-cost and even free pieces that you can rework to make "your own". Be
look-out for curbside furniture too. It's amazing what you can find. My sister is an aficionado at this and has found some incredible pieces placed for trash, such as the one shown here. Its casual, distressed finish and size makes it a great choice for this narrow hallway niche.
Ornamental ring turning provides detail
to the legs of this found piece.
Sometimes vintage tables need a bit of assistance in reclaiming their beauty. This unique, draw-leaf dining table was apparently used in a craft or kid's room for projects. It had dried glue and paint drops upon the top. A bit of sanding and staining revealed its former splendor. This table was also found in an unlikely place - a storage unit.
No chairs were included and finding the perfect seating solution can be challenging when dealing with vintage pieces. Matching wood stains and carved details can often prove difficult. You should be open to upcycling or refinishing pieces you find. It took a few months, but some vintage folding chairs became the solution. Read more about these reclaimed chairs.
You can mix different styles together if you can find a common element among them. In this case, the wood-finish and the criss-cross of the chair legs to the table's lower cross beams.
Vintage? Or Not?
Simple, Rustic Charm
Even newer tables can fool the eye such as this replica farmhouse-style table composed of reclaimed wood with a distressed finish. A rustic, metal framework provides foundation for the top pieces. No chairs came with this table but the homeowner had some that worked quite nicely. The wrought iron-look and scrolled detail of the chairs coupled with the rustic, old world charm of the table, establishes a nod toward the French-provincial style.
Looking For Tables?
Collectors Weekly is a good source for finding antique, auctioned tables
as well as learning more about them and other antique furniture.
18th-Century English Style
Among this wonderful grouping of vintage pieces is a hinged, drop-top pedestal table. Many thanks to my mother for allowing me to use some of her pieces as examples throughout these sections.
Vintage, folding, card tables (as shown above) often depict ornate scenes or some type of artwork; in this case, a floral still-life. This particular table is of lesser quality as the artwork itself is a print placed upon a heavy weight cardboard-type backing. That backing is then adhered to a thin, unfinished wood. Higher quality versions of these types of tables may be solid wood with ornate, carved detailing and hand-painted, oil renderings.
*To learn more about vintage tables, their makers and style definitions,
refer to this informative, photo resource on antique table styles.