Of Old Wood and Hands Made

Our Farm Table, by David Ellison of Lorimer Antiques

We recently had our “new” dining room table delivered to us. It was the last piece of the renovation puzzle in our “green” family room.  It really is green… the walls are not only painted green, but were painted with low VOC paint (low harmful fumes) from Benjamin Moore called “Aura.”

Part of our continuing effort to throw out less, reuse more and just generally reduce our carbon footprint was to invest in furniture that will last and have meaning to us. We bought (at rock bottom prices) a leather sofa, chair and loveseat that was a bit dinged up, but was more flexible than a sectional and we expect will take a beating better than regular soft fabric.

Then, we reconditioned the big, ugly brown wall unit, painting it glossy white and getting rid of the pressed board and laminate top (we’ll reuse the top in the laundry room renovation.)

But the star of the room (other than the drunk-dial 52″ inch TV that sort of cancels everything else out) is our new farm table. Made by hand by David Ellison of Lorimer Workshop in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the top is crafted from reclaimed boards. David, a ex-patriate from Scotland, says the wood comes from the interior of old railway stations in the area that have been dismantled.

The table has removable legs, as you can see, and no leaves. David doesn’t work with leaves on farm tables– however he does have a fantastic concept for a workaround, if you are interested.

My in-laws, Linda and Henry Phillips, were visiting when it was delivered. They were good enough to help us give it a test run. The table works very well… holds up food and plates of all sorts, and fulfills one of my primary requirements: no water rings! I really wanted a table that was NO FUSS– no need for placemats or runners or coasters. This table is really the answer! It is finished with a food-grade polyurethane that is earth friendly called EZ-DO and a bit of wax. And I can just wipe it clean with a wet cloth.

Colin found David online when he was considering building the table himself. The tables were so beautiful and the prices so reasonable (and he could custom make our wall unit top as well), that we couldn’t pass up the chance.

One note here: If you think a custom-made table is expensive, you have to think again. It might have cost a bit more than a table from Target, but we also got so much more in return. Besides the bench and the wall unit piece, we got a real wood table, made from a piece of local history. And though we wouldn’t necessarily get every piece of furniture handmade, Colin and I agreed the table is the place where a family gathers, kids do homework, friends get together and laugh, eat and tells stories. For us, it was the single most important piece of furniture we were going to acquire together. We were really glad we found David and we able to visit his workshop and be part of its creation.

By the way, interesting note of serendipity. Turns out my F-in-L, Henry, and David both grew up in the same neighborhood in London, Battersea. Small world.