The Gathering Place: Our Farmhouse Table

"A strong family has well worn seats at the dinner table." 

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One of the smartest design choices I made in creating our new kitchen space was having a custom farmhouse table built for our family. With seven children, sleepover guests and visitors from out of town, we never had enough room to eat as a family. Rustic Pine, the design company crafted by a Florida fireman /Trauma One helicopter paramedic, built this table and bench seat for far less than I could buy retail. I opted for an extra wide and sturdy bench seat to accommodate a lot of little ones....I can fit up to eight children on one side of the table which has really opened up the seating for the adults. (Light fixture is from Graham's Lighting.)

Since I have several messy little eaters, I purchased these white ladder back chairs for under $70 each! For their cost, I don't feel guilty if one gets destroyed or a child uses it as a launching pad and breaks it's leg (like what happened to my former Pottery Barn chair.) 

For the two upholstered end chairs, again, I went with something a bit more sturdy and told my children that these are "Mommy and Daddy's seats" so they don't ruin the fabric. Although my chairs are sold out, these are from the same manufacturer, same fabric and ones that I would buy should my current ones see a smoothie spill. These tufted dining chairs clean easily and come in a variety of colors. 

Top off the table with your favorite table runner, serving trays like the ones below and some fresh flowers and you'll have an inviting tablescape worthy of dinner guests!