Solving the Dining Room Dilema

Let me just get it out there…I hate our dining room. It’s been a headache since we bought the house. Initially, it wasn’t really even a room. It was more of an entryway with two giant closets.

While I love closet space as much as the next girl—this was a case of way too much of a good thing. It was an eyesore. And that eyesore was the first thing you saw when you walked into the house.

So, we got to work shortly after we moved in, aiming  to turn the room into the formal dining room the house lacked.

We ripped out the closets. We ripped up the dingy, smelly, Berber carpet. And, eureka, we found hardwood underneath. That was the good news. The bad news was that huge sections of it were missing. Enter hardwood installer and refinisher.

Once the floor and the walls were put back together we added this built-in corner cabinet that my friend ripped out during a kitchen remodel.


Flash forward to present day. The dining room looks a little better, but it’s ultimately a completely unused and unusable space.

It’s not only a room, but a pass-through to the kitchen, which makes it functionally smaller than its actual 9.5′ x 12.5′ size. This leaves us stuck with a small round table that seats four. It’s too small for entertaining, and not very comfortable or appealing.

Aside from being a drop spot for keys and junk mail, we never use it.

Eventually I’d like to build a banquette like this  or this in the room so we can seat more people and conserve space at the same time. But in the meantime, I’ve decided to address the table issue.

I need a new table that’s  narrow – no more than 32 inches, because the room still needs adequate walking space so people can pass through to the kitchen. But I also want a longer table that accomodates more people, one that provides a better surface for the kids to do  homework or projects.

I searched a little for a table online, but most were too wide, too pricey,  or just not what I was looking for. And then I saw this tutorial on Pinterest on turning an old door into a herringbone table.

Hallelujah. (Maybe.)

We had an old door in the basement from another project. It was the perfect size, 32″x 78″—but obviously needed some… modifications.


So, here’s the plan. I’m going to use paint sticks to create a herringbone pattern on the top of the door, trim the sides with wood, stain it all. I’ll finish up by adding on $20 worth of trestle legs from Ikea.

I already ordered some paint sticks online, and did a trial layout. ImageImage

It’s possibly a brilliantly frugal solution to my table problem…or a disaster waiting to happen. Either way, the whole project shouldn’t cost more than $40, so I figure it’s worth a shot.

Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted on our progress…


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