Dining table secrets with a priceless price tag

A few months back when I was moving out of London, someone lectured me (with good intentions, I believe🙇🏻‍♀️) for having so many furniture/home accessories. She made sense, of course. I am a renter with no idea where I am going to next with our rollercoaster lifestyle. 🤷🏻‍♀️I wish she could read my mind when I failed to tell her if home styling is not your thing, you don’t need to force it to be but at least realise not everyone feels equally comfortable staying in a hospital 💉and in a prison and in a spaceship 🚀 or a war zones or whatever else you can think of (or 🤔how about submarine, I could do with an adventure 😜). For some of us, places we are in affect our sense of well being or just “being”. Anyway, although I kept my mouth shut in there, it does not mean I will blindly follow her path especially since I have my secrets of cutting down the cost and its payoffs.

There are plenty of ways you can save money on the interior. Maybe you can include it in your monthly budget, cutting down something else from it like your gym fees because some DIYs and the following cleaning ups are quite good exercises🏋️. The other way is, of course, the DIY project itself. Let assume, you buy a classic good quality dining table from e-bay or junk shop for a fiver to a tenner and then sand it and colour it. You can also sand it to give it a distressed look or use self-adhesive film to cover the top. Otherwise, make a lovely tablecloth and a few sets of runners and placemats of your choice to hide it underneath. If you choose to, paint the chairs with some really bright and funky colours or upholster the seats with a matching or contrasting fabric to give it an extended life. Decoupage your whole dining set if you are sure about the look you are after. There are endless ways of up-cycling. All you need is time and willingness to get your hands dirty.

Here is what we did for ours. 💁🏻

We painted the tabletop with grey colour and upholstered the chairs. We used this purple fabric that we bought from a local curtain/fabric shop. It’s much cheaper if you buy a bulk from their end of stock piles than that from the mainstream retailers. Buying it in bulk means I get to do a few other things with it like a matching tablecloth. Before painting the table, we used it as a worktop for some other DIY projects because it is f***ing sturdy and now it is our multitasking station. My son does his drawing and crafting while we do some sewing and cutting fabrics as well as using it as a dining table. Btw, this plain purple runner under the colouring box was on sale in IKEA for a pound😱. So we bought two, one to cut to make placemats and the other to use as a runner.

Moving on, here is a quick overview of the estimated expenses (we bought bigger pots of paints, primers and topcoats for some other projects as well, so the amounts are how much we used for this table approximately)

  • Table chair set- £5 from eBay
  • Picked up by our car but fuel cost- £10
  • Paint- £4
  • Painbrush/roller- £2
  • Spirit- £1
  • Roller tray- £1.5
  • Primer/undercoat- £2
  • topcoat- £2
  • Cloth for upholstered seat- £10 (2m of £5/m)

Tools we used in this and many other projects:

  • Sander £15
  • Staple gun £20
  • Scissors £3

A first hand similar looking farmhouse table from John Lewis costs £1630( https://m.johnlewis.com/neptune-henley-oval-170-270cm-extending-oak-dining-table-oak/p231468311 ) and this one from made.com is £599 ( https://www.made.com/betty-extending-dining-table-white-2 ). Chairs are not included in any of them. Depending on the look, do the maths. Is it worth spending?

If you are thinking that it is rather cheap and useless effort, please, with due respect, try to understand your judgements don’t pay my bills. The “me time” I spend alone mindfully in a place that makes me feel happy is priceless. Looking for home inspiration and then actually making something is therapeutic to me. It gives me a sense of purpose and a way of contributing to my family. It makes me feel accomplished to some extent, as well as having a positive impact on my mood. These, my friend, pay off in the long run.

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