Summit Design & Style: Table trends for your dining room furniture
January 20, 2016
I grew up eating meals, working on homework and generally loitering in a seat along one specific side of my family's butcher block-style dining table. It was thick and sturdy and all too enticing to deface with shapes using the ends of my forks and knives.
Of course, my mom was none too happy when she discovered the row of childhood hieroglyphics I had enjoyed carving into her beautiful table. If she reads this she'll see with a smile that I have a more mature understanding of how to put an artistic touch on the pieces we love, rather than puncture their perfection.
The dining room table is often the only place in the house where the entire family and welcome guests come together all at once. Bedrooms, kitchens and even living room spaces offer either autonomy or transience among busy parents and flocks of children, preoccupied roommates and visiting friends.
This versatile surface in the home is a focal-point piece that will last through time, but sometimes the embellishments around it will change.
"Tables are an heirloom piece that you will have forever," said Heidi Jarski, co-owner of Mountain Comfort furnishings and design store in Frisco with her husband, Andy. "But sometimes with chairs, style or fabric goes out of style."
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You can't go wrong with a prominent wooden table as a lasting piece, made from maple, teak, cherry, walnut or pine, but there are some trends emerging around material and style.
"Rustic tables have always been a part of a mountain look, but it used to be log tables, and now we are seeing more reclaimed pieces," Jarski said.
Reclaimed pine, from beetle-kill trees, for instance, is currently very popular in all style of home design. A specific furniture style known as "live edge" is adding an even more rustic element to the reclaimed pieces.
"Each live edge table is going to have a different kind of shape," Jarski said. "The tree is cut and the edges are left as their natural shapes. Sometimes the bark is left on, and sometimes it's taken off."
Like most furniture pieces, clients are generally able to have input on what they want the completed piece to look like. Some want a finished look, and some want a more rustic feel; sometimes the wood tables are stained, and sometimes they are left their natural color.
One artisan, who often works with Mountain Comfort, fills the cracks in the wood with unique elements such as turquoise and molten copper. The wood needs to be filled in anyway, Jarski said, so that it won't crack more, and the interesting additions make the surface of a table smooth and truly eye-catching.
Chairs are where you can bring in the flair. There's a current design trend to pair "timeless" wood tables with more modern, mixed-material chairs, and in Summit County, that translates to "mountain modern."
Large, rolled upholstery armchairs are no longer being pushed up against rustic tables. Instead, more streamlined chairs are what to sit in, with higher backs, thinner arms and cleaner lines — almost "industrial looking," as Jarski explained.
Reclaimed wood is also being used in the chairs themselves, but the natural material is mixed with copper or zinc pipe-style legs or accents. Grey and brown color combinations are being used now, rather than brown on brown. Fabrics are often incorporated into the modern, mixed-material designs.
"There are still a lot of really cool fabrics that are trendy right now and in-line with the mountain look," she said. "We are seeing a lot of greys and grey leathers; everything was so brown for so long, and now we're seeing a combo of those colors."
Balance seems to be the baseline for integrating natural, rustic elements with modern, streamlined accents for a comfortable, yet cutting edge, dining room.
"Throw a little mountain in with modern, by adding wood, ethnic prints and fabrics, and it makes the space a lot warmer and it adds some personality to it," Jarski said. "People want to feel cozy when they are in their mountain home, and this will help make it that way."
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