Farmhouse Dining Tables

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Farmhouse Dining Tables


The antithesis to weighty, 11-piece Queen Anne mahogany dining sets with shield-back seats and two captain's chairs, the term “farmhouse dining table” has become a buzzword in the past decade or so. In fact, say the words “farmhouse kitchen table” to a certain crowd of agrarian-dreaming, urban-dwellers and it’s likely to incite the same kind of fever that, say, a Birkin bag does for a certain sartorial-loving subset.

The ascent of the farmhouse table could be credited to the rise in casual farmhouse chic, an adjunct of the rustic chic style that dominated the lexicon for a time in the late 90s and early aughts. In contrast to rustic style, farmhouse chic follows a more restrained rubric. Textiles are a bit tidier—think cable knit over marled knit, shiplap over thatched straw —and the palette a bit more pulled-back—epicurean-inspired shades of sage, cream, and mushroom tend to take precedence over rustic adobes and matte beiges. Furniture, too, is more neutral. In the heyday of rustic style, for instance, a patchwork of reclaimed wood was all the rage. Farmhouse style, however, dictates that reclaimed wood be a bit more refined. Most farmhouse tables choose to showcase the rich rewards of reclaimed by utilizing a singular wood source with little surface or color variation. Essentially, cohesion is equally as important as character.

In locations where wood may look too busy, painted farmhouse tables are a sage (if not slightly unconventional), option. White farmhouse tables and black farmhouse tables tend to be the easiest specimens to track down, but those who desire custom color shouldn’t fret. Because most farmhouse kitchen tables are crafted of untreated wood, an at-home paint job is the kind of project even the most nascent DIY-ers can feasibly undertake. Soothing blue-gray shades and soft, gray-tinted greens are both promising palettes to explore, accompanied by little risk factor. Once painted, colored farm tables are a powerful design element and an ideal candidate for colored seats, both traditional and modern.

Theoretically designed to outfit lofty, vaulted beam-ceilinged barns, farmhouse kitchen tables aren’t typically apartment-scaled affairs. Trestle farmhouse dining tables, especially, are hefty tables that will ballast any room. Even traditional four-legged farm tables are prone to oversized proportions, with many featuring bulbous turned spindle legs of decorative cross-braces. Those beset with more petite dining rooms don’t have to miss out on the farmhouse fun, of course. Round farmhouse tables are becoming increasingly commonplace. And while they may lack the provenance of true farm tables, round farm tables make the bucolic look accessible to even those who lack a true home on the range.

Unlike antique tables which don’t generally leave much room (literally) for going rogue with dining chairs, rustic farmhouse dining tables’ ample and modern silhouettes invite a shuffling of chairs. While experimentation is always encouraged, design pros have queued up a few tried and true combos for those who prefer a vetted formula. For instance, true antique farmhouse tables (which generally tend to skew more golden in color than modern farmhouse tables which trend grayer), are perfect mates for black Windsor chairs. Those who crave a more daring pairing might consider opting for a contemporary farmhouse table, which can be synced more liberally with modern seats. Eames fiberglass shell chairs, slipcovered slipper chairs, Paul McCobb spindle back chairs, and shapely oval-backed Louis chairs are just a few of their tried-and-true combos designers employ on repeat.

Inevitably, benches are almost always a part of the farmhouse dining table chair discussion, too. Exalted as the ultimate way to procure casual comfort, farmhouse dining benches can be used on either one or both sides of a farmhouse kitchen table. Those who have already had to opt for a narrow farmhouse table due to space constraints can especially benefit from swapping standard chairs for a bench. While shimmying chairs between a table and a wall is never advisable, a bench can fill the void while still maintaining accessibility. Don’t feel hemmed in by backless benches, either. An upholstered banquet could easily be subbed for a communal bench on one side of a farmhouse dining table and complemented by chairs on the other.