Tuesday, September 25, 2012

destructive children and hard top tables

My kids have destroyed nearly every piece of furniture we own.  At their hands my red leather Odeon chair has a jagged puncture on one side and is covered in pen.  The blue chair has a hole in the cushion and is stained with popsicle.  The Room and Board sofa, only two years old, has a cracked frame and the springs are broken, and is stained beyond repair.  The new ottoman is lacking tufting buttons. The dining chairs are begrimed and someone has unscrewed the seat from every single chair.  Don't even ask how many beds we have bought. My preshus snowflakes are thorough in their pillaging.

Our Pottery Barn table has not held up well, even with the glass top. Although the glass top has protected the table from most dings and scratches in the center of the table, the finish is chipped off around the entire edge.  Also, an unforeseen effect of a glass top---anything spilled seems to find its way to pooling under the glass, thus warping and stripping the finish underneath.

The best situation would be to find a 100 year old farm table that is worn and smooth and has gotten an aged patina from destructive children using it.  Anyone have one of those?  I find that the finish on our PB table and our old Crate and Barrel table seems to be a very thin veneer that stands up to nothing.  I have thought of refinishing our PB table, but the thought of stripping the detailed legs makes me procrastinate.

For my next table (not being bought anytime soon), I have been contemplating a table with a hard, impervious top.  This Pratt table from Room and Board comes in a number of different finishes; the one below is marble (pretty, but not great at resisting stains).  But I like the thought of getting a table that is not going to show every ding or warp when milk is spilled and not cleaned up two seconds later.

I do not particularly like the x-base style of this table, but I LOVE the thought of a zinc top table.  I'd prefer a parsons-style table instead.

This one is prettier.

Anyone have any experience with a marble or zinc top table?  Love it, hate it?


  1. Lisa, I never want to use a comment section to "sell" ... but I work with a company that makes furniture for me all out of reclaimed pine and cherry ... and withstands a BEATING plus looks pretty. If you are interested pop me a note and I'll send some info! Otherwise, I feel your pain! I love the Zinc! Marble is beautiful but won't stand up to crayons/cutting/etc. The zinc will wear but take on a better patina! xo

  2. No experience, and my kids are hard on furniture, but not *quite* that hard (of course, I have one less, so that's what I attribute it to). I would check out the tables at World Market. Wait until they are 20% off, and go for it. I don't think it's impossible to have nice things when you have kids, but it is challenging.

  3. Hi,

    I have a marble benchtop which took me about a year to convince my husband to get. It doesn't stain, ( we tried just about everything) but it does react badly to anything acidic like lemon or orange juice if it is left for a long time - as long as you clean it after each meal it should last several lifetimes and any nicks or scratches just start to make it look beautifully aged .

  4. we got a "lugano" table at world market 9 years and 4 kids ago. it came pre-dinged up. i can't tell you how happy that table has made me-it is solid wood and ginormous (although it doesn't feel so huge anymore now that we fill the whole thing up!) and best of all--it doesn't matter when they bang on it with knives/smoosh playdough into it/cover it with oatmeal cement. that thing can take a beating. the chairs haven't fared quite as well but they still look pretty good, considering how hard they've been used. we got chairs and a bench. good luck!


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