Downsizing- the act of moving from a larger to a smaller living space.
In actuality, downsizing is much more than that. It is a lifestyle change, growing in popularity, embraced by some, derided by others. Empty nesters, my husband and I represent the former. Tired of maintaining a large home, tired of the the feeling of loneliness that unused rooms evoke and finding ourselves at opposite ends of the house unable to carry on a conversation, we took the plunge and have not looked back.
Downsizing for us also signaled the beginning of a less formal living environs. We traded in our formal dining room with its rich red walls, 7 foot glass table, 8 black lacquered queen Anne chairs, elegant brass chandelier and plush Chinese wool area rug for..... no dining room at all.
The designated eating area in our multipurpose main living space consists of our former kitchen table and its 1970's 4 retro chairs. Six can just squeeze around the table, a slab of butcher block that sits atop the base of my grandmother's singer sewing machine. While we love the intimacy of small dinners for 6, there are times our guest list includes more than four. When planning our living space I sourced out a number of options, including coffee tables that convert to dining tables, plastic fold away tables and drop leaf console tables. I liked the concept and design of the convertible coffee tables but decided that a noguchi glass coffee table would work better with the look I was after.
It was at Ikea online that I found what I was searching for. Believe it or not, we do not have an Ikea store here in Halifax. Ikea has a collection of table tops and legs that allows you to 'design your own table'. While not a perfect match to our existing table, I selected a natural wood veneer butcher block table top and two like coloured trestles upon which to lay it. The table surface is not attached to the trestle legs but merely rests on top of them.
When not in use as a dining table, one of the trestles functions as a funky display shelf in our hallway.
I hide the very heavy table top and the other trestle leg behind our Chinese folding screen.
Is storage space lacking in your home? Don't have a screen behind which to hide the table top? A simple solution... slide it under a bed.
Don't have a spot to house the trestle legs. Stack them one on top of the other to create a tall shelving unit. Once again 1+1=1......Or...... use the table as a desk in an office space and reinvent it as a dining table when company comes.
Design Tip #1: From table trestle to funky decorative shelf, think outside the box when storage space is tight.
Design Tip #2: Folding screens are attractive hiding places for small living spaces lacking in storage. Decorative and functional they will serve you well.
Design Tip #3: Check out the Vika system to design your own dining table, desk/work surface in the 'Work Spaces ' section of the Ikea catalogue.
Design Tip #4: The most budget friendly solution to down sized entertaining would be to purchase a plastic table that folds in half when not in use. Cover it with a floor length table cloth and your guests will be none the wiser.
Intimidated by the thought of downsizing, you can count on Rave Re:view to ease the burden. Been there. Done that and loving it!!!!!