the dining room dilemma
It's no secret I love design. In fact, it’s a total obsession- though I like to consider it a healthy one since I make a living off of it. I find myself constantly inspired, by art, color, fabric- images of other designers work. The access to inspiration is endless these days. Between shelter magazines (I collect them- more for another day) and the internet.
To my daughter’s horror (she hates change), our home is constantly evolving, changing- to the point of obsession (that word again!). But while the options are endless, I always feel limited. Yes, budget is a huge issue- as it is for most, but I’m mostly limited because I have two of the most curious kids. Now both my husband and I are in the industry, he’s in construction, so from day one we have tried to teach them to respect their home and the furnishings in it, but let’s be honest, they’re still kids. And as much as you try to instill discipline, there are some nights when our two year old comes home after a long day at school and runs directly over to the sofa and starts jumping on it- with snow boots on. So while I try to teach from those experiences, I also don’t want our kids to feel like prisoners in their own home. Our house is truly lived-in and while we try to limit an excess of toys in our living space (they have a playroom), our walls are often sticky, our furniture clearly gets jumped on and we have had more than our share of spills on my favorite antelope rug. Life.
So when it’s time for an update in our decor there are a few things I always try to take into consideration.
1) Does it work with my vision.
2) How will it hold up.
3) Is it worth the money if my kids trash it, because they will.
Most recently these questions arose when I decided it was finally time to replace our dining table.
My dining room as featured in Better Homes and Gardens Flea Market Style in 2015
After years of abuse, last spring I decided that the table needed to go. And ever since, I’ve been endlessly searching. Stuck somewhere between what I wanted and what my family could handle. What was I looking for? Something with interest that would pair nicely with my dining chairs, but that also wouldn’t distract. I wanted to modernize the space a bit, as I’ve been going “cleaner” with my interiors, but I was determined to stick with black since the space needed some grounding.
Some dining images I love below. Perhaps a little edgy, but I love to experiment with in my home..
Maybe a little more realistic but we decided stone/glass wouldn’t hold up well to our son’s constant hammering and banging of (plastic) tools.
Damon Liss Design
But then practicality sets in- usually when I’m just about to buy something and my husband stops me with questions like “How will the top handle a fleet full of trucks or some Elmers glue with a hint of glitter.. or the dreaded Sharpie?” And that’s when #momlife kicks in.
So I was thrilled when I saw that Ikea came out with the Lisabo table.
Simple, clean lines. Black. Basic and just about perfect.
Will it hold up? Who knows, but because it’s inexpensive, I’m not all that concerned.
Right now it meets my mom and decorator needs. It’s a surface where my kids can gather for art projects, homework or dinner. And the style works well within it’s surroundings, it’s the perfect finish and it has just enough edge to it. And my husband? He was thrilled with the price tag.
Perhaps one day I’ll have a bold, formal dining room for guests, where kids are off limits, but this is where we are in our lives right now, and even as a designer, I’m OK with that.