Those of you around since the early days will know of my love of salvage. It has been a while since I posted anything on my recent finds or renovation projects. That’s not to say I haven’t been thinking about it. I have. I’ve been thinking about the shabby garden chair that I am going to relax in in the garden when the weather warms up. I’ve been thinking about the terracotta pots that are in the garage with the shabby chair. Last November I rescued them from being dumped and it’s about time I filled them with some pretty Spring flowers. But most of all I have been thinking about the kidney table.
It was a bit of a desperate measure. An act of pure addiction. I picked up the kidney table someone had put out for the bin men purely because it was out for the bin. The tabletop pattern was awful. Plus there was a hole drilled into it which had resulted in the veneer cracking. The only redeeming feature were the shapley legs.
For almost five months I considered dumping it myself. A broken, cracked, ugly coffee table is not something I need. I’ve no room for it, I told myself. Last week I went out the the garage to get it, break it up and put it in the bin. I hadn’t the heart though, when it came down to it. The kidney table is in my bedroom now and I am a little bit in love with it.
Once I set my mind to updating the kidney table, I wanted to get to work straight away. Pinterest was my first port of call.There are kidney tables galore on there. From authentic vintage to colourful retro versions to minimalist chic I found heaps of inspiration.
I also realised what the hole might have been for. I’d been assuming that the hole was drilled into the table by the previous owner, possibly to thread an electric cable through. The more I scrolled through Pinterest the more I thought that the table might have had a second layer originally. So many photos showed kidney tables, almost cake-stand style, with two tiers or more.
Authentic or Avant Garde
One of the hardest things for me when renovating furniture is committing to a style. For starters there is always the question of whether to go the authentic route and restore a piece to its former glory. The other option is to go for a modern take, bringing with it the danger of losing what is special about the item of furniture.
The original pattern of triangles on a black background didn’t appeal to me, classic though it might be. I was tempted to go ultra sleek with something along these lines, perhaps in navy or anthracite.
Staying true to the 1950s genre would have been nice, but the designs just didn’t appeal to me enough. I couldn’t see the style working in our home. We have an eclectic mix of antique wood, white shabby chic renovations and splashes of colour in our rooms. A 50s-style kidney table wouldn’t fit in.
In The Detail
Without a plan but keen to get the project started, I took the table inside to clean it off and try to get a better feel for it. I wiped down the tabletop, but even without the dust and cobwebs the pattern didn’t appeal to me. As I removed to the legs to clean them off, I noticed the game-changer. Dipped legs! My dingy old table had dainty dipped legs!
Immediately my Pinterest search parameters were updated to include this hitherto unnoticed detail. The results, which you can view on my board, above, provided the inspiration I needed. I closed the app and hit the DIY shop.
Pop back in a few days to see the how the renovation went.