Thrift Score! Vintage Kitchen Table and a Domino Effect

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It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a thrift find! Probably largely because I haven’t had much time for thrifting at all lately, what with the trip and all (must prioritize thrifting on next summer’s trip!). But behold:

vintage kitchen table

We weren’t looking for a new kitchen table at all. The porch is what we’re working on right now. New kitchen stuff was way down on the list. But, on the other hand, I did walk through the kitchen the very same morning I bought this table and think sadly, “wow. Those chairs look like crap.”

I don’t suppose I’ve let anyone in blogland look too closely at our kitchen chairs since back when we first painted them and they looked all pristine and lovely:

But the years (and the kids. And probably our lack of skill as painters) have not been kind to the chairs, and these days they’ve gone way past shabby chic to just….terrible:

I’m pretty well over aqua at the moment, too.

So I had it in my head that we should replace the chairs with a set that was all stained wood or something. It was never really a fully formed idea, because….way down the list.

We were out on Saturday looking for furniture for the porch: chairs, maybe a table, shelves or small tables for plants. We didn’t find any of that. In fact, we were about to come back home with nothing to show for our shopping expedition, when I spotted this table tucked off in a corner of the thrift store.

I was immediately so enamored that I couldn’t really speak, which left Dave a little confused. “This doesn’t look like a table for the porch,” he said. I mumbled something inaudible. “It looks like a kitchen table,” he added.

Yes. Our kitchen table.

There was no price on the table, so we had to hunt down someone who worked there, and I held my breath while I waited to see what she would say. This store usually has good prices, but sometimes they get a little too excited about something. “This little retro table?” she said, and I braced myself for some kind of special, extra expensive, just for hipsters price. “Sixty dollars,” she said, and I threw money at her and ran out of the store with my table before she could change her mind. Well, I mean, except first they had to clear all the stuff off of it, and we were paying with a credit card, so I couldn’t really throw it. But you get the idea. The table is MINE now. Ours. I’m sharing with my family.

Howells vintage kitchen table

Everyone at the thrift store got pretty excited about my table. “This is a vintage gem” declared $60 pricing lady.


Details: the manufacturer is Howells, and in a lot of ways this is your basic vintage formica kitchen table. I’m a big fan of your basic vintage formica kitchen table anyway, and finding one in very nice shape for $60 is not an everyday occurrence, but what really got me about this particular one was these two tone chairs:

black and gold vintage chair

vintage black and gold chairs

Gold and black chairs?! Fabulous.

The vinyl’s in okay but not perfect shape; I imagine my family will destroy it in a matter of months and they’ll need to be recovered, but that’s okay.

I love that it’s a neutral color scheme instead of bright red or blue like a lot of these old tables. Look how shiny!

It came with four chairs, and there are six of us, so we’ll need to find two more eventually. For now I stuck these white metal ones there (we picked up a long time ago and they’ve been sitting in our basement for awhile).

I’m not sure what we’ll replace them with…maybe some Eames knock offs like these? Or those might be too overdone. I’m not in a big rush, because I’m supposed to be working on my porch.

But I just want to sit in my kitchen at my new table. I’m really pleased with how it works in here. The kitchen has always been a little aggravating, because it seems to demand neutral colors, and I don’t really do neutral when left to my own devices. But I think between this table and the copper shelves, I’m finding ways to add a little quirkiness to the kitchen without forcing tons of color on it. Fine, kitchen! BE greige! And full of fabulous mixed metals!

Howell's vintage table in kitchen

But getting back to that porch….do you know what my accidental kitchen table purchase means? It means I have a table for the porch now!

Dave made this table a few years ago, and it’s served us well. It also happens to be pretty much the style I was envisioning for the porch. I actually was thinking more rustic, with unfinished planks on top….but then people would probably get splinters while they were eating anyway, right, and no one wants that. So our kitchen table with it’s thick coating of polyurethane it is!

If I can bring myself to sand down the awful peeling paint off of a couple of those aqua chairs, we might be able to use those out there, too. Right now they’re all over the sunroom.

We bought stain for the porch over the weekend, too. So I guess we’ll be putting that on there sometime soon. Sigh. Not as fun as buying tables!




Thrift Score! Vintage Kitchen Table and a Domino Effect — 16 Comments

  1. I’m happy for you. Serendipity rules: buy a kitchen table, acquire a porch table by accident.

    I’m trying to restrain my nostalgic hatred for that table, and failing, though. My grandmother had that very table complete with the leaf in the center in beige (same plaid), and I loathed it. I was always tripping over the sticking-out legs, and knocking my knee against the extra leg bits when I sat down or stood up, and the chairs, though not exactly the same, were supremely uncomfortable for me, also with the same tripping problem. Wishing you luck with it, and on the chair hunt.

    • 🙂 It sounds like you have some pretty bad memories associated with this table! So far everyone’s knees are doing okay with it here…but it’s early yet.

  2. Gretchen…..since when can’t children be taught to respect YOUR possessions?……damage comes out of their pocket money….no internet for a week, except for school work….no television for a month…..we don’t have a television…….it’s unnecessary….control the damage!… work hard for your treasures……insure their protection……it won’t take long…one or two lapses…???

    I live the table and chairs….if they are uncomfortable…..make gay cushions…..well done! Jk

    • They don’t ruin things on purpose :)….it’s just time and lots of people running around and, I’m guessing, picking the wrong top coat for those chairs! The chairs the grown-ups sit in aren’t looking so good either these days 😉

  3. The kitchen table is perfect and those chairs too and YES the old kitchen table is perfect for your porch too. It’s a total win win. I guess it was meant to be

  4. That table is in such good shape! I love it!

    Our chairs in our dining room also look terrible. They have been destroyed. So they need to be dealt with but I simply cannot even begin to deal with them. And thus they stay.

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