• Hanna Shiplett

Back to the Table

Updated: Nov 16


My Dining room with Laundry room cabinets and spare doors

This past week we unexpectedly decided to throw our home into a remodel. We had a tile installer that we needed to move around on a job, and rather then have him out of work we decided to keep him busy at our place as a filler.


Practically, this meant last Sunday evening shoving 15 literal loads of laundry into our red machines, in hopes that it would produce enough clean underwear and towels to get us through a week of no laundry service.


By Monday, we had a house completely covered in dust from the unearthed dining room tile floor, that will now soon be traded in for a dark stained oak floor. Progress on the Shiplett abode was underway.



Some Dust and Clutter

Backing up a bit, this impromptu remodel included tile floors in the powder room, tile floors in the laundry room, and a new wood floor in the dining room. Eventually when Jon has time, new cabinetry will be installed for the laundry that is currently boxed up.



Because we’ve been waiting on furniture ordered in May for the business that is still not expected until February at the soonest, it left our living room void of proper seating. This made it a welcomed home for our dining table as we wait for the floor to go back in.


One day, as I attempted to bring order to our home, pushing boxes of cabinets around

and doing the third round of dusting for the week, I found a bucket-list dream come true

right in front of my eyes. With the table in our living room I had a fireplace nestled at one end of the table. How inviting was this scene?!




This got me thinking. In the past 10 years the industry trend has been moving away from dedicated dining rooms. People want open concepts allowing for maximization of square footage, places to gather, and large islands for meals on the go.


It wasn’t until COVID’s recent effects on the home that got people percolating on the time spent at home. The table became an office, a school, and at the days end a gathering space for a shared meal. I’m sure I speak for many when I say, it was good to be back to the table.


It was when my table met the fireplace this week that I got inspired to make our space one that invited staying longer. Chairs should be supple, the table welcoming, and small touches of beauty to show it was meant for people to enjoy. It was only less then 12 hours ago that I moved the boxes, dusted again, and set the table to be ready for the family. And already we gathered around it to do homework, read the bible, and Jon and I hung out to chat this morning with coffee in hand – all around the table, and a sweet sweet fire.


Sometimes I wonder if my job as a designer has much meaning. It can feel material and excessive. However, when I see our spaces changing the way we live or supporting values such as time with family and friends, that is when I know that there is more to it than colors and textures. It’s what those colors and textures do to facilitate coming together that makes it something worth investing in.


I challenge you this week to make your table just a little more inviting. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Go shopping for your house and liven up your centerpiece. Maybe just clean off the mail and junk that accumulated, and light a candle to welcome yours around that table.


With love,

Hanna


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