Sunday, April 17, 2011

WANTED: "Over-the-top" Central Hall Table

Making the most of what you have! 

 So if you were wondering how one comes to want an 'over-the-top' central hall table, I will tell you, but first I must tell you about my amazing friend Marci.  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know that Marci is a relentless decorator, whose mind is always going a million miles an hour, and her hands are not far behind.

Marci currently has the most amazing black and white living room with a very few gold accents.  One word sums it up, 'Glam'.  About a year ago I realized that I was finding excuses to drop by Marci's just so that I could lovingly gaze at her living room decor.  I finally decided it was ridiculous, especially since I live an hour away.  I asked Marci, who is generous to a fault, if she would help me add some similar charm to the parlor of my historic Victorian home.

I started working with Marci, along with my limited budget, putting together pictures from Magazines that I liked, and doing some shopping for necessities like a new rug to tone down my Victorian Floral Carpet, and gold fabric for draperies to punch up the elegance factor.

 Eventually Marci told me that I was going to have to spend some real money. YIKES!  She said that I needed a center piece for the room in the form of an 'over-the-top' central hall table.  This table should be very, very ornate, and it should be finished in gold leaf, or a gold leaf paint.

I checked antique stores in the area, including the one I work for, without finding a suitable table, though I did send a couple of pics to Marci of hopeful candidates, none of which made the cut. 

  I finally turned to the Internet, and found that the moderately fancy tables I saw there were ridiculously priced.  And even those did not have the elaborate style I wanted.  At this point I realized that when and if I did find such a table I was going to be into it a couple of thousand dollars, and since I DO like my husband to like me, I decided that perhaps he and I could collaborate and make one.  I started the hunt through my spare parts in my garage.  When I saw these charming cherub wall brackets, I wondered if they wouldn't make good legs for my desired table.  They were made of polyresin and had been purchased at my antique store from a junk dealer, as they had been salvaged, and still had some monstrous amounts of glue globs.

Next I needed a top, and found a set of fancy shelves that I had bought from my friend Bruce at the Antique Mall.  They were probably originally the two ends of a dining table, that had once had leaves that inserted between them.  They were bigger than we needed and had to be cut down the middle to take out the extra length, and since I knew I would always have lace on the table the resulting seams wouldn't matter. 

Once we placed the legs on the tabletop, we knew that it would not be tall enough.  Then after seeing a picture of a two tiered table in a magazine we decided that we could add height by adding a bottom 'shelf' with another set of legs.
This would require a decorative shelf, and I remembered having bought the bottom panel from an old piano at a local thrift store.  It too had to be cut down, and then Scott routed the edges.

 Next we would need short feet.  I also had an awful old ottoman that I had bought from a garage sale just for the feet.  My husband said it took the strength of a Greek god to wrest the legs from the stool, but they were perfect. (and now I have proof that I am married to a Greek god type!)

 Unfortunately, after we put the table on its base, I bumped it, causing it to sort of twist, which snapped one of the resin 'legs' in two.  Oops.  Now we knew the legs were not strong enough, and we needed another support system.  I had a partial set of legs from a turn of the century five leg oak table.  We added one in the middle for support, and it does its job resolutely, while letting the little figural cherubs charmingly get all the credit!!

So below we see the completed table, after a coat of red paint to make the overcoat of gold leaf paint glow rosy.  I love the eclectic monstrosity.  It comes from pieces of five different pieces of furniture.  Its style is all over the map, but I find it charming.  After all the Victorians mixed and matched too, just not in the same item.

The final price tally on the table is this:  Table leaves for top = $30, set of cherub wall brackets = $40, central leg =$5, bottom shelf = $10, bun feet from ottoman =$5, red spray paint $1, pint of gold leaf paint $10, for a whopping total of $101.00, labor gratis. (Thanks Sweetie)

And as I said, I always keep a bit of lace or two or ten on the table, so that its lovely elements just peak out at one.  Thanks for coming along through the process, and a special thanks to my amazing husband who loves building, and doesn't mind the crazy direction my mind often takes him.


  1. Wow! That is quite a project, and I like how it turned out! Impressive.

  2. It's a lovely table Paula...lots of work, but then again, your blog is called Pollyanna Reinvents so... (*_*)

  3. Breathtaking, Sis!! You dun gud.

  4. Wow! that was quite the project and a beautiful table! Thanks for visiting and no, my clay was not sticky after spray painting it and I did cook it longer than it asked for, so maybe that was it!

  5. Paula, I am so impressed! It looks great and I'm sure looks wonderful in your home.