Monday, July 1, 2013

Downsizing Our Lifestyle and Dining Table

One of the first things that I wanted to sell as we moved a couple of months ago was our dining room table. I'm not too attached to sentimental items, and you may think it's weird that a table would be sentimental to me, but there's a good reason. Many years ago (about six, to be exact), Kendan and I decided to move in together. Although my mom wasn't too thrilled that we were "shacking up", she took me to a local furniture store where she agreed to purchase half of a dining set for our new little apartment with me covering the second half.

I didn't have a job at the time and was focusing solely on school. Looking back, I know this definitely helped me out personally, as I was able to get out of school sooner, but that's another blog post entirely. Anyway, we walked in to the local furniture store and there were many different options. I chose a nice dark brown set with white padded seats. If I had to choose a style, I would say it was a mix between modern and traditional.

We put it on layaway and I remember putting down some money that I had received from family for the holidays. We paid a little on it each month and finally by the time we were ready to move, it was paid off. Kendan and I were probably considered minimalists back then, but only because we hadn't really owned anything before then. We had a bookshelf from Kendan's childhood bedroom, the brand new dining set, a washer and dryer set that was a least a decade old (and still have!!!), and borrowed furniture from my brother.

This dining set went though four apartment, two upholstery sessions to change out the fabric on the seats, and was slightly dinged from a couple of moves. The problem? We rarely used it! There were times I would use it when I was working on a hobby, but for the most part, it was usually holding a pile of something that it really shouldn't have. So when it came time to move, I knew I wanted to sell it and get me something much smaller since I knew my next dining area was smaller.

It had been used plenty of times, saw many good meals, and shared some laughed around it with friends and family. But when it came to actually needing a practical pice of furniture, I knew I needed something smaller to match my new lifestyle. The day that I sold the table, I called my dad and asked, "Can you make me a table?" He's probably one of the most talented people I know when it comes to creating things.

We talked for a couple of hours and I told him what I was envisioning. I talked about going retro with a formica top, but the main thing for me was size. Kendan and I wanted something small that we could put up against a wall. Something that would be perfect for a small family like ours. Dad sent me a picture two days later of the finished table and I was blown away. It was tiny and I LOVED it.

My mother-in-law painted it for us and even added a personal touch underneath the table which included some paintings of butterflies. Why, you ask? So we can tie a sheet that will hang beneath like a hammock for our unborn child.

It's the perfect little table or us, and I beg you to ask yourself the question, "What do I really need?" and "Why don't I downsize, too?!"

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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