Story of a Table: Plans, Designs, and The Lorimer Workshop

Story of a Table: Plans, Designs, and The Lorimer Workshop

Faith Durand
Jul 25, 2008

When it comes to furniture, everyone has their "one thing." It's the thing you dream of, hunt down, and save for. For me, being a cook and food writer, that thing is a table. And not just any table but a giant farm table with rich texture and grain, built from wood with a past, and big enough for a party. And guess what? My table is at last in progress!

Here's the beginning of the story.

I've always felt that a huge table is the heart of a home. At least, the heart of the kind of home I want to have. A massive table sees dinner parties, family meals, late-night writing sessions, flower-arranging, and bottles of wine with friends and conversation that extends far into the night. This kind of rich future meant that I wanted a table with a past. For reasons of sustainability and texture, I wanted a table built of reclaimed wood.

Enter David Ellison of The Lorimer Workshop.

I was searching on Etsy for something else and stumbled across David's custom-made farm tables. I couldn't believe how great the prices were - only $875 for an 8-foot farm table built of reclaimed wood. And then I read his profile:

I have been restoring antique furniture for many years. About three years ago I started to build Farm Tables and this has become my absolute avocation and joy. I love the role of a table in a house hold and truly recognize the significance to the customer. I take this very seriously. Tables are at the center of a home structure and I build them with care. I'm almost sixty years old and this stage of my life is really fantastic.

Call me sentimental, but I knew this was the person I wanted to have build one of the most important pieces of furniture I would ever own.

I was recently engaged, and as we planned out our new home, my fiance and I decided to ask David to build us a table. He was wonderful to speak with over the phone, and he told us that he would be sending photos at each stage of the process. Every table he sells is custom-built and we would choose the width, shape of the legs, and stain as it progressed.

So keep reading for the story of my table as it evolves. As I've received photos it's been a fascinating look into the new life of a custom-built table!

Oh, and a p.s. As my fiance and I talked about other furniture we wanted, we realized that it would be easier to just ask David to build the other two pieces of furniture we wanted to invest in immediately. Can you guess?

The first, of course, is a bed! Well, a headboard anyway. He is building us a custom headboard similar to this design. The second is an altar for our wedding which will double as a console table after the wedding.

So, bed, board, and altar. We can hardly wait to see how each piece turns out, and we're so glad we're doing it all in one place.

Now we're curious - what is your "one thing" piece of furniture? A table? Sofa? Particular vintage piece you've coveted for years? And have you already got it, or are you still waiting?

• Visit David Ellison and see his tables at: The Lorimer Workshop. He is based in Rhode Island but will be shipping my table to Ohio at a very reasonable cost.

(Images: The Lorimer Workshop)

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