Whether you routinely feed a big crew or just love the lived-in look of a country kitchen, you will find that a farmhouse table is a lovely way to set the tone of your decor. Big and solid with the inviting beauty of natural wood, handcrafted or made to look that way, it will be the focal point of family get-togethers.
A farmhouse table can really be anything from a linoleum dinette set to modern bistro seating, according to individual preference. However, when speaking about rural-style decor, what comes to mind is well-used, lovingly maintained, heavy wood pieces with a naturally distressed finish.
Among the different designs of furniture that may suit your vision of country decor, the trestle table, the round pedestal, and the turned-leg varieties will fit the bill. A trestle style piece has two legs that are joined with a cross-piece near the bottom, with the top surface longer and narrower than a conventional design. Some trestle styles have decorative features such as cut-outs in the cross piece, but generally they are plainly made.
A pedestal design, which you can often find in vintage furniture stores, is heavy oak with a center leg that extends into four feet at the bottom for stabilization. These feet, on vintage oak farmhouse tables, often have carvings like claws. Turned-leg styles are simply square or rectangular in shape with four legs at the four corners. These legs, turned on a lathe, have decorative rounds and ridges. The farmhouse table itself is solidly constructed of such materials as pine or oak, and has a durable, serviceable appearance.
If you don’t buy a set of farmhouse table and chairs, you can select the seating you prefer. A trestle piece lends itself well to bench seating, with a long bench on each side. This arrangement is both authentic to rural decor and allows lots of space for big families. For a round oak piece, you may want to keep the seating very simple and plain, with Shaker-style straight-backed chairs. If you are adding chairs to a turned-leg table, you may want to match the style of the legs with your chair leg design. Once you have chosen and installed your dining set, you can dress it up as you wish with a calico cloth, a centerpiece of wildflowers in a vintage enameled pitcher, or a wire egg basket and rooster accessories. Give your farmhouse dining table a loving polish once a week, enjoy happy family meals gathered around it, and it will serve you faithfully for years to come.