Having an open plan kitchen in a compact size lounge I already knew I wouldn’t be able to get that 50 foot dining table fit for kings and queens.. well or at least lesser lords and ladies 😛 I knew it was something I would really need to compromise on in the sense that I was always used to having quite large dining tables growing up and realised moving to London I simply wouldn’t have that luxury anymore. At the same time however, I didn’t want anything half thought-out and at the same time I wanted it to be a budget table, because I figured out I would inevitably upgrade when the day came to move.
When I first started to hunt for a table I really had my eye on a vintage Danish Hans Olsen teak table for Frem Rolje. I mean it was just perfect, so so perfect. It was sleek, beautiful, stylish, vintage, so well designed, and utterly space saving in ever sense. The chairs fit into the table, as well as only have 3 legs, so moving around them is a lot easier. The chairs are slightly reminiscent of the famous Costes chair designed by Philippe Starck for the Café Costes restaurant in Paris in 1984. Philippe designed the Costes chair to make more room for the staff working in the café. To be honest I have a feeling Philippe had some inspiration from the Hans Olsen chairs as the Hans Olsen chairs and table were designed in 1953. Anyway, I fell in love with this set completely and wanted it so badly for our flat. The only sad part is.. the Hans Olsen teak table set sells for about £2,500. You can get slightly cheaper “knock off” versions for about £300-400, but that idea just depressed me. Not because they were replica’s, but they were bad replicas. I have nothing against getting replicas usually as I know from industry experience replicas are most of the time made in the same factories as the originals anyway, but sadly these knock offs were just not made to the same measurements and were a lot clunkier and didn’t have the same appeal. That said though, I had a bid on one on eBay and someone did the classic “last second bid” move on me and I lost my bid. So after that I really lost heart and thought I wouldn’t find any decent table for our flat anymore. Inevitably, even I knew the bid I was paying for was a tad high (at the time it was £270), but it was just so perfect, and have I mentioned extendable as well?! I always think something that you truly believe in is worth spending that little bit extra on. However, like I said, that dream was gone after I realised someone bought the set from right under my nose during literally the last seconds of the bid.
This ALL happened in a space of about 2 hours when the hubs and I were going through Ikea up in North London looking for some cheap bits and bobs (and candles, I’m addicted to them). When we were walking around I noticed a table I surprisingly haven’t noticed before. The tables name was Fusion and it was displayed in the Ikea dinging table section. I got so excited about it because it was as close to the original table that I knew I was never going to get to. Now I have to say, I hardly ever buy Ikea furniture. It’s just a personal preference. I like my items to be “unique” in some sense. Also I always feel like Ikea can sometimes look way too scandinavian and way too mainstream. But this table got me, and it got me good 😛 Sadly, of course with my luck, the table was ALL out of stock.. from the WHOLE of the UK! Yup, we asked and called and did stock checks and there were a total of 3 tables left in the whole UK Ikea stock, 2 in the brown colour, and 1 in the lighter colour that we wanted. None of which were even close to where we lived. The staff even told me the table might be discontinued. I was SO beyond upset. I really felt like I wanted to cry, because finally I found a table that would do everything we wanted, with the budget we wanted, and was right there, in front of me, but we couldn’t even buy it. We even asked if we can buy the display one and the manager told us we couldn’t 😦 So, we took the long ride home where I sat sulking all the way. My hubs thankfully is so understanding and really tried to stay positive and console me. Yes, I know how sad it is that I can get this upset about furniture, but honestly… you have no idea how much time and research I put into things, and when the idea in my head doesn’t follow through – when I’m so close I can touch it – a simple sigh just wont do anymore. I was also still so freshly distraught over the whole eBay impasse.
So, we get home and I immediately jump on the computer to see where we can get the Fusion table from. I got onto eBay, found a lovely couple that was selling it for £100 (its £180 in store by the way) for collection, and were in London! YAY! 😀 All I had to do now was grab it! But, as always, I had to bargain. Me being me. I messaged the owners and managed to get the price down to £90 if we came to collect it the next day. We managed to get a van for free for the day from the company the hubs works for, picked it up, set it up, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! We saved a total of £90 in the end! I could have of course gotten it for even cheaper, but I didn’t want to travel outside of London or wait for a bid to end. And also the other cheaper options were damaged in some ways or another, so this was definitely the best at the time!
Ok, so its not the vintage designer piece I wished it to be, but it was definitely the more sensible option and it does the trick just perfectly! I love the shade of it, and the size of it is just perfect for our wee open kitchen/lounge. I can really see how the designer of the table, Sandra Kragnert, must have taken inspiration from the Hans Olsen table. And lets face it, the Costes chairs as well. The table we have is preloved, but it just adds to the character. And its still in perfect shape! The chairs fit flush agains the table to save space and the rounded edges of the table give the set a softer tone all around. The rounded edges also add to illusion, as sharp edges tend to draw your eye to them. The space created below the table by the airy legs of the chairs and table also make the area seem “airier”, which in turn makes the space seem larger as you’re eyes can look through this. Now, this won’t be my first post about preloved items. I think the best thing we as consumers these days can do is reuse what we already have. Perhaps one of my DIY projects in the future might be to reupholster the seats or then buy some lamb throws to check on em to make em a bit more textured, but thats for another day and another budget 😛
What are your thoughts on reusing and on this space saving table in general? Would you forgo your vintage table for one that does the same things and saves over £2000? Especially if the final price is a fantastic £90? If you have a small dining space to play with, then I really do suggest this Ikea Fusion table. And if you’re like me and don’t mind some items being preloved, then head on over to gumtree or eBay and see what there is on offer!