I think if I had to choose one favourite thing at home it would be this table.
I work at it, eat off it, I rest cups of tea, G&Ts and my feet on it. My boyfriend’s kids play on it and I push it out of the way to get the sofa bed out or do a Davina DVD. This table is usually littered with laptops, placemats, post, books, mugs, records and right now, a tin of shortbread. It also has a giant ashtray which has a quote from Pierre Berge “Embrace Reality Even if it Burns You” PREACH Pierre.
This table has got history. In 1989, my mother June and my dad went to a large pine warehouse in Stratford-upon-Avon. June says you couldn’t move for pine furniture in the late 80s and they wanted a table and chairs for the kitchen. As they were paying my sister went over to a little coffee table and sat on it. June says this is because she hated walking and would sit on anything but my mother wanted to stop us drawing all over the Habitat dining table and new carpet so she bought it. She had planned to put a cloth over it but never quite got round to it so play dough, paint, and fuzzy felts were all crushed into the wood.
The table moved house with us and had a tartan cloth thrown over it to “tart it up a bit.” It became a homework table, somewhere to put the ironing and rest a stolen beer from downstairs on. It has had just about every drink you can imagine spilled on it and been biroed and crayolaed within an inch of it’s life. The table was eventually donated to me as something to eat my tea on when I moved into somewhere unfurnished. It was still covered in the same old scribbles my little brother put there twenty years ago. Everything had been thrown at it but it stood solid and proud against it all.
It was whilst I was looking for a sideboard on eBay (which no doubt we’ll come on to later) that I met Seb. Seb owns Cocoon Furniture who renovate old and pre loved pieces and believe “noble but weary furniture deserves a second chance.” Typically they do beautiful vintage restorations so when I told him I wanted it pink on top with orange legs he was surprised but absolutely up for it.
One of the things I remember most about playing and doddling on the table was a small groove on the surface. It’s a flaw in the wood that wasn’t sanded off and it was irresistible to stroke or rub a pencil into. To honour the table’s long fought battle to survive, I asked Seb not to fill it in. It’s still there to slide my finger across and make me feel 6 years old again. I think having things in your home which are covered in childhood history or memories of brilliant times is so important, even if they sit hidden under pink paint.