Sunday, January 23, 2011

318 French Country Extension Farmhouse Table with Leaves in Antique Finish

I think you might agree with me that farmhouse tables are almost impossible to find these days... and the ones with a decent patina will cost an arm and a leg... it's almost a miracle when one comes along that's the right size... and then you find THE ONE but...  it's from the UK!   :(    And what if yours needs to have leaves?  

Please keep reading... because every one of the tables you see on this post is brand new and customizable.  I will show you some of the earliest tables we ever made and tell you how we got started making these.
318  French farmhouse table
One of our earliest "antique" pieces, a french country farmhouse table with cabriole legs.  Shown here at Europa Antiques in Portland, Oregon.  Europa is at 1523 NW 24th Ave, 97210.  Phone 503-232-5311.  
Sadly, Europa Antiques is no longer a brick and mortar store.  Back in the day (this was in the middle of the recession) they imported drop-dead amazing antiques from France, with the kinds of patina that might melt in your mouth.

318 French farmhouse table
The finish color was developed in collaboration with Lynnsly Kollar of Europa Antiques.  Europa imports beautiful antiques from France, and the color on this table was specifically developed to match a beautiful antique walnut wardrobe with a gentle complex, medium walnut finish. 

This was during the deepest, darkest days of the recession (remember that?).   I sincerely hope that your industry didn't suffer as much as ours, but all of a sudden the bottom dropped out of the remodeling and furniture buying buzz and our industry became an overnight ghost world - the statement that I recall Lynnsly saying was "I can't sell anything else, but any time I get a farm table, it flies out the door".  Well, this is where our current obsession started.  
318  French farmhouse table
Here it is shown mingling with other French Provincial antiques on the shop floor.  
The problem was that she couldn't find any more tables to import.  She asked us to make one.  I borrowed the door off her best wardrobe and used that as my "study piece" for creating the perfect finish.  We have made many, many such pieces and have developed dozens of finishes since then.  The photo below shows another of our early pieces, in the same style as the above.
581 French country extension farmhouse table with two leaves

I'm going to try and make this story short and cut to the part where I show you the extension tables, since that is the intent of this post.  We make many styles, but I'll stick to the earliest and simplest ones here.  This handsome specimen can be fitted with two leaves.
581 French country extension farmhouse table with two leaves:  leaf arm blocks

At the time these photographs were taken, I was unable to get the entire piece (with both leaves) in one photograph.  So here is a view of the end.  Please forgive the spots, and look closely at the apron where you see two blocks:  These cover the holes in the apron that admit the leaf arms, when no leaf is in place.
581 French country extension farmhouse table with two leaves

This is the simplest way to build a table with leaves.  See the following photos.  We call this the "company board" style, and many antique tables were constructed in this simple manner.  It's a good way to go if you're on a budget.  This one had a darker living finish, with minimal distressing.
581 French country extension farmhouse table with two leaves

The leaf is built with the arms attached to it.  These fit into these square openings in the apron.  Here, I am removing the apron blocks and preparing to fit in the leaf.
581 French country extension farmhouse table with two leaves
The dimensions of this table (in picture above) as built are 36 x 76 closed, seating 6 generously, squeezing 8.   It has (2) 24 inch leaves.  With both leaves in place, it measures 36 x 124 (a bit over 10 feet) and will snugly seat 12.
The leaf goes in thusly.  The thing is, particularly on larger leaves, the leaf arms must be rather long to provide adequate strength.  Therefore, you must make sure there's a place to store such an awkward thing as this leaf with two arms jutting out, and also make sure there is enough room around the ends of your table so as to swing this rather big piece in like so.  The length of these arms is 26 in and the size of this leaf is 24 in, and you'll have to fit in too, so I estimate that you'll need a minimum of 66 inches total for "swinging room" (beyond the ends of the table when it has no leaves in place). 
 If you do not have a lot of room, you may wish to consider the "pullout breadboard" style.  

610  French country extension farmhouse table:  36 x 62 as shown

Here's another, with company board style leaves that fit in a similar manner.  Legs are a little chunkier with more curve, and it wears a "later version" finish, with better antiquing.  In the apron, you can just see the two rectangular blocks which cover the holes where the leaf arms are to go.
610  French country extension farmhouse table: 36 x 82 with two leaves in place.

This was meant to serve as a kitchen table.  Dimensions are 36 x 62 when closed, and it has (2) 10 inch leaves.   36 x 82 with leaves in place makes it a very generous six-seater.
610  French country extension farmhouse table

Leg closeup
610  French country extension farmhouse table

Close-view of the apron block
For pricing information on this table, click this link to our online store.