The next thing to tackle was a place to eat. Since May, Chris has had to eat sitting on the couch, or I guess standing over the sink or in his car on the way to work or something. We had decided we liked Ikea's pine Stornas table in dark brown, and just had to figure out the size. I taped out the larger table size, with the logic that later we might want a bigger table, and this one would not overpower the room.
I told Chris to not walk into the blue rectangle so he could get a feel for pathways when there was a table in the way. I don't know if that worked, but in the end we decided the bigger table (6-10 seats, 2 leaves) was too big and we went with the smaller, 4-6 seater with just one leaf. It's in those boxes leaning up against the windows on the left.So, last Saturday, while Chris started wiring lights into the crawl space, I assembled the table!
I am consistently impressed with Ikea's ingenuity. It was easy to assemble and the sheer simplicity of the leaf storage system brought tears to my engineer eyes. The leaf stores underneath the table, and can't fall out even if you're moving the table. To expand the table, you just un-click the gray fasteners (you can see them in the photo above) and pull the two halves of the table apart. They slide on the dark brown rails. Then just lift the leaf out, line up the pegs, push the halves back together, and re-click the gray fasteners!
If that didn't make sense or you just said TL;DR (too long; didn't read), just know that Ikea is awesome.
And here is the finished table:
Yay! It has nice sturdy legs, is solid pine (cheaper wood, but fine for us), and we'll easily be able to put 4 chairs and a bench around it. The bench will go on the side nearer the door, so we can use it to put on our shoes or whatever when going out the door.
In the background, you can see the entertainment center-turned-sofa table, the green couch, and wayyy back there are some black and brown coffee tables and a black couch.
Eventually we'll sell the black couch, but maybe we'll keep it in the office or something. The sofa table is mehh... it worked fine for my previous apartment, but I might sell it on craigslist too and find something else to stick a lamp on and store DVDs in. The red doors definitely need to change color; I don't know whether to paint them or wrap them in fabric or paper or something. The green couch cover will be replaced with a tan one that maybe Hula won't scratch up as badly. You can kind of see the damage in this old picture:
Note the claws, extended, gripping the couch, as well as the absolutely shredded area beneath her. Fortunately, Ikea sells lots of covers at reasonable prices! I think a less nubbly fabric (yes, nubbly is a word, spellcheck) will seem less like a scratching post to her. At least, I hope it will be. Anyway...
I also don't know whether to put a rug down yet.
Pros: prevents scratches from chair legs on floor
Cons: much harder to clean up messes (I spill stuff... a lot... I am clumsy)
So now the hunt is on for dining room chairs. I'll put up a few options later (like, after I pass quals in 2 weeks?) as well as post an update on the kitchen table solution. We know what we want to do there, but it'll probably be a while before that happens. The important thing is, Chris can eat his dinner at a table now! Yay!