About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quirky or Just Functional?

(A coffee table is what I'll be sharing with you this week for Fun Monday. Our host, Jan over at The Prytz family , asks us to share a photo and description of the quirkiest thing in our home that we would never give away. Truth is, my table isn't exactly quirky. In fact, after a little googling this afternoon I find that it's not even that original, which surprised me. I do, however, like this table a lot because it's so functional.)

A few years ago I was re-doing my house in preparation for retirement. This work was long overdue because I'm not overly interested in stuff. I keep very few mementos. My living room furniture had weathered over 20 years of dogs sleeping on the sofa and teething on chair legs. I got some fine new leather furniture and was looking for coffee table. I wanted a TABLE--one that would hold all manner of books and magazines, and that would be sturdy enough to prop my feet on to watch TV and read.

One Saturday a couple of friends and I were searching through Annie's Attic, a little antique and secondhand furniture/junk store when I spotted this table:


I liked the warm wood, it's good solid lines and the spare rope trim. The salesperson saw that I was interested so she said, "The top lifts up if you just grasp the corners." I did and voila! The top raised up on some sturdy hinges to reveal a couple of cubbyholes. It was the perfect height to pull up to the sofa for a work or dining surface.

When I got my bargain home, think I paid about $250 for it, I forgot about using it for a coffee table. The table now sits off to the side in the living room and is my command center. I eat here, especially if it's something like soup that doesn't balance well on a tray. I keep watercolor and drawing supplies laid out so I can do a bit of painting whenever the mood strikes and not have to clean up. I pay bills and do finances here. I keep the table stacked with reference books, magazines and writing supplies. So maybe the quirky part is that I keep it in the middle of the room, not arranged the way a decorator would, but where it suits me fine.
If you look closely at the shelf underneath the library table in the photos above, you'll see quite a collection of photo albums/travel journals of my trips to other countries. I would hate very much to lose them because on these dreary wintry nights I may think, "Tonight I'd like to go back to Ireland." All I have to do is to take out the Irish album and I'm walking through Darena Allen's walled vegetable garden or watching her make scones at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. I would definitely not like to lose these albums or my quirkey/functional coffee table.

Now some time today head over to other Fun Monday places to check out what others are hanging on to, no matter what!

21 comments:

m (the misanthrope) said...

Great post, Faye! I'm really not sure which I liked better: the table itself, or its uses and contents! I love "inlaid wood" (not sure if that's the right term) - just like the top of your table. And yay for albums that take you back to places you've visited; it's a free vacation! Happy FM to you!

Hootin' Anni said...

Excellent post. I enjoyed this Fun Monday.

Jan said...

Wow, that is a great table. I love how it opens and is multi-functional. I want one. Great post!

Gattina said...

Wow ! that's an all around table ! I have never seen such ! it's very practical, looks very good and not quirky at all ! I protest !

Janis said...

That is not only a beautiful table, it is also multi functional. I see you are making the most of it.

Sayre said...

I've never seen a table like that before.... I LOVE it! I'll have to keep my eyes open for something like that..

Lane said...

That is one mighty fine multi-functional table. Handsome and practical. They should make more men like that:-)

On day I shall have an album with Ireland on the spine. And USA and Japan and.... so on:-)

Jientje said...

That's a very interesting piece of furniture!! I have never seen anything like it!

Faye said...

misanthroe--funny, I just noticed the inlay when I cleared the table for photo--think it's faux, but who cares? From your blog I'll bet you'd have great journal/photo accounts of your travels.

hootin' anni--I can't wait to see what's quirky in your home--it will be a doozer, I'm sure!

jan--my table can be had through several catalog sources, according to google. And here I thought I had a 1950s icon when the family had TV dinners in front of the television.

gattina--I know you're a laptop fan so this table would be very handy for your style of computing.

janis--in the heat of the presidential election I could take care of a lot of different chores sitting at this table and still keep track of the circus on TV.

sayre--google "hinged coffee tables" for many style options.

lane--handsome and practical--great qualities in both men and tables. Without much trouble I can picture John Thornton fitting this bill. Although I must confess that the German actor, Benno Furmann, who played the soldier tenor in Joyeux Noel is currently distracting me from Thornton. When you come to the USA(on a book tour?)I'd love to meet you in person.

koehmstedt said...

I started seeing those tables again in stores a couple of years ago, priced MUCH higher than your $250 bargain. Great table.

Pamela said...

I'd be afraid of dumping my slosh in there. ha!

that is one fine piece of furniture

karisma said...

Wow Faye, that is an amazing piece of furniture! I love it! The wood is beautiful to look at and its so functional as well. I would not call it quirky ,I'd call it fabulous! What a great find!

WT said...

That's not quirky, that's beautiful, and unbelievably useful!

The Church Lady said...

That table is fantastic! So functional too! I would never want to part with it!

laurie said...

wow. that is totally the coolest table i've ever seen.

m (the misanthrope) said...

Hello again! I'm just replying to your comment. You are absolutely right - Chickie started my lifelong love of animals in general, and birds in particular. I had a menagerie of stuffed animals growing up, and they were followed by my adored "live" pets, but the little Chickster was the very first.

In fact, I thought of including a paragraph about that very thing, but I figured my post was already long and rambly enough :-) And - shhhh - sometimes I still cuddle Chickie when I need to :-)

Molly said...

Faye, I think that your table is beautiful as well as functional. Until I read your post, I had forgotten a garage sale table that we use in the basement.

ChrisB said...

I couldn't get the pictures to load yesterday but I'm so glad I came back for another look. I love that table and it seems quite a bargain price!

Ari_1965 said...

I like to think of you having a command center.

lisaschaos said...

I have always wanted one of those coffee tables! And I like how you use yours!

Another Chance Ranch said...

Cool!! Love the table. Sorry it took so long to get over here. I always love stopping by!

This always posts my comments with the wrong blog address, so here is the correct one.

http://anotherchanceranch.typepad.com