the story of the sewing table

A few weeks ago, after untangling the Boy from the laptop and printer wires, I decided that enough was enough – I wanted, nay, needed a proper little table somewhere to have them permanently set up. The kitchen table was an absolute no go, as I use it as a potting area (Spring is a-coming) and baking space, the dining table was an open invitation for tiny toddler hands to grab at, and the hallway was already home to my beautiful, wonderful, still-making-my-heart-beat-that-bit-faster, 1950’s cupboard. So off we went, hunting for the perfect table to fit in a gap in the corner of our bedroom, approximately 50cm by 50cm – just big enough for a laptop and printer underneath, without being so big that it completely blocked off one side of the bedroom. Rental living has its advantages, space not being one of them.

After an entire morning of trawling the junk shops and second-hand furniture stores, I was about to give up when I came across this little beauty:

Small-but-not-too-small: check. Lovely detail on the legs: check. Little shelf for the printer: check. Painted all over in the most awful black paint: check. It’s a good job I like a project (and the Husband doesn’t mind finishing off my half-done jobs…), because someone had nearly ruined this lovely table by getting a little too splash-happy with the budget emulsion. Luckily, as you can see in the last picture above, it sanded off pretty easily, and left the lovely grooves in the wood below relatively undamaged.

When I handed over my £7, I thought that would be the end of it. But then, just as we were heading home, I popped into one last shop and found something even better:

At first, I thought it was a desk with a drawer, but further examination proved that underneath it’s slightly damaged (who cares? I can always cover it with something, and really I have no qualms about wear and tear on vintage furniture) exterior, there were more surprises lurking….

I had, in fact, found myself a genuine vintage sewing table – when I attempted to lift the lid, instead of opening front-to-back, it went side-to-side, and I was faced with a hole where an old Singer or suchlike would have sat. There was a sign on it, saying that it was on hold for someone else, but when I asked about it, the lady had changed her mind, and so it was mine for the taking. Of course, I snapped it up, and it now sits perfectly in the corner of the bedroom, quite tidily and unobtrusively, with the paper from the hallway cupboard
pasted into a frame from a charity shop sitting on the top. Happy days.


  1. that kate
    April 9, 2011 / 6:45 am

    Great job! Looks wonderful !

  2. Blaggers
    April 12, 2011 / 1:04 am

    Your flat looks AMAZING, and I would totally go giddy over those tables, too. We have a 6ft oak, 1930s dining table that we got for fifty bucks that you'd be very proud of…x

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