Look at this. It’s my new rough table from NORR11 and I’m so thrilled that it’s finally here. Like all the fashionable people it arrived late. About six weeks late to be precise but it was so gorgeous when it turned up that nobody minded.
People say the kitchen is the heart of the home but I would go further than that – I think it’s the table. The kitchen table is where you sit together as a family, it’s where your friends come to join you. It’s a place for homework and crafting, drinking wine and sipping coffee. I wrote my book at our last kitchen table. I’m hoping to write my next book at this one.
We have had long lunches and late dinners. Sat there for “just one more glass” then devoured eggs and bacon round it the following morning. Kitchen tables have been used to start businesses, make dreams come true and as the starting point for plans for holidays, weddings and funerals. The kitchen table is perhaps the most important piece of furniture you will buy.
This one is the Rough Table and the top is basically a giant slice of tree fixed onto two iron legs. I love the raw edges and the organic shape of it. The other, slightly mental thing, is that despite being significantly bigger than our old table, which could only fit two chairs down each side, it appears to take up less space.
You can see from the pictures that we have comfortably fitted three chairs along each side and could happily put one at each end. We haven’t because we only own six chairs, but if we had more people coming for supper we have a couple of stools that would work. Or, darnit, we’ll just have to buy two more chairs.
My theory about this taking up less space is that the old table had a leg at each corner (hold on before you raise your eyebrows in a statement of the bleedin’ obvious kind of way) whereas this has two legs that are dark and are set well underneath. This gives the table the appearance of floating.
It’s a good trick to bear in mind if you want a big table and are nervous about how it might dominate the space. This one, for the record is 220cm long. The old one was 180cm so that’s quite a difference. If you have more chairs than us (or friends come to that) then it comes in either 3m or 4m long.
Each one is unique, of course and some might curve slightly more than others. I also love the butterfly joints that have been inserted to stop the natural cracks from widening. The reason ours was late is that NORR11 check each table carefully and dry them in the warehouse and sometimes the wood fails the test and can’t be used.
I should tell you – because you will rightly care about such things that the Suar, or Monkeypod tree lives in Asia and is not endangered. NORR11 pays the owner of the tree once for the tree and also gives him (or her) enough money to plant another one in its place.
You can choose from the iron legs, as I have, or brass legs which are really quite breathtakingly wow but didn’t go in my house as I have a stainless steel worktop. The table contrasts beautifully with that and its warm, wooden curves are the perfect antidote to the hardlines and cold edges that are so often found in the kitchen.
For those who like to finish a story, the old table was an old school table and was slightly too high for modern chairs. We considered cutting the legs down by a couple of inches but feared that that would spoil the proportions. It also had large drawers underneath and shortening the legs might have interfered with the space for ones own legs under the drawers. But over the years the children got used to kneeling until they grew tall enough and the grandparents used cushions. We loved that table but it wasn’t ideal.
The rough table, however, is.