|tables and chairs||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2001 16:08:01 -0700 (MST)|
TABLES For the RoseWind common house we did all sorts of searching for information about tables, including cohousing sources and carrying tape measures with us at all times! My conclusion based on all that was that a table size of 3x5 ft was ideal. (or 2.5x5, if pressed). At my daughter's boarding school, with about 60-70 at meals, that's what they had: 6 people could all be in the same conversation, there was room for condiments or decorations and serving dishes in the center of the table, and the table legs weren't an issue. They arranged them parallel to each other, but diagonally relative to the rectangular room, on either side of a long center serving table (not diagonal). Seemed less institutional, not being lined up square with the room. What we actually got was an inexpensive IKEA table, which is somewhat smaller, but has worked out fine. It is a shade under 32" x 48". Seats 4 with lots of room, and 6 with a bit of compromise, but it often gets used for 6. Because most of our tables are these, we can combine them in various ways, most often putting two together to make a more square table, seating 8+. They have a birch veneer top, which seems to be treated with something that makes it easy to clean up. Most of the time, we use the tables "bare" and just sponge them afterwards. The light color is very neutral and adds to the light feel of the room. They do have legs. Pedestal tables are FAR less easy to locate, at least in the lower-cost range. But it hasn't been a significant problem. They do not fold up. Our original plan was to have a number of non-folding tables sufficient for usual dining, and some folding tables to add when we need maximum table space. So far, our initial purchase of non-folding tables has been sufficient for even our larger occasions, or we have supplemented with borrowed card tables. How do we then clear the space for meeting, dancing, etc? Hasn't been a problem. They are lightweight and can be moved to the sides of the 30x30 room. For more space, it's easy to invert one atop another. Once someone really wanted the space all clear, and stacked them thus in the kitchen, which adjoins, and which was not in use. One thought we had in choosing these IKEA tables was that they were relatively inexpensive (don't have the number), so that IF we eventually changed to something else, it wouldn't be a great loss of investment. For folding tables, we have identified what we want, but haven't yet purchased. Costco sells a very light, very sturdy table with a molded hollow plastic top, comes in grey/beige/brown I think, and folding legs. I think it's a 6 ft table. The local Unitarian church uses them for everything and are very pleased. We have a smaller one, for use as a spare serving area, or for messy art, and it is solid. The main beauty of these is their light weight. Conventional particleboard folding tables are extremely heavy, making it more likely that someone will get hurt moving them, or that they'll clobber the woodwork, the floor, etc. These are light enough that they can be stored on end in our storage closet (made for extra tables and chairs, opening into the dining room) with no danger of disaster if they were to fall on someone. The only real drawback is that they look like the plastic they are, so we'd use tablecloths. If I were using them for daily use, I think I'd craft sturdy oilcloth-type coverings, maybe with an elastic edge to slip on like a cap. CHAIRS We played Goldilocks with at least six different sample chairs that IKEA loaned us. Each of us sat in each of the chairs and recorded our preferences and comments! It was funny, really. But it also showed that we strongly preferred two of the 6, with a few people who needed a third sort, for the shortest people. As a result, we have three kinds of chairs, and that works fine. We have the most of a flexible, armless, birch chair that looks very Scandinavian modern, with a round hand hole in the back and very curvy lines. They stack cleverly and are light enough to hoist around. Chair number two is another IKEA one, of black molded plastic. It has a 15" diameter round seat (for which we might someday make or buy cushions) and the whole top, including arms, in one piece. They are supposed to stack, with the legs threading through holes at the rear of the seat, but with the protective leg caps we added to protect the floor, the vinyl caps may get stuck at the holes, and the ones with rubber caps can't stack at all. (note therefore that you should also note if you need end caps on your chair legs - that's a lot of caps to try to find in one day at local hardware stores, we found) Chair number three is one with open arms, and a black upholstered seat and bottom. Quite comfortable, but the arms make it unsuitable for some table locations. It's often a choice when we have a meeting, because of its cushioned quality. All of our dining chairs are comfortable for dining. To some degree, all are NOT comfortable for meeting. Acceptable, but not comfy. Think, too, of that. I recommend having more than one kind of chair. SOMETHING OLD We also have my grandparents' old oak table, about 4 ft diameter round, or oblong with one or both leaves. Yes, I read and believed all the stuff about how round tables were inefficient and all. But it was so handsome, and family surplus, so we decided to give it a try. It is always the first table to fill, at a meal. First round, then with one leaf, then both leaves. First in a corner of the dining room, now in the center. It might seem an odd mix with the modern, but it lends some dignity. We also have (all donated) a wooden rocking chair, a 5-part cushy sectional sofa, and three large old wooden dining chairs, all of which get used regularly. Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) http://www.rosewind.org http://www.ptguide.com _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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