Re: Commonhouse tables....metal/wood/round/rectangle?
From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 06:53:16 -0700 (PDT)
We have a combination of square, rectangular, and round wooden tables that are very attractive and durable, but don't fold up. The square and rectangular tables can be pushed together to create bigger tables. Before our common house team bought the tables, they wrestled with all the same questions that you're wrestling with.

I think our tables have worked very well. I was skeptical of getting round tables because of not being able to combine them, but it's been nice to have a couple of them. Sitting at a round table is a different feeling.

Our dining room is big enough so that it's almost never a problem to push the tables and chairs up against walls to create space for yoga, dancing, etc. At one particularly big dance recently, we carried the tables outside to the adjacent covered terrace to create enough room in the dining room.

We have high hanging lights that light up an area, rather than a specific table. Our dining room gets used in so many different configurations for different activities, it's hard to imagine having lighting designed for a specific single purpose (lighting up one specific table). Our tables are hardly ever in the same configuration from one dinner to the next.

Good luck with you new community!


Mac Thomson

Heartwood Cohousing
Southwest Colorado

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
     - Mary  Oliver

On Oct 24, 2005, at 4:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 03:28:39 +0000
From: shelldemeo [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ Commonhouse tables....metal/wood/round/rectangle?
To: cohousing-L [at]
<102420050328.6895.435C54E70008AE1100001AEF2206998499010A030A0B04040A0 89C [at]>

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We are about to break ground on our commonhouse and the committee, commonhouse furnishing committee, met today to discuss tables.

I always thought that we would have warm, wooden tables for the dining room. Others on my committee felt that we needed the type of table that is formica on the top with metal underneath so that it can be folded up and put away. I hate those tables. I have sat on them in cold church halls drinking bad coffee before.

Members were saying with the wooden tables, we don't have enough room to just push them aside to open up the floor for other activities.

Can anybody give us some recommendations on tables? I also thought we would have oval tables but some members are saying rectangular ones would be good so we could line them up in a long row (like a mess hall -- my words, not theirs).

I am thinking my hopes for hanging lights over the tables probably won't fly either because if the tables are going to be folded up and put away.....what about the lights?

I have seen lovely pictures of commonhouse meals with cozy lighting and wooden tables. Are other communities able to accomplish that AND have the ability to open up the space for other activities?

Shelly DeMeo
Rocky Hill Cohousing
Northampton, MA

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