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  • WE ARE…

    ... THE PERKES. We still consider ourselves newlyweds [we've been married for almost 5 years]. Our firstborn, Jace, is now 2 years old, and became a big brother when Sofia Rain joined our family in November 2012. We are from the East Coast [Luisa is from MA and Nate is from NH]. We are Bronco's Fans [We've lived in the Boise area for almost 5 years]. We are travelers. We are athletes and we are dancers. We are enthusiastic about food. We are spontaneous. We are addicted to the sun. We are in love.

    Most importantly... we are HAPPY. We are the Perkes.

Home Improvement…

Most married couples can sympathesize with having an empty house at the beginning of their marriage. They’ll understand the echo that happens in most rooms of their house. They’ll understand having picnics for all meals or eating at their Grandmother’s card table or sleeping on an air mattress in the living room. Piece by piece, Nate and I have been making our empty house a home. But the newest item has been something of a growing experience for me.

I found this table at a garage sale about 3 months ago. I bought it for $125. I was told that was a steal for a real maple table. I thought I could kind of jazz it up, refinish it, buy some cool chairs. You know, make it our own. Nate wasn’t AS enthused as I was for this project. He didn’t quite have the vision I did, but part of the reason I bought the table, was that at R.C. Willey, this style was his favorite and was what we were saving up to buy for $900, 4 chairs included.
Things I love about it: the counter height, the drop-down leaves, the jig-saw puzzle pieces, the square AND circular shape, and the SIZE!
It is a 46 1/2 inch square and a 66 inch circle.
I researched for weeks. I didn’t want to ruin the wood by making any mistakes, nor did I want to paint it, hearing that ‘painting real wood is a cardinal sin’ in the carpentry world. Originally, I went with a dark red mahogany stain. I had a deadline, with Nate’s aunt and uncle coming to stay with us in ONE WEEK!
Stripping the wood was the hardest part. It took 3 days and multiple applications.
The DAY BEFORE they came, I bumped into a professional refinisher who told me [long story short] that I couldn’t get the look I wanted with a stain. I changed my game plan, bought ALL new materials, and went to town on my table for the next 14 hours. Since the hardest part was already complete [stripping the wood], I did some very light sanding, an application of wood conditioner, two coats of black paint, more sanding, two coats of sienna glaze and then 4 coats of varnish. What you get after all that is:
We got the chairs [4] and the stools [2] at a couple of different locations. They cost approximately $370. After all the materials, the table, stools and the chairs, I spent about $550. My neighor who also happens to be a carpenter estimated the post-refinishing value of the table alone at $450-500!! YAY!!
I used an antiguing technique called ‘distressing’ to get the edges to have that burnt look. The glaze I used serves two purposes: it gives the edges that orange color, but it also helps the table have some depth so it is not just a flat blue-black color. FINALLY, we have a place to eat and a place to feed company and play games!! It feels great!!!
*Special Thanks to: Todd for all the amazing advice and coaching, Mike at Dreamworks Furniture for saving my skin, Brother Marlin for the wood conditioner, Jake and Kate for the tarp and especially MANDY for inspiring me, motivating me and for being my ‘mode of transportation’ with this thing!

show hide 8 comments

Belinda - Luisa you are an inspiration! It really is beautiful. I felt honored to be able to sit at your table with such good company when we visited. I'm just sorry that we couldn't have stayed longer, although I don't know if you could have taken anymore of us! Especially witht the dogs barking the whole time. Sorry about that. Thankyou for your hospitality and the sandwhiches to go! You are very thoughtful. I know what you mean about starting out with very little! Paris and I had to sleep on the floor in our second apartment in SLC(the first one was furnished). We didn't have room for a table like yours. It was a little tiny apartment. But we could dream. I told Paris that I wished we could have a fireplace so we could snuggle by it. So he made a fireplace out of paper and taped it to our old fashioned steam heater that would go clunk clunk all night.

K. Elizabeth - I am so glad you explained what you did because I'm planning to do the exact same thing to our table and you saved me a lot of time researching. Not to mention – it looks amazing!!

Bree - Luisa–I LOOOOVE it!! It turned out so great. You are such a Renaissance woman!

The Perkes Family - It's more beautiful in person! I can't believe you actually went through with it. I would sit and stare at it telling myself, I need to work on it, then 5 years would go by and I would just end up buying a new table, never to have finished the first! =) Way to go girl!

Ken and Jen Perkes - And she runs triathlons in her spare time . . .

I LOVE the table, Luisa! When Mom and I were at your stage, I made our table out of a wine barrel and a round piece of plywood. Not even close to as cool as your table–which I guarantee you will keep. It is a classic!!! [You will notice we don't still have the wine barrel.]



Mandy - AHHHHHHH! I'm stunned! It looks GORGEOUS Luisa! I'm SO jealous we don't live here, because I totally would have had a bidding war with you when we picked up the thing! HAHA! Way to go girl! You are SO talented! What a DEAL in the end! I would pay like over a 1000 for this with the chairs and stools included! Awesome!

Nathan - Luisa doesnt quite do herself justice. She worked on this SO stinkin hard. And it turned out amazing!!! She did all the research, talked to so many different people, and busted her bum off to finish this project. In short…you're amazing baby. Great job!

Jennifer - Luisa~

That table is BEAUTIFUL! You did a great job. Congrats!

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