Tuesday, 30 April 2019 / London, UK

MY TOP 5 DINING ROOM TABLES

I've been thinking about getting a new dining room table and chairs for a while now. We bought our old table when we were renting and it has been ok for the past 9 years, although not to my taste for quite some time. I've put off buying a new one since we have small children. There is a strong chance it will get scratched and stained with babies and toddlers, so I didn't really want to get my dream table just yet.

As it turned out our black glass table from Harvey's Furniture has been pretty indestructible. There is nothing wrong with it still but the chairs have started falling a part in the last 6 months which means it's time to get that new table and chairs that I've been dreaming about. Although, I don't know if I'm brave enough to get my dream table just yet. My youngest is still only 3 and there is no way I can totally protect any new table we get. I guess I just need to hope for the best. People warned me about glass tables with children but I've found ours very easy to care for and safe. Even stubborn dirt has come off easily with hot water and a bit of fairy liquid. It's also black so small scratches don't really show, plus I've always used place mats which helps a lot. We do have strict rules about climbing on tables and neither of my girls have attempted to do it. But I would be very wary of buying a glass coffee table with small children (you just never know and they are more likely to break under pressure as the support isn't as strong).

Anyway, it has taken me about a year to narrow down my search. It's surprisingly hard to find a stylish dining table that also works well with messy family living.

1.WEST ELM TOWER DINING  TABLE £899

Image credit: West Elm

I went to view this concrete dining table in the West Elm Tottenham Court road flagship store few weeks ago. I am totally in love with this table. The concrete tabletop and the brass legs blend rustic perfectly in this design. The only issue is that it's concrete composite and the material is quite porous. I simply cannot take that risk with small children. Also, I found the colour a little bit darker in person so it wouldn't really work in the space we've got. It's still a stunning table but probably too high maintenance and small for our needs.

2. RENO CERAMIC MARBLE EXTENDING TABLE £899

Image credit: Dwell

My next stop in Tottenham Court road was Dwell. We have quite a few furniture pieces from Dwell. I really like their contemporary designs and the price/quality ratio is really good. I wanted to see how the butterfly extension works in real life and it did not disappoint. This table can accommodate up to 8 people when extended and it's also available in 2 other colours (slate and grey). I love the sleek look but the best part is that the tabletop is ceramic (not real marble). This means that it's very easy to keep clean and very scratch resistant too. I have a (real) marble table in our hall that shows a lot of wear and tear only after few years, so I'm scared to think what would happen if we had a marble dining table. My only concern is that the design (especially the legs) is almost identical to our old table. Obviously it's a sign of a timeless style but I would prefer something new and different this time.

The ceramic tabletop is definitely the biggest selling point for me. The colour is also a bonus as it's very light marble which means it will bounce light around the room (this is important especially since our dining room table will be in a corner tucked away from all the windows).

3. WAYFAIR DENITA KITCHEN PANTRY £740.99 (on sale)

Image credit: Wayfair

I've always steered clear from wood tables in the past, mainly because I thought they wouldn't be practical with children. Water marks and scuff marks don't sound appealing and must be pretty unavoidable with small children, right? And then there's the question what kind of wood should you go for. Hardwood tends to be more durable which makes oak a very good option. Composite wood may look more 'finished' and is usually cheaper but won't be as durable as hardwood. I adore the contemporary look of this table and that it's not too bulky unlike many other wood tables. I also think the black metal legs give it some real wow factor. It's the biggest dining table out of my top 5 too (up to 10 people) and we probably don't need a table this big. Then again, I'm looking for a long term table for us and if we were to move in the next few years, the new dining table would have to come with us to the next house.

4. CATTELAN ITALIA BY DIAPASON £2744

Image credit: Urban Suite


This table isn't really a serious contender since it's glass and I want something totally different this time (our current table is black glass). But, since it's such a unique table I had to add it to my list anyway. The base is marble and the tabletop is glass which makes it pretty special. It's pricey though which is probably the only negative, but it's a well made table that is very easy to care for (even with small children) which makes it a pretty good investment in my book.


5. RESTORATION HARDWARE - TORANO MARBLE COLLECTION $3295 (starting at)

Image credit: Restoration Hardware

Unfortunately Restoration Hardware hasn't branched out to the UK yet, but since I do have some blog readers in the US too, I thought I'd share this beauty with you. Their entire Torano Marble Collection is stunning and I love that you can choose the colour of the legs too. I really wish we'd have more many customisable options here in the UK too. I've been drooling over Restoration Hardware furniture for a while now and although I could technically order one from the States, the shipping and tax costs would really stretch my budget (and returning it would be harder too in case it wasn't quite like I'd imagined). So if you live in the States, you have to go and check out your nearest Restoration Hardware store. They also provide an in-house interior design service for their customers. I'd quite happily let them design my entire house if I had the opportunity. I guess I better start saving now, in case they ever open a store in the UK. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 / Dubai - United Arab Emirates

DUBAI VIBES


Things have been quiet on the blogging front this month, mainly due to our recent family holiday to Dubai. My blog posts will return back to the usual schedule very soon (I promise) but first I thought it would be nice to share a few (not interiors related!) photos from our recent family getaway. Originally we had planned to go away in February but due to a family members illness we had to cancel our trip last minute. I almost had to cancel again as my daughter was ill just before our holiday but luckily we made it there in the end and had an amazing holiday.

We stayed in the famous Atlantis The Palm hotel and it turned out to be the perfect choice when travelling with children (although I should add that the water park is even better if your little ones are 10+). It was our first trip to Dubai and we really enjoyed it and found the entire trip quite action packed. Usually we choose relaxing beach resorts with very little things to do but it was nice to be surrounded by so much entertainment this time; water park, bowling, nightlife, diving, aquarium, spa etc.

One of the highlights of our trip was a family photoshoot we did with the lovely Emma from Emma Staples Photography. Atlantis is such an iconic hotel on the Palm (it was the first hotel built there) and I knew that the resorts iconic pink structure and arch would make a lovely backdrop to our family photos. The décor inside is exquisite and opulent, with some of the suites offering breathtaking views of the Palm and the Arabian sea. I took very little photos inside the hotel, I guess I just wanted to enjoy the holiday instead. There are some you can find on my Instagram though.

I found our photographer, Emma, thanks to google and fell in love with her work. She really captured our family beautifully and was amazing to work with. I created a little mood board in Pinterest and we exchanged loads of emails before our shoot. It felt like I knew her already which was really nice. By the way, I had to get permission from the Atlantis PR department for this photo shoot (the hotel is not open to the public and we had to invite her as our guest for the day). You need to be a professional photographer to gain access too, so make sure that you have done all the necessary paper work in advance. If you're planning a holiday to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, I totally recommend hiring Emma for a few hours. She will be able to capture memories you'll never forget.

Now sit back and enjoy Emma's wonderful work..






















 


* All images credited: Emma Staples Photography








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