My Kitchen Table Dilemma

This family desperately needs a new kitchen table. Ours is looking more sad by the hour. This is the criteria:

One. a table that is rectangular and seats at least 6 people, two. it needs to be kids friendly & forgiving (think a 3 year old showing off his latest tricks with sharp utensils), three. it can’t cost $3000 ( with 3 young kids and a slew of young visitors, it will be trashed before we know it and I simply can’t justify the cost), four. white and grey are my preferred colors.

One of my all time favorite inspiration pictures is this casual dining area by Vicente Wolf. I have so much respect for this enormously talented designer. He can put rooms together like nobody else and I would love to camp out in his head —  if even for a minute — and learn how he thinks!

Another outstanding room by Vicente Wolf.

My fifth and final criteria is that the table needs to work well with a combination of these two chairs – the classic design icon white Panton chair (it is 50 years old!) and as you can see, also one of Vicente Wolf’s favorites. And the slipcovered Henriksdal from Ikea (looks better than the picture and it so easy to throw the slipcover in the wash after the green peas have been flying).

Now to the tables.

I have a beautiful, antique tavern at home, but it is unfortunately too small. So, on my hunt for the perfect table, I have been all over table land and have even been thinking about having one built ($2500 minimum). But now I have found two that I think might do the trick until the kids (and their parents!) are moving up in age.

First up, this white one from Ikea (Norden). I like the simple lines and the color and well hello (!), the price is only $279. I have been over to Ikea twice to see  first hand what the table is all about. And it is surprisingly sturdy. Now picture this table with the two different chairs.

Just stumbled upon this brand new beauty from Worldmarket/Cost Plus (who would have thought!). And it is not some cheap veener. It is solid oak, folks. It is very sturdy and looks wonderful with its gray color and rustic style. The price is $699.99 but it looks and feels custom made.

Two completely different styles but I think both work well with the two different chairs.

So, which one, in your opinion, is the winning table? (Bring it on, I can take it!) Or do you have any other recommendations? Any help is greatly appreciated. This family will soon consume their meals on the floor!


More about the Panton chair: Verner Panton created it back in 1960, and with the assistance of Vitra developed a version ready for series production (1967). It was the very first fully plastic chair made from a single section. Since its market launch, the Panton Chair has undergone several production phases. Not until today was it possible to produce it in line with Panton’s original idea – namely from consistently dyed, tough plastic with a matte surface. The Panton Chair has won various design prizes world wide and graces the collections of numerous renowned museums. Its expressive shape makes it a true 20th-century design icon.

Images. No. 1 via Weiweisbabies, images 2+3 via Vicente Wolf.


Written by Splendid Willow in: Lovely Furniture |


  • Annika says:

    Hi sister!

    Love, love, love white so why not the bargain choice? IKEA kind of did it again…

    …but on the other hand – the contrast between white chairs and that wonderful oak table………..

    U know me, cannot decide…but love them both! You have such great taste you cannot go wrong.

    Good luck my friend!


  • Franki Parde says:

    I LOVE the dark one with your existing chairs. Oh, the possibilities are so fun…I’m also thinking pumpkins painted silver…Good Luck! fmp

  • I would say my vote is probably the second one with your chairs but would need to see a picture of the kitchen too. Don’t think you can go wrong either way!

  • Janell Beals says:

    Love the second option, and why is it so hard to find a great dining room table without veneers?! If this is solid wood I’d jump on it in a second…in fact I may!! I’ve been looking for a dining room table, for a future project. And Vincent Wolf, he is it. Did you know he has a blog, it is an interesting read. And btw, when are you coming down to Portland?! Janell

  • I’d vote for #2, Mon. A reasonable and practical match to the first one you featured in the room by VC. I like the wood tone with white. Good luck, gal…Donna

  • melissa says:

    I am sorry to go with the expensive version, but I LOVE the World Market table. It looks just like your inspiration photo…which I also love! However, if budget doesn’t allow (and I am still using an ugly table and chairs in my breakfast nook to prove I am familiar with that dilema)the white one is going to look great too. Crisp and clean, but will look fine once distressed by your crew! Thanks for sharing your table finds… I am off to search the world market site.

  • kiki alvord says:

    Hej hopp “allihopp”!

    Jag har samma dilemma, sitter utan både köks och matsalsbord just nu, för inte att tala om ALLA möbler som fortfarande är kvar i USA, men snart så skeppas de ut.
    Min bror har Norden i sitt stora kök ett härligt stort bord, men jag håller med Donna, det mörka bordet skulle vara fint t i Er matvrå tror jag.
    Kanske ngt för mig att släpa hem?

    Kram Kiki

  • I would defintely go with the second table. That’s a great price for a solid oak table and love the contrast with the white chairs. I have a table that is almost identical to the one in the first Vincent Wolfe image. I’ve had it for years and used it as our breakfast table in our last two houses. When we moved here, I needed a round table for the casual dining area so I am using the old table on my covered porch. I love it there too. I have never tired of that table. I’m loving your new header for your blog too. Just noticed it today. Happy decorating. Mona

  • Greet says:

    Good morning my friend!

    I would go for the second one – similar to Vicente Wolf’s table (first picture)! I love this design!



  • Jean says:


    I have the Ikea table, which is my vote, I sanded it and painted it BM revere pewter (pale gray). I used enamel latex paint….it looks great! Best regards, Jean

  • Delishhh says:

    Oh Monika – My choice would be the Cost Plus table. It is my favorite :)

  • Kicks says:

    Hi Monika,

    I like the one from Ikea but the oak table looks better with your chairs.


    Splendid Willow Reply:

    Hi all, thanks for your valuable comments. It is interesting to see that the Swedes tend to lean towards Ikea. It must be the white. The Swedes crave white!

    Jean, send an image of your patined Norden table!

    Warm hugs to you all

  • Polly says:

    I LOVE choice #2 as well, but if you want to keep the price down to a bare minimum – IKEA’s table is good too! I bought a kitchen table from IKEA when my (now) 17 year old was just a baby. It was only $399 including the 6 chairs. I told my husband, “Let’s just get it. Its cheap, it works for us, we’ll replace it in a few years with something else.”

    I just replaced it two years ago, and am giving the IKEA table to my grown daugher – the quality of IKEA actually holds up pretty darn well!

  • Hi Mon! I LOVE the second option, the warmth of the wood will be a nice inviting contrast to the white chairs. Can’t wait to see what you pick :)

  • I would choose the grey one, Mon. although I love white (my own kitchen table is white) I think the table legs on the dark one are much more comfortable than on the white one. especially for the one sitting near the edge! hope this helps! xo

  • Kelly says:

    I would go with the dark one. That’s amazing that you found it at World Market!!! WOW! It looks almost exactly like your inspiration photo. I would just highly recommend putting a seal on the top of it. I think “cheap” furniture could have lasted me so much longer if I just would have sealed it. The little ones in your life will only be hard on the top.

  • Hi Monika!
    I have to agree
    with the majority,
    so far, and go with
    the brown table from
    C+. One of my
    friends has one that
    is very similar from
    there….Yes, it
    is very heavy!…And
    it’s held up beautifully
    for at least six years.
    I think it will be
    fab with your chairs, too!
    Good luck!
    xx Suzanne
    PS: You need a playlist,
    Mon : ) !!

  • Go for the oak table, I like the contrast of the old style table and your fab chair mix.
    It will look stunning!
    Vintage Girl

  • heidi says:

    Number two for me. Although I liked the description by Jean of painting the one from Ikea. I think 2 is just a bit more interesting and characterful.

  • Alice says:

    Hello Dear,

    Most definitely the rustic grey one from World Market. I love it!!!! Very classy and could also go with a black chair if you change your mind later down the road. It’s gorgeous! Just my two cents. J

  • I have fallen in love with the second table, it is so beautiful! And what an amazing price too. I think you can’t go wrong!! Happy Thursday to you Monika,
    Nancy xo

  • I love the 2nd one-it looks like it will stand up to anything and look better with age!

  • Kari says:

    Hi Mon,

    I too love the second table. There is something about the shape of the base and the contrast with your chairs. Can’t wait to see what you decide!


  • Ulrika says:

    Absolut det morka! Saaaa vackert och mysigt. Jag har varit pa Costplus och kant pa det ( innan du skrev om det). Absolut nr 2! Kram.

  • Katrine says:

    Hej Monika,
    Although I love white, my vote goes to table two. It will age so much more beautifully and look even better with a few home made “organic” nicks and scratches. You can decorate with white and it will still look light because of your chairs. Toodlioo,

  • Stacey says:

    I love the second look. I love mixing that almost rustic dining table with modern chairs. I have a similar look in my own home. XX

  • Susan says:

    Mon – you chose my two favourite Vicente Wolf photos! He’s a master indeed.
    For your kitchen I would also opt for the second one, but I do like the idea of painting he Ikea table the perfect shade of gray for your kitchen…Mmmmm, could be very interesting.

    Hope you are well!


  • I prefer the second one too, would look great with white chairs. But on a side note how incredible is the mable table with the turned legs??!!!

    Thanks so much for your kind words today too darl, so sweet of you! jx

  • Piper says:

    I have to tell you that I’ve had those 2 images from vincente wolf in my inspiration files for awhile now!! I actually used them for our dining room inspiration because I loved the look of the wood table with white & mismatched chairs!! So I’m voting for the 2nd one – the wood and the white chairs would look amazing!! plus what a steal that is – the table is beautiful!

  • Amy says:

    Oh, I love the second one! A bit rustic, a bit modern … it seems as if it was made for fun and adventure!

  • escapade says:

    I definitely think the second one! It will look amazing with your white chairs -and much like Vicente’s design! (I have an enormous crush on him!

    So nice to hear from you lovely friend. Hope your family + little ones are well. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  • Hi Mon! Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and support, you’re awesome! And I have seen those World Market tables in person, they really are quite lovely, I say go for it! XX!

  • Well, first of all…love your blog( so happy to have found it via the comment you left on my post over at Emma’s) :) And I have to say it is as if this post were written for me…I have the same dilemma with my table and I love the options you came up with. My vote goes for the second table because I love the lines and the color & who knows? Maybe it will last and last and you won’t even need to get another one! :)

  • hi Mon! no package has arrived yet, but don’t worry, it normally takes some time to make it here, about a month. I’ll let you know. happy weekend! xo

  • Hello dear friend! Sounds like fun! First off: yes to Panton chairs a million times over — I love them mixed with weathered, antique wood ones, and secondly, I will share my favorite place of all… Scott Landon Antiques. The man behind the shop is a genius. He sells locally, but also ships all over the world — to designers, for movies, for anyone. I have a feeling you would love his furniture! I really like the options you show, but just in case you’re looking for more, here’s his site:


    his furniture is very forgiving! We have two islands from his place in the kitchen and they have worked our wonderfully. He will re-work certain antique pieces or leave them, depending. Great guy!

    I hope you have a fabulous weekend. Must catch up soon :)


  • Tina says:

    Hello mon!
    :) Lovely post.
    You now me, can´t make up my mind about anything and of course I like both tables!
    I´m sure you´ll make the right decision about one of your two choices!
    Also thinking, why not buy an antique old table, for a good price, with marks and everything. The kids could go wild on it.
    Happy weekend!

  • Jane says:

    hi Monika

    I agree with all the others!! Second table for sure. I think the top one would be too white with your chairs. I love mismatches chairs too!! xoxo

  • Jo says:

    Hello! I’m looking for a new DR table also and just happened to come across table #2 earlier this week. It’s has great style and enough liming to satisfy my Swedish-white requirement. Would look great with your mix of chairs! My chairs are similar to the Henriksdal and flea market finds.

  • Style Attic says:

    Hi! I haven’t read any of the comments, so I might be way out in left field. I am loving the 2nd table for the chairs you already have. I also feel like that table will look great loved, worn and even knicked a little. It’s the kind of table that table talk and memories are made at. It’s made of wood for heaven’s sake! What a great representation of home grown love :) Whatever you choose, will look smashing!!

  • Charlotta says:

    Hej hej!
    Both tables are great options, but if you are teaming it with Pantone chairs, I would go for the second one for a better fit & interesting contrast.
    (Feeling like a Swedish defector now.. how can I disguard IKEA just like that.. ha ha! :)


  • Purple Area says:

    This is easy, go for Norden from IKEA!! No doubt!

  • Giovanna says:

    that top table with the pantone chairs is fantastic.

  • Amy says:

    #2 Definitely!

  • you know i love pantone chairs!! And moreover everything your touch is just awesome, so I simply cannot wait to see what you do. I too love the second one .xoxo

  • Jamilyn says:

    I am having the same dilema! I need a table asap! I love what you are inspired by! Wow! To dream! Anyway, love your finds. I like them both but think the natural wood table would look great with the white chairs (for contrast and interest). Good luck and I hope it works out. Please post your final decision and the results!

  • Mary Duran says:

    Love your Blog. This is my first time visit. I would go for the Worldmarket/Cost Plus table. The juxtaposition of the Panton and the Ikea chairs with this traditional table will be fabulous.

  • I L O V E the World Market table! What a great price as well! It would look gorgeous with those chairs!!

  • […] I am still going back and forth about which chairs to add to my new gray farm table. Remember that post?  These white iconic Panton chairs above? Or the Tolix chairs (see the metal French bistro chair […]

  • […] kitchen table, one that can take a lot of beating from 3 kiddos and a slew of guests? See old post here. Most of you voted for this solid oak table from Cost Plus/World Market (yes, really!) — […]

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