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Filed in DESIGN & STYLING, PROJECTS & DIY — July 27, 2022

We rarely use our dining room and at one point never even had one. Our kitchen has the typical ranch style setting with an eat-in kitchen layout. A few years ago we built a built-in banquette bench on our half wall. The other side has our staircase so it isn’t something we’ve ever been able to open up. A built-in provided additional seating and felt like an intentional use of space.

We added the banquette a couple years ago constructed out of MDF, plywood, and shiplap. It looked fine and worked just fine. But when we decided to renovate the kitchen this time I knew the shiplap had to come down with the rest of the kitchen. I’m glad we reconfigured it for a little refresh!


We also needed a new table. Before we had a six foot round table which let our breakfast nook feel more open, but it also barely sat our now family of five with the bench seating. One aspect of my style that has never shifted is my love of chunky reclaimed old wood. I’ve added and used it differently throughout the years, but I love beautiful chunky wood, and RH is one of my favorite sources for inspo for this.

I fell in love with an oval reclaimed wood table with beam legs. But I knew we could make it for far less and it’d fit our space perfectly being custom. Oh this table though! It was the cause of so many headaches and ultimately why our kitchen reno took a couple extra weeks to complete.


The construction of the table went just fine. The color. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get quality wood and this is why. The top came out pretty close to what I wanted but the bottom using 4x4s that were a little red to begin with never came out quite like I hoped. Overall, I’m really happy with the table, and actually love it a little darker. Warm, rich, darker wood tones are making a come back and trending right now! It compliments our walnut shelves now nicely too.

I’m honestly taking my time with this space because I haven’t quite found the perfect light yet. There’s so many pendants and chandeliers that would look great and I like, but I don’t feel are perfect. It’s a smaller space and I have a statement island pendant that I feel this light needs to be more minimal and accent the others just right.

It’s a work in progress but I love how it adds so much to our kitchen now. My favorite are our new dining chairs. I LOVE the pop of black! Such a classic chair but really beautiful, fresh and modern in the black.

Would you add a breakfast nook to your kitchen? It’s so nice with younger kiddos being able to gather right here while we’re cooking. A small space can be a challenge to work with at times, but adding designs with intentional use of space that’s beautiful really makes all the difference.


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  1. Emily Williams says:

    Ohh I love the table, can you please share what wood and sizes of wood used? I have a built in banquet bench also and having a hard time finding a table I like, not to mention how expensive everything costs.

    • Hi! Yes, I’m sharing an overview on the table this week! Subscribe so you get a notification when it’s up or follow on IG @graceoaksdesigns if you aren’t already I’ll post there when it’s up as well. The beam base is 4×4 to look like beams the top is 2×10 select pine overall width about 35″ so they were ripped down a bit. Will share more in that post.

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Founder and Principal Designer.
I created Grace Oaks Designs based on a need for attainable design. I kept coming back to my signature style time after time and realized, this is it! We bridge the gap creating attainable design for the modern family. Home tells our stories. It's the cornerstone of where we're going and where we've been. Where beautiful style meets comfort and functionality. For an elevated everyday. It's our safe haven. Which is why I'm so passionate about creating refined casual interiors. Elevated yet livable. Because I want you to love coming home. 

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Grace Oaks Designs is an interiors and lifestyle brand located in Central IL. We offer inspiration and design services to help you elevate your everyday.