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Piecing together the puzzle - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Piecing together the puzzle [Aug. 4th, 2011|01:27 pm]
Zoethe
We've happily redecorated our living room:
Living room

And we giddy with our remodeled kitchen:
Kitchen

But the dining room remains a problem:
Dining room

Here's the issue: we now have a breakfast bar hanging about 12 inches into what is a very small dining area to begin with. Now, we are the type who mostly eat in the living room [hangs head in shame], so the dining room table has tended to live against the wall, serving buffet duty when we have parties or movie days. But there are times when we do want to sit down at table with friends and have a meal. And when people come to play cards, well, a table is a necessity.

The table we have is really nice, a ceramic-topped table that we bought just for the space. We both really love the table, but it has no flexibility, so trying to set it up in the remaining space? Leads to something like this:
Dining room setup

Once people are sitting at the table, there's no room to maneuver past it. And the person in the corner is completely trapped. The table doesn't even clear the bar fridge.

Now, if it weren't for the bar fridge, this situation would just barely work. But the new cabinetry leaves no place for a liquor cabinet. And the bar fridge is not only necessary, it's Ferrett's Uncle Tommy's, so it definitely stays. When it was just the beer fridge, we stowed it in the guest room. It was a little awkward then, and needing to make it the bar just made the whole situation untenable.

What we need regularly is buffet space capacity--I don't want to make that the breakfast bar because it would interfere with the flow of party traffic. What we need sporadically is dining/card space for 4, maybe 6. And we need to keep the bar fridge somewhere in the living space. I'm willing to part with the table in order to switch it out for something else, but it has to be for a good solution. Also, Ferrett hates round tables, so that won't work.

Any ideas?

EDIT: Pulling down the buffet is NOT an option. I love my buffet.

Crossposting from Dreamwidth now. Sigh. If LJ won't let you comment, you can comment here: http://zoethe.dreamwidth.org/780987.html?mode=reply:
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[User Picture]From: reynai
2011-08-04 05:39 pm (UTC)
One possibility would be a folding card table, for the 'just for cards' or even casual friends over dining things. Can be stowed when needed, and they do come square-rectangle shaped as well as circular, and a nice tablecloth can adjust its look to better accent and match the space it's in. Some rearrangement of furnishings might be made necessary, but in my experience you tend to do a bit of that when company is coming over anyway.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 07:00 pm (UTC)
Not a bad idea. Must look into that.
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[User Picture]From: custardfairy
2011-08-04 05:39 pm (UTC)
I am all about tables with leaves or drops. I have this one which is *tiny* when both gatelegs are down, but quite large when up; it would easily seat four (or less easily six, with one person on each end).

Edited at 2011-08-04 05:40 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 06:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the one I suggested, and Ferrett doesn't like it. :-(
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[User Picture]From: off_coloratura
2011-08-04 05:40 pm (UTC)
The bar fridge definitely needs to go somewhere else. I say put all the non-fridge liquor in that built-in buffet, along with glasses, and unplug the bar fridge entirely and keep cold drinks in your normal fridge. You can just haul the bar fridge out for parties when people need immediate access to cold drinks, and when you've got the table pushed to the side and set up for buffet, there should be plenty of space for it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 07:05 pm (UTC)
Not an option. None of the shelves in the built-in buffet are adjustable, and there's not a shelf that's tall enough for a liquor bottle.

We have people over often enough who are beer and soda drinkers that the bar fridge is completely packed all the time. I would like it to be somewhere else, but it really is regularly needed.
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[User Picture]From: khiron1416
2011-08-04 05:46 pm (UTC)
it retires the massage chair, and puts the bar fridge in the living room where it will get maximal use!
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2011-08-04 07:07 pm (UTC)
Doesn't work, alas. It increases the risk of spilling on the floor, forces people to navigate past Rock Banders, and removes a seat for the I-Shoulda-Seen-That-By-Now Movie Marathons.
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[User Picture]From: duality
2011-08-04 05:50 pm (UTC)
well if you're going to get a table perhaps one of these: http://www.geekchichq.com/
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 09:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, no, not spending that kind of money, and the tables are about the same size as ours. But I'm highly amused!
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[User Picture]From: smartlikeatruck
2011-08-04 05:51 pm (UTC)
My grandmother has a "drop-leaf" table. It has one central leaf, and two ends that are rounded. The rounded ends drop, leaveing the remaining tableabout 2 feet deep and 4 feet longish. When she has dinner at the table, the leaves pop back up to seat 4-6. When she has the whole family over, there are two additional leaves that can be added, it will seat like 12. Maybe 14? If you put the fridge onto casters or add thick felt to the bottom, so it can be moved easily on your floor, you'd be able to slide it just out of the way when you have guests. With the leaves dropped, you could have it as a buffet.

Hers is very like this one. http://cgi.ebay.com/Mid-Century-Danish-Modern-Teak-Drop-Leaf-Table-1905-B-/380116880548
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 09:33 pm (UTC)
Possibilities, though I'd want a narrower table than that, I think. It's a decent idea.
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[User Picture]From: fuzzyjelly
2011-08-04 05:52 pm (UTC)
Does the built in buffet have to stay as is? You could have it rebuilt. Maybe so the cabinetry matches the kitchen? Have it designed around the bar fridge, so it fits right in, then find a slightly smaller table to fit the space.
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[User Picture]From: jenk
2011-08-04 07:50 pm (UTC)
Nice. Expensive, but nice.
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[User Picture]From: phoenixredux
2011-08-04 05:59 pm (UTC)
I think the solution is to replace the built-in buffet with a custom cabinet/buffet that meets your specs, and it would have room for a bar and a mini-fridge. And you'd be able to match it to the new kitchen cabinets. That would allow you to keep the table you have now, as well as Uncle Tommy's Fridge (UTF). Not only that, but it would give UTF a permanent place of honor and exhibition in your home. And some day when it gives out or if you move, UTF is a pretty common size and you would be able to replace it with a new one.

Perhaps a good carpenter wouldn't even need to replace the whole built-in buffet. Maybe they could reconfigure one of the lower drawer/cabinets to fit the fridge in there. I can't tell from this pic if UTF stands taller than the countertop-level of the buffet. It could be as easy as putting the fridge, say, on the far left quarter of the buffet and moving the books in the cabinet, and putting the liquor & glassware in their place.
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[User Picture]From: phoenixredux
2011-08-04 08:11 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, I'm really good at spending your money. :)
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[User Picture]From: mermaidnchains
2011-08-04 06:00 pm (UTC)
Im agreeing with fuzzyjelly there. If the built in does not need to stay as it is, revamping that with a mind to put the barfridge in part of its space would clear up your working floor space.

Also, an idea for seating: you have a great table. Why not get one or two benches instead of chairs? The bench can fit low under the overhanging bar, or can be utilized at other times in other locations as makeshift table. I know chairs are handy, but a bench can seat three, where a space will fit only two chairs.
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[User Picture]From: nex0s
2011-08-04 07:24 pm (UTC)
Benches are a great idea - especially for people like Ferret & Zoethe who entertain a lot. You can squish a lot of people onto a bench for a good game or what have you!

N.
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[User Picture]From: stacymckenna
2011-08-04 06:03 pm (UTC)
Do you love/adore/need the built in buffet/bookcase as it is? In your shoes (assuming I had the dough) I'd build a fridge into the bottom of that, leaving high shelves for booze so the counter could be used for buffet purposes.

I totally understand keeping something that is/was a family member's. Are you simply storing it until it can be returned, or is it a memento?

You also label it "necessary" - what is it's primary function?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 09:45 pm (UTC)
It's a memento, and I do love my buffet. And my budget for this doesn't include that kind of carpentry.
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[User Picture]From: daemonnoire
2011-08-04 06:07 pm (UTC)
I think you're probably going to find that the general consensus is "Tear out the built in, build it better." Alternately, you could always buy a table with built in storage space.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 09:46 pm (UTC)
OMG, why does everyone want to tear out my buffet?! NO!!! And the geek chic table is not really that helpful for our current needs.
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[User Picture]From: sterling_raptor
2011-08-04 06:10 pm (UTC)
I'm all for moving the black chair out, and then moving the bar fridge there.

I'm a HUGE fan of a folding card table. Easily stowed and doesn't cause clutter. There are some really nice ones that don't look like you are planning a flea market, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Cosco-Wood-Folding-Table-Espresso/dp/B0037CNDES/ref=sr_1_41?s=furniture&ie=UTF8&qid=1312481085&sr=1-41

If you hate the idea, then a drop leaf table is your best bet.

Other ideas: How attached are you to the "stuff" in the built in cabinet? I would move the booze there, ditch the knick-nacks as they just promote dust and clutter, and move the fridge elsewhere.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 10:03 pm (UTC)
The fridge in that far corner is just too far from the kitchen to be a reasonable place for a bar. And as Ferrett noted, on Rock Band nights it would be nonstop congestion.

The cabinet does not have moveable shelves, and none of them are tall enough for liquor. On the top shelf are wine glasses and pitchers that I use, on the bottom are our dishes.

As for the knick knacks, the tea sets and one of the cookie jars belonged to my great gramma. The other cookie jar belonged to Ferrett's gramma. Those aren't going anywhere.

That folding table is not a bad idea. That's a handsome one.
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[User Picture]From: sterling_raptor
2011-08-04 06:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, but I'm all for rebuilding the built-in if you have cash.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 10:03 pm (UTC)
We don't, and I don't want to.
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-08-04 06:22 pm (UTC)
I am with rebuild the built in for buffet space and the fridge either gets a space in/under it, or the fridge goes downstairs (and still rebuild).

You may also want to consider a new table with leaves, too.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 10:04 pm (UTC)
New table is definitely a consideration.
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[User Picture]From: lyssabard
2011-08-04 06:22 pm (UTC)
I am with rebuild the built in for buffet space and the fridge either gets a space in/under it, or the fridge goes downstairs (and still rebuild).

You may also want to consider a new table with leaves, too.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-04 10:06 pm (UTC)
If we put the fridge downstairs, it would certainly solve everything--except for having the bar completely out of the range of a party.

And everyone leave my buffet alone!! I want to throw myself protectively in front of it!!
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