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Friday, April 29, 2011

everything has a story: bedside tables (updated)

(update at the bottom)

I absolutely adore this pair of antique teak and marble-top pub tables from Singapore that we use for our bedside tables. 
(Note the wear on the table base after years and years worth of shoes wearing down the stretchers and chairs hitting the insides of the legs.)

this is my bedside table...

this is Dan's bedside table...

We purchased the tables, plus one more, from our favorite importer in Seattle when we lived in Dallas.  I desperately needed fresh merchandise for my antiques business, so we flew up to Seattle for the day- flew up that morning, shopped all day and flew home that night!
(Please do not ask me about the dining-size table like these two that I didn't buy...  it makes me cry, which makes my mascara run, which makes me look like a clown-   it's not pretty...  anyway, please don't ask;)
My plan was to keep one table and to sell two.  Plans are meant to be changed, yes?!  After getting the tables home I easily found places for two of the tables in the house (in Dallas they were in different rooms) and ended up selling only one.......   quickly and for a lot of money.  (I tell you that only because it comes into play later;) 
The teak table bases were a icky, gunky mess and after trying several methods Dan decided that the only way to thoroughly clean them was to take them to a car wash and use a high-powered sprayer on them! (do not try this at home;) 
My (much older;) sister, Susan, came to visit us in Dallas and fell in love with the tables too!  With the "sold" table long gone, I had to explain that she would have never paid the price I had to put on it to pay for the two I kept and my trip!!  That didn't make her feel any better-  she coveted the tables and would go on and on and.....  during each visit about how much she wanted one.

Time went on, lots of time and about two years later Dan and I were walking the antiques shop where my business was and low and behold we spotted a table that looked EXACTLY like our tables.... could it be?!!  Dan looked at the base trying to recognize any signs that it was "our" table. 
It was. 

Come to find out the designer who bought the table from me purchased it for a client.  Said client lived with it for about two years before re-decorating again, and the table was to be sold!!!  The designer, now a new antiques dealer, wanted the management to call me and find out how much I had sold it to her for because she couldn't remember, and she didn't know how much to ask for the table.
Unfortunately for her, my memory momentarily failed me and I just couldn't for the life of me remember!!! (hey, it's not my job to keep her books;)  She put a price on the table that was much lower than I sold it for!  One phone call to my sister and the table was SOLD.
The third table is now back in the family and happily resides in Austin!! 

Here it is in Austin!!!



  1. What a story! The tables are gorgeous and I love your styling.

  2. "plans are meant to be changed" we are definitely kindred souls. lol

    I just love a good reunion story. Loved it!!

  3. Wonderful story... and did I mention that I love them? I agree, the wear on the table bases is beautiful. I find myself wondering what the two of you keep in your little boxes that are on the tables. ;)

    ♥ sécia

  4. LOVE the story about your tables and they are gorgeous.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  5. Great story! You must be very dedicated to your business to fly to and from Seattle in one day!! I'm glad your sister has the 'sister' table!

    Have a great weekend!


  6. Great story - I just hope the lady doesnt read you blog! I love these tables also. they look gorgeous!
    cheers Fiona

  7. Too funny, Joan! I'm glad your sister finally got the table she so desperately wanted. Obviously, it was meant to be :)

  8. hi Secia!
    me- reading glasses, pencils, pens, bag of lavender, calculator, post-its, post-it flags, flash light, and black-out mask!
    Dan- (I had to look;) reading glasses, two alarm clocks, flash light, pens, and highlighters.

  9. Love your tables and especially your lamps and your little santos on your table Joan. What a nice story and even better that your sister got her table. Dare I say I see your new/old bed post peeking out in the first image? We want to see please.

  10. Wonderful story! What are the chances of that happening? Love how you don't have to have matching lamps for bedside tables. Very classy staging.

  11. SHUT UP. That did not happen.

    I believe you but that's CRAZY!


    I picked up my secret project today. Art says hi. He sold those gorgeous glass front cases that were in the front room. They were about a foot too high for the ceilings in my house but I was prepared to raise the roof. But they're gone.

  12. Great story, I love hearing the reason why someone purchase a piece of furniture.

  13. just meant to be I love it when there is a happy ending good for your sister- and as always you have the most interesting stories to tell...they are truly lovely did you make the lamp on your table it is fab

  14. Cute story, beautiful tables!

  15. Like a little lost puppy who travels miles and miles, the table sniffed its way back home. Glad to hear that all three tables are in loving arms. They are gorgeous.

  16. does your old sister love it? lol, kidding. why do you call her that? i must have missed it.

  17. I love stories like that. Who would have guessed.
    - Joy

  18. Debra- good eye. Sadly :( the bedskirt and some shams are STILL at the upholsterer...

    Steve- Really!!

    Victoria- Yes, we (Dan:) made both lamps. Mine is an antique iron French fireplace tool holder that we found in France, and Dan's is a cast iron baluster!

    Chirs- I never said she was "old", just said she is older because, well- she is. But, Yes, she does love it.

  19. I love the story of the table - what a satisfying one!

    Pomona x

  20. Hope your client doesn't read the blog...!!!

    Really pretty bedsides tables.

  21. I really enjoy your blog and have added it to my sidebar so my friends can find it. Your home is lovely.

  22. remarkable joan. beautiful pieces are always better with wonderful stories. love your tables.


  23. Maria- I was the antiques dealer. The client belonged to the interior designer who brought the table from me. I, personally, did not know either of them. Sorry for the confusion.

  24. joan, oh how i appreciate this story (and the tables)...the beauty of what you express here has greater depth because of your love of the all of the things and people that grace your life. thank you for sharing with us. -xok.

  25. Oh Joan! You are a GREAT story teller! :) Your sis is a lucky lady; those ARE great tables!

  26. get out! what a great story joan. this would only happen to you. i'm sure susan is thrilled.


    btw - i already bought the lace for the dress. i'm no seamstress but i think i can pull this off.

  27. much older sister SusanApril 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Yes Chris, Joanie can be quit disrespectful to me as I am older but MUCH wiser than she!! ;) I use to change her diapers for Peke sake! I am Actually 11 years and 10 month and and 5 days older so she was 'my baby' when she was born as our mother had a broken arm (from a car accident) when she was born and I helped take care of her. She took her first steps between me and my childhood best friend, Karen. She loves to jab me about my age but she is rapidly catching up with me! ;)

    I do LOVE my table and have it as my side table in my bedroom too! The story does make it even more special! I thought the table was gone forever and then for it to show up years later was a 'meant to be'. I brought three friends with me to Dallas that day to pick up my table. They came to get a 'tour' of Joanie and Dan's house they had heard so much about. That house was fabulous too! What a fun day! The tables are even more beautiful in person. The dining table 'that got away' was beyond fabulous. It was exactly the same but probably four times larger. Joanie, I wonder if Val still has hers in West Seattle.

    I spy Daddy, Kelsey and the Tetons! Three of your favorite things.

    Another reason Joanie's treasures are so wonderful is because they ALL have a story.

  28. much older sister SusanApril 29, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Blondie, from now on I will call the table the "sister table", thanks to you! Love it!!

  29. Love the story, love the tables and as I live in Seattle I would love to know your favorite antique places up here.

  30. How fantastic to have it come full circle! It was meant to stay in the family. How lucky for her!


  31. A car wash...For reals??!

    What a great story...and how wonderful of you to think of your OLD sister! ;~P

    Beautiful little sister tables indeed!

  32. Such a great story. So glad your sister was eventually able to own one of the tables. They are fabulous! ~Delores

  33. I love your blog and look at it each day. Your home is so beautiful and you have such talent in decorating. I wish I had that talent. I have looked and looked to find pictures of your bedrooms and bathrooms and I haven't been able to find them. Have you ever posted those rooms? Or any others that are not shown on the side of the blog? I would so love to see them.

  34. Can I get in line for any you might find in the future? Loving those tables Joan!!!

  35. hi Wenda! Thank you so much! The only rooms I have shown are on the sidebar. I will show the master bath next, and then the master bedroom (I'm still waiting (and waiting;) on the bedskirt and some shams which are still at the upholsterer...

  36. I got the "older sister" comment right away, you two are funny. What a nice sister to take care of you when you were born. The story of the tables is unbelievable, I can just imagine how many more you have to tell with all the beautiful things you have gathered over the years.

  37. Thank you for your reply. I can't wait to see all of your rooms. I think your home is the most beautiful I have ever seen. I would pick yours over any designers. Wenda

  38. Great story and I love how you accessorized the tables (I want some marble grapes).

  39. It was meant to be. Very serendipitous. Question: Do neither of you use an alarm clock or any bedside clock?

  40. hi Kristin!
    As I mentioned to Secia ^above who asked what we kept in our boxes... Dan has two alarm clocks! If I ever need one I usually use the alarm on my cell phone. Since they're not something we want to look at all the time, we just keep them in the boxes.

  41. Fantastic story. You should have your sister print it and tape it to the underside of the table. If we all did that with our happily-won pieces, wouldn't there be amazing and accumulated stories to be told in the future.

  42. So glad I checked back. Your sister also has excellent taste. I love the painting!! I am a former high school art teacher doing free lance work now. Love your blog!!!

  43. Joan, Your sister was meant to have this table! What a coincidence.

  44. Great story!! I'm sure your (much older) sister was thrilled!!!

  45. I love it when things in a home have a story. I love the tables too. Thanks for sharing their great story.
    Have a great Sunday,


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive it and read it. joan


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