Consign Your Life Away

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve the “fancy” holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Not because of food (which was always incredible) or the association of time off from school. In my eight year old mind, these holidays were fancy because of our dining room.

362 days out of the year, this room was purely for show and added no real value to the house or its inhabitants, except for maybe the cats who liked to sprawl out on the buffet from time to time. But on those fancy holidays, the room was dusted, polished, and set with the finest china my parents had. The table itself is impressive – pure mahogany with a shiny veneer that looked like glass and cushioned chairs with curved high backs and arms which made us feel like we were sitting on thrones!

It really is a beautiful dining set:

If you can imagine, this is the smallest the table gets - we have 2 more leafs stored away which brings the table to over 8 feet long with seating for 10-12!

If you can imagine, this is the smallest the table gets – we have 2 more leafs stored away which brings the table to over 8 feet long with seating for 10-12!

The side chairs (pictured left) and the head chairs (pictured right). Cushions reupholstered by yours truly.

As I got older, I would envision owning a similar piece in my own home and was shocked when my parents told me that I could take the table when I moved to Medford to live with my then-boyfriend, Gear. His apartment had a separate dining room with high ceilings and I was thrilled to live out my vision without putting in the $$$ to fund my own set. Gear and I lived in Medford, with that set, for two years.

During that time we got engaged, married, and bought a house of our own. Unfortunately, our new abode didn’t come with a dedicated dining room but we brought the set anyways because I couldn’t think about parting with it. What if our NEXT house had a dining room?? This is when Gear told me to calm down and not get ahead of myself – which has saved me from many disastrous life choices. We settled on using it in our current home as the kitchen table, which has worked for us as we don’t use it unless we entertain (sporadically).

I am not sure when I decided I was “over” the set, but it happened. I have been slowly figuring out what my home aesthetic is and, unlike the Medford apartment, am trying to be more strategic about what pieces we choose for our open concept kitchen/living room main floor. Anyone walking into our home can see that the dining set just doesn’t fit: in color, design, and size.  It was time to move on.

Coincidentally, my friend Rach had been on the market to sell a dining set of her own – a clean lined shaker style table with four chairs and a bench. I texted her to see what she wanted for it and was bracing myself for the over $300 response. She was asking $100… What was wrong with it? With her?!

Nothing and Nothing. This was a set she inherited from a previous renter who had used the table for 2 months, decided to move, and couldn’t be bothered to bring it along. Rach had her own set and wanted to clear up some space so was pricing to sell.

Before I (or Gear) knew it, I had texted her back saying the table was sold and when could I pick it up. A few weeks later, the set (which I got for $80 through Rach’s friends & family discount) has now claimed its spot in our kitchen and fits in much better with the feel of our home. When we first set up the table, Gear and I were amazed at how much space we had been robbed of with my old set, and proceeded to spin around with our arms out like two deranged people. Gear and I, we always know how to have a good time!

Now, our home is quite comfortable but we do lack storage and immediately had to figure out what to do with my set. Trashing/dumping it was not an option and I didn’t want to go through Craig’s list. I’ve seen the movie. My best bet was to consign.

Consigning, according to Wikipedia, is the act of giving over to another person or agent’s charge, custody or care any material or goods, but retaining legal ownership until the material or goods are sold. Basically, someone else sells your stuff and you split the reward. I LOVE consigning and have had great experiences with local shops that take clothing, so figured consigning furniture might not be too different.

I put out some feelers with my local consignment shops and quickly received a notification that one owner thought the table was beautiful and that it would sell quickly. After email exchanges to find a time, it has been confirmed that tomorrow is the big hand off. I will truck my set to her business and re-assemble the table so she can give it a full inspection. An agreed upon price will be chosen, and I will sign away a piece of my childhood.

I am anxious and curious about how tomorrow will play out, and maybe you are too so I will be sure to follow-up with the good, bad, and ugly.*

– Alice

*Ugly crying when I see this set for one last time


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