Longtime Huston & Company clients and close friends of Saer and his family, the Strawbridges are a wonderful family with whom we’ve always enjoyed collaborating. We had the chance to work alongside them in designing and building their namesake table, the Strawbridge Dining Table, several years ago. It quickly became a Huston & Company favorite and even inspired the tables of an entire tasting room at Goodfire Brewing.
When the time came for the Strawbridges to look for a bigger table and move the original Strawbridge Dining Table to an office downtown, Saer sat down with them to design another custom piece that would perfectly fit their family’s aesthetic and needs. They paired their new table with a built-in bench and a few of our customized Colby Stools.
The Strawbridges were kind enough to answer a few questions about the inspiration for their table and the process of working with Huston & Company. Scroll down to read more about their philosophy on family dinners, their custom table, and more.
Describe your experience working with Huston & Company.
We loved working with Saer. He is a true artist and moves far beyond functionality and aesthetic into a deeper process of creation. He recognized our particular style and was able to create a table that physically embodied the spirit and energy of our family.
What were your goals in creating a custom piece for your home?
Growing up, the kitchen was the central room for both of our families, and within that everything took place at the kitchen table. Laughter, delicious home-made dinners with friends, serious family conversations, art projects, homework, holiday celebrations, breakfast before barely missing the bus, messy cooking endeavors, bill writing, mail reading, arguments, tears, love and affection. It seemed that life unfolded over the kitchen table. So as we started to look around for a kitchen table, we realized this alone was perhaps the most important piece of furniture in our entire house. As new parents, we also realized it would be the keystone for our children’s memories of our family. It seemed fitting to have this special piece crafted by a dear friend, knowing that it would be infused with his energy, artistry and labor.
What role do family dinners play in your house?
The initial idea for the type of table we were looking for was inspired by an architect’s drafting table. The vision of an artist at work, translating vision into tangible lines was quite appealing. And we loved the extra height, imagining it would be more inviting to casually use, to rest a cup of coffee on, without committing to sitting down for an extended period. It gave it the air of a bar, where you could engage with those standing and working in the kitchen, while also resting for a minute. The large size also allows us to gather bigger groups of people around it. I always dreamed of being the house where everybody just stopped by knowing we would have room at the table for one more guest. We don’t have any immediate family who live in Maine, so the table has become the gathering space for our “chosen” family of friends in the neighborhood that include Saer and Genell.
Do you have any special dining traditions that you share around your table?
Stew and I also love the feel of reclaimed barnwood and a sense of wild nature. Saer was able to capture this with the wood he chose for the table. Its rich stain is warm and inviting. Additionally, he gave the look a modern twist with the industrial vibe of the metal legs.
Because the table is so tall and has the interesting detail of a wooden slab across the bottom to balance out the aesthetic, the kids have found it to be an excellent fort space. They are often under the table hosting their own little meals and using the lower wooden slab as their mini-table.