We came home from overseas and built a house. With no furniture, and no money to buy new stuff for a whole new house, here's what we did for our dining room. Repurposed barnwood, ceiling planks, scraps of lumber, a mattress topper and some shower curtains, and we've got a great little dining nook that can comfortably seat twelve (and storage for my root vegetables and other items!)
Step 1: Find Some Old Wood to Salvage
Inside this old farmhouse on our property we found a gem. A massive long old shelf leaning up against the wall, just waiting to be used. Dragged it out, and cut it in half.
Step 2: Scrub, Bleach, Sand, Repeat!
Lots of elbow grease to get it all cleaned up enough to eat off of!
Step 3: Build a Stand
We used leftover 2x4s from our house framing, screwed 2 together and stained to fake the heavier beam look and made a cross-rail, oxer thingy for the table to sit on. A little rough, but key word is "free" and "repurpose" and it did the trick beautifully.
Step 4: Clean Up and Stain the Table Top
Cleaned up the edges, cut off the bad stuff, and rounded the edges using the lid for the screw bucket. Technical I know!
Stuck the two lengths of shelving together with two cedar planks (leftover decking) underneath. These planks are where the tabletop is sitting on the stand. Scrubbed in a light layer of stain and a few coats of polyurethane (or something similar, I forget what we chose to go with).
Step 5: Add Chairs
Gave some cheap 2nd hand chairs a new life with some paint, a mattress topper and some shower curtain pieces.
Step 6: Built Window Benches
Built two window benches with a rudimentary box shape, and lined it with leftover ceiling planks (pine tongue and groove). Painted it all white.
Cut a piece of plywood for the "lid" of the box, and cover it with mattress topper and shower curtain and we have a window seat. The fabric shower curtain has handled a lot of abuse and it wipes down really good too, so not worried about stains.
Add some hinges to the window seats and they double as storage boxes. Root vegetables keep perfectly in here, in the dark against an outside wall, and our guests would never know they're sitting right above my potatoes :)
Step 7: Curtains + Cushions = Cozy
Perfect place to sit and enjoy a morning cup of coffee and watch for deer. Or even lounge back with a book. 12 people can comfortably have dinner together, and you can pack a lot of kids back there on those benches. They are awesome!