Hello. 1988 called.

 It wants its decor back.

You know the style I’m talking about, right? It’s the one that used an abundance of country blue accented with the color mauve and had swans on every home accessory imaginable.

 That reminds me of this story from my bratty tween years-

I distinctly remember someone who had a giant mauve Christmas tree. I do mean GIANT!  It was probably 18 feet tall at least. All I know is that it stood next to a staircase, and the very top of it reached above the banister on the second floor. It was decorated with symmetrical perfectly tied blue bows that would have made little Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie pea green with envy. The real kicker to the dreadful style of the late 80’s was the swans and geese wearing color coordinated blue bonnets and shawls. Tons of those guys were crammed into the mauve tree branches in between all the Nellie bows.

I swear to goodness that spectacle of a Christmas tree was like Old Mother Hubbard had a crash collision with a cotton candy factory. Every time I see that 1988  shade of blue it reminds me of that tree.  

Here is a quick look at the red farmhouse dining table…

before and after image

Swans are not my favorite either.

There was a park we used to go to for picnics, cross country competitions and every other sort of gathering imaginable. There were flocks of nasty mean swans that would chase after us, hissing and trying to bite all the kids. Very scary birds! Last I heard was those mean birds were still there.  The funny thing is that this particular park pulled out all the swings, teeter-totters, and merry-go-rounds because they were dangerous. I think the city should have been more concerned about the feral hissing and biting swans that hated bread and little people instead of a couple of swing sets.  

Just saying.

 Let me get the BEFORE image out of the way or I might keep obsessing over 1988 childhood traumas. 😉
Whoomp, there it is in all its glory…

photo before paint finish

The upside to this dated style is that my friends and I were provided with many hours of entertainment in making fun of the whole trend.

Isn’t that so “mauvelous”!

My mom used to call such antics being fresh.

Mother…1962 just rang.

They want their antiquated saying for being a smart mouth back.

(She reads my blogs. I can say this now and not get a slap for it. LOL)

When it came down to deciding on a painted finish for this table, I was going through a phase of wanting to use red in a finish.  The good thing about this shade of red is that it never really goes out of style, nor does it look dated. Red is a classic color. Certain shades of blue are classics too. One can never go wrong with the classics. faux painter in Alaska

But here was my dilemma-

Should the entire dining set be red?

Is that too much red?

How about a black table with red chairs?

Maybe stain the top? Keep the pedestal base and legs red?

Solid white base with a stained top and red chairs?

So many choices.  So many possibilities.

country style pedestal dining table

One thing I know about red, though, is that it is taste specific.

People either love it, or they hate it.

I wanted this dining table to be versatile and work in a few different decorating styles; Americana,  traditional French country, and some of the more rustic decorating styles. Considering where I live and the favored styles of Alaskans, I wanted this set to appeal to those who enjoy a more rustic aesthetic in their homes.

I opted for a creamy, earthy toned finish with the top glazed slightly darker than the base of the table.

 Earlier this summer I created another finish inspired by the outdoors but I remained true to my style as a creator and artist, employing touches of French Country. You can see the results and read all about it in my post-French Olives. 

closeup of paint finish on table top

close up of dining chairs

While I was photographing this dining set, I had several neighbors come over and want to find out exactly what it is I do.

Evidently, I’m not the only people watcher around here.

They told me they had watched me scrubbing, sanding, painting, laying out patterns and hauling stuff around my yard since they moved in.

Ha, ha. I don’t mind that people are checking me out and watching my odd behavior. Free entertainment! LOL.

Seeing a neighbor standing on chairs with a tripod perched up there and snapping photos of a large dining table in the middle of a yard is a bit peculiar.  I tend to forget seeing things like that is not as common up here as it is in the larger cities in the Lower 48.

I explained I’m a Jane of Many Trades. I do faux finish and paint, style events, decorate, and I take pictures of my work so I can post it on my blog and add to my portfolio.

As everyone came by for a neighborly chat, I began losing light with a quickness.  This photo is a bit dark.

country style farmhouse dining table

And this very loved fur child of mine insisted on photo bombing quite a few of my shots.

That’s okay, though. He is my sweetpea gentle giant, baby.

Sebastian really wanted one of those apples. They are his favorite treats.

I’ve learned to work around him, which usually means stepping over him and mastering the crop tool in edits. Ha, ha.


Here are some of the details-

apple autumn decor

Crisp apples and pears in a basket lined with Spanish moss.

fall arrangement for dining table

Creamy white and pale blue hydrangeas are mixed in with a few faux pumpkins.

Ordinarily I would have used real pumpkins, but they weren’t available in the last days of August, which was when I photographed this dining table.
I had to shoot this before I went down to California to style the French Country Baby Shower, part 1, part 2, part 3. 

We never know what is going to happen with the weather up here. I was worried that it would be pouring rain when I came home. Which it was! And then I was worried the grass would be icky and fall would be over by the time I returned home. And fall is over.

Of course, Baby Boo pumpkins are available in all the stores now, just in time for the snow we got yesterday.


You read that right.

We had several inches of snow here in Anchorage.

 I feel like I just need to pull out my Christmas stuff and skip the whole fall decorating thing.

I just might begin pulling out Christmas.

Don’t be surprised if you see a tree or two cropping up in the background of some of the photos.

Pumpkins in the snow? Oh dear. I feel so seasonally confused.

Here is a handy pinnable graphic with close-ups of the details of the red farmhouse dining table

country style farmhouse kitchen table

This week I will be linking up with these ladies:

Courtney @ French Country Cottage, Feathered Friday

Anita @ Cedar Hill Farmhouse, The Scoop

Sherry @ The Charm of Home

Pamela @ From My Front Porch To Yours

Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique

Lucy @ Craftberry Bush

Linda @ Coastal Charm

Terry @ The Curators Collection

Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance

Betsy @My Salvaged Treasures

Michelle @ Weekend Craft

Maria @Dream.Create.Inspire

Andrea @The Cottage Market

Lynn @ Share Your Style Linky Party

Jillian @ Bella Rosa Antiques



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  1. Good Morning,
    I have a table exactly like this…I too am undecided on what exactly to do but I do know I want red. I love the color you used can you tell me what paint and process you used to get this color?

    1. Thank you so Rina. I love it too. It was a gamble doing red, but I did it anyway for that one person that must have a red dining table. 🙂

  2. Olivia, you did a fantastic job on your farm table and chairs. I really like that just the chairs are red. It’s hard to believe you have snow already even if you are in Alaska! Pinning:). Thank you so much for sharing your farmhouse dining table @ Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. I hope you will join us again tonight at 8 EST. Take care, Tara

    1. Thank you Tara. Thanks for pinning too. I appreciate it so much. You will definitely see more of me on your fab link party. I love those things. So much neat stuff to see and amazing creative people. I love it.


    2. Theses decorations are very pretty

      1. Hi Sara,
        Thank you very much! They were so easy and effortless to pull together. I love fresh flowers or dried combined with pumpkins.


  3. Hi Olivia! I just loved your red farmhouse table set… and your awesome display. They are featured for “Let’s Talk Vintage!” this week. Thanks so much for joining in!

    1. Hi Jill,
      Thank you so much for the feature. I’m thrilled that you liked this post so much to feature it. I will come by later on to see what is going on. Link parties are so awesome.

      Olivia 🙂

  4. Beautiful table and chairs….Love the red!

    I didn’t realize that you are from Anchorage. I have a friend that lives in Fairbanks and I’m always amazed at how early it snows there!

  5. Such a great makeover and thanks for sharing! Featuring this evening on The Painted Drawer Link Party!

  6. Wow! This is gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing at my Creative Ways Link Party! Hope you’ll be back again this week with more great posts!

  7. Olivia, the table and chairs are beautiful. I also like the red and the two different chairs. Please don’t edit Sabastian out of all the pictures. He made my day!!!! Thanks.

    1. Hi Sandi,
      Thank you. He is such a ham sometimes and other times he doesn’t let me take pictures of him. He has quite a big personality. LOL.

  8. Hi! I was so happy to see this post with the dining room table!! I tried to get this effect with mine a year or so ago using chalk paint, but totally failed and ended up just painting it. Can you tell me what you used on the table and how you did it? I would be forever grateful!!!
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Christie,
      I’m happy you liked the dining table. Which finish are you wondering about? The chairs are different from the table, but at the same time they are similar techniques, but the method of application is different.

      1. Just the one for the table.
        Thank you!

  9. Oh Wow! You really gave this set a new classy look! I’m glad you didn’t go with the black … I really like the richness of the colors you chose. Your photo’s are stunning as well! Thank you for sharing at Making Broken Beautiful this week!

    1. Hi Terry. Thank you so much. I’m glad I didn’t’ go with with black either. Thank you for noticing the photos. I have been working on learning about all the technical stuff with photography. It’s a lot to absorb. Hope you have a wonderful week.


  10. Hi Olivia–I’m visiting via Friday’s Furniture Fix. I’m happy to meet you and your blog. Love what you did with your farmhouse table and had to laugh along at your 1980s rants. I’m older than you, so I actually decorated with some of that lovely shade of blue and a few ducks, too. Hope you have a great week-end!

    1. Ha ha. Hi Diana. Thank you for stopping by. I’m happy you liked this post. 🙂 Hope you have a fantastic weekend too.