I love having a dining room table. Mine is chrome & formica, likely from the early 60s. It's pretty unique; I've only seen one photo of a similar formica.
I got it for $25 after my parents' long-time next door neighbor died. The man who bought the property was tearing down the house and getting rid of everything inside. I was die-hard into mid-century kitsch at the time, and $25 was a steal. It came with two white vinyl & chrome chairs, too, but they were in very poor shape. I didn't keep them (I had about 8 mid-century chrome and vinyl chairs at one point), but I sorta wish I had, now that I know I can clean up and recover chairs! C'est la vie.
The table is my favorite, most versatile area of our home. I am so surprised by how many people in the minimalist world choose not to have a table. I would choose a table over a couch, an easy chair, or a desk. We use our table for everything. It's where we eat. Where we read. Where Kaden works on his thesis. Where we pay bills. Where we congregate when we have folks over. Where we drink beers and talk some talk. And it has been in the last few homes we've lived in. Even when we were living with Cree and Kristina, we were hanging out at their kitchen table every night while they ate and did homework in the livingroom in front of the tv.
There is always room for the table.
When we were in high school, Cree's mom moved to a new house, and there was already a kitchen table in the kitchen. The first night, after helping move, we sat at the table, shooting the breeze. I remember feeling so firmly, and expressing, that a kitchen table is the best place to be. Later in high school, when we had parties and would be drinking and smoking at the same table, I still felt the same.
Cree and I moved to an apartment together shortly before high school graduation. I wanted a table so badly; I hated eating on my lap on the couch. Some other friends expressed that that was how they preferred to eat. Eating at a table felt formal and uncomfortable to them. My attachment to table eating may possibly have something to do with my being a messy eater, but I prefer to think it's because my family sat down to dinner together every night while I was growing up (they don't any more; the table is usually covered in crap, but that's a different story!). When we visit Kaden's folks, we always sit at the table for hours after dinner, chatting, Kaden's dad playing records.
A table is essential to my home life. No matter how tiny of a house we end up with or how minimalist we may become, the table will be the heart of the home.
(1. at my current house. 2. close up of formica. 3. at my Legion Way house, 2008. 4. Bellingham, 2010. 5. Legion Way, 2008.)