“ Brand: Ikea / Type: Table „
When I decided to buy a table for my kitchen, I knew exactly what I was looking for; I did not want anything high gloss or too ornate, I wanted a table that looked fairly simple and which would not be damaged by constant wiping down. In addition it had to be flexible regarding the size - either seating the four of us comfortably or ten or more people when we have friends and family round. Choosing the Stornas table was a good decision; it has been extremely hard wearing and stable, and it cost us a very reasonable £299 from IKEA.
Like most IKEA furniture, the table came flat packed in a very large and heavy box. It would have been impossible for me to get it home on my own.
The table is made from solid pine, but the struts that support the various panels are made of birch. The look of the table is practical and fairly rustic; the table top is made out of cuboid dowels of pine, each one measuring 2.5cm by 3cm and in a variety of lengths. These are bonded to make one solid surface, but with the lines of the lengths of wood still showing through, making it obvious that it was not one whole piece of wood that was originally used for construction. I quite like this design as each of the cuboids varies a little in colour, especially as the table top has aged; each strip in a slightly different way. Over the years the strips have become more separate and obvious, with some of them very light, and some of the darker, but all of them showing the wood grain and small knots which reveal it to be genuine wood.
The table is available in antique stain or a brown/ black colour, and I chose the antique pine as I prefer a natural wood colour every time.
The table is sturdy and useful, with four large square legs measuring 6cm by 6cm. The legs are not at the far end of each corner of the table, but some way in towards the centre, which I prefer.
The table can be used as a small table, seating four to six people, but can also be extended by inserting an extra panel in the middle. This panel measures 45cm by 105cm and is usually kept hidden underneath the table on a supporting structure.
The table top in the small size formation consists of two panels, measuring 78cm by 105cm and 3cm deep. They make a table size of 201cm by 105cm, which sits six people very comfortably. When the two panels are pushed together the gap between them is barely noticeable, but there is no device which keeps them locked together, so you do have to constantly push them closed.
To extend the table, you need to slide the two panels apart. When they are fully extended, the third panel is revealed, stored underneath the table top in a lengthwise direction and supported by struts. This is completely hidden from view but can be lifted out and placed in the middle of the table, so that when the two original panels are pushed back together, the table top has a length of 293cm and now has three panels. As before, there is no device to keep these panels together, so you have to remember to push them together all the time. When fully extended the table can easily sit ten people and I have also sat twelve people around it fairly comfortably.
The height of the table is 74cm, which seems very comfortable and is perfect for the IKEA Kaustby chairs that I bought to match the table.
The table arrives with three flat rectangular panels of wood, a lot of short and long lengths of wood for struts and runners, four legs, four sturdy metal corner brackets and seemingly hundreds of assorted screws and metal widgets. I won't pretend that putting it together was either a quick or an easy job; it definitely takes two people working together to assemble the table, and you definitely need to leave a whole afternoon to do the job, so that you can follow the instructions carefully.
As usual with IKEA, the instruction leaflet is without words, relying on explicit diagrams and examples of line drawn people to give you the information. You basically have to make the table from scratch; attaching the running boards and assorted hardware, making up a door-height wooden frame and attaching it to the panels of the table top, and then inserting the paraphernalia to attach the extra panel which is kept hidden inside the structure.
It did take us hours to assemble, but it was not an overly demanding or complicated job as long as we followed the instructions slowly and carefully - step by small step.
Over the years the table has been used as a homework desk , an art table, a model construction bench, a family eating table, and a table to entertain our friends. It has never wobbled, even though we sit on it, put heavy weights on it (when my boys had a paper round and had to sort their papers) and generally treat it very roughly.
The table top has faded considerably and mellowed over the years, but the extra leaf that is stored away underneath the table top for most of the time, has obviously not faded in the same way. I have tried to expose it as much as possible, but our table is more useful in the small formation so this has been hard. As a result, the middle slat is still a rather bright orange colour, standing out from the other paler slats on either side. I have tried various polishes and coloured wax to remedy this, but nothing seems to help.
The other small niggle is that the wood has warped a very tiny bit over the years, so that the gap between the panels is slightly more noticeable. This is not a big problem, but still one that I can see.
The surface itself has suffered only slightly from everyday use. A couple of deep scratches, a little round circle where a teenage boy slammed the salt grinder down in a temper - nothing serious and all marks of a normal family life that I rather like to see.
This is not a posh table for a formal dining room; it is a heavy and solid table that is ideal for the rough and tumble of family life. It ages well and you will not be too distraught if slight marks appear over the years, as this adds to the character.
My friends love to come round for dinner and sit around my big ten seater table - and the table has made my kitchen the focus of family and social life.