Newest Review: ... and there is plenty of room for two children to play. Overall I do recommend the Pencil Table with Chairs as a lovely little nursery s... more
Pencil this set in if you have small children!
Pencil Table with Chairs
Member Name: chrisandmark
Pencil Table with Chairs
Advantages: Gorgeous design, durable over an entire decade, comfortable for kids of all ages
Disadvantages: The legs are very slippery on wooden floors
When my older girls were quite a bit younger they shared a bedroom, which we decorated in bright stimulating colours as by this time Mark was decidedly bored of my beloved pink. Well, they ARE girls... I picked this table and chairs set up in Domestics, an (at the time) ex-catalogue store near where we lived at the time - if I remember correctly, and I'm pretty sure I do, the set cost £25 which I thought represented good value for wooden furniture.
The design is very clever; I bought ours ten years ago and although 'pencil' stuff is relatively commonplace now, at the time I know for a fact that no one in our 'circle' had anything so unusual for their kids! The legs of the table and two chairs have been exchanged for oversized pencils, as has the back frame of the chairs. It's well done, the pencils are the opposite way up to the one shown in Dooyoo's piccie with the rubbers sitting on the floor - obviously the 'points' of the pencils have been blunted down, but the tapering still makes them slightly more dangerous than flattened chair backs. I remember Alice running into an upturned chair (no idea!) when she was six years old, the bruise she ended up with was horrendous and from that point on I was always wary of them darting around near these chairs.
It should have been a flat pack set but ours was the (pristine) display model so arrived already put together. We did, however, have cause to dismantle it all when our furniture went into storage and it was incredibly easy to do - so easy in fact that this DIY numpty managed to unbolt the table legs while Mark made light work of the chairs. They went back together quickly and easily too, leaving the table and chairs as sturdy as they were before their six month hiatus.
And this has been an incredibly sturdy set, there's no wobble whatsoever on any of the three pieces which makes them so versatile. Over the years it's been used as an arts table, they've eaten their dinner off it (with mini table cloth!), played with cars on the surface of the table and more recently their younger sister has taken to using it to do her homework on. The chairs fit so perfectly underneath the table that its actually proving to be ideal for Hollie, the older girls' didn't tend to get writing homework at her age so this is the first time it's been used specifically for writing tasks and I must say she looks very comfortable while sitting down!
Considering the age of this relatively cheap table and chairs I'm surprised that it's still in fabulous condition. The wood feels pretty soft to the touch so it really should have more than a few very light (non paint penetrating) gouges in the table top and a mysterious scratch on one chair leg, which I'm sure was done deliberately by a tantruming (then) eight year old Charlotte. The bright primary colours are as vivid as they were on the day I bought the set, Mark revarnished it a couple of years ago after we accidentally left it outside for the weekend - luckily there was no sun fading to the colours but the pieces lost their sheen, a slick of clear varnish sorted this out and gave particularly the red table top a new lease of life.
If I had to complain about one thing it would be that the 'rubber' end if the pencils are not actually rubbery at all and the table and chairs are extremely slippery. It took us a few years to notice this as its only recently we've made the change from carpet to wooden flooring; on carpet there's no problem at all and even on actual wooden flooring the slipperiness isn't too bad, but on laminate the chairs can literally slide two feet away when a kiddie sits down on them. This can be dangerous at times but we've drummed it into the kids that they have to be mega careful when sitting down, and also that it's not a very good idea to start shoving the table around. I suppose you could deal with this easily by gluing some rubber to the legs yourself, but as we've just bought our dream house we've decided to update the kids' bedrooms with new furniture - including a new table set for Hollie and David to use as they're going to be sharing for a while. Bizarrely I listed this set on Ebay on Saturday and today was offered £35 for it, a profit of a tenner on what I paid a decade ago!
The set is suitable for children of three years and above, and this is spot on. Alice had just turned three years old when I bought it and despite being a tiny little thing (now at thirteen she's taller than me!) she was able to perch on the chairs comfortably and reach onto the table to do whatever she was sitting there for. Charlotte then was five and I always loved watching them playing together while sitting at this very funky table and chairs - it remained in use until Alice was nine, then went into storage and by the time it came out Hollie was just about ready for it as an inquisitive two and a half year old. I'm sorry that David won't get to use this table and chairs, but I feel it's come to the end of its lifespan for us and want something quirky again as so many people seem to have this (or similar) sets now.
From floor to tabletop the table measures 42cm and the seat height of the chairs is 22cm, this makes it a low set for older children but the seats are nice and wide so coupled with the strong chair backs it makes them good for taller kids to lounge on. I know Charlotte (at just over five feet) can sit reasonably comfortably on the chairs still, they're obviously not her first choice for seating but if she's messing around with Hollie she'll happily perch herself down for a while.
I think you've guessed by now that I really love this little furniture set and will actually be sorry to see it go as it's been a part of our surroundings for so long, still I'm pleased that it's going to another family who has a little girl as I'm sure it'll be loved for many years to come.
Summary: A gorgeous table and chairs set for kiddies, whether for art and craft work or use as a dining table