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Blog Cabin

Aug 5

Behind the Scenes: The Sand- and Seashell-Filled Table

Today, project manager Dylan Eastman shares the special experience of designing and sourcing material for that amazing dining room table. As of today, it’s the most pinned of our virtual tour images on Pinterest. You certainly do love it, as do we! See the dining table in our great room virtual tour and see the exclusive how-to project here.

In designing the kitchen table, I wanted to use reclaimed wood to counter some of the more refined elements in the front rooms. I also wanted to add color without relying heavily on place setting and flowers. With the coastal setting of this year’s house, I knew a beach motif (done right) would accent the wood while giving an additional dimension to the table. So I went on the hunt for local sea glass and shells.

Blog Cabin 2013 Seashell Dining Table

On the drive to Harker’s Island, I discovered a place call Captain Blaine’s, a store that sells fresh seafood and local crafts. The owner walks the beach regularly to collect shells and sea glass (which she sorts by color) to sell in the shop. I carefully picked through her inventory of beach treasures, looking for just the right colors and textures. Portions of bottles with imprinted text were saved. Remnants of old decorative glass windows were culled. Then I mixed in pearlescent sea scallops, iridescent witch’s nails and purple wampum to accent the glass.

After making my purchase, we chatted at length about the island and the origin of the glass and shells. Originally home to the Coree native American tribe, Harker’s Island attracted residents through the colonial period. In the late 1800s, hurricanes drove even more residents to the island from the storm-devastated outer banks. Until 1941, the only way on or off the island was by boat or ferry — it was not uncommon for residents to cast household debris (back then, mostly wood-, porcelain- or glass-based) into the sound. I figured that most of the sea glass I selected was between 70 and 100 years old.

During the table build, sand from our beach on the Core Sound was laid out to dry under the cabin cam. LEDs were run around the interior perimeter of the table to give a 21st-century accent. Then show host Chris Grundy and Kitchen Crashers host Alison Victoria carefully completed the beach motif by placing each piece of glass or shell in its perfect location. A signed message in a bottle was even left for the future winner of this home. Finally, a piece of clear glass was set over the motif to complete the top. In the end, this table represents the history of our house, the history of the coast and a modern take on upcycling.

  • Posted at 11:14 am on August 8, 2013
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356 Comments

  1. Wonderful story and 'How To' project. Thanks Dylan for your care, artistry and skill. I for one don't think you're a "paid PR mouthpiece for DIY" as has been said by a blogger recently. :) xD:D<3

    AnniesOwn on August 5, 2013 at 11:25 am
    • I love the idea and the glass and sea shells. Living in Florida, this gives me numerous ideas! Thanks.

      surf and sand on August 6, 2013 at 7:53 am
    • Well Annie as you can probably have guessed, neither do I. ;)

      540sam on August 9, 2013 at 6:06 am
    • Natural enthusiasm shines through any slick marketing. People can tell. Thanks for sharing…loved seeing all of the images. Would love even more to sit down for dinner at that marvelous table…it's like a fable table…

      Chari_L on August 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm
  2. That is truly a neat DIY table! Thanks for the story too!!!! Hey, PS Bloggers, I got my reminder today so am taking the string off my finger:D

    nanwes on August 5, 2013 at 11:37 am
  3. That table is my absolute favorite (among many) of the hand crafted treasures from the BC this year! It is so original and absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much Dylan Eastman, for all your wonderfully crafted projects and also for bringing us this description of how you chose the theme and giving us instructions to build this incredible table. :D How I will envy the lucky winner of all these treasures! :p<3

    SID on August 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm
    • I totally agree Sandy!! I am going to try to get one of my sons to follow directions and make me one! haha I would love it to turn out like this one. Sooooo beautiful. By the way Ms Lucky if you win….I want to come visit at least once!! haha Much Love!! <3<3<3<3

      Rebecca on August 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    • Rebecca, If by some miracle lightning struck twice and I won you would most certainly be welcome!<3xD

      SID on August 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm
    • Oh and Rebecca, I forgot to say how wonderful if one of your sons can build that table for you, that would be even more special to have one specially made for Mom!<3

      SID on August 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    • Sandy, I think I already pegged you as the winner with your sincere optimism. And then with your coaster win, I think you are a shoe-in, or a shew-in, or a shoo-in, pick all.
      WCG

      Wind Chime Girl on August 8, 2013 at 2:18 am
  4. Awesome story, Dylan and thank you Mary, cor posting it. Sea glass.is one of my favorite thongs to collect.

    grammagail on August 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm
  5. Dylan, I've been waiting for intro and info about this wonderful table! The ONLY regret I have is that it is not longer! <3 The concept is brilliant and, being a lover of everything history, you nailed it!! PUN INTENDED! :D Between Chris, Alison and your artful eyes, pieces of history are alive again to be beheld by all who draw near that wonderful table…. kind of a shame to put plates and place mats on it. Can the table be moved, without the treasures jiggling out of place? And just one more itty bitty question, Dylan, just wonderin' what happened to the piece of eight sample Bloggie Pirate Mel found along the old dock? :D Woulda' looked nice under that subtle lighting? LOL! It's Perfect, Dylan, really! B)^_^:p<3 Kitty

    DwnSoDwnEaster on August 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm
  6. I love this table…..it says so much about the house and area…….

    twoterriers on August 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm
  7. Thanks for the story.I have a few shells left from my banks trips,most of my shells were given away to friends.

    TonyE on August 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  8. What a great project! It sure does look amazing. :)

    MGYinSC on August 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm
  9. This is one of my favorite projects! Years ago as I went through a rough time, my uncle walked along the shore with me and kept picking up the sea glass to add to his collection. We talked through a lot of what was going on. He told me how he always wondered if some of the pieces were some that his brothers, my dad, may have added to the ocean in their younger years. After that….it gave me a sweet memory of my uncle, my dad, so I'm fond of sea glass.

    Trish on August 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm
  10. Dying to know what the message in the bottle says!!!! The only other thing missing are some footprints in the sand….. Hmmmmmm……I Would've added a flip flop and a gull foot print. I'm not artistic perhaps a little tacky. But this project is totally kool. This is so much better than a glass table top where you can look down at chubby thighs.

    Ashtabulannie on August 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm
    • thighs– and maybe the face of a dog begging for treats, LOL. :o

      LLColeman on August 8, 2013 at 2:41 am

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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