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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  1. A bit more history about beautiful Hacker's Island:,_Nort

    ChicagoBirder on August 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm
  2. We still have to find out what the note says. Maybe the winner will share.

    540sam on August 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm
  3. Thank you Dylan Eastman for the beautiful, nautical table filled with local treasures. It is so creative and such a conversation piece to share with family and friends. This cabin keeps on giving! Best wishes and good health to everyone!!

    donna white on August 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm
  4. Terrific story!
    Great table project — fits in perfect with the region and it's history.
    Amazing look!
    Collecting Sea shells and sea glass are a favorite memory from past beach visits, your table is not only perfect for showing collected items of the region, but reminicising about a collection of pleasurable memories of enjoying this beautiful part of our country!

    Lester B. on August 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm
  5. Such a fun project and a lovely addition to the Blog Cabin! In looking at the photos on Pinterest, I was able to see a close up of the mantle clock. (I had mentioned earlier that I have one from my father's family that is very similar.) The close up photo shows that the wood casing is the the same, same carvings, beading, etc. However my clock has ornate gold design on the glass front and a heavier, more ornate pendulum. It makes me curious if the two clocks once sat on shelf together, waiting to find a family to love them. :-)

    Downonthefarm on August 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm
  6. I always wanted to find a message in a bottle something mysterious and romantic about it. I can't wait to read the message in the bottle assuming the glass can be lifted up off the wood frame. We could add our own finds also. From an artists point of view, Great concept and creativity.

    lfinicle on August 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm
  7. Nice touch! The view from the Cape Lookout Light House is pretty terrific. The lighthouse has only been open to climb for around two years. 207 steps to the top! The view is worth it. By the way, Cape Lookout is called the Cape by the locals. You can get a boat ride over to the Cape from Capt' Calico Jack round trip for just $10 each. What a deal! Next, year the Washington folks take over the ferry service. Watch for a BIG price increase. Most locals do not care much for those fella's in Washington. (Little Washington is okay, but not the other Washington.)

    Disclaimer: I do not live or work on HI. However, their mosquitoes do fly our way once in a while.

    deleted4442132 on August 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm
    • Yep,what he said.

      TonyE on August 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm
    • The lighthouse has been open to climb off and on for much longer than 2 years. It was closed for a period of time for renovations and has been RE opened for two or three years now. That cycle has been repeated a few times in my life.

      Us NC residents are looking forward to having public ferry service to the Cape. It will likely be much much cheaper. To give you an example, to get from Cedar Island to Ocracoke, which is a much longer ride than to the Cape (2 plus hours) currently costs 1 dollar if you don't bring a car. 10 times less than the private ferry service charges now.

      lulubelle13 on September 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm
  8. Great story and terrific local color! Beautiful job!

    Lia_M on August 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm
  9. when I came to the blog oh how I loved seeing another new thread. More and more we learn and passionately love our home. I think I can not love it more and be so fansinated in awe over it but I can . You guys built such a wonderful home and all I hear is how beautiful, peaceful, friendly tight knit the home place Atlantic is. Congrats Sid. I know you will enjoy the coasters and have pleasant thougths about this home. Excited to watch blog cabin2013 tonight. I also agree everything is beautiful and seems to have story of its own. I enjoyed story about table-how fanasating. Nothing is more sentimental than things with story. I am on line twice and doing postcards and praying everynight. We went to gulf shores for few days and surprizing 2 story condo, turbo jets flying by practice, canal similar to Core Sound, pier-looking to see what was done to see if would work blog cabin, etc. and mostly beautiful sun set. No worries there:DB):D

    bogartandbacall on August 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm
  10. The table is one of my favorite items/projects in the house. I love sea shells, so whenever I'm at the shore, I enjoy a casual walk to hunt for these treasures.

    Thank you for all the creative ideas & projects that are included in this year's Blog Cabin. I can tell so much thought & care go into each project you do.

    Thank you DIY Gang for all you do for that one lucky winner!!

    JanNY on August 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

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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 will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida 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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