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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. Neat story behind the goodies under the glass. I've a cousin, who while living on St Thomas, started a jewelry company using found sea glass and jeweler's wire. Each of the pieces of old glass has a story and I wish I could learn just one of them.

    DGustaf on August 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm
  2. What a teriffic job of telling us about your great finds and the " original table " in the Blog Cabin. Each time I think that I have heard the best, you come up with, and continue to show us something just as great. This has been an interesting event with Blog Cabin 2013 from start right up to the present including the weekly shows each Monday night. Will be watching again tonight with interest. My thanks to all of you for this wonderful home. Nan ;) <3 ;) <3

    Nan on August 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm
  3. Beach Glass and Message in a Bottle are two of my favorites. My husband John has forever been the best beach glass finder on the shores of Lake Michigan in Michigan. He and I have been going up there for 20 years to our friends lake house on Lake Michigan. When we would walk down the beach in the morning he would always find the colorful ones and end up with more than I found, he would have a field day there in the North Carolina sound and shore. One of my favorite books by Nicholas Sparks is Message in a bottle and the movie with Kevin Costner and Paul Newman was put together so well. True love, a favorite quote from there, "If I've learned one thing in life it is that sometimes you've got to take a chance."
    Excellent presentation of creating a table that reflects the Outer Banks. <3<3

    Michelle on August 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm
  4. I have never collected sea glass before. Looking forward to it!

    Kathiann M on August 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm
  5. I have a small collection of glass from our visits to the area. It is fun to take the girls to search after a big storm. Thanks for sharing a very creative idea- glad to see local treasures added throughout the house.

    julie on August 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm
  6. That table is so adorable.Would love it in my homexD

    MaryPA on August 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm
  7. Dear Mary and Mr. Eastman, Thank you for a wonderful story about how the Beautiful Dining Room table was created…So much love and thought went into the beautiful table to capture the seaside treasures. Loved the wonderful collectibles… Mr Eastman, I was happy that you mentioned the table Deco could be changed. I mentioned that when I took the first virtual tour and saw the table, I thought that would be great for Fall Season and Christmas among other Special occasions….Love that Idea…I also really liked the lighting…A center piece and also a lovely conversation piece.<3 After seeing Kitchen Crashers tonight with Victoria and Chris I saw they wrote their notes for the bottle. I'm glad the New Owner will have their message and Signature, that is so Special for the Winner..I know I would love it….I just wished 'All the Designers' had Autographed a sign to displayed in the Cottage they Designed.. Lots of love they put into their work and fun was had by all…Great Job Everyone !!!<3^_^

    Jennie/Florida on August 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm
    • I'm so Sorry dear 'Alison' Victoria, it's late and I had a long day!! Please forgive me^_^B)<3

      Jennie/Florida on August 6, 2013 at 12:00 am
  8. Love that wraparound porch and just….. everything! Everywhere you look is perfection. I agree with all you regular bloggers…..this one is the best yet……it's calling to ME! Can't wait! haha

    Tea'n'Cakes on August 6, 2013 at 12:24 am
  9. Enjoy these stories about local history. The table is priceless in my book. Such a great jesture of thoughtfulness from the team to make this house a home.

    Sherx on August 6, 2013 at 1:32 am
  10. Love this project! Hooray for Dylan! :)

    Are you guys doing all your entering and finger-crossing???

    Laurie http://blog.hgtvremodels.com/2013/08/05/outdoor-s… :*

    Laurie_March on August 6, 2013 at 1:37 am
    • Yes Laurie, we are.

      vicki_in_Utah on August 6, 2013 at 10:02 am
    • Hey Laurie, Do you have any idea about the locals and how they feel about any of us winners living in the Robinsons' home? I've been getting the impression we might not be too welcome, so don't know if I want to continue entering. Thank for any ideas you might have. Thanks also for all the beautiful remodels and info. This 63 year old lady and her retired Marine have done some pretty big remodels over the years and it's great to see the professionals.

      nanwes on August 6, 2013 at 11:33 am
    • nanwes, shouldn't you continue to enter, regardless? If you win and move, you see if you find your fit. If not, you can always sell and net $200,000.

      Lindingo on August 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    • I'm going to continue to enter, I agree, even if I don't feel welcome or it's too cold I could sell l it. Though if I were lucky enough to win it, it'd be hard to give up this beauty. I guess it's not something to worry about, I've never won anything, so don't think it's something that'll happen, but I can dream. Thanks Lindingo! :D

      nanwes on August 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm
    • Nancy I've moved around and also traveled quite a lot, and I've found that wherever you are if you treat people with kindness and respect most folks respond with the same. You sound like a very nice person, so I've a feeling if you win the local residents will accept you as a neighbor. Good luck with those entries!

      SID on August 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm
    • Thank you and good luck to you also, you've already started your luck, hopefully it will continue. I can tell from the way you talk that you are also a very nice person and am certain you will be welcomed into the community if your winning continues to the beautiful blog cabin itself! :D Good luck and good day!!!

      nanwes on August 7, 2013 at 9:17 am
    • It sounds like Maine with the same impression to outsiders but when you live here you find out they are right there if you need serious help. They may giggle as they watch you survive your first winter, but if a life threatening storm dumps over twenty inches they will be at your door in their snowmobile asking if you are OK and can they get anything for you while they are in town.

      grammagail on August 7, 2013 at 9:50 am
    • I'm sure of that. If you think of the movie 'Message in a Bottle' they were quite cold to outsiders, but when the outsiders needed help or emotional support, whatever you want to call it, they were right there. :)

      nanwes on August 7, 2013 at 10:28 am
    • Hey!

      Every single local we bumped into – from the places we ate lunch, to the grocery store, to the neighbors – were all very welcoming, funny, and curious. They seemed intrigued about the entire process, and were happy to hear the home was on a new journey.

      Rest assured – the winner will be very welcome! I hope it helps ease your mind on the subject.

      I hope you'll keep entering for a chance to win – this home is incredible!

      Laurie_March on August 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm
    • I'm sure the people are wonderful, we'll all keep entering, it's a beautiful and incredible home!!!!:D<3

      nanwes on August 10, 2013 at 9:39 am
    • You bett'cha Laurie!

      SID on August 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm
    • and wishing upon a star or all the stars.

      twoterriers on August 6, 2013 at 7:42 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 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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