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. I love the table-it reminds me of the table my kids played on when they were younger on our trips to see their doctor in Chapel Hill. They have Cystic Fibrosis & in the pediatric unit they had tables with magnets underneath to move sea creatures around in the enclosed sand. They are older now & don't play with the tables when we go but I think this is awesome & I want to build a table like this. I have shells they collected over the years when we have been to the beach & this would be nice to do. Oh, what a blessing it would be to win the home & I wish everyone good luck on winning it. I hope whoever wins it will make some happy memories there-I know we would.-my kids love the beach & fishing but haven't done much over the past few yrs. but would if we had a place like this to go to. Well thank you diy for giving me a chance to dream & God Bless You for making such a beautiful place.

    Daisie on August 6, 2013 at 4:43 am
    • Daisie, Kids LOVE sand tables. Sounds like they have cool doc who knows this, too. Awesome! I met a young mom a year/two ago who reminded me of my daughter. I even told her so. She shared with me about her child who has cystic fibrosis. I was so touched by her story that I couldn't help myself in adding to her mini vacation that evening. And….I've kept their family in prayer when I think of them. Thank you for reminding me of this family. There are MANY beautiful places, but this one….yep….we can sigh and appreciate it!
      Have an exceptional day.

      Trish on August 6, 2013 at 11:15 am
  2. Great story! I love the way you're incorporating history into the house. Can't wait to see more!

    Dawn on August 6, 2013 at 6:24 am
  3. I thought this was a great way to bring in the natural surroundings. Can the new owner add their own "treasures" down the road? I mentioned this table to my mother who lives in Daytona that this would be the unique coffee table idea she is looking for!

    Emily on August 6, 2013 at 7:16 am
    • Emily, I read the article. It says the "treasures" can be changed seasonally if wanted. I had the same question. I've noticed a coffee table in a friend's home and have always thought how cool it was! I've kept my eye opened for one since. We have a Daytona cup….but it's my husband's treasure he collected when he lived in Florida. We have several Florida cups that could be put on display inside a coffee table. Hope your mother finds her table, too. :)

      Trish on August 6, 2013 at 11:20 am
  4. AAArrrgh matees! You all will have us wanting to walk the plank! He-Hee! That message in the bottle will drive us all whacko! (What a brilliant idea!) LOVE IT!^_^

    amberPA on August 6, 2013 at 8:39 am
  5. Oh yeah, maybe a map of sunken treasure (maybe one of Black Beard's supposed sinkings!) That would be great…..we all would love that adventure. That would sure make for conversation around the dining table!^_^

    amberPA on August 6, 2013 at 8:43 am
    • As a boy, we were always looking for Black Beard's treasure. Never quite found it, but I heard the other day that some upstater "thinks" he found Black Beard's ship near the Beaufort habor. I still doubt it is true. Why would any respectable man like Black Beard want to go to Beaufort when he could have come to God's country at Atlantic? Even today when I put my shovel into the sand, I listen for a metal sound hoping to hit the BIG one!

      HuntingQuarters on August 6, 2013 at 9:25 am
    • Wouldn't that be something! Good luck to you each shovel full of sand! ^_^

      amberPA on August 7, 2013 at 8:11 am
    • Ah Ha so all those "treasures" at the Beaufort Maritime Museum of Black Beard's ship the Queen Anne's Revenge are fake????

      HQ you are a hoot…..history shows Blackbeard was killed at Ocracoke, ever spied Teach's hole?
      Of course ye have. Those waters of Beaufort are still in Carteret County….so Atlantic, NC be close enough fer me to remember the meanest ole salt thar ever were, Black Beard. Thanks fer lettin' the blog know Blackbeard's treasure still thar in te mucky marsh……never found by lad or lassie in Atlantic…

      Mel on August 8, 2013 at 6:30 am
    • Mel, you really know you stuff! You should be a pirate at one of those shows and give tours or something! I've not been to Teach's hole, but my son has books and books about him and the treasures, etc…he really got into it when a few years back we all went on a boat tour along Beaufort and we were told several stories about Black Beard (Mr. Teach) and his many wives, and where one lived along the shoreline there. It was just after the 1st Pirate's of the Caribbean movie came out and we all were having great fun with it! ^_^

      amberPA on August 8, 2013 at 7:28 am
    • Thanks Amber!
      Isn't it just lovely to see a young person using their imagination while hearing a great story?
      I'm glad your family had such a lovely time at Beaufort learning about the fearsome Mr. Teach :)

      Mel on August 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm
    • Yes it is Mel, I work at the Elementary school here and see so many little boys who don't care how to read, I always say…what about Black Beard? They ALWAYS jump right on that! I think if my son had his way, he would put one of his books right in that dining table along with more memorabilia on Black Beard (Mr. Teach) and maybe a scull/cross bones flag! He-hee! AAArrggghh!^_^ All in fun and seeking an adventure!

      Have a great day Mel!

      amberPA on August 9, 2013 at 7:04 am
    • Mel, I stand corrected on Black Beard's flag…! My son is now much older and he set me straight! Sorry! He-hee!

      amberPA on August 9, 2013 at 7:23 am
  6. Good Morning guys!!! How is everyone today? I loved last nights show with the Kitchen Crashers. You know I love all of the guys from DIY but I really I really think my favorite is Chris Grundy. He is just so funny. He really is a character! When I saw the snapping turtle "Mr. Wizard" it really brought back memories of when my boys were young. They loved brining home snapping turtles and box turtles. They drove me crazy with all the things they would bring home! haha Oh and the table, it is just amazing! Job well done guys!!! Much Love!! <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

    Rebecca on August 6, 2013 at 8:45 am
    • Good morning Rebecca, I was happy when I found out Chris Grundy was going to be the host again this year. I think this should be his official duty, to be the permanent host for the BC's.

      vicki_in_Utah on August 6, 2013 at 10:01 am
    • I agree! He is just so lively and funny. Such a great personality. I love all of them but he truly is my favorite. Much Love!! <3<3<3<3

      Rebecca on August 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm
    • Rebecca, snapping turtles? I wouldn't mind the box turtles…but snapping? nope, nope, nope

      Trish on August 6, 2013 at 11:22 am
    • Yes they even came home with snakes! They are boys what can I say. I was always worried about them when they were outside playing with friends because of the creek and the wooded areas. They just really love animals as I do and were always wanting to keep anything they found no matter what it was. Much Love!! <3<3<3<3

      Rebecca on August 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm
    • Ha ha, Rebecca, my poor mother put up with me bringing home all sorts of critters I'd captured, and here I was a GIRL! There were lizards, turtles, once a mouse that I held onto even after it bit me! I was also always rescuing and fostering something that I found had fallen from a nest ( several baby birds and once even a baby squirrel) – my dear Mom understood and never complained. Precious memories now! :D <3

      SID on August 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm
    • And I thought it was bad when my kids would bring home frogs and tadpoles! Becky

      bythebaydreamer on August 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm
    • Oh they had them too. They would take the small pool that was outside and make it a small pond. I miss those times. They drove me crazy but I wouldn't have traded it for the world. I think back now and just laugh. Much Love!! <3<3<3<3

      Rebecca on August 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm
    • <3

      SID on August 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm
  7. As a young boy, I would search the beach areas near Atlantic for "Messages in a Bottle." Actually, I have found at least three bottles in my lifetime. Can't reveal the messages because they were private, but it was exciting to write people who had sent the messages. You hit a homerun with the table!!!

    HuntingQuarters on August 6, 2013 at 9:16 am
  8. Today's Next Question to Help Prepare You to MOVE into your new community of Atlantic, NC. Like the first question, this question is important.

    What is the area called by the locals where Atlantic is located? (Hint: The area consists of around 17 communities.)

    deleted4442132 on August 6, 2013 at 9:20 am
    • Hunting Quarter

      grammagail on August 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
    • Good guess! That would explain the deletions. :)

      Lindingo on August 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    • Down East.

      TonyE on August 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm
  9. Naturally, the Crystal Coast is the perfect place for Dylan Eastman's brilliantly creative beachcombers dining room table. For me, it will always serve as a wonderful reminder of this amazing Blog Cabin's reincarnation whenever and wherever I see shells by the seashore — as well as a beachy and very handsome dining room conversation piece for the lucky winner.

    Speaking of buried treasure, I wonder if the message in the bottle is in the form of a big check — with a memo that says "Welcome Home."

    DBCoop on August 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
    • Coop,
      "Speaking of buried treasure, I wonder if the message in the bottle is in the form of a big check — with a memo that says "Welcome Home." "

      To quote Mel, "(H) aarrr!" You know – Har! Like in har-de-har-har!
      Oh, come on, that's funny.

      Wind Chime Girl on August 8, 2013 at 2:42 am
    • Gotta love ya lol

      coolsmiley on August 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    • So true, and I like your message in the bottle very much.

      twoterriers on August 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm
    • Personally, I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      nanwes on August 10, 2013 at 9:37 am
  10. loved watching the table being constructed on DIY last night……

    twoterriers on August 6, 2013 at 10:50 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 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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