Place: A New England Dining Room 07.01.2013

Back in May, I asked readers to send me photos of their dining rooms and the stories behind their tables. This is the first story I'm sharing. Keep those photos and stories coming:

Here's my dining room early in the morning as I'm about to sit down with my coffee to check email and read the news online. I use this room, and specifically my table, to lay out my portrait paintings to apply the final protective coat. They must dry flat to prevent drips. It's also the workbench when I'm creating the lamps I hope to sell. This table is the perfect size to arrange patterns, cut them out, and sew the many barbie dresses I make for Lily and Miles.

But the best use of this table is when we use it for family dinner nights, when we sit around and encourage two small picky eaters to try different things. I get to catch up on the goings and comings of my daughter's busy family, and she doesn't have to cook or clean up, which makes her very happy.

When I moved to New England from Bethesda, I left behind my Crate and Barrel glass topped table. I bought this one, including chairs, for $150 thanks to Craigs List, from a woman who was downsizing and moving into her daughter's home. She was tearful when I arrived for the pick-up, but I promised to treat her family dining table with love and care, which I have.