How to make a dining room table – the modern take on the classic style

How to make a dining room table – the modern take on the classic style

When it comes to this blog, I share all about me decorating my home. However, I decorate my home and would be regardless of this blog. Which means things get done in my house that never get turned into blog posts. Such as my dining room table! I know, this is a big project. But, I am here now to fix this with todays post, How to make a dining room table – the modern take on the classic style.

how to make a farmhouse table - an updated and modern flair with a coastal feel!

I feel like I want to add that this is not your Grandma’s farmhouse table, not that there is anything wrong with your Grandmas table. I am sure it is lovely. Or anything wrong with the classic farmhouse table, there is a reason it is classic. What I did is what felt right for my home. I went with a different table top, doing the planks in a herringbone pattern. Also staining the wood a pretty and oh-so-coastal gray color. Even adding in the galvanized pipe brings this into a more modern realm. Anyways, let’s get this post going!

To begin my happy place in the table measures 4 feet wide, 5 feet long and 32 inches high. I made this just a tiny bit higher than a standard 30 inch high table, it really comes down to preference. This size allows comfortably 6 to sit at the table, but could squeeze in two on each end and one more on each side, bringing the grand total to 10 if people don’t mind loosing some elbow room. I also did not do a standard rectangle table. It is technically rectangle, but does have a wider look to it.

The table starts with this plywood piece, this will be what the tabletop is based on. To change up the standard farmhouse look I am creating an angled look, similar to a herringbone pattern. I split the table down the center and then will angle the boards on either side of the center.

Cut the wide plank wood pieces down to desired size, I chose a 1 inch thick pine wood plank for the top. With varying details and knots to add character. To fit them I cut a 45 degree angle at one side.

Add the cut piece to the table, and continue cutting the boards. I marked a spot on my plywood that was in the center so I knew where each boards should go. There is a really simple way to cut the boards, leave the longer board to overlap the plywood. Then draw a line where the plywood hits the long board and cut along that line. A perfect fit!

As you can see from the above picture the center is obvious and the boards are angled. At this point I did not attach any boards to the plywood. I am simply setting them in place.

Once all was cut I started the process of gluing them down. Using wood glue, making sure they are all snug and do not need to be altered or cut. Then glue them down.

I had a few difficult pieces with the boards that I decided to cut completely after they were all glued.

Here is my fancy and professional way I let the wood glue set. I used my coffee table and a whole lot of books! Wood glue varies on how long it will take but typically it is 12-18 hours to fully adhere. You can also add a few nails into each board for good measure.

The tabletop is glued on and I need to make the edges pretty by adding a frame on it. Using 1 inch wide by 1/2 inch thick pine long boards. Cutting them the length of the table and then 45 degree cutting them. This allows the corner to be flush, and sitting directly together. Creating a clean corner appearance.

I nailed them into place, or wood glue would work as well.

Before I got started making the table legs I purchased a galvanized pipe that is 3 ft long, 1 inch in diameter and spray painted it black. This pipe will go in between the two legs. Now it was time to make the legs. Using the 4×4 as the leg base, cutting it 3 ft long. This allows it to be 1 foot shorter then the width of the table. I wanted it to be sturdy enough to hold the table. But not poking out the sides and making it difficult for people to sit.

Next use another 4×4 as the center post attaching the top to the base. The height of this was 25 inches long. Allowing the height of the base 4×4 and the table top thickness to equal 32 inches total. My desired height for the table. Screw the two 4×4’s together creating a T shape.

Taking a 2×4 cutting it 48 inches long. This will be the piece running under the table top itself. So having it be shorter then the width of the table was necessary. Screw this 2×4 to the T shaped 4×4, making it a oddly shaped H.

Then it is time to add the angled detail on the legs. Using a 2×4 and cutting a 45 degree angle. Cutting them to be 18 inches long. This will bring the 2×4’s angled from the center post to the base and the tabletop. Creating a X.

Screw them into the odd shaped H and I now have farmhouse legs.

To add the detail I wanted with the galvanized pipes. I drilled a hole slightly larger then 1 inch in the center of the X in the legs.

Drilling slowly with a drill bit tip. Just enough space to have the pipe slide through the hole to the other side.

Once the legs were done, that and the tabletop needed a lot of sanding to be done. Because this is a dinner table there will be a lot of action, elbows resting even though we have polite people eat here) homework is done here…. life happens a lot surrounded by the dining room table. So thoroughly sanding this is a very important step.

My stain color of choice is Milwax classic gray color. I adore the beachy feel to it, combined with the rough planks it looks like beach drift wood.

I put this on with gloved hands and wiping the stain on.

Keeping the stokes even and wiping any excess stain away. If there are any lines just keep wiping, they will go away.

I did one coat for the table top because I am in love with the wood grains in it. The legs I did two coats on.

With this being a table it needs to be sealed with a clear lacquer. This will seal in the stain, help protect the wood from moisture and heat. Putting it on with a paintbrush and simply painting it on.

Doing wide strokes again to help blend in any brush lines. It was not necessary to brush this along the wood grain. And it is needed to get the clear coat over the cracks as well. Do not avoid them. I did two coats. I would recommend to at least do two for any table top.

With all of this stained and ready to go it was time to connect the top to the legs and call this a farmhouse table. To do this I cut small squares from 2×4’s to set on either side of the boards on the underside of the table top.

Then checking measurements on all sides to confirm the legs are evenly in the middle before I begin securing them. Then cutting a piece the length of the two sides to set on top. Screwing them into place. I also turned the table upside down again and stained this portion with stain once it was connected.

I chose to do this instead of just screwing the legs to the top because I wanted to make sure that the screws would not come through to the surface and break the top wood planks. With the table only being 1 inch thick the screws would most likely come through. There is also a added benefit of making this table movable. This gives a easy place to disassemble the table if I have to move it out of the room.

The last portion is adding the galvanized pipe in the center. Slide it through the hole of the legs.

Then add the cap to secure it into place! The galvanized pipe adds a nice modern flair to this. I have used galvanized pipes in a bathroom shelf, DIY tray, and console table. They are a great low cost option and really make the furniture feel rustic and fun! I like a country and rustic feel, but do not want my home to have the style of a log cabin, using industrialized pieces like the pipes or more bold colors is a great way to off-set the country look.

A coastal dining with DIY farmhouse table.

It is so pretty! I felt it was a good time to finally share this tutorial because I am in the middle of revamping my dining room. I am currently waiting for one item that is being shipped and I can finally reveal the full room! I am so excited for this, it has been a process with this room to find the sweet spot of furniture placement and style. I have finally found the happy place for this room and adore the results so far.

I went with a skinnier tabletop because I felt it allowed that modern feel to shine through a little more. A big and bulky, rustic table is gorgeous but is not the way I wanted to go.

Guys, who knew there could be gorgeous wood grains in 4×4 and 2×4’s!

I love that the wood color shines through the stain. It really allows the rough elements to show up. Dale likes the country chic look, and I like the bold and coastal style. I think this table embodies both of the styles seamlessly.

Ignore the dog hair! We have two dogs and dark wood floors, this is actually after I cleaned up. But any breeze brings out the dog hair and it is a loosing battle.

Easy tutorial to make a farmhouse table with a modern and coastal style

Eeek, this room is so close to being finished. I will explain in a later post how and why this room is a decorators headache. Actually not so much a decorators, but a person who lives in a home’s headache. It is just open concept enough to be part of the living room, but closed off enough to be dark. Oh and it is a walkway to the kitchen too. Yeah, nothing complicated here folks.

DIY rustic table - How to create this table with a modern and coastal flair. Not your Grandma's farmhouse table!

This How to make a dining room table – the modern take on the classic style has been such a long time coming. I think sharing it here while I am involved in my dining room is perfect timing though. I know this table is not new to anyone visiting my home or a frequent visitor of this blog, it has been here for years. But I never shared it on the blog before and finally sharing it feels right, incorporating it into my dining room mini-makeover.

A coastal dining with DIY farmhouse table.

I hope the snail mail picks up a little speed and I can put the finishing touches to this room, then reveal it all! I have given a ton of tiny sneak peeks but I am eager to get all of the details shared, including the gorgeous cabinets I have in here. Once this dining room is done I plan to update the fireplace in our living room, finally, FINALLY finish the laundry room, share the boys built in bunk beds. I know, that is another big project I never shared the tutorial too. Lastly, Nora is getting a little revamp to her bedroom. I am sure people assume I do all of this decorating because of this blog, but I just simply love decorating my home and it has been my goal since the day we bought this house to add character and function to it. I do enjoy getting to share and “meeting” all of you to talk home decor!

Do you have a room in your home that is tough to decorate or configure furniture? How have you managed it?






  1. robin masshole mommy says:

    That table is absolutely GORGEOUS! I would love to have one of those in my house. It came out great.

  2. Love this project and you make it look easy. I am not the best at DIY projects, but your tips and pictures here make me think that it is possible and doable!

  3. Do you want to come to my house and work. I love want you do with wood and I could use help building a porch with a ramp so i could get in and out of my house.

  4. I am doing renovations in my house and I would love for you to come and create this. I love it.

  5. I absolutely ADORE this table! I need to see if I can get my brother in law to come over and help me build something. I need to get a kitchen table and haven’t been able to find one I like. I’m thinking I may need to make one to be happy with it.

  6. Like how you used industrial with the wood. Different looking base which helps set off the top. Turned out really great looking. Instructions are easy to follow.

  7. That table is nothing short of amazing. Aren’t you the creative one. You made that? Wow! And it’s beautiful at that.

  8. Oh wow! That table turned out absolutely amazing. Love the style and color.

  9. Catherine Sargent says:

    The table came out amazing. I could use a new table and I love the idea of making my own.

  10. My husband loves to make stuff with his hands and I think he would love to make something like this. I am definitely going to tell him about it because I love the table and I would love it if he made it.

  11. You did a great job with the table. I like the rustic look of the table and would really be a great dinner table.

  12. that is a lovely table. You are very talented with wood.

  13. I love how this turned out! I wish that I had more time for projects like this, this would look great in my kitchen!

  14. Goodness, oh my! That’s a gorgeous table! I cannot believe you made that. It just blows my mind how talented you are.

  15. I love your take on the dining room table. We recently upgraded our dining table by doing an antiqued, blue wash over it. Now it looks shabby chic and rustic – love it!

  16. I would love to design my own table. I am in love with the pattern you chose for the top. This is a stunning piece. I will have to plan it out for the spring.

  17. That turned out fantastic! Looks like something you would buy for a hefty price at World Market.

  18. I feel like every room in my home is tough to decorate. LOL! I LOVE that table! I would one one just like it.

  19. I wish I had the tools I needed to make one of these. I’m not crafty with wood working but I have a friend who is.

  20. I like the herringbone pattern you did with the wood. That really brings a new dimension to the classic farmhouse table.

  21. I love DIY projects but this is another level! I can’t believe this is homemade, very well done.

  22. Holy cow that table is GORGEOUS!! You did a fantastic job. I have a friend who makes these and boy do I wish I was this talented!

  23. I love how this project turned out. The table is beautiful! I wish I had at least a fourth of your talent!

  24. I’m so impressed – this table is gorgeous!

  25. That looks beautiful, I love that! It looks pretty easy but I know it is not, thank you for the tutorial though.

  26. I LOVE how this turned out, beautiful job!

  27. Absolutely love your table!!

  28. This is stunning Emily!

  29. I love that dining room table!! I would love to be able to make something like that!!

  30. We need a new dining room table. It’s my goal to redecorate the entire dining room this year, paint and everything!

  31. It’s absolutely beautiful! I love the angled wood inlay on the top and the metal bar in the center bottom. Great details.

  32. What a stunning piece, Emily. I am a wood working amateur and building a table like this is on my bucket list! Will be sharing on my Facebook page!
    Ps. Visiting from the Woodworking + DIY Facebook group!

  33. Love the use of the rod in the middle! This turned out great! You killed it1

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