The kitchen of the Calistri’s Massachusets home was dark and dated, and they wanted to create an inviting space where they could comfortably entertain friends and family. Their vision for the new kitchen and breakfast nook was a bright, contemporary, intentionally inspired space molded around their minimalist aesthetic.Read More
A Family’s Taproot
We usually visualize a landscape or a city street when people ask where we’re from. Most of us associate home with natural elements or architecture – rolling hills, lakes, a bustling Main Street, or a favorite tree in the park. But for Donna, her childhood “home” can be found in her dining room.
In the late 1980s, Donna’s parents discovered Thos. Moser as they took an evening stroll down Walnut Street. In the window of our Philadelphia showroom sat a round cherry table paired with a set of Continuous Arm Chairs. Donna’s father, Ed says, “Every element of that dining set was meticulously crafted; the top was just as beautiful as the bottom. We purchased the four arm chairs and table in 1991, the same year our youngest daughter, Donna, was born.”
“The table and chairs are as old as I am,” Donna says. “It was our everyday table. The fact that a young family could use it every day and it has held up and improved over time is a testament to the quality of the craftsmanship.” This was the table where she learned how to hold a fork, write out her ABCs, blow out the candles on her birthday cake, and study for her SATs under her uncle’s tutelage. “Those memories, that’s what makes it special,” she says. “Around this table, our mother taught us how to respect and care for the things we owned.”
“It was our everyday table. The fact that a young family could use it every day and it has held up and improved over time is a testament to the quality of the craftsmanship.”
Donna notes that her parents were a young couple with two small children when they bought the table and acknowledges that it was quite an investment for them at the time. They could have easily purchased a table that was not as high quality and replaced it with every move. “If it wasn’t worth it,” Donna says, “Mom wouldn’t wrap it up to make the next cross-country move.” Her father Ed agrees, “Everywhere we went, the table and chairs went with us.”
Because of her father’s work, they frequently moved, leaving her with no physical location that she calls home. But, the table and chairs are her roots. She remembers every dining room, kitchen, and hard family conversation they shared around that table. The table is the connection to her family and their past. Even now, with her sister and parents living in different parts of the country, it is a physical memory of their family’s history.
Donna remembers, “The table and chairs seemed to fit into any home and décor magically. The table is beautiful, and the chairs are spare and clean, which makes them fit it, but the craftsmanship makes them stand out.” When she and her husband host dinner parties, their carpenter and hobbyist woodworker friends always remark on the workmanship- particularly the chairs. Everyone always wants to touch the table and run their hand along the curved arm of the chairs. Often, they pick them up to see how they are made. They love trying to figure out these chairs, particularly the arm.” she says. “I’m grateful that my parents made the investment all those years ago. If they had purchased a new dining set with every move, I think about all the special memories that might have been lost.”
The nearly 30-year-old table and chairs were given to Donna shortly after her wedding, much to her sister’s dismay. Her parents had moved into a new home and purchased a Boat Top Table and Eastward Chairs better suited the space. Donna says,” It’s a new table for creating special memories when the family gets together for the holidays.”
Her childhood table and chairs are the first things Donna sees when she comes home. And like most of us, it’s a flat surface where she tosses her bags, groceries, and keys when she comes home. “My parents may not have realized 30 years ago that they were buying more than dining furniture; they were purchasing our family’s taproot, the one thing that would remain constant in our lives.” She finds it comforting to have those pieces in her home; the memories connected to that table are a lovely legacy that will carry over to the next generation. She hopes that her children will squabble over who gets the Thos. Moser table and chairs, just like she and her sister did.
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