We are at the 1 year mark of owning the Serena & Lily Downing Table. Our family of 6 used this table heavily over the past year at home!
With school being online only for the past year of 2020, this meant 24/7 snacking and eating 98677 times a day all over the Downing Table. OBVIOUSLY this was an especially awesome year for me to try out an expensive white table! (Sarcasm if you didn’t pick that up!)
1 Year Check In of Our Serena & Lily Downing Table
This review is NOT sponsored, nor am I being paid or asked for my opinions. I am sharing my experience as a consumer and a mom.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn on qualified purchases which is how I keep my blog running. See more in my disclosure here.
When I considered Serena & Lily dining tables last year (before the stay at home orders!), I had to base everything off of what I found online. We don’t have a physical store close enough to conveniently visit, so I hope my experience helps you feel more confident in your decisions.
I couldn’t find many photos of the Downing table in “real” people’s homes. It’s beautiful in person- a fresh, clean white slate. If there is a prettier white table out there, I didn’t come across it!
The airy base is contemporary, instead of a more traditional (and slightly farmhouse?) pedestal style base many tables have.
Right after Christmas last year we ordered the Downing table. We had a farmhouse style table previously in our kitchen nook, and I was envisioning a more coastal piece to soften up the space.
The Serena & Lily Downing Table In Our Home
The oval Downing table is advertised as fitting up to 8 guests comfortably. The size is great – my parents live close and drop by for meals and can fit comfortably. That being said, with the chairs between the legs, it’s best suited for 6!
We use 4 gray Tucker chairs around the sides for the kids. They are so solidly built. I would not buy them for a tall adult, they are fine for us (we aren’t tall people!) but they have a just slightly smaller frame than other wood chairs.
For the end chairs, we initially ordered the Riviera arm chairs, but switched to the gorgeous upscale Islesboro chairs for more comfort:
We like to sit a while after the kids
rush through their meals shovel food into their mouths and leave the table. The Islesboro chairs are especially great for more long term sitting!
Although it’s a Serena and Lily dining table, it also comes as a coffee table (so pretty), a large 6-9 person table at 60″ round, and a smaller 48″ round that could also work as a desk.
How We Treat The Downing Table With Our Kids
At the time of purchase, my kids were aged 4, 6, 8 and 11. We eat on it between 1 and 3 times a day. I usually have a child doing their school zooms on it as well.
My kids are past the stage (habit?) of stabbing the table with their utensils -and I would hold off on buying it if yours love to do this. (I promise, those stages will pass quickly!)
At first I felt very protective of my new pretty purchase- so for the first month or two we kept tablecloths on it at all times. But as things go in life, eventually the babying got to be too much maintenance.
So here we are, the honeymoon stage is long over and the table is treated like our other furniture; it’s part of the old fam bam now!
We do use placemats… half the time. These washable gingham placemats, and these pretty but less washable white washed placemats are what we use. (I sprayed the placemats with this watershield to protect them!)
sources: brass light | napkins | large cheese board | topiary | placemats
My kids paint and create their art here half the time, and the island the other half. They only use washable paints, markers and play dough.
My husband and I use coasters if we’re having a cold drink (booze).
The Serena & Lily website description says to always use coasters though… annnd… we don’t do that for the kids. For daily meals, no coasters under their plastic cups of milk, and I don’t actually think that’s even necessary!
My kids plays with toys at this table, and I’ve dragged heavy platters across the top.
How It’s Holding Up After 1 Year
We are currently at the 1 year mark. Here is the current status of our kitchen table:
- Minor scratches in the surface from items scratching / dragging across it
- No deep chips in the paint
- No water rings
- The finish is still even all over, BUT:
- There is a half inch spot where the shine is dull – it rubbed off
The trouble spot is right above the paper clip (to show size – about a half inch area) and is dull. It’s where I sit but I’m still blaming the kids! It’s so small – but worth mentioning.
Something sticky was put down and left (honey? glue? mystery craft ingredient?), and then a paper towel sat on top of it overnight and a few hours into the next day. When I noticed it, it took some serious scrubbing and some of the shine with it to get it off.
Kids are obviously messy eaters, and require a good soapy rag after they eat. A quick wipe up has the table looking shiny and clean – and I am not left with marks from where I cleaned.
What I don’t do:
- I don’t place down burning hot plates or pots directly on the table.
- We don’t put red slime (or anything that leaks or has staining properties) directly on the table
- We love all types of food so I am careful with some spices to always eat them over a tablecloth (turmeric and curries stain easily).
- I don’t leave spills of water to sit on the table
- I don’t use harsh cleaning products on the top
Being that the Downing table is white, it does show food and grime more easily than a wood table. This means naturally you will wipe it down more than say, a dark or wood table top.
If I had to guess I think all this cleaning will wear the finish on the Downing Table! So I use just general soap – nothing harsh – I don’t even use the Lysol wipes on the table. The softer soaps are gentler on the finish.
The Deciding Factor: Will It Last?
We’ve over the 1 year anniversary mark with the table! We have one dull spot and a minor scratches. You could say our Downing table is in good used condition. This has lasted much better than some other tables we’ve had in the past.
The long answer is yes – I recommend this for families. Overall, I would give the Serena & Lily Downing Table a solid “A”.
My biggest recommendations are keep a stack of placemats on the table, and use non abrasive soap for cleaning. With the crisp white top and airy base, this gorgeous table will add lightness and beauty to your kitchen!
I hope my experience is helpful and gives you confidence!
Other Serena & Lily Dining Tables
Plenty of beautiful tables to choose from if you’re still unsure.
How The Downing Fits In Our Kitchen
A white table is a great addition to a kitchen that leans farmhouse, or like in my case, a coastal kitchen. We have a coastal kitchen with a blue island, so the white table fits right in with our look! If you want some inspo, take a tour of our blue and white kitchen here.
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