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, 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. Nothing was free/discounted, nor am I being paid for my opinions. I am sharing my experience as a consumer and a mom.
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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.
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 60″ round, and a smaller 48″ round size (that would also work great 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.
Basically, 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!)
My kids paint and create their art here with washable paints, markers and play dough. They’re supposed to sit at the island or use a vinyl table cloth… and ya know, they do sometimes.
My husband and I use coasters if we’re having a cold drink (booze). For ice cold glass drinks, use coasters.
The Serena & Lily website description says to always use coasters though… annnd… we don’t do that for the kids. For daily meals, we are not going to remember (or care) about 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.
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 artificially dark that leaks or has staining properties) directly on the table
- 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.
How It’s Holding Up After 1 Year
We are currently at the 1 year mark. Here is the current status of the table:
- Minor scratches in the surface
- No scratches or 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 due to paper and something sticky sitting overnight.
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.
The area where the kids sit at the table still looks just like the day we brought the table home! They are 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.
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 the one dull spot which I talked about above, a few minor scratches not affecting the paint (like a child’s fork was dragged across the table maybe?).
You could say it is in great 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 in whatever your purchasing decision is.
How The Downing Fits In Our 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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