Zen Outdoor Concrete Dining Table: Bringing The Outdoor In For The Perfect Dining Experience
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Disclaimer: When I post this article, I work for the Remarkable Outdoor Living brand. However, I am trying to give an honest customer review here, from purchase experience to product performance.
Dining Table, Dining Centre
The table is the focal point of any dining room. So, it needs to perfectly match both function and fashion preferences. For me, Remarkable's Zen Outdoor Concrete Dining Table did precisely that.
With a 120cm-round top, pedestal leg, and white seal, the dining table fits my Japandi (a gorgeous mixture of Japanese rustic minimalism and Scandinavian functionality) home like a dream. Beyond aesthetics, the high-quality glass-fibre-reinforced concrete construction can handle just about anything life throws at it — from children's antics to thunderstorms. While it might seem a bit off-the-wall to bring an outdoor table into the house, it has worked wonders for me.
The question is: is it right for you?
To help you figure that out, I wanted to share my experience with Remarkable's buying journey, the Zen Outdoor Concrete Dining Table itself, and how I came to choose this one out of seemingly endless options.
A Furniture Buying Journey Boasting Seamless Ease
Purchasing furniture isn't just about the end result (which looks amazing, but I digress). It's about the entire experience. I want to feel heard, respected, and valued as a customer well before I consider actually spending my dollars. And I'm glad to say the Remarkable Outdoor Living Alexandria store exceeded my and my partner's expectations.
Benefitting from ample parking spaces, the Alexandria store couldn't be easier to find. It's nestled inside Goodman Gardeners Place Shopping Mall — if you know where the mall is, you know where Remarkable is.
That, however, was somewhat overshadowed by the oh-so-pleasant experience I had in the store.
Stephan, the store member who helped my partner out during his quest to secure the table we'd envisioned, welcomed him warmly before pointing him to the Zen dining table. Stephan was so helpful, in fact, that he printed the material factsheet out without being asked and had checked all promotions to ensure my partner would get the best possible deal. Everybody needs a Stephan when they're furniture shopping. Nothing less than five stars.
The ordering process was just as smooth. Granted, I had a slight upper hand here — I am working for Remarkable Outdoor Living. Therefore, I was able to place the order immediately. If you aren't a previous employee, the staff will guide you through the process. It's still seamless; there are just a few extra steps.
I can be an impatient one, so the 23-day wait for the table to be delivered was a fraught-with-excitement one. However, I knew what I was signing up for; the product is in exceptionally high demand, after all. When my partner and I placed the order, the product was entirely out of stock. During the waiting period, my colleague constantly kept me updated about the shipping status and texted my partner to ensure we were on track. I am very proud that the brand consistently brings its fantastic customer service inside and out.
We received a text message a day before the delivery date, a message the date we will get it delivered. The message is short, but I hope Remarkable can improve the delivery SMS update further. There are two suggestions I have in mind, and I will bring this internally to improve this customer experience:
- The SMS message is very simple and short. And customers might arrive after the date that delivery gets scheduled. The message should contain a method to contact the merchant if the customer wishes to change the date.
- Once the item is delivered, the customer should receive an SMS confirmation that the order is fulfilled.
When the delivery day rolled around, the driver was friendly, asking where I'd like it placed and moving it in with ease. Once in situ, My partner and I began the assembly process, which involved nothing more than two components and four screws. While the product is lighter than standard concrete, it still needs a helping hand to ensure gentle movement and minimum impact on the hard subject. This means you will need at least 2 people once it is built to ensure perfect placement, so bear that in mind if you're a solo dweller.
My impatience for interior beauty aside, it was an excellent purchasing journey.
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Zen Outdoor Concrete Dining Table
Right from the get-go, the Zen table felt like a luxury. Even though I work at Remarkable, I'm still dubious about outdoor tables — I assume they'll be rough around the edges and only suitable for outdoor, but this is sealed to perfection.
The build quality comes from the Featherstone GFRC (glass-fibre-reinforced concrete) Remarkable used, ensuring it's stronger, lighter, and longer-lasting than traditional concrete. It has regular concrete's solidness but only 1/3 of the weight. The material is made for withstanding all weather — below freezing to over 50°C.
It won't have to cope with such conditions in my dining room, but it does make it an ultra-versatile table (flowing indoor/outdoor spaces are all the rage).
Aesthetically speaking, it matches not only the online images, but also the product my partner and I viewed in the Alexandria store. No surprises when unpackaging the table; just how I like it.
As of now, I've hosted many dinner parties around this dining table, receiving many compliments from friends and family. It offers enough space for four people to eat comfortably, and the circular form brings everybody together for unimpeded conversation.
Interior Design Process: Crafting a Harmonious Dining Space
My entire apartment is built around the Japandi design concept, and my partner and I wanted the dining table to fit right in (not only with the interior theme but also with our personality).
1. Selecting the Suitable Dining Table
As we embarked on our dining room design journey, our goal was to find the perfect dining table that would reflect our personality and set the tone for our entire home. We sought a piece that would become the centrepiece of our dining space, evoking a sense of warmth, style, and comfort.
2. Considering the Whole House Design Concept
Our design concept was inspired by the harmonious fusion of Scandinavian functionality and Japanese rustic minimalism, a style known as Japandi. This concept captures the essence of simplicity, natural elements, and serene aesthetics, creating a soothing and balanced atmosphere throughout our home.
3. Choosing the Colour Scheme
For a while, I couldn't decide on the table's colour pallet — it's the centre of the space, and I wanted perfection. "Should I choose white/beige or wood/timber" was the question running circles around my head. We deliberated between two colour palettes: the timeless elegance of white/beige or the natural warmth of wood/timber. Ultimately, we stumbled upon the Zen table, and its captivating presence sealed our decision. The Zen table's clean lines and earthy tones perfectly complemented our Japandi concept, creating a harmonious blend of tranquility and contemporary allure.
4. Exploring Materials and Quality
We had to think about the material too. I needed strength, durability, and fire resistance to ensure it would stand the test of time and life's many curveballs.
Seeking not only beauty but also longevity, we weighed the importance of quality in our material selection. In our quest for the perfect dining table, we discovered solid timber like oak, beech or mango wood, or soft timber like pine would be great options. Until we tinkered that make outdoor indoor & make outdoor table indoor. So I went through RMKB and found the remarkable qualities of GFEC (Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete) material. GFEC offered strength to withstand daily use, durability to stand the test of time, fire resistance for added safety, and thermal mass to create a comfortable dining environment, particularly during warm weather.
Wooden dining tables have been around for centuries, offering timeless beauty and elegance. Solid woods such as oak, beechwood or mango wood are all popular choices due to their durability and natural grain patterns. Wooden tables can also be easily stained or painted in order to match many existing décor. The downside is that wooden tables can be expensive depending on the type of wood used, but they will last for many years if properly cared for. Concrete dining tables offer a more contemporary look with an industrial edge. They’re incredibly durable and easy to maintain – just wipe them down with a damp cloth! Concrete is also relatively inexpensive compared to other materials like marble or granite, or the timber one I have my eyes on Temple & Webster, making it an attractive option if you’re looking for something budget-friendly yet stylish. However, concrete does not have the same warmth as wood so it may not fit in with traditional interiors as well as wooden furniture would. Ultimately, the decision between a wood or concrete dining table depends on my current Japandi style and budget constraints.
5. Finalising the Dining Table Selection
I looked at a bunch of options in both colour pallets. Some were square. Others were rectangular. The rest were circular. A functional yet organic and minimalist is my vibe, so the shape was pretty easy to settle on. With our checklist of design criteria complete, we ventured to the store, where the Zen table awaited our inspection. Its solid construction and stunning aesthetic surpassed our expectations, captivating us with its modern elegance and embodiment of our desired dining experience. Without hesitation, we knew we had found the ideal centrepiece for our dining room.
Eventually, I stumbled upon the Zen table from Remarkable. It was exactly what I had been searching for, so going to see it in person (and consequently ordering it) was a no-brainer.
But without other elements, it didn't create the harmonious dining space I craved.
6. Selecting Lighting and Dining Chairs
To further enhance the ambiance of our dining space, we turned our attention to lighting and seating. We sought lighting that would elevate the atmosphere and accentuate the Zen table's aesthetic. I installed the Enigma 425 Pendant light for vertical layering. The Enigma 425 Pendant light, with its sleek design and captivating illumination, effortlessly brought a sense of vertical layering, casting a warm glow over our dining area.
To complement the Zen table, we carefully selected dining chairs that would embrace our guests in a comforting embrace. So, I added four Cult Design's Wishbone chairs around the table. Unlike standard dining seats, the backs are curved to flow breezily with the circular table, almost embracing it. Their finish — a warm yet light wood — adds to the hugging feeling and adds colour contrast to the space. The wood/timber armchairs we chose exude a sense of intimacy, providing both comfort and style. These chairs not only enhance the hugging feeling of our dining space but also add a touch of colour contrast, infusing the room with a vibrant yet balanced energy.
7. Adding Finishing Touches
To complete our dining room design, we added the finishing touches that truly brought our vision to life. Four Cult Design's Wishbone chairs encircled the Zen table, their curved backs gracefully embracing the circular form. This arrangement created an atmosphere of unity and togetherness, inviting guests to relax and savor the joyous moments shared around the table. Minimalist wabi-sabi-inspired table decor, with its celebration of imperfections and organic beauty, further enriched the space, adding a touch of soulfulness and depth.
With careful consideration and a focus on the synergy between design elements, our dining room now embodies the essence of a comforting hug. It speaks to our desire for a space that fosters connection, relaxation, and shared experiences. Our Japandi-inspired dining room transcends mere functionality, offering a haven of serenity and a tangible expression of our unique design sensibilities.
If a hug was a space, it would be my dining room.
Zen Outdoor Concrete Dining Table: Compromising Neither Utility nor Style
Bringing the Zen Outdoor Concrete Dining Table into my home was one of our best interior design decisions. With Japandi's beauty, exceptional functionality, and extreme durability, I never have to compromise style or utility again. From arriving at the store to placing it in my dining room for a harmonious finish, the process has been effortless.