So, as you know I have been thinking a lot about my dining room furniture. I purchased both my table and chairsΒ on Craigslist at the time we moved into the house just because we needed something quickly that fit into the space (Note to self: I’ll never make that mistake again!). I knew in my heart of hearts that it just wasn’t working out anymore.
The color and tone of the wood on the tableΒ was completely off and did not workΒ with the maple floors, and was just way too “farmhouse” for the room and the look I wanted.Β I had originally entertained the idea of painting the table white, but even that seemed like such a waste of precious time. UghΒ and then the chairs. I just couldn’t deal with the stress of the chairs anymore. While they were really cool antique Louis-style chairs, they were too big and clunky for the room — their excessive width made it difficult to slip additional chairs underneath the table. They creaked which drove me out of my mind. Β And they were just way too expensive to reupholster. They would have required 2.5 yards of fabric plus $125 of labor per chair to reupholster, which just wasn’t in my budget. I really wantedΒ move on but felt like I was stuck with what I had because it was functional at the end of the day. Cue theΒ sulk fest.
But then at the same time that I was having all these feelings of regret about my furniture,Β I spotted the most adorable antique Henredon extending dining room table and caneback chairs on Craigslist, which originally came from an estate sale on the North Shore, listed for $595.
I mean, so adorable. They looked like they were made for my dining room and my 100-year-old house. My husband immediately said they looked “very River Forest” which is the neighborhood we live in, and he’s right. I bookmarked it and kept going back to it day after day, checking to see if it was still available and envisioning it in my space. I usually don’t like buying things in sets but in this case the table and chairs just worked so well together.
I was really drawn to the set because the table had a pedestal base, which makes it so much easier to scoot chairs around, which is really important because I entertain a lot. I also love the striations of the wood on the tabletop. I went to go look at it just to test itsΒ quality and told the guy I was really interested but could not make any moves until I sold my current dining set because I would literally have nowhere to put it.
I was also really drawn toΒ the cane back chairs because they looked so much like the ones in Caitlin Wilson’s old dining room, which I have always absolutely adored and used as inspiration for my own space. I can almost guarantee that hers are Henredon as well judging from the lines of the chairs and the color of the wood. I was also tickled when I readΒ somewhere that she bought her set on Craigslist too when she and her husband were living on a student budget, just like us. Proof that beautiful design does not have to be expensive. :)
The blue printed jacquard-like upholstery on the Craigslist chairs was actually totally fine and not ugly enough to necessitate reupholstering right away. (You know what I mean – sometimes with vintage items the existingΒ upholstery is so ugly you feel like you have to recover it immediately!) Plus I knew that if I did want to reupholster them in the future it would cost a heck of a lot less because there’s only one smallΒ flatΒ surface on each chair to recover so the amount of yardage and labor required would be a lot less.
It just seemed too good to pass up. And of course, if I had the money I’d be buying a brand new table and custom chairs, but a new set isn’t in the budget right now and I need something cute, affordable, and functional that will work for the next 4-5 years that we are in this house. We envision ourselves moving after my husband is done with his residency, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic!
My husband made a really passive hintΒ at the idea of selling what we had, soΒ I immediately pounced on that hint and listed both our table and chairs on Craigslist, just to gauge interest. I wasn’t trying to make money off of them but rather not lose any money over my mistake so I listedΒ them for exactly the same price I bought them for ($200 for the table and $300 for the set of 6 chairs).Β Well, turns out people were quite interested and I got a slew of emails from people all over the place wanting to look at both. The families I sold them to were just SO happy to get such a good deal and I was equally happy to pass them off to good homes so quickly.
Once my set was gone and I had cash in hand I immediately called the guy who was selling the Henredon set. He was literally showing them to someone else as I was on the phone with him. He accepted my offer of $500 and we raced downtown in both of our cars to pick them up, and my new set was installed before dinnertime! Now that’s a quick turnaround. :)
WeΒ have SO much more space to get through the area now.Β The table is just the perfect size and the lighter and warmer tone of the wood flows so much better with the maple floors. The chairs are slimmer, more lightweight, and easier to scoot around, plus I love how being able to see through the cane back makes the room feel airier, not so heavy and clunky like before. I’m going to live with them for a little bit and determine if I want to reinvent them at all by painting and/or reupholstering them, or do nothing at all. My mom and I have been talking about spraying them white which would be a nice contrast against the floor. So I’m just going to let those ideas marinate a little bit before I do anything. In the meantime, I’m going to work on bribing my husband to paint the doors to the bathroom and basement.
Overall, I’m really thrilledΒ I didn’t lose any money on the transaction and that I found antique pieces with historyΒ that work well with my schemeΒ for the room, which I’d like to call “blue-and-white-antique-happy-glam.”Β :) My husband is a saint for being so patient with me and for hauling the new pieces into and out of the car even with the baby in tow. I literally could not have done it without him.
So what do you think??