For those of you familiar with the site Everything But the House, that title is pretty fitting for our dining room, however it'd be changed to Everything But the Furniture Store. That pretty much sums up where our dining room furniture came from. Auctions, check. Estate sales, check. Craigslist, check. Seriously, where is the fun in walking into Pottery Barn, pointing to a dining room set, and declaring, "I'll have that one."?! C'mon, waaaay too easy. For those of you who have been following me for awhile now, you know that's not really the way things work over here, especially when you have the talented resources I have at my fingertips. Since moving into our new home, I think I've become my #1 client, taking advantage of the full gamut of services.
When I started to turn my attention to the dining room, I was a bit torn. I knew I wanted a traditional, formal look, however, the price tag for a new dining set in the style I wanted was a bit steep. Given you use a dining room table maybe five times a year, it didn't seem like this was the room I should be allocating a big portion of our budget towards. Let's be real, those fabulous dinner parties you always dream up in your head never really pan out, and they usually just end up being several friends coming over and gossiping over some take-out sushi and a couple bottles of wine. Regardless, compromising style isn't really my thing either, so I was left with finding some sort of middle ground.
I decided to start my search with estate sales. I've been to enough of these to know that dining room sets ALWAYS seem to make the list, so I figured this should be a pretty easy find. Sure enough, a couple weeks later, there was an estate sale for a beautifully decorated home (ok, mansion) out in the 'burbs with not one, but two dining room sets for sale. SCORE! Or so I thought. By the time I arrived, 30 minutes after opening, one set was sold, and the table for the second set was sold, leaving only four side chairs. I quickly got over my frustration and decided to snag the chairs and figure the rest out later.
The side chairs were in next to perfect condition, were upholstered in a neutral fabric, and had a great trellis design back. I loved them! That only left me with a table and two head chairs to find. After starting my search for a dining table, I quickly learned that I was working with a tight space, and a lot of the tables out there weren't going to work. I had an old dining table in my inventory that I had picked up at an auction awhile back. It's medium shade Maple finish was a far cry from any sort of 'wow factor' but it was the perfect size and the style worked, so I figured I could work with it.
I was able to color match the stain to the chairs, giving it a rich Mahogany finish. By the end of the process, you never would have guessed that the table and chairs didn't come together!
Next up, the head chairs. Thank goodness for trusty old Craigslist; it never lets me down (I mean, besides the couple scammers I've encountered, but you know...). As soon as I saw the listing for these chairs, I knew they were winners. They were traditional, but still had a transitional undertone with the straight legs and wood frame. Plus, they had a slim profile, which worked well with the rest of the furniture. The only thing that didn't work was the fabric and stain color.
Again, we updated the wood to match the other pieces and give it a more cohesive finish. For the fabric, I went with a traditional striped pattern. I wanted to add a bit of color, but ensure whatever pattern I chose could mix well with other items in the room and adjoining living room.
The updated finish and new fabric really give the chairs a fresh look.
And the cording and buttons help to add the finishing touch.
For being a complete hodgepodge of furniture, I think everything came together pretty well. It took a bit of time to source the right pieces, refinish everything, find the right fabric, and pull it all together, but in the end, it was worth it!
As for the remaining items in the room, I don't think I'll get so lucky!
Sunday: Finding Silver Pennies
Wednesday: Savvy Southern Style