I’ve long found our dining room pleasant, but not especially exciting. My mom generously gave us the table and chairs AND the buffet as housewarming presents (she has a shop, so she can do these things more readily than many moms can). I went through a period where I wanted to paint the buffet, but I was forbidden from doing so by my mother because, she told me, the wood was too nice. I’m glad she talked/guilted me out of it now. But between the table top, the buffet, and the (not shown) bookcase/china cabinet thing in there, there’s an awful lot of natural wood. And also I’m just over the windsor chairs.
So I came up with a two part plan to start making the dining room a little more fun. Part one: paint table top black. Part two: exciting new chairs.
The problem with new dining room chairs was that I needed at least eight of them (we actually usually have nine for Thanksgiving dinner, and we can fit ten chairs at the table (with the extra leaf in it) in a pinch, but we can always pull a chair in from the kitchen). And finding eight matching chairs at the thrift store or cheap on Craigslist was a daunting task. And buying nine brand new chairs just because I thought my dining room wasn’t exciting enough was pretty much out of the question.
So I started casually keeping my eye open for chairs.
And chairs turned up pretty soon, it turned out!
Favorite thrift store had these chairs out the other week….there were 11 of them all together; six of the green cushioned ones and five of the others. But someone was buying two of the green cushioned ones as I got there. Blast it all! Green chairs are clearly the nicer, more well made ones (they lack a “made in China” stamp on the bottom, too). I would have preferred to get six of the green ones and then just two of the others to fill in the set. But I felt like once they were all painted and reupholstered the same, they’d look enough like a matched set, so, after fretting for a few minutes about what to do, I bought all nine that were left for $9.91 each.
I’m not super in love with the made in China ones, but the caning is nice and in good shape, so they’ll do.
The others have these fabulous gold thingies on them:
They also have these weird upholstered arm pad things to make my life complicated:
What do I do with THOSE? I think I may just have to clean them as well as I can and then paint them with fabric paint. Because it appears that the arms have a cut out area to acommodate them….i.e. there’d be a weird dip in the wood if I just took them off.
My mom has already come to buy four of the Windsor chairs off of me to sell at her shop (I offered to give them back to her, since they were a gift to start with, but she insisted on paying me). She paid me $10 each for them, making my new chairs FREE! Before refinishing. Which I need to do soon, because four of my old dining room chairs are already gone!
So. I’m thinking probably white for all the chairs. Depending on what fabric I pick for the upholstery. Some of the fabrics might go better with a nice pale blue, I think. And I want to buy a paint sprayer before I paint them, because I think painting that caning by hand would be NO FUN.
And now! I need help picking out fabric. From you guys! I made this handy collage of the front runners:
At first I was thinking of something like the first two….either a black and white to go with the table and chairs or a dark blue because I’m liking navy and black together lately.
But now I’m leaning more towards something with a lot of color in it. Thoughts? Price is definitely a factor here: I believe numbers 3 and 7 are a lot cheaper than most of the rest (of the colorful ones at least). And the main thing number 9 has going for it is that there are dragons.
I won’t say what it is, but I think I know which one’s my favorite, and cost is the thing holding me back from pulling the trigger. I’m figuring I’ll need a yard or so of fabric for each chair, so the difference between $8ish dollars and $25ish dollars a yard is pretty significant.
But I’ve been looking at fabric so long now that I almost can’t tell what I like anymore, so I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion!
Also, reupholstering those chairs terrifies me. Tell me it will be okay?