Monday, October 16, 2006

Does anyone want to shop for me??

I'm stuck. Or maybe unmotivated. Or maybe figuring I have no way to find the solution. So...I've decided to come to the Blogger community for help!

My dining room table seats six, but came with no chairs, so I found six mismatching chairs in various places: garage sales, resale shops, etc. The plan was (is) to paint the chairs all one color (black), and have the shabby chic look going on.

My chairs are falling apart. One has always had problems, one seems rickety, and I always make sure the smallest person sits in it, and another has decided to crack all through the chair legs. So three of my six chairs are now out of commission. The cracked chair might be fixed with a little gorilla glue, but the issue remains that these chairs are not really made to last. Or they are, but I bought them at the end of their days. However, of the three remaining chairs, I really like two of them, and don't want to part with them.

Problem (continued):
We are hosting a rather large Christmas dinner, in which there will probably be more than six people eating, and now we only have three acceptable chairs. And, now that I think of it, our table only seats six....

I need to find very cheap, very sturdy chairs! Do I need to go garage-saling again? And I'd like to spend no more than $20 per chair. Is this unrealistic? I guess these chairs have lasted almost four years, which is pretty good for garage sale chairs. I found $20 chairs at IKEA, and they're even black and in the mission style I like, but I'm not sure I can trust IKEA for sturdy chairs.

Here are chairs I like:

This one I found at a "discount" store online for $150. I like armed chairs for the head and foot of the table, and no arms for the side chairs.

This one is from IKEA for $60. I like the cushion, since I sit at the table all day every day, and I'd like something comfy.

And this is the $20 chair I've seen from IKEA. It doesn't look very comfortable (the seat is so flat), but it is in the price range, and it's mission style, which fits the rest of the house. All in all, an acceptable chair, except for the comfort, and it's probably really cheaply made. (And, concerning comfort, I already have a cushion I can use for work. Otherwise, we don't stay at the table that long.)

All these chairs are stained dark brown, but painted black is fine, too.

So...does anyone want to spend time chair hunting? I know some of you just wander aimlessly on the internet; you could use some direction! It'll be like a treasure hunt! If you find anything, post a link in the comments section! Thanks, and have fun solving my problem!!


  1. I want to go to IKEA with you and get the $20 chair! I like it. You would have to do a sit test to see how it is, but it looks nice and I bet it is good quality.

  2. I vote for the IKEA chairs, also. You can always get cushions at WalMart for them. And the "arms/no arms" tradition is just that - tradition. So having 6 chairs that are all armless is okay. I like the color of the IKEA chairs, too. Don't paint over the finish; it will eventually wear off. But I guess that may be the point of shabby chic decor, right? I don't think of your house as shabby chic, though. More mission style mixed with country. I think of shabby chic as all white with billowy slip covers over everything.

  3. IKEA all the way Lydia. Take it from someone who has several pieces of IKEA long as you aren't abusing them, meaning letting little kids play fort with them or allowing elephants to use them instead of the balls to stand on in a circus, IKEA is very sturdy. Go for will be very satisfied.

  4. They have those exact chairs at my favorite coffee house. They are very light weight, and don't seem to be sturdy...although, they hold up coffee drinkers day after day. I think as long as you are nice to them and use them as they are intended, they should hold up fine.

  5. Okay, okay! I'm convinced! No garage saling for me. I'll get the chairs. :) Thanks, guys, for all the input! Now to find a day to go to IKEA....

  6. Ok, I am all for Ikea, but here is my comment. They are not built for comfort. As one with longer legs, they have a short seat width, so you may want to take Jon with you before committing him to years of squishededness.

    So that's my comment, let me know when you go to IKEA too!

  7. I think if you don't plan on your IKEA chairs lasting forever, then go for it. You get what you pay for. $20 is a great price, and they are nice looking chairs. They'll serve you well until maybe you move into a house someday and buy a whoel new dinette set!

    That's the thing with furniture these days... and why IKEA is so successful, I think. People don't buy furniture to last. We buy particle board, true, but then we get tired of looking at the same stuff and we want something new. And the furniture market has seemed to cater to our want-something-new nature, so they are not making as quality furniture either.

  8. Yes, quality furniture IS made these days ... and it's expensive! So you have to decide what you want: something nice for now or something nice for forever?

    IKEA for now, but it will have to be replaced some day.

  9. I have some friends who have those chairs. They agreed that they weren't the sturdiest ever made in the world, but they do hold up. And, with some cute cushions, they aren't uncomfortable. Good thing about cute cushions: You can switch those out to match your decor. Also, if the chairs aren't as comfortable as a La-Z-Boy, that's fine. It'll encourage people to quit eating, get up, and go do the dishes.

  10. Carolyn,

    Nice forever = stuck with it forever (because you feel obligated to keep it because it was so expensive even though your tastes or space may have changed)

    I'm just saying, we like a new look every now and then, and that's why places like IKEA thrive (and why the expensive furniture business is suffering).

    And Lyd, your idea about cushions and slip covers for the chairs sounds like a great way to keep them looking fresh, seasonal, and fun! (I like your idea for the table, too, you should blog about that when the project is under way.)

  11. Yes, the table project has been on my mind ever since we got it, so it will be good to get it underway. And the slipcovers and things...well, those are probably a little ambitious, even for me (not that I can achieve ambitious things, just that I attempt them a lot). I may have to do a little more research before I jump into those. But I do have a good idea for a table cloth... :)

  12. Saw these chairs at Target. About $60 bucks a pop, but looked a little bigger than the IKEA chairs, maybe they have them in store?
    I can't say much, since we bummed all our chairs and stools from Joe's parents. They got some new black chairs like you're wanting...but I fear they were more than our young married budgets allow!

  13. I think I saw those at Target yesterday, as a matter of fact. But two cost the same as all six at IKEA. I think we're going to go for the cheap, may not last as long chairs. Maybe by next time we'll be able to get something that'll last longer. And, really, I like the look of the IKEA chairs better, too.

    And Leanna, I liked how you slipped that "our young married budgets" phrase in. You're a yound married, now! Woohoo!

  14. Teehee! I thought you'd like that. Well, don't know when you are going to IKEA, I am working an event this Sunday evening, but other than that I'm sure I could drag Joe along!

    We might be going to Crate & Barrel to get baskets! Yea! for organization!

  15. Lydia...go with IKEA! If you do the $20 chairs, you could go to Bed Bath & Beyond and get cool cushions to go on top. I got some there for my kitchen table and chairs and they look great! There are no ties on them; but a rubber-like bottom on the cushion, so they don't slip around on the chair. Easier to clean them, too! Love your blog! Hope you and John can come to dinner with Dave and Karen sometime during the holidays!