I love thrifting and second hand furniture. It often takes time to find the perfect piece but in the end it is always worth the wait. If you are new here, check out some other posts of mine. I did one a while back on our collection of vintage chairs, there are quite a few in our home. My husband supports my habit of purchasing things I can't pass up, even if that means we store them for months or years before even using them. That's a good man ladies!
I recently went into West Elm and really liked some of the midcentury designs I saw. Reality is that lots of people are going to have those pieces in their homes and I enjoy searching thrift shops, Kijiji ads (similar to Craigslist in the US) and estate sales and trying to get a deal for unique pieces. Our dining area is right beside our kitchen and it is finally almost complete...insert happy face! Our previous dining table was chrome and frosted glass and extended to fit 10 people. We have had it for around 15 yrs and it is still in great condition. It was a pain to clean with our kids and I was ready for a change when we moved into this house almost 3 years ago. I have been looking for a new table since that time, large enough for 6 people was my goal. We also have an island with stools if we need more room for guests. Turns out it's difficult to find something if you are not really sure what you want. We have hardwood and I knew I didn't want an all wood table, I thought a metal base wood be a nice contrast. Our living room is open to our eating area and our coffee table is a Saarinen style with a tulip base and marble top. I even thought that if I could find a metal base I liked I could always get a new top made one day when I win the lotto.
Fast forward to last month when I went onto our local Kijiji and saw a table base that is unlike anything I had ever seen and it was $50! I knew the price would make my husband happy. The photo was awful with bad lighting as the table was in a loft above a barn. It had beer bottles on the top of it and said it had a green glass top, which didn't excite me but the base was metal and the hair pin legs gave it that retro element that I love. I saw potential and used all my muscles to carry it down the stairs to the truck with my husband.
In the above photo I am only showing two dining chairs, we actually have 6 of them and 3 sit nicely at the table. I purchased the wood bench off of Kijiji after we moved in as I knew my daughters would love sitting there to do crafts and hang out when friends and family came over. I have always thought I would paint it but I was waiting to figure out the table and chairs first. We'll see if that gets done before the snow arrives.
You know how I said that sometimes I keep stuff for a long time, well these dining chairs were purchased from a Salvation Army where we used to live. We hadn't decided to sell our house yet and I called my husband to get the go ahead on these. We already had 8 dining chairs...did I really need 6 more in our bungalow with no garage to store them in? I had just donated items and the vehicle in front of me had dropped the set off. I asked how much and a manager came out and said how about $50 for all 6? I obviously didn't hesitate as that would be crazy. All of them are solid wood and stamped "Drevounia" Made in Czechoslovakia. The wood is in bad shape with lots of scratches and water marks. The seats were ripped and dirty and done in a cream vinyl. I attempted to stain one chair a shade of walnut a few moths ago before our Apartment Therapy feature and it looked awful. At least I got new upholstery done for them before that time. I had asked several friends what they would do and lots said to paint them a bright shade like blue or yellow. I still wasn't sure what table they would end up sitting with so I'm glad I waited. In my opinion black is timeless and pretty good and hiding marks from dirty fingers and markers. They are very comfortable as well, they hug your back perfectly. So I paid $100 in total for the table and 6 chairs. The bench cost me more than that and it's my least favourite piece in the space.
I put this lovely table top vignette together for the post, I normally don't have breakable items on top with two small kids. This plant is my latest purchase and I am smitten with it. The girls usually name each plant as it enters the house... this one however, is still nameless. I will tell you that I have wanted a pencil cactus for a while and have never seen one. I drove by a local flower shop the other day and it was in the window. When I brought it home my husband said "Now all your dreams have come true" Can you sense his sarcasm. My girls said "Wow mom, we like your crazy new plant" My reply to them is "Thanks girls but I need to tell you that you can't touch it...like ever. It says that if a piece breaks open and you touch it it could burn you." They are not going to touch it, don't worry, and it also sits somewhere other than our dining table.
I will leave you with these words of wisdom from an avid shopper of used stuff. It takes time and sometimes years to accumulate the right pieces to make your house a home. My personal taste is an eclectic interior with lots of artwork, plants and collectibles that make me happy. Buy what you love and can afford and eventually the pieces will find the perfect spot in your space.