". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This is our dining room table. We purchased it used about 15 years ago from a couple in Peoria. It is originally from Cohen's Furniture.

Here's the matching china cabinet.

Both have served us well and are still in decent condition (not counting the acquisition of various scratches and signs of past art projects on the table, but that's to be expected).

But the chairs . . . oh, the chairs. They are dying--have been for a while. Several, like the one below, are missing their backs. If you look at the chair's frame, you may be able to notice some separation between the back and the seat. At the moment the two parts of the chair have been pushed together to minimize the space, but anyone who leans against the back of the chair is playing with fire, as it will start to give way with too much force. We have tried gluing, but the repairs have not held.

And then there's the upholstery. Here's the worst example.

If the chairs themselves were not in such poor condition, we might consider reupholstering the seats. But I don't want to invest the time and/or money on chairs that are falling apart. We have considered hiring a professional to do the repairs, but since we only paid $500 for the whole set (including china cabinet), we really don't want to put a lot of money into repairs.

There is no money right now for a new dining room set. I have considered just buying metal folding chairs as a temporary solution (I'm not worried about beauty, since this table is used for school much more than for eating), but they sit a bit lower than is comfortable.

Any brainstorms out there? Anyone know where we can get some cheap but decent chairs to tide us over? Better yet, does anyone have any chairs they want to get off their hands for cheap (or free)? :-)


Evan said...

This sounds like a problem Craigslist is begging to solve.

Sure enough.

Nikki said...

Craigslist is what I was going to suggest too. And, if you don't mind a more modern look, Ikea delivers and is pretty cheap.

Elephantschild said...

Have you checked into having the chairs re-glued by a furniture repair shop? They'll take apart the broken joints and use the proper sort of glue. That may be alot cheaper than trying to find a set of 6 chairs w/out their table.

And I can make/ repair cushions for you.

All of that may be cheaper than even a set of chairs off Craigslist.

If the set is originally of decent quality, the style is such ("Mid-century modern") that it is worth preserving!

Glenda said...

I agree with EC. If it is a solid set, which it appears to be, than spend the money to refinish it so it will last. That is going to be way cheaper in the long run than buying new or buying chairs and then deciding to refinish these.

Cheryl said...

Other than the chairs, the set is holding up well. It is quite heavy and solid. So I am encouraged to look into professional repair. I guess I've been afraid that even that might be too expensive. But with EC offering to help me with the cushions . . . :-)

Jane said...

Wish you lived closer, the hubby is a whiz at furniture repair, but I agree with EC & Glenda.

IF, however, the repair proves to be too expensive--or even not really possible--one of the coolest dining rooms I've been in in a long time had six unmatched chairs that my friend had purchased at garage sales and second stores. She then made matching cushions. The most she paid for any chair was $12. It was cool.