You never know what you're going to get.
Or: More than you ever wanted to know about my table
When we moved into this house over a year and half a go, we had a lot more space than we had furniture to fill it. And since we'd just spent all our monies on a house, buying all new furniture to fill it was not in the budget.
But let's be honest, I doubt buying new furniture will ever be in my budget. We may be able to afford it at some point, but I doubt we'll prioritize it. Not when we can get perfectly good used furniture that meets our needs and most of our wants for a fraction of the cost.
In fact, besides our bed, (the mattress itself,) the only furniture in the house that we bought new is a bookshelf we bought at Costco right after we got married, and a cheapy dresser we bought at a liquidation store when Rico was born. The rest is hand-me-downs, craigslist, and the occasional garage sale.
I've recently been looking for a new kitchen table. We have a formal dining table, but since the dining room is carpeted and I still have two three-year-olds who have yet to figure out how to eat without half of it landing on the floor, we typically eat in the kitchen nook. The table in there is one we inherited from Tom's parents and it had been good to us, but it's never been my favorite.
And it only has six chairs.
We bought an extra chair several years ago and made do, but now that Toulouse is eating solid food, we really needed another chair and that seemed like the perfect excuse to to get a new table, one with eight matching chairs. (Novel concept, I know.)
So I started looking.
And apparently, I am picky when it comes to dining chairs.
It didn't help that most tables with eight chairs are super formal and huge and we wanted a casual kitchen table that had to fit in the narrow space we have. Once the formal ones and square ones (and the freakishly expensive ones) were ruled out, the most common was the somewhat ubiquitous honey oak pedestal table with arrow back windsor chairs. And while that may work for you, it wasn't what I wanted.
So I kept looking.
I finally found what looked to be the perfect table, (or at least pretty darn good,) but it was in Bremerton. The upholstery on the chairs was a bit hideous, but that could be replaced. And for $50 the price couldn't be beat. Even if you factor in almost another $50 for gas. So, one day while the kids were off school, I loaded up the van and headed off.
Now I don't know about you, but once I make the trek to buy something, I just buy it without too much attention to tiny details. (Which is probably not a good thing.) In this particular case, they had all the chairs stacked up, the leaf on top of the table, and everything ready to load up. Having just driven for an hour we did just that: load up.
It wasn't until I got home that I realized that there was no way on this green Earth that all those chairs were going to fit around that table comfortably. I mean, sure, they fit well enough to have company come over and squeeze in, but for everyday? Forget about it. And the table top was not wood, despite the listing calling it a "wood table." The top was wood-grain formica.
So, I took pictures of it and posted it right back on craigslist. For triple the price I bought it for.
Before it sold, I really found the perfect table. It was honey colored (I may paint or stain it in the future), but the chairs were napoleon instead of windsor and it had legs instead of a pedestal. It also had a buffet which I thought would work nicely upstairs (no room in the kitchen for that sort of thing) and was a heck of a lot closer.
I conned my neighbor into helping me pick it up (cupcakes are a good motivator) and Monday evening we set off. When we pulled up to the senior assisted living center where it was located, the parking lot had been newly redone and was coned off. We could not park remotely close to the building. You would think they would have mentioned that when I called, (I spoke to an employee, not a resident,) because I totally could have come the next day. But no. Instead, we got to haul the table, eight chairs, and a heavy buffet not only from the back corner of the building, but across a sizeable parking lot as well.
Luckily my neighbor is buff.
And a good sport.
And then we had four tables and thirty-three chairs in my house.
(I sold the excess ones the next evening. So now we're good to go.)