September 29, 2012

The Story of Our Dining Room Chairs

Last post we alluded to another update we've made in our dining room. As you can see, we finally got new chairs for the space — oh only 9 months after moving into the house. With all the food and entertaining we take on, you might think the dining room would have been our top priority. Well all we can say is, we're getting there slowly!

We've always loved the industrial look and feel of metal paired with barn wood, so we knew we wanted something metal to go with our farm dining table. For years we've looked at and considered the Tolix style french cafe chairs, though admittedly, we weren't in love with the idea of the sticker shock the authentic versions might bring us.

We've searched high and low for vintage Tolix chairs on Craigslist, Etsy, Ebay, and other online auction type sites. For example, we'd eyed and drooled over authentic but modern versions like these from Pottery Barn with a whopping price of $245 per chair:

And just loved the idea of authentic vintage versions like these that can be found all over Ebay and other auction sites to the tune of $350 or more per chair:

Every so often some amazing vintage Tolix chairs will creep up in Etsy's Vintage section too, like these, for almost $800 for the pair:

Just once I'd love to be ahead of the design curve on gems like these. Back in the day, these french cafe chairs were probably a dime a dozen and you might have been laughed at for wanting something like this prominently in your home. It always happens that way, doesn't it!? Maybe we need to re-think holding onto and storing those folding chairs Mary's dad lent us that we were smack talking in our last post, ha.

But that magical moment where we found a steal on the real deal didn't arrive before we laid our eyes on the prize with the chairs we did end up getting (which we think look pretty similar). 

That fateful day came in the form of these Silver Tabouret Stacking Chairs from This was one of those instances where the coupon queen tendencies passed down to Mary from her mother and sister came into play. Since we'd been eyeing this style of chair for so long, she had signed up for various site emails where we get alerts on sales and coupons. Somehow (don't ask me how), Mary was able to stack a sitewide sale, and email percentage coupon and a free shipping offer all at once to snag all 8 of these chairs for right at $40 a pop. We're not always frugal in every part of our lives, but again this is one of those circumstances where I love the thriftiness that can come out of my woman!

Mary here: Like Tim alluded to, anyone can do this. If you have a favorite brand/store/item and a little patience, simply sign up for the company emails. They send out offers and promo codes every so often that you can take advantage of. It just so happened with these chairs that we hit the sweet spot when Overstock was already having a site sale on them, and also sent me a discount coupon via email, along with a separate free shipping offer — It. Was. Awesome. Over and out.

While the chairs we got aren't authentic French Tolix cafe chairs, we love the industrial vibe they give off and were even a little surprised at how comfortable they are to sit in.

We love how the 8 chairs fit perfectly around the table as is and can be moved to either side when we put leaves in the table for when we have lots of people over. My mother has been adamant that Mary and I will be having Christmas dinner at our house from now on (something she's hosted for as long as I can remember) so we love knowing we will have enough wiggle room.

The chairs also stack perfectly against one another for easy transport if we need more space in the room or just want to move them around. Who knows if we'll ever actually stack these chairs, but we like the feature in any case.

Here's the part in the post where I show a ton of shots of the chairs I tried to get from every angle:

Funny Note — While I was trying to get some decent shots of the new chairs all set up in the space, you know who thought it was the perfect time to try to get me to play ball with him. He quite literally almost made it into every single shot I tried to get.

So, shall we take another look at our awesome new chairs while Basil photo-bombs each shot? I think yes:

The challenge was finding any good shots that he hadn't photo-bombed. What a ham — a big puppy ham.

As you can gather, we're all smitten with the new chairs and the way they've helped us come one step closer to making this room feel more complete and functional. We're starting to get there!

What about you — scored any great deals you can't help but share with everyone or added any updated furniture to a space that's made all the difference recently?


  1. Patience really paid off. The chairs are awesome and you've got them just in time for the holidays. The pictures came out awesome, I can easily envision smiley faces around the table enjoying a delicious meal.

    Big hug for Basil ♥

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words — we are thrilled we waited for these too. We have a big dinner planned this coming Friday evening where we will get to test them out!

    2. I really like your chairs welldone! but what I really LOVE is your table w-o-w, can you PLS direct me to where I can find smth similar??????? Many thanks, Anna xxxx

  2. Love your table and chairs. Great look and feel Good job on the frugal find. It makes the chairs just a bit more comfortable.

  3. I love this! Where did you get the table?

    1. We got the table at a really good price and floor clearance at Restoration Hardware. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time!

  4. Just found this blog post. LOVE the dining room. I just ordered these same chairs. That's how I found this blogpost. I was goggling these chairs. Can you pleeeaaasse tell me the two wall colors. I really like them. Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks Mara — SO excited to hear you got these chairs too. The paint colors came from Restoration Hardware. The top is called "linen" and the bottom "stone." You can see the full before and after from painting that room in this post:

  5. The story of your dinning room chairs is the most interesting story I've read today. The way everything has been managed truly amazing. I like that dinning table and chairs pretty much. Simple furniture's are my favorite and that dinning and chairs have all the simplicity which I like most. Thanks.

  6. Just found your post! I'm actually looking at the same chairs but am on the fence over one thing - do you ever have larger guests over that have trouble fitting in the chair?? My husband and I are quite small, however, I dread that embarrassing moment when a larger relative would go to sit down and couldn't.


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