The Hunt for the Perfect Dining Chairs

I’ve been on the hunt for new dining room chairs for a few months now.  While I’m content with how my home is decorated, I’ve known that the chairs just weren’t quite right.  My dining table was a huge splurge, so I feel like I need chairs that are worthy of being paired with such a beautiful piece.  My current chairs are faux leather (pleather, if you will)…from TJ Maxx, and they are starting to crack and don’t look so hot after multiple moves over 5 years.

My current obsession is Chinese Chippendale chairs.  With their faux bamboo style and interesting backs, I just know they would look perfect with my white marble table.  


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Unfortunately…the cost of Chinese Chippendale chairs is astronomical (or at least more expensive then I’d like to pay).  Brand new chairs are typically over $250 per chair, so of course, I’ve been scouring Craigslist and thrift stores for used ones in need of a little TLC that are at a decent price…but to no avail.  In a perfect world, I’d purchase new chairs from Society Social (an amazing and colorful online home decor store that I’m obsessed with).  I mean, how fun are these chairs?

Society Social Darlington Chair.  (You can customize the color and the fabric!)

Society Social Ming No. 8 Chair.  Unfortunately this is sold out.  Adorable though, huh?

So long story short…I haven’t been able to find the perfect, affordable Chinese Chippendale chairs, but I did find some antique Greek Key dining chairs in a thrift store a couple weeks ago.  The six chairs came with a table and cost a grand total of $120.  I definitely didn’t need the table, but I forked over $120 anyway because the chairs were sturdy, they had an interesting design, and they needed some TLC.

Sad state of affairs in my kitchen.  I need more space!

The chairs have great bones, but desperately need new fabric and a sassy coat of shiny lacquer.

I’m not exactly sure what to do with them at this point, but I foresee a fantastic makeover in their future.  I’m thinking a lacquered coating of white or navy, or maybe even a sassy turquoise, with a fabulous fabric for the seats, of course.  Oh, and did I mention that I just found the exact same set of chairs for sale on 1stdibs for $6,750???  

These cost $6,750 on 1stdibs.  I’m still in shock that they are worth so much.


How insane is that?  Looks like without even knowing it, I scored some amazing chairs that are actually worth a lot of money!  And that’s the reason I love thrifting…you just never know what sort of treasure you will find!  
Stay tuned for an update on the makeover, and if you have a brilliant idea for which fabric or color of paint to use, please share!  I’d love your opinion.

Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. June 2, 2014 / 2:53 pm

    Miss Katie! I am realy crushing on your inspiration images and the wisteria chair find is a new one for me! Can't wait to see what you do with that greek key goodness!

  2. June 2, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    Love the Chairs! Which thrift store did you find them in?

  3. June 2, 2014 / 4:25 pm

    LOVE the chairs! I'm on a dining room chair hunt as well (for months!!). Seeing your amazing find gives me hope 🙂

  4. June 2, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    LOVE the chairs! I've been on a dining room chairs hunt for months now as well. Seeing yours gives me hope 🙂

  5. June 2, 2014 / 5:21 pm

    I think you should go with the navy color scheme because then you can go crazy with the hot pink color with florals, accessories, tabletop, etc. 🙂

  6. June 2, 2014 / 6:29 pm

    Nice find!!!! I'm looking forward to seeing the final product!

  7. June 2, 2014 / 11:08 pm

    Well done Kate! I wish I could help you transform them. They are going to be adorable in your home!

  8. June 2, 2014 / 11:08 pm

    Katie this was a fantastic read!! I won't be much help in what you should do next but I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed this piece of yours and found it very informative. I'm afraid though now you may have turned me onto an expensive hobby!

  9. June 3, 2014 / 12:42 am

    I love these chairs- They are so beautiful! I am really into turquoise and chevrons— can't wait to see the final product!!

  10. June 3, 2014 / 9:36 am

    Chinese Chippendales are my absolute favorites I have a set of four and although they match perfectly they took me years to acquire. I found two side chairs at one antique store and years later found two arm chairs at another, total for the set $175, I love a bargain! The chairs you scored are amazing too (I'm a sucker for chairs.) I find my decorating decisions are usually led by a good deal. Seeing the rest of your space I think a bright white on the chairs with a navy/blue geometric on the seat would be great. But honestly I also think the natural wood finish is kind of nice too. Can't wait to see the end result!

  11. June 7, 2014 / 10:56 pm

    Thanks Sheila! I bought them at Look Again Retail Shop on King Street.

  12. June 7, 2014 / 10:58 pm

    Thanks Nikki! Yeah I'm a little obsessed with finding old pieces and fixing them up. Fabric is expensive, but it's way cheaper than buying something brand new! Thanks for reading! I hope you're doing well 🙂

  13. June 7, 2014 / 10:59 pm

    That is so amazing Maggie! I have been hunting for Chinese Chippendales but have had no luck. You got such a bargain on yours! I need some patience like you have. I'm excited to make over these Greek key chairs though!

  14. June 7, 2014 / 11:01 pm

    Thanks Esther! Keep hunting, I'm sure you'll stumble upon something amazing and it'll be worth the wait!

  15. June 14, 2014 / 3:10 am

    I just got home from visiting my daughter who lives in the DC (China Town/downtown area) while my husband was at a conference. Love your blog! I passed on six chairs at a thrift store a few weeks ago similar to #2. I couldn't sleep all night. I went back the next morning and of course they were GONE! I am sure they are out there now painted in some awesome color! UGG! You gotta grab them when you see them! Thank you for your service and your sacrifice!

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