Thrift Store Find: Chinese Chippendale Chairs

Guys, it finally happened.  I found a set of Chinese Chippendale dining chairs!  I’ve been looking for a set of chairs for about 2 years now, and I wrote about my love of these chairs last year.  I didn’t think I’d ever find an affordable set, but last week I found a set for a steal!  


Every week I make the rounds to three local thrift stores.  I didn’t find anything in the first store, but as I was walking back to my car I caught a glimpse of some chairs behind a fence.  I started nosing around behind the fence and realized that these had recently been donated but hadn’t been priced yet.  There were 7 chairs (1 with arms, 6 without), and despite being dirty and a bit beat up I knew they were exactly what I had been looking for!  I walked back into the store and asked if I could buy them.  The supervisor walked outside with me to take a look, and he told me I could have the set for $49.49. Yes…7 Chinese Chippendale chairs for $49.49!  The best part is that they have a military discount so I end up paying less than $40 for the entire set.


After a bit of online research I realized that these chairs are likely made by Ballard.

Image via Ballard.

These chairs retail for $279 per chair with arms and $215 per armless chair…that means I got $1569 worth of chairs for under $40!

I’m thinking I’ll paint the chairs gold.  I’m tempted to paint them some crazy color like turquoise, but I already have so much color in our home that I think I need to go more neutral…and gold is a neutral, right?  The cushions have definitely got to go (they’re sticky and gross feeling), but the seat caning is in great shape so I may not even replace them.  

Stay tuned for updates!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. May 12, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    What a fabulous find!! Amazing 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    May 13, 2015 / 2:54 pm

    Wow! What a find! I am rather jealous 🙂 Can you share your favorite thrift shops? I live in Ellicott City, and I feel like my favorite shops have either closed or increased their prices too much. Thanks 🙂 Beth

  3. May 14, 2015 / 6:30 pm

    Thank you! My go-tos are often plain old Goodwill and Salvation Army. It takes a while to find ones that get decent things though. Have you checked out Miss Pixies in DC? It's lots of fun and has good prices. Also, Lucketts in Leesburg is one of my favorite places on earth, especially when they have their flea markets.

  4. May 14, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Thanks Monica! I strike out a lot but definitely hit the jackpot with these! Choosing a fabric is so hard though! Too many pretty ones to choose from 🙂

  5. May 14, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Hi Beth! Thanks for following along! I mostly just go to Goodwill and Salvation Army. Laurel Thrift Center is good too though (that's where I found these chairs).

  6. May 15, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    You find the most AMAZING things!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see what you do with them 🙂
    -Evelyn

  7. May 15, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    Your knack for finding gems like this is quite impressive, Katie! What a steal! Can't wait to see how they turn out and what kind of fabric you pick for the cushions 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    May 15, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    These are fabulous! Or, at least will be soon 🙂

    What are your three thrift shops? I'm also in the DC area and desperately in need of some (cheap) furnishings…

  9. May 16, 2015 / 7:23 pm

    Thanks, Katie! I haven't been to Laurel Thrift in ages, and I don't think I have ever bought furniture there. I will give it another try :). Beth

  10. Anonymous
    September 17, 2015 / 12:51 am

    Oh man – when I moved from Clarendon last year I put 5 of these beauties out on the curb with a "free" sign. They were gone in a few hours, but I wish I'd known someone who would have loved them like you!

    B.

  11. September 21, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Oh my goodness, I would have snagged those in a heartbeat! Someone definitely lucked out when they found them on the street!

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