My sister and her husband bought the set for me and Ted at a consignment shop here in Iowa City, as an engagement present. We've loved it and used it well, hauling it from Iowa City to Chicago, to the suburbs, to the country, and back to Iowa City again. (All of those moves happened in the space of two years, before Arlo was born.) It's still in remarkably good shape, considering all the miles we've put on it.
However... now we are preparing to put down new maple hardwood floors in our dining room (and kitchen and hallway) and we feel like having a metal-legged table and chairs is no longer wise, if we want to keep our new floors in good condition for a long long long long long long time. And yes, that is what we want.
The prospect of buying a new dining room set, on top of the cost of the new flooring, was an ominous one. I've been browsing online, trawling the secondhand shops, doggedly attending garage sales at every opportunity--all to no avail . . . until this weekend.
We found some nice chairs at a garage sale on Sunday--as it turns out, the garage sale of my cousin's mother-in-law (makes me sound like a Townie, doesn't it??), and we didn't want to pass them up because they were sturdy, attractive, in good condition, and priced right at $10 a pop. Not actual cherry wood, but a nice cherry-toned finish on well-built pine (we think) chairs.
Ted set them up around our formica table, and figured that would be it for a while. He reasoned that we could live with the mismatched table and chairs, since "the chairs are really the only thing that moves against the floor anyway." This notion did not appeal to me. You just can't get much more discord in a room than pairing a 50-year-old formica-top table with a set of nearly new cherry-stained chairs. I wish I had taken a picture. It was cringe-worthy.
I talked Ted into making a trip out to the Stuff, Etc. store in Coralville after church yesterday, though, and lo and behold! There was this attractive cherry-colored dining table--with two leaves--for sale, and it looked to be a near-perfect match! The only problem was, it was priced at $399. Which seemed like a lot for a secondhand table, which, admittedly, was not in perfect condition, although it was better than average and of good quality. Closer inspection revealed that it was from the Bombay Company, which is sort of an upscale Pier 1. (I did some looking online today, and see that their dining tables tend to be priced in the $700+ range.)
Imagine my delight when I discovered that--because the table had been there since March--it was 80 PERCENT OFF that $399 price! The final price, tax included, was $84 measly dollars.So...
Not bad for $134, eh?
Ahhhh, the thrill and satisfaction of a bargain found!