Chinese Chippendale Chairs

This last week I decided to get my dining room into some sort of working order since I might need to actually serve a meal to guests in the near future. Truth be told we’ve already had several guests but we’ve been eating at the coffee table so there’s been no real urgency to get this room shaped up. My dining chairs have been hanging out in the garage and that makes for a not-so-happy husband. He’s been taunting me with the Charlie McCarthy head lately…

charlie-mccarthy-1 He likes to place Charlie in random spots throughout the house to scare the crap out of me. Believe it or not, I never noticed him in the fridge because I was so tired when we moved. Here’s where I found Charlie this week:

charlie-mccarthy-2 Creeptastic, isn’t he? Okay, so about those dining chairs… I found these Chinese Chippendale chairs on Craigslist in Chattanooga. They have always been my dream dining chairs and I finally scored them! I drove a total of four hours for these and they were worth every drop of gas. Here’s what they looked like before (minus the heinous pleather-covered seat cushions):

original-dining-chairs

Don’t be fooled, that is not a gorgeous wood finish. They were laden with cigarette smoke and there were several spots where a dog had gnawed on the legs. They had to be cleaned, sanded and painted if they were coming into my house. Since I had just enough Chiang Mai Dragron fabric left over from another project, I thought I’d paint them a dark gloss gray to let the fabric really pop. I painted them up…

spray-under-first Then removed two layers of nasty upholstery from the seats and recovered them.

reupholster-dining-chairs And ended up with this.

gray-dining-chairs

They were pretty, but the gray just clunked against the saturated yellow-orange tone of the burl wood table. Bummer. So I got a wild hair and decided to go with purple. I have purple tones in my hot pink runner just beside the dining room and I needed a darker, substantial color to ground all the yellow tones in the room, so I decided purple would be the perfect compliment. The chairs were repainted (by my lovely husband, this time) and voila!

dining-chair-finished Purple Chinese Chippendale chairs! They’re definitely different, but right now I’m totally digging them in the dining room.

dining-room-october-2013 I’m still playing with the settings on my camera (yes, we found it!) so I hope you’ll forgive the weird contrast in this photo. I’m hoping to play with it a bit this week and see if I can snap some decent shots to give you a progress report around the house.

So have any of you traveled great distances for the furniture of your dreams? How far were you willing to go? I’d love to hear your story!