Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Dining Room Chair Saga and Craigslist-ing

If you have been reading Viva Cindy a while, you remember that I bought some dining chairs last year on Craigslist - $185 for 6 chairs. A good price for 6 upholstered chairs! There was just something about the metal base.  It was love at first sight.  (minus the fabric - obvs)

Well, if I had only known what a score it was, I wouldn't have made such a rookie mistake.

Let me explain.

After I brought them home, I was searching for upholstery ideas (because they seriously needed it) and found the exact chairs on 1stdibs selling for thousands. You could not tell the difference in pictures.  But I was positive that the originals were solid brass.  I mean, for that kind of money surely they are solid chairs.

Nonetheless, I was excited that I had such great replicas of the originals by Italian designer Milo Baughman.
My excitement dwindled though in the following nine months that I lived with the chairs at my table.

They were bulky and hard to move, I was not able to have a rug, and they called for a pedestal dining table instead of the 4 legged one I have.  Yes, they were comfortable, but they squeaked a lot.  Also, I felt they were too high and cut the flow in our space.
I was over the 80's fabric too.  Hunter green with a sheen damask? No!  The only thing good about the color is that when Mateo spilled a kale and mango shake all over the seat, and the green liquid barely stained it.
From the get go, my intentions were to recover them, but after getting the $110/per chair quote, I was even less excited about them.  $660 to reupholster knock-off chairs, and don't forget the $180 I paid for them, so $840 for fabric dining chairs and I have two small boys?  A toddler that spill things? Spills things everyday? Was I nuts?

Yes.  Yes, I decided I was.  And so I put them up on Craigslist for $400, more than double what I paid for them.  I loved the chairs, and knew someone else would too.  I had such mixed feelings about listing them.  They were great, just not great for me right now.

Not surprisingly, someone else saw the potential in the green monsters.  A lady contacted me that day about the chairs and came the next morning to pick them up.  $400 cash, no haggling.

What I am about to tell you next is with a very heavy heart.  In fact, it has taken me the last 3 months to where I can finally talk about it.
As the craigslist buyer (a dealer, no less) loaded the chairs into her SUV, she pointed out the stamp on the bottom of the chairs indicating "Design Institute of America" which just happened to be who Milo Baughman designed for...WHAT?  WTF?
THEY WERE ORIGINALS?  If that sounded like I was screaming, that's because I was.

Could I have told her they are not for sale even though she paid and had them all packed up?
Sick.  Sick I tell you.  Maybe I could've lived with these chairs.  If not, I could should have made a few thousand instead of $200.  Woe was me.

The saga continues.  Enter Overstock and the knock-off Eames chairs.  They are very cool MCM looking. They are molded plastic so no cleaning issues, and the reviews say they are sturdy and great for kids.  (after just checking O, they seem to be sold out of the wood legged version.  Here is the real deal fiberglass chair by Eames.  Overstocks was very similar, except in price.  ($325 for 4 vs $335 for one chair)
I love the look of them and think the white/wood would look great with my wood table.  And they are practical.  Do something practical Cindy.  I almost ordered them last week, but something held me back.

Maybe I just don't like buying things new.  Or maybe it's because, subconsciously, I knew I would see these on a Craigslist add a few days later. 
Because I did.  And I couldn't hit "contact seller" fast enough.
"Glass table and 4 Chairs - $70" Yes! I'll take it.
The seller left me hanging for a day then yesterday morning [after I wrote her again] she responded saying that she never received my email Saturday and that the set was sold on Sunday.  Ugh!

This was probably a similar situation as my other chairs.  Vintage designer chairs at a steal.
I had a second chance and I blew it!  That add was posted on Oct 1 and I didnt see it until the 5th?  Total slacker!  All I know is that I can't let that happen again.  I don't think I can take the disappointment.  The high of finding something so cool (and so cheap!) and the low of hearing "It's sold"  It's rough out there in Craigsland.

Anyway, moral of this story is that there is always something better around the corner.   I have hope again. Craigslist, or maybe even a thrift store or yard sale, will come through for me.  I just have to keep my eyes open.  You better believe I am going to do just that.

As a matter of fact I already found a couple options, but I need to talk to Paul's shuttle about delivery, because they are in Ohio.
These are only $125 for 5 chairs.  I LOVE the chrome base of these. Not the red so much.
I would recover these in a Navy blue outdoor fabric.  Or if possible, removable covers made of washable cotton velvet.  They do seem to sit a little low though don't they?  I will need to ask for measurements.

Also found these which are very close to the ones I missed out on this weekend.  $250 for 6 chairs and the table.  I would negotiate without the table.
I know what you may be thinking.  Those look like old people chairs. And granted, the decor (mainly the centerpiece) does imply someone old owns these (also in the add it says contact my grandson by email-ha!) but put these around a different table with more modern decor and you have a winner!

ok, are you still with me?
I have one last find to show you Ohioans out there.  Another set of chairs by Milo Baughman.
Please please please someone buy these and get them redone in a navy or emerald velvet.  Please?
Remember I said a while ago that I should be a Craigslist personal shopper?  Well, I think there is something to that.  Need to brainstorm on that.  Or maybe a shopper for Emily Henderson.  I find myself asking if she would like this or that.  I think she would.


  1. i have those exact Milo chairs

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