My First Furniture Purchase For The House

We still haven’t closed on the house, but I have faith that everything will work out.  So much so that I bought my first furniture for the house!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty much going to be starting over from scratch.  I don’t want to take anything from the condo with me except for our clothes, my tools and some sentimental items.  There may be a few other things, but as far as furniture and decorative items that I’ve used in the condo, I don’t want any of them.

That means that we may be living without furniture for a while.  And really, for the most part, I’m okay with that.  But the one thing that I did want was a table and chairs for our breakfast room (oh, how I wish I could show you pictures!!!) where we could eat our meals.  So yesterday I found one that I liked on Craigslist, and I bought it.

Unfortunately, the seller removed the pictures before I could grab them off of Craigslist, but the set I bought looks almost identical to this other one that I found…

Claw foot pedestal dining table with press back dining chairs
(This is NOT the set that I bought, but mine looks almost identical.)

The wood on the set that I bought doesn’t look this dark…or shiny and new.  Mine is more of a lighter oak, and definitely looks like it has some age to it.  But it does have the claw foot pedestal table base, pretty carving on the apron of the table, and six spindle press back chairs.

I bought the set for $275.  That was for six chairs, the table, and one leaf.  I priced new sets like this online, and they came to about $1100, so I think I got quite a deal.

The top is a gorgeous wood (or at least, it will be), so I’ll definitely be refinishing it with stain and polyurethane.  The rest I will be painting.  (Too much matching wood looks depressing to me.)  I have no idea what color I’ll be painting it yet, but I did find this beautiful example on Serendipity Vintage Furnishings.

Painted pedestal table and press back chairs from Serendipity Vintage Furnishings

That one is painted in Chalk Paint in the color Olive.  I like it a lot, but I’ve always been partial to a white table base with a stained top, so I might end up going with that.

I also really love how this press back chair was refinished by Houston Faux Finishes

Painted press back chair with stained seat

The stained seat would definitely be more durable than a painted seat, but of course it would also take more work.  I was hoping to purchase a paint sprayer to easily paint the spindly chairs, but if I decide to stain the seats, then all of that would have to be taped off before spraying, plus it would have to be sanded perfectly down to bare wood so that it can be stained.  Like I said…a lot more work.

I also want to replace the two chairs the ends of the table with upholstered chairs.  Again, I’m not sure yet exactly what style, but I really like that look of having captains chairs upholstered, while the side chairs are wood.  Plus, six matching chairs at a table is just a bit much for me.

So who’s shocked at my purchase?  I figured at least some of you would think, “What?  That’s not Kristi’s style at all!!”  😀

I feel as if I’ve done a complete 180-degree turn with my style and my taste.  I used to love…LOVE…contemporary stuff (hard to believe I ever like that style now…that was a few years before the blog).  Then I really liked more transitional interiors (that was my Candice Olsen phase, whose style I still really like).  Then my taste went to the more handmade/ecclectic/mish mash look, which is what I have in the condo (I really have no earthly idea what style I’d call the condo).  And now I feel myself being drawn more towards the antique/traditional/classic styles.

Mainly, I just don’t want to move into a 1950s house (that I’m going to try to make look more like a 1900s to 1920s house) and fill it with a bunch of shiny, new stuff.  I want to fill it with items that have age and character.  Items that look like they have a story behind them.  Items that have been collected over time rather than purchased at the local furniture store just last week.

But I do still love color.  So let’s hope I can do this well — blend the classic with the colorful — without it looking hokey, childish, and cheap.  I think I can.  🙂



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  1. Hi Kristi, I just love the table and you really got a great deal..I do like it painted and i love the color, are the chairs not the same color as the base of the table..You said you tryed the AS paint, what did you think of it? I heard it was expensive but worth it..Have a great day and thanks for the letting me know how to hang those plates…

  2. Have you ever tried making your own chalk paint, Debbie? I found it much cheaper and so far, it has worked wonderfully! I’ve never tried AS, so I can’t be sure that they are the same, but I’m happy!

  3. I LOVE Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!! It is a tad bit more expensive, but goes farther and lasts forever. Plus, if you don’t like the color, you can paint over it. Virtually no prepping, either! You can get the same look with it as you have shown in the pictures, too!

  4. Oh, DIY chalk paint doesn’t even compare to AS. The best part is that you can buy from any dealer and get the same color. Most other DIY lots are slightly different in color. With AS, it is all the same color regardless if you buy in Calif. or Florida! 😉

  5. Yep, you can do it. I was never a fan of the pressed back oak chairs UNTIL I saw them painted similiar to what you posted. Then I was like… hmmmm, just maybe. These sets are abundant on Craigslist. I think it would be a candidate for chalk paint and wax, but I am officially a fan of chalk paint, diy or brand it covers more than you think. Can’t wait to see what you do.

  6. I lucked out – I have this exact set (mine only came with 4 chairs) and the matching hutch for $100 from a friend. I got tired of the old fashioned looking chairs and replaced them with lower profile mid century mod looking ones. But, even those don’t look right to me. I can’t wait to see how you transform it. I’m very hesitant about painted wood and how it will hold up to everyday use.

  7. I’ve got this same set x2 (round/oval kitchen table and a long hexi table to seat 12 in the dining room) that I am dying to do something fun with someday. I can not wait to see what you do so I can copy! I did switch out the dining chairs for leather Parsons chairs but its boring.

  8. You’re right. That doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen you do so far. But love how the sample photo has the wonderful natural wood top and painted bases. Are you sure you don’t want to go to a little more trouble and finish the seats in a natural color? It is really gorgeous like that. I’ll bet you could take the chairs apart fairly easily, saving you the trouble of trying not to get paint here or stain there. I usually take my furniture apart if I’m applying different finishes on a piece. Anyway, they would look just as good if you painted them! Can’t wait

  9. What a beautiful dining set! I’m sure whatever you do to it, it’ll be a great place to enjoy your meals and dream about all the other changes you’ll be making to your new home. Congrats on the first set of furniture and enjoy!

  10. I have NO doubt you will blend the classic with the colorful with aplomb! I love things with age and character, too. (kind of like ME, lol) I have filled my house with older or used furnishings. I love things with a story. People tell me my home has a good “feel” and I imagine a lot of that has to do with all the history with which I have filled it. Every antique, every piece of formerly-loved Craigslist furniture has its own story to tell. Kristi, I am SO excited for you. And cannot wait to see what you do with your very own REAL HOUSE!!!

  11. I love the look, i’m so jealous at your way of “I’ll just paint it”…i’m always to chicken to paint furniture…i have several hand-me-down pieces that I love for sentimental value but i’m to afraid of painting them…I will have to send you pix and you can give me ideas!

  12. I really like the chalk painted chairs with the dark stained seat. So pretty. I think it’s really smart to stick with the age of the house when you’re decorating, plus it will make you go to fun places like flea markets and thrift stores to find what you’re looking for. Win-Win.

  13. Looks great! My favorite color is green and I’m trying to get away from it in my kitchen décor but I’m having a hard time 🙂 We have an antique oak table and chairs which we have used for the past 42 yrs. I often think about painting it…now to convince everyone else!

  14. Love your new dining set! I’ve always thought that the press-back chairs were so lovely ad add just the right touch of “fancy” to homey style. I think they’d look beautiful as the sample photo in green showed but am like you, partial to the white with a wood finished top. While I also love the wood seats with the white finish, it would be a long, labor intensive job. I do, however, like how the details of the backs are enhanced by the white. Decisions, decisions! I’m sure that once you move in and start working on the house, you’ll figure out exactly what you want and we’ll be waiting to see how it all turns out! Hugs, Leena

  15. Love it! We have the same oak table and chairs that we purchased 25 years ago. Was very tired of the oak. So wasn’t too sad when our new, lovable puppy chewed her way around the set.(she is fine!) actually did a lot of painting, re-doing, slipcovering,etc. of various furniture pieces after she grew out of that stage!! Our table is now painted a golden,buttery yellow. The chairs a little darker. The paint used on the table was a $5 can of oops paint from Home Depot. That I also used on some bedroom walls! What a bargain!

  16. Your first furniture for the new house, how exciting! I love furniture with painted body and a stained top. The green color is a fabulous inspiration. The white painted furniture with a dark stained top is my absolute favorite, my eyes are always drawn to those pieces first. Can’t wait to see how you transform your dining set, I know it will be gorgeous!

  17. Love it! I recently sold my painted Queen Anne style table with cane-backed chairs and took in my sister’s table that’s exactly like yours, down to the “monster face” chairs. (P.S. do you see the scary face in them? This is the table my parents owned growing up, and I always saw that large flat space as a mouth + the curlies above it as eyes = monster face) My parents lost the leaf in the move, so I had to make a new one. But I love the carved foot pedestal base! I paired mine with the Tolix style metal chairs from Target. Can’t wait to see yours in your new home!

    Oh, and if you’re looking for ASCP, the Shops at Spice in Waco carry her line.

  18. We sell almost identical sets at the consignment store I manage, and I can tell you, YOU GOT A DEAL! I think whatever you do will look fabulous! I AM really surprised at the traditional bent your style is going….but you’ve got good taste either way!

  19. I am not shocked. I love that table set! And I could totally see you doing a 2 tones colored finish like the first one you posted. I agree with you – you can’t throw modern furniture in an older house and it look right. I am going towards the classic, clean, vintage look too. But with an updated look (like the painted furniture/2-toned look of wood/white)

    congrats on your first purchase!

  20. Kristi, your new set would look AH-MAZ-ING painted with ASCP in one of her white or cream colors, and with stain on the table top and seats! *swoons* I’m not normally a fan of this chair style, but I love it painted and then finished with the antiquing wax. It really brings out the detail of the chair back. Can’t wait to see what you do with your set. Do you think you will paint/stain all of the chairs (even though you want to put upholstered captain’s chairs in place of 2 of them) so you have a matched set for when you have guests at the new house?

    1. Yep, I’ll definitely paint all of the chairs. I want to keep the whole set consistent just in case I want to sell it at some point down the road. 😉

      I’m also considering using Miss Mustard Seed’s new white wax on the chairs. Antiquing can go south pretty quickly and easily, but the white wax seems pretty fool proof, and it brightens rather than dulls the color. I’m just considering it, though. Not sure if I’d want to paint the chairs with milk paint, and I don’t know if her waxes play well with other paints.

      1. Kristi, I think that chalk paint and milk paint are both forms of distemper — anyway, they have similar soft finishes, so the same waxes should work on both of them. That said, I haven’t specifically tried an MMS wax on top of a chalk paint! I am actually planning to use the white wax soon, probably over chalk paint, and I guess that the first time out I’ll try it over “real” chalk paint rather than homemade chalk paint (latex + Plaster of Paris). The homemade ones don’t behave as nicely.

  21. Kristi, I can’t wait to see what your creative brain tells you to do with a set like this. I love the painted base and chairs, then stained top and seats. You sample table is super. I really like that color. I’ve also seen it done using a kind of mustard color and it was really unique but a pleasant surprise. I would never have even thought of using mustard and it was beautiful. As for the seats, if you don’t want to go through the pain of prep and stain, why not try using a faux bois finish? There is so much flexibility with color and technique and you can use a paint that is durable with a top coat.
    Like you, the first example of a wood table top and painted base I saw used white. It was very popular around here and I think I just got tired of it. Lately I’ve seen so many colors used and that can give an entirely different personality to the piece. I’ve no doubt that whatever you do will be lovely. Your pieces always are.

    1. I’m not sure that I would try a faux bois finish on the chairs, but I did purchase the Martha Stewart faux bois tool many months ago, and I’ve just been waiting for the perfect project to use that on!!

  22. I can’t wait to see what you do with the table! I am feeling the refinished top and painted bottom. I dig a cottage vibe, which that will have. It really is a timeless look and will work perfectly with what you are going to do (1920’s-30’s). Great find!

  23. Ha, yes, I was skimming the post and thought, Surely that is a photo of the old table and chairs that came with the house that she is getting rid of! Not buying! I’m now quite curious to see how your new style emerges over the next many months 🙂

    1. Haha! Shocking, right? I’m sure I’ll make lots of other shocking furniture choices in the near future. I had fun in the condo with the bright colors, but I definitely think my taste has changed. I’m longing for some more traditional/classic/antique looking stuff now.

  24. Kristi, my mom would have loved your approach to decorating. I remember her bringing an old oak dining room cabinet home and painting it aqua! This was ages ago.

    I love your idea to stain the tabletop and paint the chairs. Can’t wait to see the results. (LOVE that chunky pedestal table, too.)

  25. I can’t wait to see what you do with it Kristi! I love the idea of mismatched chairs – with two upholstered chairs at the ends! I am currently trying to change up our dining set with new / old painted chairs and different end chairs as well! I love that look:)

  26. I really like that table! I totally agree about the antique-y/character pieces. We have been in our house for two years – we started with two twin beds, a hand me down table, a hand me down sectional sofa and THAT’S IT. Guess what? I JUST bought a piece of furniture for my house this past weekend. I like things that have character but most importantly I want SOLID furniture. Most of the stuff out there nowadays just isn’t quality and you pay an arm and a leg. SIGH. BUT, I totally scored on Craigslist this past weekend. I got an antique-ish SOLID maple hutch for my kitchen. I’m still having heart palpitations.

    1. Oh wow! Congrats on your Craigslist score! The person who sold me the table and chairs also had a maple hutch available. It was really pretty…kind of a vintage look. But I wasn’t sure if I’d have room for it, so I left it behind.

  27. Oh my gosh…what a gorgeous set…and I’m sure whatever finish you choose, it will be amazing! I luv the idea of using upholstered chairs on the ends….really brings things up a notch! A steal of deal as well!
    I am so excited to hear about your new home…keeping my fingers crossed deal goes through smoothly!


  28. I don’t know what your previous decor was, but traditional/classic/antique is wonderful!! It is the ultimate in recycling :^)
    I am on the hunt for two wooden chairs…large sized Ethan Allan type maple chairs. Hope Craig is as good to me as he was to you!!

  29. Hi! I love this! I’m doing something similar to my pressed back chairs. How did you prep them before painting? Sanding? Stripping? Any advice would be great! Thanks!