My New Free Dining Chairs, Found Treasures, And Lighting Galore

I’m slowly but surely getting things ready in the breakfast room so that I can level the floor in there.  Yesterday was a long day of removing trim, baseboards, shoe moulding, tack strips, and more plywood from the walls, and loading all the junk in the truck.  I’m so tired of this process, but hopefully I can get it all finished today and get the floor primed so that tomorrow I can start putting down the self-leveling underlayment.

It’s all very boring, and makes for really boring blog posts.  So today I wanted to share a few things that are a little more exciting than that (at least for me!).

First off, I have new dining chairs!  I mean, they’re not dining chairs quite yet, but they will be!  My bonus sister Cathi and her husband Phillip own a travel agency in the Dallas area (Legacy Travel — look ’em up if you’re ready for a vacation!), and they recently moved into a brand new fancy office with brand new fancy everything, so they were getting rid of their old office furniture.  Up for grabs were five wingback chairs, and I got four of them.

new dining chairs 1

They definitely give off a very “office furniture” vibe right now, but I’m hoping to remedy that.

new dining chairs 2

They’ll need new legs to raise them up to dining chair height, and I might reshape the arms somehow before reupholstering them.  But the great thing is that since they were office furniture, they’re a bit smaller than a wingback chair that you would get for a living room.  That makes them the perfect size for dining chairs!

I have searched and searched for wingback dining chair inspiration, and can’t find anything that’s quite “me.”  I do think that I want them skirted all the way to the floor.  Nothing frilly (please…no, nothing frilly), but something pleated and tailored, and I think I’ll probably lose the tufting.  We’ll see.

Anyway, next…

The other day when I was cleaning out my garage, I unearthed some real treasures!  These lanterns that I bought when I lived in Turkey…

lanterns from Turkey 1

I’ve had these things packed away for years since, obviously, they didn’t quite go with the decor in the condo.  🙂  But now that I’m gravitating towards these darker colors again, I’d love to use them!  I think they’re so pretty, and they have sentimental value.  (Ahhh…I love Istanbul.  My favorite city in the world!)

The top little hanger doodads have holes right in the center, so these can actually be wired for electricity.  So I’m thinking of turning all three into one three-light chandelier of some sorts.  I have absolutely no idea where I’d use it at this point, but I definitely want to find a place.

And while I was digging around in the garage, I also found several chandeliers.  I think I’ve mentioned before that lighting is my favorite.  I can’t say no to a stray chandelier.

This is one that I got for free from a client many years ago when we installed a new chandelier in her dining room.

black chandelier

It’s a big one — maybe 30 inches in diameter.  It was all brass, and I painted the whole thing (crystals and all) solid black.  It probably won’t stay black, but I do have plans for this monstrous light.  I’m going to hang it in my garage.  🙂

Yes…the garage.  That’ll be a ways down the road, but by golly, I will have a chandelier in my garage, just like those fancy schmancy HGTV dream homes do.  😀

It’ll be awesome.  Just you wait and see.

And then I found this cute little chandelier that I picked up at a local thrift store a few years back for $15.  It’s quite small (probably about 12 or 14 inches in diameter), and I’ve never found a place to use it.

small chandelier

It needs to be rewired, and all of the crystals are missing, but I think it could be so pretty when it’s fixed up.  I definitely need to find a place to use it.

And finally, this is the chandelier that I’m probably the most excited about.

ugly chandelier


Now I know that you think I’m absolutely insane.  And no, I’m not joking.  I really am the most excited about this one.  I bought this several years ago at a local church garage sale.  I think it was about $5 or so.

Here’s the key to finding chandelier treasures in a thrift store or a garage sale.  Ignore the ugly stuff (shades and such) around the chandelier, and focus on the shape of the actual chandelier.  Once I got all of the ugly wood and acrylic panels off, here’s what I had.

ugly chandelier 2

Now you have to look past the spiky thing that the wood and acrylic were attached to (that can be removed), and just look at the shape of the chandelier.  That’s actually quite a sleek and modern little chandelier that was hidden under that ugly 1970s facade.

You have to use your imagination, but with the addition of a few new bobeches, an easy-to-build cagey thing, and some spray paint, this chandelier could easily be transformed into something like this Open Grid Hammered Iron Ceiling Lantern from Shades of Light that costs $765.00.

chandelier from shades of light

Still don’t believe me?  Well, I hope to make a believer out of you, because I think I’m going to use this little guy in my breakfast room.  🙂

I won’t be using it over the table (it’s much too small for that) but I want to use it in the seating area at the other end of the room.

I found a few more treasures, but those will have to wait.




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  1. Is the little used furniture shop, vintage clothing store (I have obviously forgotten the name) still just off of 17th or 18th street and Waco Dr.? I used go there all the time and find lots of wonderful treasures. Such a fun store!

      1. You may be remembering Laverty’s! It is a great store, but Pat only opens a time or two a month
        now :^(. I think she is trying to be retired. :^)
        There is another one midway of the block of 25th street between Austin and Washington. Linda has GREAT stuff, but it is hard to catch her open :^)
        Me, I work every day….I’m just tired :^)

        1. Yes! Laverty’s! For the life of me, I could not remember the name. I guess all good things must come to an end. The next time I am in town, I will have to visit the other store…..Perhaps when I window shop Seronia. Then make my way over to George’s after such a long day. 🙂

  2. Ooh…what a great collection of items with potential! I have a hard time saying no to chandeliers too (I have one in my walk-in closet and another in my laundry/craft room), but I have an equally hard time saying no to wing chairs. If I see a pair in a thrift or consignment store, it’s dangerous for me. And it’s all your fault that I’m currently painting the pair with the hideous upholstery that I found at the Habitate ReStore!

    As for the treasures from Turkey, is there any way to transform them into the pendant lighting you need over your sink? They may be too exotic for the look and feel you have in mind for your kitchen, but that was the first thing that came to mind for me.

    1. Yes! That was my first thought too. The one has the deep green that looks similar to the cabinet inspiration. I bet they would look lovely.

  3. OMGosh! I ADORE those Turkish lanterns!! I can so ‘see’ them in mind’s eye in a bathroom hanging over a vanity. Whatever you decide to do with them, I know I’ll be jealous. 😉

    And the Wingbacks? SCORE! Times 4!!

    I’m not much of a chandelier person myself, but they obviously float your boat, so… happy rowing/sailing. ~:0)

  4. Those lanterns from Turkey are gorg! I love using treasures like that in unexpected ways! What about making them pendant lighting above the sink or island? I can’t remember if there is a window above your sink but they would be pretty during the day, catching sunlight and pretty at night, when lit.
    And honestly, I’m irrationally excited about your wingback chair project! Irrationally excited!

  5. Terrific chairs, Kristi! They will look great around a dining room table. (Is the leather in good condition? I’m actually really liking the color–a little unexpected.)

  6. What might be boring to you is amazing to me. The transformation of your home and your unlimited abilities are inspiring! I love watching it come together (and in short time…really) and look forward to each post.

  7. There is a nice book that recently came out called “Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design” by Amanda Brown. She owns the Spruce upholstery shop in Austin, and features some of her own furniture as models for the book. Her wingback is quite interesting–it might be good inspiration. (I was inspired just by learning how to do it. Like a lot of things, the devil is in the details–massively labor-intensive, but worth it).

    Love the black chandelier.

  8. I think I want to send you a picture of myself so you can tell me what beautiful image I can be turned into! I swear the way you see things is amazing to me. I see junk and you see beauty to be transformed. Inspiring. Now about that picture…

  9. Love all these treasures. About raising the chairs up to dining chair height–how about also putting casters on them when you get the new legs on. That would save your floor and be easier on the people sitting in them at the table.

  10. Kristie…you absolutely amaze me! Thrilled about the chairs…way to go…score big x’s 4 is right… where do you get your energy and ideas?

  11. I have 2 chairs exactly the same as the ones in the picture right down to the color….they were given to me by my MIL….I plan sometime down the road having them done in a red plaid for my living room which is done in Old English style….lots of dark wood furniture mixed with a library look….

  12. I have a chandelier that looks a bit like your thrift store chandelier. It, too, is missing all the crystals and needs to be rewired. I bought a garland at Hobby Lobby that has acrylic crystals shaped like the ones on your black chandelier. Now I just need to get to work on it.

  13. I am loving it all! And I can’t wait to see what you do with all of it! I am so glad I’m following your blog. It has become a welcome escape mechanism when my crazy life overwhelms me. Thank you.

  14. Lovely ideas. I was skeptical about the 70’s chandelier for the first few pics, but the inspiration pic won me over. And I already like those wingbacks the way they are! Great finds!

  15. I’m part of the club that wonders if you can use the Turkish treasures as pendant lighting in your kitchen! I love the wingback chairs – even the blue! Can’t wait to see how you transform that last chandelier into the inspiration pic – I want one! Now I’ll have my eye out for one knowing you’ll have a tutorial! 🙂

  16. Okay, I have to ask even though you thought taking off baseboards would be boring. How did you remove your baseboards without breaking them?

    Love that last chandelier. I am a more traditional type of gal but I could fall in love with the square guy. What a good eye you have.

  17. Wow love the treasures. I love lighting and the open one would be great in the Breakfast area . I can see it in a reading corner! The Turkish ones are great,but not with the open gridd one. Perhaps the open one in yup entrance are,then the Turkish ones over the sink area.but your call. Jealous of the 4wingbacks,will be interested to see what you do with them.

  18. Ooh, I love those chairs, lucky girl! I actually like them as is- I wonder if you could add casters to the legs. We had rolling dining chairs once upon a time, and we loved them, though they were a bit dangerous for my grandmother. :\

  19. Please let us see the steps you are doing to prepare to level your floor. I don’t want to miss any part of your re-do!

  20. I have 3 of those chandeliers in my house that you are excited about. I hate them. I can’t wait to see how you transform it!

  21. Please, please don’t do anything with those blue chairs, except use them.
    They would be a perfect answer for my living room delmina, exactly as they are now.
    Will be including them in my nightly dreams for quite some time, wishful thinking !

  22. Well, I’d almost kill for the Turkish lanterns because they’re perfect for my exotically eclectic home! 🙂 I now have seven Moroccan lanterns which are used in the screened porch, living room, guest bedroom, and guest bathroom which I have nicknamed “The Casbahth.”

    Like you, I paint chandeliers, crystals and all. I have a blue one over the kitchen sink and a white one in the bedroom. The one in the bedroom hangs over an aqua chifferette and has a mirror behind it. The mirror is also aqua with white trim on the carving in the corners. Very pretty arrangement.

    Also like you, I love transforming lamps! I made one out of two blue and white ceramic vases, and another is made from a brass Indian teapot. Treasure hunting is such fun, isn’t it?

    Congratulations on scoring those chairs!

  23. OMW you are so lucky, but I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving after all your hard work!!

    I love, love,love, watching you transforming. ……well, everything you get your hands on!! I especially enjoyed this post because I have a few of those chandeliers lurking about as well.

  24. LOVE the Turkish lanterns and echo the comments above that my first thought was to use them for your pendant lights.

    The color, shape and style of the chairs are amazing! I don’t feel “office” at all, esp. in a dining room or breakfast nook setting…I see eclectic and unexpected elegance. Other than raising the height, any thoughts on test driving them a while just as they are? Don’t create any more work for yourself if you don’t have too 🙂

    1. ^ Oh man, I do know the difference between to, too and two. That’s what I get for posting a comment at 3:30 am while on ambien no less.

  25. Your new dining room chairs are going to haunt my dreams! 🙂 I’ve been searching for wingback, leather and nailhead trim perfection, but this style was obviously not very popular in Southeast Nebraska as I haven’t been able to locate any for months! I know I could buy some for an outlandish price at the boring new furniture stores, but there is just something about giving an old piece a facelift and a new home. Enjoy your chairs, and I look forward to seeing what you do with them!

  26. I’m in love with the chairs!! I have been looking for a couple of wings for my LR…no such luck for me either.
    Oh well, when I am supposed to find them, they will show up :^)
    Your little lanterns are lovely….Good luck with your plans for all of the lighting!

  27. What terrific finds! I need to ‘find’ some light fixtures, too. I love the little chandelier and it will be so pretty once you rehab it. Given its size, it would be perfect in a reading corner with a comfy chair, a small table, and the chandelier. It needn’t take up much space. So, if you have a room, especially a bedroom, where you can carve out some space it would be perfect. And I think most of us are drawn to those little quiet spaces.
    Love, Love Love the Turkish lights to-be. Making them into one fixture sounds like a great idea. I can’t tell from the photo what size they are but even using all three as one fixture I doubt you will get much actual illumination from then and, of course, the light will be colored so over your sink may not be your best location. Also, where ever you place them it should be where they can be a special area where they will be noticed, especially by you since they have sentimental value. I cannot wait to see the outcome.

  28. I swear, you must live in my head! I have been wanting wingback dining chairs forever, and never really known how to do it–make them the right height, etc. Can’t WAIT to see this one!

  29. What a great collection of items with potential! WOW! I am so in love with that Open Grid chandelier. That smallest chandelier (12 to 14″) would be perfect for a bathroom. Marvelous chairs, they will look great around a dining room table.

  30. I love you! Seriously. Love. You.

    If I weren’t married with a 3 year old I would beg you for an internship. I would come and be your slave for 6 months just to learn from you.

    Have you ever considered workshops? Could you consider a workshop? 🙂