$40 dining room table & chairs

by | Jan 16, 2023 | Antiques, Dining Room, Favorite Finds, My House | 47 comments

Since we moved into our house in September, I have been hunting for a dining table and chairs.  The dining room has been a bit of a storage room, so it hasn’t felt like too much of a priority.  I was looking forward to eating in there, though, and using the table for puzzles and projects.  And I was looking forward to it looking and feeling more like a proper room.  It was funny…we had our electrical panel replaced and the electrician looked a little stumped when he was trying to label that room.  From the studio, I called over, “It’s the dining room!”

I found a few on Facebook Marketplace and at local used furniture and antique stores, but they were either too expensive, not quite the right style or the table or chairs were rickety.  I knew the right set would come along at some point.  I just had to be patient.

With Christmas fast approaching, I felt a stronger desire to find a table, even if it might not be the one that’s “our table.”  I found a set I really loved with balloon-back French chairs, blue velvet upholstery, and a table with a parquet top, but the seller decided to give it to a family member.  I then spotted this lovely antique set for $40.  I really love the style of the table and the chairs and thought they would nicely complement the antique French cabinet I purchased to be the star of the room.  From the description as well as messaging with the seller, though, I was concerned about the condition of the set.  I’m not one to shy away from furniture that needs work, but I have learned that chairs are very finicky when it comes to gluing and repairs.  If it’s a loose stretcher, that’s pretty easy.  If stretchers are broken or there have been poor past repairs, some more glue is never going to make it solid.  It’ll be passable for a while, but not solid.

Such is the case with this table and chairs.  We did some more gluing and repairs, but they are just passable for now.

gluing dining chairs | miss mustard seed

But, it’s still a lovely set and we will use it until I come across the one that is just right that will last for years.

I showed it in my post about my Christmas break, but I figured I would show it in a bit more detail.

$40 dining room set | miss mustard seed

I will recover the seats since that’s an easy fix and I will refinish the top since it’s sporting water rings and chipped veneer.  For not, a couple of pieces of fabric act as a table cloth.

I love the turned legs on the chairs and the curvy back.  It’s nice to look in from the kitchen to see a proper dining room, even if it’s not close to being finished!  When you’re renovating a whole house, you have to celebrate the moments that at least give the impression of being finished.

$40 dining room set | miss mustard seed

This dining room does have a pair of doors to close it off from the kitchen and I do plan on keeping them.  There is something old-fashioned about them that I like.

$40 dining room set | miss mustard seed

Here is a look at the dining room from the same view taken when we were looking at the house.  I actually like the wallpaper selections, but both patterns were stained and peeling.  It’s just time for an update.  The floral wallpaper peeled right off, but it’s left behind some peeling paint and glue that needs to be addressed before I can start painting.

I can look past all of that, though, and enjoy the morning light coming in through the window, falling across some of my favorite transferware pieces.

$40 dining room set | miss mustard seed

We also hung the chandelier we’d taken with us from our PA house to Minnesota to here.  It was just $4.00 at a yard sale in Virginia, but it is so lovely and I just haven’t been able to let it go.

$40 dining room set | miss mustard seed

$4.00 yard sale chandelier | miss mustard seed

(We need to stick that medallion up against the ceiling a bit better!)

I am looking forward to this view changing over the next year.  We’ll add some built-ins to make this room a library/dining room.  I think it’ll be such an inviting room lined with books.  I also have some lovely green velvet fabric that will make amazing curtains.

$40 dining room set | miss mustard seed

Here is a view from the dining room when we looked at the house…

Another thing I love about these chairs is how they are worn just perfectly.  The wear beautifully brings out all of the lovely turned details along the backs.

$40 dining room set | miss mustard seed

As I was photographing the table and chairs, it was nice to play with a few of my antique pieces.  If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I am always drawn to dishes, flatware, and table linens.

blue and white transferware | miss mustard seed

antique blue and white transferware and ironstone | miss mustard seed

And, to show you what I’m cropping out of the shots, there are two wire storage shelves flanking the door to the kitchen that are housing my books.  It’s not a very elegant solution but it’s better than having them piled on the floor.  At least I can use them until we can build proper shelves.

wire shelves for books | miss mustard seed

It seems like a hundred tiny things have to happen before we can get to the built-ins.  I need to remove the wallpaper and glue, and we need to organize the garage, so we can have a nice workspace for building, I need to prime and paint the walls, then prime and paint the wood for the shelves…  Just on and on.  I’m sure most of you have projects like that.  You’re ready for the last domino to fall, but you have to knock over the first one first.

wire shelves for books | miss mustard seed

47 Comments

  1. Maribeth. Thornsbury

    I love it!

    Reply
    • Gerry

      Really nice.

      Reply
  2. Linda

    The photographs peeking through the doorway into the dinning room look like they are waiting for a magazine page . The table and chairs remind me of meals at my grandparents.
    Always enticing, your photos tell a story . Thank you for provoking my thoughts to another time .

    Reply
  3. Karen

    That table and chairs! Swoon!

    Reply
  4. Carswell

    Those are lovely chairs – great lines and subtle curves are a really nice detail. I’m not a fan of gate leg tables though – I find that when you are seating a lot of people the legs really get in the way.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I agree, but this isn’t a gateleg table. The stretchers are in a Y formation, which is a little unusual, but the legs are fixed.

      Reply
  5. Theresa

    Marian, what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing your joy not just in things accomplished but in thing coming closer to your taste. I have no doubt you will find the ideal set!

    I love your, “how do you eat a whale” approach to the multitude of projects. It gives me hope for our 125 yr old home. And of course the answer is, “one bite at a time”. Thank you again for all your inspiration!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh man, it is overwhelming when I look at the entire project as a whole. I’m just trying to do an hour or so most days on the wallpaper removal and it will eventually be done. Whew!

      Reply
      • Donna Williams

        I love those chairs and am also obsessed with the table legs. I love your timeless taste and also love your green blue and white palette. Thank you for sharing your journey to building another beautiful home. Why do I feel like this one will be even more gorgeous than the last😍😍😍

        Reply
  6. Rebecca

    A work in progress, but in the meantime, you’ve made it look cozy. And this dining room bigger than your former dining room in MN, which means you will probably make great use of it. It will also probably become your “kitchen” when you redo your current kitchen. The dining room set looks great but the antique French cabinet is to absolutely die for. And it looks particularly lovely with your ironstone collection. Also, are you planning on eventually replacing your flat-panel doors? Or do you feel that’s part of the era of the house? Just curious.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      yes, we’ll eventually replace the slab hollow core doors. The exterior doors are all lovely, paneled, and solid wood, so we’d like to replace the interior door to carry that look inside the house.

      Reply
  7. Leslie

    Can’t wait to see your green velvet drapes.

    Reply
  8. Babs

    The lines are lovely! What a steal…$40!! When you do find your set someone else will love this set…antiques are truly recycling at it’s finest. (Love the kitty in the middle of the table…)

    Reply
  9. Dianne

    Your ideas are such an inspiration. It makes perfect sense to have the dining room serve as a library. Your $40 dining table and chairs are perfect, and your decorating sense makes your house into a wonderful home.

    Looking into the dining room from the hall, I can see double wide glass paned doors, that mimic the dining room buffet doors That would add light even though the doors might be closed and provide a quiet place to study or read. If not, any thought on updating the flat panel doors with molding?

    Thank you for allowing us to view your progress. You’ve done enormous amounts of work in a short time. Good job!!

    Reply
  10. Rebecca Burlingham

    I love the table and chairs. Hopefully you can make them sturdy again.

    Reply
  11. Jill

    Your photography is so much fun in this blog. Thanx for your time!

    Reply
  12. beverlee lyons

    It is beginning to look like your home. I am enjoying it with you so much.
    How do you clean a Chandier that has prisms, but they are not removable?
    I know you sold your table, but thought you kept the chairs. I love those! The new chairs are beautiful also, however.
    Progress everywhere is a happy sound. The windows will be the easiest, best one!

    Reply
    • Karen

      Would love some insight into removing wallpaper and glue residue. My house has wallpaper borders at ceiling and chair rail levels and I’ve destroyed the drywall in some areas trying to remove it.

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        I am working on plaster, so it likely will behave differently than drywall. I shared how my mom and I removed the glue from the walls in this blog post… https://missmustardseed.com/how-to-remove-wallpaper-glue-from-walls/ . More recently, I’ve been using a steamer and that has worked very well. There are still bits of glue I have to go back to clean off and it’s still tedious, but it does work.

        Reply
  13. Liz

    Love everything. Can’t wait to see the finished dining room. Are you thinking of painting a mural(s) on the walls? I think that “made” your MN dining room.
    Also, I think glass panel doors would be perfect!

    Reply
  14. Addie

    The dining room table set is sooooo beautiful . Maybe when you get your forever sturdy one for the dining room you can put this one down in the basement for a game/puzzle table.
    Love the updates on everything!!!

    Reply
  15. JeanFB

    I absolutely love this kind of post! It’s so heartening to see someone show the process, and also show how lovely the waiting period can be. So much of social media is showing the “perfect” or the “ultimate” – the stuff that is the culmination of so, so much work (or soooo much purchasing). But to rejoice in what *is*, what’s there in the moment, and appreciate what can be done with just what you have already? That is a priceless thing to convey, and you do it so beautifully. Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Jen C

    You are making wonderful progress. We are also going through renovations right now. We had a backsplash installed in our kitchen and it added so much. Also we are having two bathrooms renovated. The contractors are doing a great job and they are particular about their work. We are very fortunate to have found them via a referral. We have had a few supply issues so currently we are waiting on flooring and tile.You are so right about the domino effect. We are looking forward to having everything finished and enjoying the rooms. I am sure that your days are unbelievably busy with keeping up with everything. Soon you will be able to enjoy your beautiful home and it will all be well worth the disruption, mess, and long days.

    Reply
  17. Penny Spencer

    Hello. Your home is coming along beautifully. May I ask what kind of glue you use on chairs? We have been thru 3 sets of “antique” chairs in 40 years, and this last set of lovely maple ladderbacks just keep coming loose at the leg joints. We reglue with wood glue, but they keep separating. Yesterday, I actually fell thru one chair! I’m ready to just purchase new, but really love the older furniture. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      We just used ordinary wood glue. I think the technique does make a difference as well as things like cleaning out the old glue residue, and making sure there is good contact between the two surfaces. This is one reason why chairs that are iffy are really hard to get solid again unless you’re an expert at furniture repair.

      Reply
  18. Terry

    I love that you are always willing to share your “cropped out” shots with us. FYI Habit for Humanity snapped up the doors we swapped out years ago.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, we will take any building materials that are still in useable shape to Habitat for Humanity ReStore. That’s a great outfit.

      Reply
  19. IreneL

    A couple of thoughts… Having a personal penchant for black painted furniture, while reading this I coould not help but think how beautiful your table and chairs might be if they were painted black. Black would also be a nice compliment to the light wood of your gorgeous cabinet. If the chairs are originally well made it might be worth the (painstaking) effort to take them apart and try to restore them. The style of the table and chairs is beautiful. Oh, and if you have any green velvet leftover from the drapes, it would make lovely seat covers.

    Reply
  20. Karen B.

    Marian,
    I love seeing your progress and I admire your patience. It’s inspiring as I have a new (to me) home that I am renovating piece by piece. Fortunately, I managed the kitchen and that made a world of difference.
    Good luck with your dining room furniture search. You will find one, I’m sure.
    Karen B.

    Reply
  21. Irene Kelly

    Just love the turnings on the chairs ! Do you know how old the dining room set it and the maker ?

    Reply
  22. Christine Tigges

    Marian,
    Things are coming along just lovely! There’s so much personality in your new home and I loved the story of how it was the previous owner’s dream home!
    Also, thank you for your recent post on previous adventures at the Luckett’s Fair and for mentioning Zion Springs! We loved sharing that time with you and your family. I wish you would have stopped by upon your adventure on Hampton Rd. to Eckster! I’d love to show you our barn on the property next door and what has transpired here since you visited. The door is always open! ~Chris

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh yes, I’ll have to stop by next time I’m in the area! It was such a wonderful stay.

      Reply
  23. Irene Kelly

    Oh and wanted to tell you that your dining room set looks like it may hv been mfgr by Van Sciver a furniture company here in NJ out of biz now. Looks similar to their style.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I’ll have to see if I can find any labels. We brought it home to such a crazy time (the power was out), but it’s worth looking.

      Reply
  24. Pamela

    Our dining also came with two little swinging doors to close off the kitchen. I kept them because I liked them but have used them on occasion. They’re very helpful to keep the dog from being under foot while I’m cooking. when we have big family dinners the grandkids and menfolk cut through the kitchen since there are 2 entrances so I close them as a reminder to leave us cooks alone. Haha

    Reply
    • Donna Williams

      I love those chairs and am also obsessed with the table legs. I love your timeless taste and also love your green blue and white palette. Thank you for sharing your journey to building another beautiful home. Why do I feel like this one will be even more gorgeous than the last😍😍😍

      Reply
  25. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    Thanks for giving us another look at your beautiful home and sharing future plans with us! It is fun being on this journey with you, Marian!

    The chandelier is so pretty! It looks so nice hanging over your dining room table. I bet you are glad it made the trips with you! The chairs are lovely — as is your table! They were such a great find.

    Have a great week!

    Reply
  26. Peg

    It’s so refreshing to see an influencer who has a real life and a real house in need of projects that need to happen one at a time by busy people.

    Reply
  27. Olivia

    Love your new dining room table and chairs. I think the chairs are worn to perfection. I hope you decide not to paint them. You own so many linens I was surprised that you have cloth on the table instead of a tablecloth. Or I guess a lot of your things are still packed in boxes.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I didn’t have a tablecloth that fit! They were either too big or too small, so I’ll need to get a couple.

      Reply
  28. mary m

    What a steal! I too bought a set of chairs with the harp back. They seemed sturdy enough until Thanksgiving Dinner. The harps went snap crackle and pop………..Apparently the only part of the lovely chairs that were dried out. Boo hoo. Unrelated. I noticed that I was not getting your daily emails. So this morning I went looking and signed up again. Missed you!

    Reply
    • Bonnie

      I no longer got emails and signed back up. I still miss some. Marian, are you having other complaints?

      Reply
  29. Kim

    Whatever you do, be sure to carry that $4 chandelier with you to every house you live in! It is one of your signatures, and it is just lovely! There will always be a room in need of its charm.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I think it’s stuck with us for good. 🙂

      Reply
  30. C Caldwell

    My husband insists that velcro command strips are the best way to stick up those ceiling medallions. then put a bead of caulk to seal. If you have to pull them down to switch chandeliers (as I do too often, apparently) it’s easy to remove.

    Reply
  31. Kathryn Hay

    Oooh! I love everything you do! When I moved into an older condo I hated it for the first two years, until I found your website became inspired by your style. After using many of your ideas incorporated into my home, I love my condo!
    So I couldn’t wait to see what projects you are currently doing in your new home that would inspire my next project. Next, I will be replacing door knobs to the doors in this old condo. It’s fun to see that you bought those beautiful chairs. They are very similar to the chairs my son bought for me for $2 each. I have painted them white and love the look around my beautiful walnut table! Thanks for all your inspired projects that add so much beauty to my own home! Blessings, Kathryn

    Reply
  32. Patricia

    Love an honest work in progress. Thanks for showing us the stuff hidden away. Real life, not Pinterest perfect but will give you what you need until you find the ‘one’.

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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