Dining Chairs

We got chairs for our table.  Finally.

Back in February we had this.  Nothing wrong with it but, it was beginning to not work for us.  I wanted to use the big end chairs upstairs and all the side chairs were driving me crazy. They were really heavy and a little larger scale than I wanted.  And these aren’t even the chairs that came with the table, all those were sitting around upstairs because unless I had both extra leaves leafs? in the table, those chairs were super wide and couldn’t fit under there easily.  So I sold them all on ebay and then wondered what I would find to replace them. I’m in no big hurry.

I had visions of doing something really creative like having all different style white chairs.  But, I really didn’t want to have to think about it and I wanted something easy.  So I went to Ikea.  Sometimes when I shop at Ikea I feel like I’m shouting “I’m out of good ideas” and “I Give Up!“, kind of like George Costanza and his sweat pants.

I brought home one Gilbert chair, it was $39.99.  And we lived with it for about a month along with some crazy chairs we pulled in from the garage and other places just so we’d have a place to sit.  Once we felt like the boys weren’t going to destroy the chair we decided to take the plunge and buy 3 more.  Then I sold that white bench up there.  Can you see it?  It’s on the left side of the table.  I like benches BUT, if you need them for table seating, they can become a pain if they have arms.

We ended up grabbing two Henriksdal chairs for the ends of the table. We chose the dark legs with the non skirted washable white cover.  I think the chairs were $49 and I know the slipcovers we got were only $10 each for a total of $59 per chair.  The skirted slipcovers are $30 each and all the covers come in various colors.  All in all, after selling my eight chairs and my bench, I had more than enough money to buy the six chairs.  I actually had enough left over to buy one more side chair…

…because look, even without that last extra leaf we could fit in another chair on each side.  For now I like the extra room but, I think I”ll eventually get two more chairs and use them at the homework table in our family room and if we need them we can pull them over.

All in all, I’m pleased.  We sold 8 chairs plus a bench that we’ve had for years and once I buy my last two chairs we will have 8 new chairs and it will have only cost me $40 when it’s all said and done.  And I can always go and buy skirted slipcovers if I decide I want them.  I’m really happy with the look and the room we gained and wow, I guess it’s not so bad to give up after all.

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  1. I like the update – the mix of styles looks modern and keeps things simple and easy to live with – especially with growing kids.
    What I would love to know is how do you sell your furniture – all on ebay or Craigslist? You seem to have no problems ever selling your stuff. Here in Pa I used to sell my unwanted furnishings at a few different furniture consignment places, but with the economy the way it is they have all closed. Just wondering if you find ebay or Craigslist better?

    My best- Diane

    • normally, I would do craigslist but this time, I took a risk and did ebay ONLY because I knew I could talk about it here, one person who bought a set of 4 chairs had no idea about the blog, so I was surprised that furniture did well on ebay with local pickup without driving people there from Nesting Place…plus sometimes I like to let people set the price, I tend to underestimate what my furniture will sell for.

      hope that helps!

  2. Cool! I love the different styles mixed together!

  3. Ugh…ikea envy here! They seem to have great furniture, etc at great prices…jealous…

  4. I love Ikea! Great ideas abound and the price is right. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love the chairs!! They go great with that table :)

  6. I love the look of the modern Ikea chairs with your traditional table. I have to do the boy test at my house, too!

  7. Love the new chairs! The “I give up” situation at your house is a lot prettier than the “I give up” situation at my house! :) Mine usually involves tears and yelling and lots of dog hair.

  8. Katie Greenlaw says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA. I do think though, that little interjections of IKEA through out the house can have a beautiful effect. A house full of IKEA, just looks like every other house. These chairs are a great option. Are they comfortable?

  9. Shane Hawk says:

    Am I the only one that liked the “old” chairs better? Sorry…. I just loved the way the chairs, bench and table flowed together in the “before” photo. :( The new chairs are a little to contemporary for my taste. But, if the Nester is happy, I’m happy for you! :)

    • yes, they were really great chairs which is why it took me so long to get rid of them, sturdy, perfectly cottage, paired nicely with the table…part of it was probably also that I’ve had them for 6 years, they needed to be painted, I was ready for a change and too lazy to paint chairs! I think that’s why I was able to get a good price for them~I hope the new owners are enjoying them

      • I’m with you, shane; I preferred the other chairs. I don’t like the scale of the legs with the more substantial table….but I still love the nester and steal your ideas all the time.

    • You’re not alone! These new chairs look so sterile and plasticy–not cozy Nester style that I used to love.


      • Debra goerner says:

        Agreed. I never thought there would be something I didn’t LOVE that you posted.
        For me a more modern look with the country table would have been tolix chairs or an eames knock-off……overstock has both options for not much more than what you spent? Tell the truth, was it a price driven choice :) I am guilty of that myself.

        • First time I haven’t loved a nester look too (maybe second time, I’m trying to come around on the marlin;-). But very happy it works for you and the boys!

    • Surprised by this choice as well. The scale seems wrong, but it could be the photography….

    • No, you’re not the only one!

  10. We don’t have IKEA here (Atlanta is closest one), but since our house is pretty traditional (antiques) leaning slightly towards cottage – there’s probably not alot there that would work for us. I like those end chairs and will have to check their website to see what the skirted slipcovers look like.

    I feel your pain regarding finding chairs. For well over a year, I have had my heart set on some cane back chairs (ala Ms Mustardseed and others!) but they are not seen much in this area. Must be alot of them up north! A few weeks ago – I finally got 6 cane back chairs!!! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!


  11. I have the gilbert chairs too…………they are FANTASTIC with the little ones. Although I find them a little “stiff” for hanging out at the table after dinner. Our local Ikea is being revamped to be one of the BIGGEST in the country……………can’t wait to see all the fun things they’ll be bringing in.

  12. May I just say how much I love you for your perfect Seinfeld references? I loved George and his sweatpants and also the velvet. ;)

  13. Ellen S. says:

    I’ve been eyeing those Gilbert chairs for my house…along with the similar version at Crate and Barrel and West Elm. I need something that wipes down easy with three busy and always sticky kiddies running about. Right now I’ve got chairs with a fabric covered seat and I’ve yet to find a fabric that can hold up. Thanks for being a guinea pig for me… :-)

  14. “you know the message you’re sending to the world with those sweatpants? you’re telling the world, ‘i give up. i can’t compete in normal society. i’m miserable, so i might as well be comfortable.'”

    love it. and love the new chairs. just the right amount of contemporary.

  15. I don’t love them either, but sometimes just something different is nice. And the new chairs have a lower profile then the old chairs so I am sure it just visually is a cleaner less cluttered look, in that corner of the house. which is what the nester is up to these days. :)

  16. I like the mix of the fabric + contemporary chairs…and if you have kids, the chairs need to be either slipcovered or plastic (indestrucible)! These look great.

  17. I love the new chairs!! That is the hardest thing for me to find, is dining room chairs that I like. Your choices are very pretty; I like the mix of the two chair types.

  18. Ashley Ez says:

    We had those Gilbert chairs in one of our meeting rooms at my college art department…..they didn’t last long. We bent legs and broke plastic on almost all of them in less than a semester. Of course, 100 art students is different than 3 young boys….or is it?

    I do think the new chair combo makes your dining room look MUCH lighter and air-ier than before. I like the non traditional dining choices you ended up with.

    • The Gilbert chair doesn’t have any plastic, at least the one I have doesn’t. I think they are great chairs, especially for boys. (But maybe not 300 college students.) :)

  19. I like the modern chairs with the traditional table! I have ladder-back chairs too, and I’m in the process of painting them…I don’t blame you for choosing not to paint! It’s a pain in the…wrist! Among other things.

  20. Just wanted to let you know that Dana at Made had a very cute slipcover she did for her Ikea Barstools….your chair looks similiar. She did hers in an orange oilcloth fabric…..so cute….I know how you love a slipcover. Your new chairs look great!

  21. It’s not necessarily giving up to turn from elaborate ideas to embrace function and convenience. : ) This is something I’m slowly learning…

  22. We’ve been dreaming about our future dining room situation for quite a while now, and I always love finding new inspiration ideas. Thanks!

  23. I loved the old also, but if you like it thatis all that counts! You are so talented and inspirational.

  24. Surprised at your choice but glad you found the new you have been waiting for. Isn’t it amazing how “giving up” often leads us to something we never knew we loved? Kind of like my well-loved aka worn chairs that used to be in a restaurant. They were given to us “for now”. The longer we have them, the more I like them. Who’d a thunk it? Best part is that any visible wear and tear only adds to their charm.

  25. Oh, your kitchen. It makes me long for squeeze cheese and crackers.

  26. I love the way the simple modern chairs read with the traditional table. It seems to emphasize the table and the architecture of the room. It has nice breathing space now. Looks very peaceful.

  27. Looks great! We are about to get the ikea chairs (leather covered) for our dining room. While it doesn’t get constant use, I hope they hold up to the challenge. What is your impression so far? We are mixing them with a traditional style trestle table (mom’s handmedown) for a more modern look. I’m so excited about the small change. What will happen when I finally find a buffet that I like?

  28. I love that you take risks and think outside the box. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  29. We have that same arrangement in our kitchen right now! Except one side has a bench… I brought two Gilbert chairs in from the dining room until I can find two other chairs I like better. BUT I just subbed those two missing Gilberts in the dining room with something else!!! You’ll just have to wait and see. :)

    Some just “stole” my book from you at the cottage… :)

    Your new chairs make the room so much lighter–love it!

  30. Sorry……What are you thinking? urgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love most everything you post. I love ikea. Those chairs make no sense.
    What everyone loves about your decorating is not seen in those, cheap plastic
    chairs. New is not always better. Your old chairs brought you good money,
    bacause they were solid classic pieces. That you seem to love everywhere
    else. You will have a hard time making money when you sell those. $2.00 garage
    sale if lucky!!!!!

    • Did you really just type out over 26 exclamation points over someone else’s choice in chairs?

      The chairs are not plastic. They are bent plywood and a nod to a design/production technique developed in the mid century. Google it. Or, you can read a very brief synopsis here.

  31. Whoa, why all the Nester negativity? I just wanted to tell you about my dining room chair story real quick. We just moved across country. We rented the biggest truck available but all of our stuff wouldn’t fit. We ended up giving away quite a few pieces of furniture. My dining room chairs were old and had been repainted once upon a time but were chipping and not in a charming way. I had held onto them because some dining room chairs were better than none. On Saturday my mom and I were at an antique mall and I spotted four beautiful shield back chairs for $50! So exciting! I am going to paint them and recover the seats and am excited to bring them into the house we are buying. Kelly

  32. I love your choice of chair, they are a breath of fresh air compared to the old ones. The old ones looked good quality and without seeing the after picture I wouldn’t have thought anything wrong with them, but they have a much heavier look about them in comparison, the new ones were well worth the wait, I’m off to see whether our IKEA here in the UK does them( in a lighter colour for me though, I don’t have your light levels)

  33. How comfortable are the chairs for a grown man? LOVE the blending of old and new. It flows with the livingroom and seems to fit the scale of the breakfast room. You go girl!

  34. OK, totally found it!!! Gilbert chairs from IKEA! xoxo

  35. i love those comfy Henriksdal chairs from ikea. but now they are like $90 each (online anyway) :((( so sad!! and the slipcovers are $40 now. They have a $49 version but it doesnt look as comfy and they only come in the birch leg. bummed

  36. I’m looking into the Henriksdal chairs for my dining room. I haven’t found many reviews on how sturdy they are over time and most have mixed reviews. I was hoping to use them for everyday use and holiday family get togethers. How have they held up for you? Any comments or suggestions would be helpful! Thanks!

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