Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Furnishing A Dining Room on a Budget

Last March we decided to look in to purchasing our first home. Three stress filled months later we closed on a condo that doubled our living space. As soon as we were under contract for our condo, I started hunting for a used dining room table. The table we had in our apartment was a Wal-Mart hand-me down and it was tiny. We could barely fit 4 people and their dishes! We needed a table to fit at least 5 (preferably 6-8) and I really wanted room to put the food on the table.

The old teeny tiny table....

For months I have been trolling Craigslist, the classifieds, and yard sales. Let me tell you -- good tables at good prices go FAST! I really didn't want to spend much on a table (I have two small children and I want to be OK with them destroying it!), but I really had no idea what dining room tables go for. Last Friday my husband and I packed up the kids and hauled them all over town. We looked at consignment shops, "regular" furniture stores, and clearance warehouses. The cheapest table we found that would seat 6 (but not hold our food) was $345 before tax, which was way, way, way over my budget! I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to shell out A LOT more money than I wanted to for a mediocre table.

That evening I decided to give Craigslist another shot and I hit the jackpot. I found a square table with 4 chairs and a bench for more than I wanted to spend, but way less than the table at the store. I have learned after months of shopping on Craigslist that if you see something you like, you'd better contact the seller and pick it up as soon as you can! So I emailed to see if it was available. Not only was it still available, the seller found scratches on the table so she didn't feel it was worth worth the original price, but she'd sell it to me for less than half the asking price!

The new, bigger, better table!

Now that we had a new beautiful table, our bookshelves with papers, books, napkins, toys, office supplies, etc hanging off them looked TERRIBLE (see them behind the table in the picture above -- they looked terrible before the new table!). We decided to keep our eyes peeled for a buffet, hutch or dresser so we could hide all that clutter. Last night I found one on Craigslist for an absolute steal. The seller had posted the ad that day and we picked up the same night -- you gotta be QUICK!

Tah-Dah! No more clutter!

Thanks to a little persistence, research, and patience, for less than half the price of the brand new, mediocre dining room table, I ended up with a dining room table I adore and a lovely hutch to hide all our junk.

So who wants to come over for dinner?

(And for some reason having that hutch in our dining room makes feel like a REAL adult...!!)

4 Thoughts From Others:

Karin said...

Yeah, cheap furniture!!

Sarah Kay said...

Love it! I too have a thing about our dining room and am happily jealous for you. I would love to get a bench to replace a couple of chairs. With little ones it seems so much easier. And the hutch - NICE! I want so badly to ask what deals you got, but then I am sure I would be even more jealous over your good price. Way to go!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Very nice! I think it would look nice if you painted the hutch black to match the table more :)

We put a couple of layers of urethane over our tables (on the top) to help with the wear and tear that our family gives them. We had to replace our table recently; we needed a table that would seat at least 8 and really more than that. We can squeeze 12 around our table now, but 10 fit comfortably. We are just 7 now, but we didn't fit at a table for 6, and we'll be 8 in a few more months.

We kept our old table and put it in the library (our library is where many would put a formal dining room).

Camille said...

Sarah -- less then $200 but more than $150. :-)

Brandy -- Thanks for the urethane tip! I actually thought painting the hutch black would look nice, too. I sent in for a free quart of black paint from Glidden so if it ever arrives I'll probably paint the hutch.

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