Petersik Hotel & Conference Center

We finally scored some chairs for the dining room, thanks to this craiglist ad emailed to us by our friend Sandra (muchas gracias!).

You’re probably thinking: what are they thinking?! Parsons chairs? Yup, that’s exactly what we’ve wanted since day one. Thirty bucks? Yeah baby. Weird green and blue swirly pattern? Um… no comment.

But since the price was right (we actually bargained them down to $25 per chair, coming to $200 total for all 8) and the shape/lines were right (they’re solid and very well-made) we figured it was time to pounce (with some reassurance from a few online tutorials about dyeing fabric, making slipcovers, or reupholstering parsons chairs). So in the end we hope to end up with eight affordable and well made parsons chairs without this… uh… “unique” fabric. Hopefully sooner rather than later…

As for how we got them home, I borrowed my sister’s Explorer (since I knew we couldn’t fit them in our Altima without making at least three trips) and drove 90 minutes round trip to Mechanicsville to pick up the chairs. I wish I’d brought the camera (or was fancy enough to have a decent cell phone cam) because the guy selling them lived on a giant horse farm, so the scenery was beautiful. And since Sherry and Clara stayed at home (to make room for more chairs in the car) I wished that I could have taken some photos so they could see it.

The guy selling them was a real character. I expected to pick up the chairs from his dining room, but instead he led me back to a bunch of large storage crates in his backyard (I must admit this is where craigslist horror stories started flashing through my mind and I wondered if I was being kidnapped). Then he rolled up the door to one of the storage crates to reveal that it was FILLED TO THE BRIM with these chairs. I never got the story behind how he ended up with so many, but my guess is that they came from some hotel auction or something. All that mattered is that they were in good condition (solid, sturdy, clean, no pet/smoke odors, etc) and that he was happy to let me put a dent in his collection and leave with eight of those babies.

Here I am back home with my booty (that’s not a butt reference, I mean the chairs), cheesy pose and all (sometimes I defer to cheesy poses when Sherry runs towards me with the camera, you know, just to humor her). And yes, I was extremely proud of fitting all eight of them into my sister’s car in one trip. There was even a call to Sherry where I told her I could only fit six so I needed to make two trips with a big fat “just kidding!” at the end.

As a reminder, here’s what the dining room looked like back when it was chair-less…

…and here it is now with eight new occupants. Actually only seven are pictured because Sherry likes that more breathable look for “everyday” (we can easily add in the eighth one when we need it – until then it’s hanging out in our chaotic playroom with 99% of our other “extra stuff”).

We keep having to remind ourselves to look past the crazy pattern and enjoy the fact that we scored a serious deal on the exact style of chair (with clean lines and solid construction) that we’ve been eying.

The best price we’ve seen so far on any new parsons chair is around $85 (Pottery Barn sells similar ones for $299!), so as long as we can correct the swirly fabric for less than $60 per chair, we made the right call. Even if it means that our dining room looks a bit like a hotel conference room for the time being…

Sherry found a few online tutorials for dyeing fabric directly on furniture that we might try (although dye = scary, so we might skip right to the next step, which would be to make slipcovers or reupholster them in the crisp apple green color that Sherry has been dreaming of from day one). So that’s the story of driving out to a farm and squeezing eight $25 chairs into my sisters car. Maybe you guys have recent craigstlist deals to share? Or an “I can’t believe I got that to fit into my car” tale to tell?


  1. sophie says

    you know, one chair in that pattern isn’t so bad,in fact, it could be kind of fun; 8 however, does start to look a bit hotellishly generic in an odd sort of way.

    They look great and will look fab slipcovered, if the dye approach doesn’t work out as planned.

    Great score!

    • Sara says

      I was thinking the same thing. The pattern isn’t really all that bad, but I think a solid color would look more classic and less busy once you finish off the room.

    • bex says

      That’s what I was thinking too! Bold like the ‘ol napkin. Paint the legs white or a black-brown, and they *could* possibly stay that way. :)

    • mribaro says

      Me too! I thought – these are sooo YoungHouseLove colors and I had to read twice to check that John was really saying they didn’t like the pattern, ’cause at first I thought he was only joking.

    • Brigidanne says

      I agree. The pattern colors go well with the color on the bookshelf and the floor. The chair legs sort of match the table base color. Even the sofa in the office sort of goes with them. You could do a solid color window curtain in the green.

    • Tensy says

      I agree that they look pretty good as is. They pick-up the blue in your bookshelves and the fabric seems to be of a good quality. I would not dye these…just do slip covers if you must. You might use the extra chair with the desk in your kitchen.

    • Erica says

      I thought so too as I was reading the post! Although it would be more fun to customize them.

    • says

      That is exactly what I was thinking! In the photo I almost like the pattern, but I think over time it would definitely feel too hotel-y for real life.

  2. says

    Oooooo! I like! And heck, even if you’re going for a throw back mid-nineties look, the fabric ain’t too shabby. Sort of coordinates with the existing color scheme. But who am I kidding, I can’t wait to see what you two crazy kids are gonna do with em’.

    Ah, friggin’ Monday morning, gonna hunt down some coffee in this wretched cubicle life.

  3. Abby says

    Awesome find!! I vote for the apple green color–I love it!! My master bedroom is painted that color. I’m interested to see if dying the fabric works–good luck y’all!!

  4. says

    Great find! They’re the perfect fit, although you’re right about the fabric:Sue the Napkin would totally throw a slushie on those guys!

    So let me get this straight: You’re going to dye the geometric-patterned fabric that is already on them?

    • says

      We were thinking about it at first, but we’re sure the swirls will show through unless we dye them a dark charcoal (which could work but wouldn’t be very fun) so we’re now leaning more towards upholstery or slipcovering. Dye= scary!


    • says

      An apple green slip on these would look great, and would be easy to do (especially if these are easy to take apart). The textile pattern would show through dark dye. The color might get covered, but given that the thread goes all different directions – it would end up as dark chocolate brown swirls. It could look nice, but it certainly won’t be apple green smooth modern crisp and clean fabric!

      As for small car stories: We will never try to pick up an almost too long piece of flooring in the Saab again at Mardens. My fiance (long before fiance status) tried that once and had it perfect…until it slipped and broke the windshield. We now only pick up such items in our pickup truck.

    • Sandra says

      Paint on upholstery = weird! Doesn’t anybody remember Hildy Santo spray-painting a couch on Trading Spaces??

    • Meghan says

      Hot pink painted couch in Seattle! And it wouldn’t dry… because it’s Seattle. And it rained. Hildy…

  5. KarenC says

    Call me crazy, but I kinda like the patterned fabric. It picks up the hints of green you have in the items on the bookshelves.

    I do think they would look better with darker legs, tho.

    It’s going to be a beautiful room when you get the walls painted and a chandelier over the table.

  6. says

    I don’t like the fabric in the abstract, but even this fabric actually looks great in your dining room! Such an improvement… now Stella really seems to fit in the room.

    We have a tone of “we fit that in our tiny car” stories… we have a Hyundai Getz (they don’t sell it in the US, but it’s one of those really small european-style hatchbacks) and we once even fit an enormous couch in our car (found on the Israeli version of Craigslist). Luckily we only had to drive it three blocks, because it WAS hanging out the back a bit… :)

    Hatchbacks are amazing if you need to haul stuff! I’d never get anything else!

    • gk says

      fellow hatchback lover here! we’ve had a vw golf tdi for about a year now and looooove it. my mother (who initially disapproved of our tiny car) is in constant awe of how much we can fit in it. it fits much more than their sedan. most recently, we got a gigantic outdoor table and benches home from ikea in our tiny car. followed by 6 big bags of mulch and top soil and other gardening stuff the next day.

      also, nice score on the chairs. craigslist rocks. can’t wait to hear the slipcover/upholstery/dye report!

    • Susan says

      Our first car was a Hyundai Elantra hatchback. Loved that car! We drove five of us on three month-long road trips in that thing–all our stuff for a month in the back. And one of our kids is in a wheelchair which takes up serious real estate. Plus a stroller and pack ‘n play. When the Altima dies, get a hatchback. We were sad to trade ours in for a minivan when baby #4 arrived (but the baby himself pretty much made up for it :) ).

    • says

      So true! I LOVE my Subaru Outback. It’s 15 years old and has hauled two dining room tables, two couches, moved me from MI to AZ, boyfriend from CA to AZ, and numerous other random items. Love me some hatchback!

    • says

      I second the Honda fit!!! The most amazing car EVAR. Mine is named Henry, because I like to pretend he is English.

  7. Nicole says

    Love it! 2 weekends ago I found an awesome antique dresser with great lines at the thrift store. Got it for the great price of $30! turned out it didn’t fit into our car and ended up renting a $40 van to get it home…wish we had friends with a truck!

  8. Martha says

    Cool! I can’t wait to see how you guys do the dying/reupholstery. I’m always scared to undertake a serious reupholstery project because I’ve never done it before and I’m afraid I will end up with some horrid looking furniture.

    Please share lots of details and pictures about the process!

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