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?


    • says

      Come on Sherry, you can do it! :) Reupholstry is a lot of fun, and you’ll totally love sewing (and be great at it) once you get over your fear. Plus I can see you having a ton of fun with easy projects like making pillow covers out of Sue the Napkin. :)

    • aaroohii says

      U could totally get one of that slipcover and if it fits ur chair perfectly then just copy the dimensions of that slipcover to make ur own. Easier then measuring chairs and wondering how each seam has to be cut and sewn.

  1. Jennifer K says

    What an awesome find! I don’t mind the fabric too much, but I bet you guys will make them look even awesomer (totally a word). Can’t wait to see the process.

  2. Rebecca L M says

    The pattern’s not terrible, but definitely a bit “busy.” I was wondering how they look next to your inspiration napkin.

  3. says

    I ordered my 8 parsons chairs from (they have great prices on new ones!). They came 2 in a box so I was anxiously awaiting my 4 boxes of chairs. However, UPS couldn’t leave them on my doorstep and we’re at work during their delivery times. So they told us they would only hold them for something like 3 days. I had a coupe at the time and my husband has a sedan…we could only fit one giant box per trip. So everyday after work, my husband would stop at UPS to pick up a box of chairs and on the last day (when they called me and threatened to send them back) he was able to get his brother to follow him in his car to snag an extra box!

    Such a nightmare. Needless to say, when my beloved 10 year old cavalier coupe died in July, I got an SUV….

  4. Tracy says

    Yeah, I really liked the fabric on the closeup. But eight of them is a bit much. Anyway, congratulations on the great find!

  5. Amanda V says

    Heck, the pattern really isn’t so bad. I do agree with the others that 8 chairs in that pattern is a bit “whoa there!”

    I think y’all should probably skip the dye-ing job and go straight for the reupholster. These cahirs would not hard at all to recover, plus you could keep the leftover fabric for some fun pillows tossed here and there.

    Just a thought, what a great find!!

  6. says

    LOVE IT. I actually like the fabric pattern, too… think it really is not bad. Live with it a bit and see. If anything, I’d make slipcovers but not try and die the fabric while it’s on the chair. I have a feeling that won’t turn out too well. Good luck!

  7. Amber V. says

    I have never really been a fan of light wood floor but yours look gorgeous in these pictures.

    I’m looking forward to the chair makeover. Best wishes!

  8. Sarah says

    I used to own a Ford Explorer, which you can cram soooooo much into.

    In college my then-boyfriend and I ran a small business selling used Apple laptops, which we picked up on the cheap from the Maine State Surplus Warehouse. On our biggest run, we fit 195 laptops in their cases into the back of that car! We drove extra slowly on the highway home that day :)

  9. Melanie says

    I always wonder what on earth they were thinking when I see upholstery like that en mass. BUT… those chairs have great bones and will indeed look great with a little love.

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