Friday, 9 January 2015

Changing tables..not the baby kind

Sometimes I think Mr. Chuckles wants to kill me.  Not in the Ben Affleck 'Gone Girl' kind of way - which I must say was a fantastic read - and a surprisingly excellent movie too.  I read the book alone late, one weekend last year when Mr. Chuckles was in Las Vegas for a bachelor weekend.  By three am my eyes were drooping and I was fidgety as all heck; jumping at every little sound I could hear in the house - I think I even managed to put the cat on edge.  When the movie came out my BFF and I were both so keen to see it that it didn't occur to us that lots of other people were keen to see it too.  We got to the theatre all casual only to discover something called pre-reserved seating. Long story short we watched it from the first row.  The ride home was a little difficult as neither of us could point our necks in a position suitable for driving.
But back to Mr. Chuckles, no, he doesn't want to kill me that way, he just wants to kill me in the "stop bringing new/used furniture home you crazy lady don't you realize we live in a townhouse and don't have room for it", kind of way.  This dining table here is the third dining table we have had in the past year.   Its no surprise why I love mcm furniture.  Its really trendy at the moment and it features a lot in my make overs.  So a year ago we had an awesome vintage teak set in excellent condition (see picture below). BUT - I didn't LOVE the chairs, there were six of them (we only have room in the kitchen for four), and they didn't have the iconic mcm wingback look. 

So when I found this set below about 8 months ago, I bought it, lugged it home, refinished the top of the table and recovered the chairs (only four of them), and forced Mr. C to love it unconditionally.  He just rolled his head and exhaled through clench teeth.

But I didn't stop there, no ma'am, because although I liked that set, I didn't love it as much as the one I was staring at on the Craigslist screen 5 months later. These chairs sat lower, had an even larger curve to the wingback, and had a neat little detail underneath the seat.  'Hey, Chuck,' I called with a nervous chirp 'How would you feel about a new/used dining set?'.   No, just kidding, I didn't even tell him.  He just came home from hockey one night to find it all slumped in the corner of the garage.  'Honey, I have a surprise for you!' I called from the couch wearing nothing but his tie (Pretty Woman may have been a prostitute, but she got a few things right).

I'm not going to lie, Chuckles wasn't laughing that day.  He measured his stance, took a deep breath through quivering nostrils, and with clipped tones informed me that in his unprofessional opinion I needed to be institutionalized.  'Oh, calm down.' I retorted, 'we all need to have a hobby!'.

I chose not to refinish this set.  It is in decent condition, but there are some dings and scratches.  I may eventually refinish it, but I found with some gel stain touch ups and a good buff with paste wax, it came out decently enough, that if you stand back a few feet it looks great.  I did recover the chairs with black vinyl though.  The old fabric was pretty icky. 

For the first chair I recovered over the existing layers of fabric, it seemed like too much work to removed the multitude of staples.  But when I stood back to admire my work, I realized the seat had lost its beautiful little curve and looked decidedly chunky.  Kind of like taking Elle Machpherson and covering her up in 50 sweaters.  So, I grabbed a pair of pliers and stripped back all of the layers of fabric.  There were four in total.  It was extra work, but it was worth it as now the seats are thin and sleek looking and they dip in the middle like they should.

It was really the shape of the chairs that sold me on this piece.  They are vintage yet look futuristic.  Little spindly spiders ready to prance around my kitchen.

Mr. Chuckles love them too.  He hasn't told me as much, but I can tell by how happy he looks when he sits on them.


  1. Sure do look a lot like the set provided in military housing in europe back in the early 60s. Who'dathot i might want to have a set like that?
    I can see the improvement in each step of your furniture changes and am glad the Mr. looks happy when sitting in one of these chairs. Patience deserves a reward.
    Well done.

  2. Marje, that is so interesting (and funny too). What country in Europe are you specifically referring to? Isn't it strange how our styles recycle themselves every few decades. The couple who were getting rid of the 'final' set that I currently have were really lovely and explained how they had treated themselves to a 'new' dining table which she showed me. I much prefer the one they were getting rid of. But if I'm honest with myself, I probably wouldn't have even given it a second look 5 years ago.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. My parents had tons of teak MCM furniture from the 1960's and I could have had most of it when my dad died and my mom moved, but I didn't like it then. Now I'm paying for the stuff that isn't even in as good condition. I usually use 0000 steel wool and danish teak oil and it brings the piece back to original condition in no time. Love how you recovered these in black vinyl, that's what my parents set was originally.