Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Chic dining room decor on a budget


It's been exciting times at our house decor-wise.  When we moved in 4.5 months ago, we had minimal furniture.  The only 'good' things we owned were a pair of custom sofas we had made several years ago (and which still look perfect).  We knew we were moving house and towns so made do with what we had.  In addition to that we decluttered... a lot.

We knew we wanted to find a large dining table because we now have the area to fit it.  We'd looked into some furniture shops here and were prepared to buy quality, but hadn't found anything we liked the look of yet.  Our look is relaxed elegant - not too polished, not too rustic.

When we got talking with an interior designer here, she suggested we buy a second-hand dining table for a few reasons - we'd get a far better quality at a much lower price, plus older tables have more character than new ones.  I am all for character (the right kind!), so we started looking at our options.

I couldn't be bothered with Trade Me (our version of eBay here in New Zealand) for something this big, so hunted out two local auction houses and started frequenting them.  We found this ten-seater beauty (it probably seats eight comfortably, but could go up to twelve if we needed to) on our second or third auction showing and loved it.  Happily on the day no-one else bid so it was ours for the reserve.

It has two extension pieces in the middle and a very old looking metal crank handle to wind it in and out (the legs are on castor wheels so it's quick to do).  The price was easily one quarter of a new table, possibly even smaller given the quality of the table.  A few people thought it looked like light mahogany timber.


Also at the auction was a box of china pieces that I wanted, to go with some I already had.  I won that for $16 and it had extras such as nice wine glasses and cutlery.  The cutlery was very handy because we only have eight settings.  The sexy soft-black and bronzey-gold place mats were $2 each from K-Mart.  I love these too! The table napkins I've had forever - off-white linen and cotton, and our table decor iscandles.

We had our neighbours over for dinner on Saturday night, and served dinner like a buffet from our old, smaller dining table in the other room, then everyone brought their plates through to eat.  It worked well!

I put our Christmas tree up on the 1st of December.  Every other year for over a decade we had our retail business and December was a very busy month for us.  This year being our first Christmas since we sold the business I decided that I was having a festive Christmas atmosphere right from the first day of December!

I was planning on not doing any work in December at all but I can't help it, I just love writing so much :)


Our beloved sofas are below.  The table runner I made from a remnant of gold fabric, and the candle glasses were from a charity shop 50c each.  I love finding op shop goodies!  (In New Zealand charity shops are called opportunity shops or op shops.)


Are you a budget decor girl or are you happy to spend a lot?  I don't mind paying for quality, especially if we're going to have pieces a long time, like our sofas (and we saved up for them for years before we bought them).  But I am so happy with our 'new' dining table - quality and a great price.  The fact that we hadn't seen a style we liked in new furniture stores only adds to the fabulousness of our find.

I'm off to another auction showing today... I wonder what will be there?  An older lady who was helping me at the auction last week said 'Be careful, it can get addictive' and I said I was already hooked after only a few weeks.  'That's how I bought the business', she said.  I'd better watch out!

So... dinner at my place on the weekend?  I'll see you there.  Wouldn't that be fun :)

Fiona

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16 comments:

  1. A great many pieces we have were bought second hand. I realized I could buy far better second hand chairs (hardwood and all that good stuff) than I could by at any of the nearest furnishing stores. So I look for good solid, heavy pieces and purchase them as I can. My home is unique to say the least, but I think it expresses who I am quite clearly.

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  2. Everything looks beautiful Fiona. Your dining table looks almost exactly like ours! We've yet to use the extension inserts on ours. The only problem with ours is that the chairs are very heavy and hard to move around, although that's not really a horrible problem I guess :) Your home is looking even more gorgeous and it sounds like you're having fun. Yay!

    D.

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  3. I am all about second hand. We go to the brocantes, both the antique/junk shops and the periodic markets. We also check out leboncoin, which is the French version of craisglist. Many beauties found there. As you say, the quality is much better than you find new (solid wood!) and the price is a fraction of new.
    Your table is gorgeous. I also love your chairs; they look just like some I have from my grandma! Classic.

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  4. I was excited just reading about your find! I LOVE second-hand. I think paying full-price is just foolishness, but I'm glad so many people do it. If they didn't buy it for full-price, and then get tired of it, I wouldn't get such a deal on it!

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  5. Your table is great! I will be checking out secondhand items when we move into our new home. I have furniture now, but some of it is not right for the new home and we will need some different pieces. My beloved local antique store just closed so I will need to find new sources. They always had great solid wood furniture at affordable prices. Also, your placemats look like some very pricey ones I've seen in boutiques. Well done!

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  6. Oh, Finoa...LOVE your table! You did the right thing by waiting and buying secondhand. We moved right around the time you did, and we have had our dining room "set" since a few years after we married...I think we got it in 1979. Over the years I thought to replace it with other styles ( it is simple, basic, parquet oak top, cane chairs, simple lines) as my tastes changed, but we always held onto it. I have two arm chairs and six side chairs and two leaves...always enough room for a party. Over the years I have covered the seats to match new decor (Budget Girl) and changed the hardware on the china closet and server...also added mirror to the back of the cabinet. When we moved and downsized big time to this apartment in a retirement community we were wondering if our old beloved set would work. It DID! It looks perfect, we changed the hardware to match the kitchen cabinet and great room book case hardware, had the table top sanded down and refinished and it is PERFECT. The style is so old it is back in style and people keep asking if we got a new dining table!!! We kept one leave as we probably won't have room for two in the new space....but we have already made new friends and are hosting Christmas Eve in our building. SO, the good vibes of all the fun times at that table will live on....Enjoy your new table and all the good times and good friends that sit and feast with you !

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  7. Oh wow, that table is gorgeous! In fact your whole house looks amazing, especially all decorated for Christmas.

    Our furniture is a mixture of new and preloved. Our leather sofas (a 3-seater, 2-seater and an armchair) were bought used from a friend-of-a-friend, who had only bought them a few months before and sold it to us for one sixth of the original price. Even now, 14 years later, they still look great and are so comfortable.
    Sarah www.livechicandwell.com

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  8. Oh wow, that table is gorgeous! In fact your whole house looks amazing, especially all decorated for Christmas.

    Our furniture is a mixture of new and preloved. Our leather sofas (a 3-seater, 2-seater and an armchair) were bought used from a friend-of-a-friend, who had only bought them a few months before and sold it to us for one sixth of the original price. Even now, 14 years later, they still look great and are so comfortable.
    Sarah www.livechicandwell.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah. I just signed up for your blog and I'm looking forward to reading it! Fiona, I love the two sets of salt and pepper shakers at each end!

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    2. Good spotting with the s&p, Carla :)

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  9. Those sofas are beautiful and will stand the test of time. What a great choice. The table is enormous but somehow doesn't feel too big for conversation. How did you find it? I love that your choices reflect your overall style rather than one fell-swoop of decorating that can sometimes look sterile. A home really does take time. I can't wait to see what you find next. :)

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    1. The table was at an auction, Amy :) It's just luck what is available one week to the next.

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  10. We have a solid oak dining table that my husband and I bought after we'd been married about 5 years (so it's almost 30 years old). It's a simple, unembellished style that seems to go with everything. It has attained some "character" over the years, but that just makes it more special. Your "new-to-you" table looks wonderful!

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    1. Love the "character" comment...that is how we feel...over 30 years of friends, family, happy and sad times around that table makes it special! Enjoy making more memories around yours! www.ournewvista.com

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  11. Your table and Christmas tree are charming, Fiona! We moved into our big old 1910 home over a year ago and after 20 years of living in cramped city apartments we didn't have a formal dining room table...much to our delight the sellers offered to leave theirs, since they didn't want to move it. We love it! Merry Christmas, Fiona!

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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