On the right- the striped stuff I put on last year. While stripes are period appropriate for a Duncan Phyfye style chair, the resulting grease stains, food droplets, and unidentified grunge are not appropriate. On the left, my solution. It’s a laminated cotton table cloth from IKEA. I wish I had bought more, as it was cheap and I like it, and now I have cut it up to be chair covers! It can be wiped clean, and so hopefully will lead to less yuck factor.
This dining set is a bit of a problem. I bought it at the estate sale of a local artist. Although I did not know her, or know of her, I loved her immediately on reading a letter that had fallen out of a book. It said ” Sidney WILL NOT do his arithmetic, and I am at my wit’s end”. She was a fellow traveler down my road. SO, on the plus side, it has a nice history of raising a family around it. It also has little metal feet on the table legs, and when I refinish the top, I found lovely solid maple. It came with two leaves, and we could seat twelve if our dining room were big enough to do so.
No, the problem has always been the chairs. I find them overly ornate- the shield back shape has a faux baronial thing going on that I do not care for. They really, really need refinishing, but will be an absolute bear to do so because of the intricacy of the backs. I don’t want to refinish six chairs with a toothbrush being my main implement. I also don’t love them, so i am unlikely to spend the money to have a cabinet maker re do them. Then there are the seats- I have recovered them six times in ten years, and never because I wanted to. No, the re- covering was because I could not face looking at them any longer. It is stunning the amount of food that two boys and their friends can spill. ( We have tiny kitchen with a tiny spot for two people to eat, so we use the dining room constantly.)
I feel like it is somehow wrong to separate the chairs from their table. They’ve been together so long. Doesn’t that count or anything? I also fear getting rid of them, and then regretting it later. I made a few mistakes like that early in adult hood, and I know that my tastes and appreciation for things is evolving. We have a tiny house, and there is no where to store or use them otherwise. What do you think? Can I consider breaking up the set?