I have to admit, I’m acutely feeling the juxtaposition between where my mind is right now and the topic of this post. I’m coming off a weekend of remembering the overwhelming reality of modern day slavery in our world, and the beauty that results as people join together to resist oppression and despair. International Justice Mission (IJM) was in town this weekend. I used to work for IJM before grad school and babies, and justice still captivates a large portion of my heart, no matter how hard I try to move on from it. I volunteered at the Art Justice Music concert at our church on Saturday (one of my favorite singer/song-writers, Sandra McCracken performed. Check her out. You won’t be disappointed.)
Our church was part of Freedom Sunday, where over 2,500 churches around the world joined together to learn about modern day slavery and how to become part of ending it. IJM’s founder, Gary Haugen, spoke at our church. So many thoughts are swirling through my head today, none of which have to do with home decor.
BUT, in thinking about how to balance important matters of my heart, faith, and the world with the seemingly minor matters of home and domestic life, I realized there’s really not much of dividing line. Specific to the topic of this post, my table is a place where my family, friends, and loved ones gather. It’s where Seth and I have conversations over dinner with our young boys that may not be remembered in detail, but will play an oversized role in the development of their young characters. We talk about each day’s joys and challenges around that table. It’s where we answer questions about relationships, the world and our place in it as our boys develop a world view and challenge our own. There’s also coloring. Lots and lots of coloring. And Legos.
Also, our table is where we invite loved ones to break bread with us. Where we share joys and challenges with our supper club. Where we host dear friends who travel miles to visit us. We share our lives with family we see far too seldom.
Finally, it’s where I share the fruits of my labor and sorrow. Every time I try a new recipe to share with loved ones, I’m kept company by the memory and spirit of my brother-in-law who we lost too soon. He valued (and cooked!) good food. The more gourmet the recipe, the more his spirit shows up in the preparation.
Our table is where community is born and nourished. It’s hopefully where we invite people who are different from us, so we can bridge divides that seem insurmountable.
The table matters. Where we break bread matters. Where we rest to be fed again matters.
You can’t do any of those things at your table if you don’t have good chairs to sit on. So, even though I’m still figuring out how to live into both my love for justice and my love for good design, I thought I’d give an update and review of the chairs I bought to go with our farmhouse table.
Way back when, I wrote a post about my hunt for chairs to go with our second-hand farmhouse table. I was originally planning on knock-off Eames molded plastic chairs. But after sifting through inspiration pictures, I found myself leaning more toward Windsor-style chairs.
THEN, Target had a crazy sale on these babies. I’m talking $89.99 for two. Add delivery and taxes, and it was less than $500 for 8 black Windsor-style chairs.
The chairs arrived when I was out of town for work, so I came home to a practically new dining set. It was what dreams were made of.
We’ve had these chairs for about six months now, so I feel like I can give an informed, useful review if any of you have been thinking about purchasing the same ones. I’m guessing at least some of you may be contemplating a purchase, since these chairs show up EVERYWHERE online.
The design is perfect. Clean lines, farmhouse style, but still modern. I love how the black adds some drama to our dining area.
These chairs are also really stable. Our previous chairs were tall and narrow. Both our boys had tipped them over multiple times throughout the years, so it’s really nice to not have to constantly worry about injury when they boys stand up on the new chairs. (Standing up on dining chairs happens more than I like to admit around our house…)
They were cheap (see above.) Sure, there were more unique, beautiful chairs I would have loved to have around my table, but we just weren’t interested in spending $250+ per chair. $45/chair was much more manageable.
They show EVERYTHING. I’d have this problem with any style black chair, so I guess I should have anticipated this problem. But every sticky hand print, crumb, and dog hair stands out like a sore thumb against the black paint. I try to wipe the chairs down regularly, but housekeeping is not my strength, so they usually get a good cleaning before company. Or, if I’m honest, when they reach the point that I can’t stand them any longer.
They’re cheap. Not only because we paid so little for them, but they’re also cheaply made. I expected this. Though the chairs are stable, they are very light and kind of slide around a bit. I’ve been meaning to put anti-slip pads on the feet. Maybe I should add that to my Git er’ Done list…
One of the chairs has split on the seat. The split is on the back, isn’t noticeable, and doesn’t compromise the stability, but it’s still kind of disappointing.
And, some of the paint is rubbing off the edges. It’s not too noticeable, and I can probably hide it with a black Sharpie, so I’m not too concerned about this.
Would I buy them again? Absolutely! I love the way they look, my dining area makes me happy, and even though they’re cheap, the chairs are perfect for us at this stage of life with two destructive young boys.
If you’re on the fence about whether to buy these chairs or not, I would say go for it! But, wait for a Target home sale and then go for it. Don’t pay full price, because they go on sale fairly often and they’re worth the sale price, but not the full price. If you want a similar style but higher quality, there are some other options out there. (Like these and these.)
I would still like to figure out how to make black leather seat covers like these beauties in an Amber Interiors project. Maybe that will be a good winter project for me..;)
How about you? Have you made any cheap updates recently? Ever have a hard time balancing the big issues going on the world with the realities of your every day life? Do tell!