Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My First Vintage Dining Chairs

So, yesterday Space Commander over at Atomic Living blog shared photos of his unbelievably cool kitchen.  While looking through the photo tour, I noticed that I had the same kitchen chairs, as well as a couple of other things.

I've already posted about my primary color Pyrex mixing bowls (here) and my vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster (here) and the new one I just got (here).  But, I have not yet shared these chairs.

These chairs are a fun trip down memory lane for me.  Back in my younger days, say about 8 years ago, I was getting ready to move into my first place.  Now, most college kids just rent an apartment, but I couldn't stand the thought of throwing all of that money away on rent!  So, I purchased a mobile home and had it moved into a trailer park for me to fix up live in during college.  Three years later, I had it paid off.  Four years after purchasing it, I had my first teaching job, and I had my sights set on purchasing the Shack.  I sold that trailer for more than a gave for it (a pretty good amount more) and used that money for the down payment on the Shack.  How's that for thinking ahead?  I got my money back out of it and was able to buy a house!

Anyway, the story of the trailer, and the experience of living in a trailer and a trailer park are for another day, although it would be a very colorful story!

Back to the chairs.  When I was in the process of moving into my first place, I knew that I needed furniture.  I was, of course, attending estate sales even then.  I was at a sale that had a fun gray and white Formica and chrome kitchen table that had been used in a shop.  It was in good shape, just needed to have a little surface rust removed from the legs.  I got that table and a great heavy duty mid-century ironing board for $3.  I still use that ironing board.  Now I needed chairs.  I found a set of three of these chairs at a garage sale.

They were solid black, and one of them had the back all bent up.  Two were usable.  There used to be a factory here in town that did chrome plating, so I had a family member that worked there chrome plate the inserts in the back when I disassembled the chairs to repaint the black.  The white vinyl is all original.  They really looked great with that table.  I had the whole table and chair set for around $10 (the chrome plating was free).

I would still be using that set if I hadn't found and purchased my much loved Duncan Phyfe dining table and chairs.  So, the Formica table sits in the shed, and these chairs have been stored in the garage (so they might be a little dirty, even though I wiped them down before taking the pictures).  Someday, when I'm feeling adventurous, I'll dig the table out of the shed and take a picture to share.

Someday, I'm going to have a house with a formal dining room and an eat-in kitchen so that I can have them both out again!

Have a great Tuesday, thanks for sticking with me through a rambling post!


  1. Nice! And they match my new white atomic chairs and bar stools. can I have them? tee hee... j/k...

    I like to see how each one of us vintage/mid-century lovers decorates, and the different kinds of furniture we buy. If we all had the same chrome and formica dinner tables, the world would be a boring place. =) Says the lady with the chrome and formica dinner table lol...

  2. Hey... Those chairs look just like mine! LoL The chroming idea is genius so the set matches up with the formica & chrome table. In fact they'd accent the set's original table too since there's an aluminum band that runs around the tabletop edge.

    Oooooooh, a dining room AND an eat in kitchen... The fun I could have with that option ;) Thanks Michael, and I happen to like long rambling posts because they have a lot to tell a person!

    Atomic Ranch, I'm suprised how many of us have collected the same items.

  3. Your idea of living in a trailer was a good one. People make fun of trailers, but, they can be good launching points on to somewhere better. My husband and I lived in a trailer for three years, right before we bought our current '59 ranch. We made money on the trailer too (but, mostly because it sat on 11 acres, which was the big selling point, not the trailer!) Still, we had made improvements to the trailer, it was very nice, and the new owners were excited about it because it was a place for them to live as they built their dream home on the piece of property. So that trailer has done its duty well.

    A fellow once told us he wouldn't live in anything but a trailer, because "whenever you want to move, you can just hook it up and take it with you." Of course, our 16 x 80 mobile home wasn't something we could just hitch up to the back of our little truck. But, we liked the guy's attitude.

  4. I'm in College now and have definitely thought about buying and fixing up a trailer...I'm so DYING for my own space, and would love to tackle a huge project! My question is- is the best thing to do rent a lot in a mobile home place? Or simply buy a small piece of land and put it there? (So owning trailer and land fully vs. just owning trailer). Oh, and love the chair by the way!

  5. Hmmm...I think that if you can put it on a piece of land, that might be better for resale. At the time that I bought my trailer, I didn't have the extra money for a lot (I was, after all, a poor college student) so I went with a nice mobile home park. Plus, The area where I went to school is really picky about where trailers are placed, and unless I bought a piece of land out in the country, I had to be in a trailer park to live in town.

    I had the additional aspect that I went to school out of state, and if I had purchased land to put the trailer on, I would have needed to claim residency in Kansas, and as I knew I wasn't going to stay there, and I didn't even stay there during the summers, I didn't want the hassle. I just had the trailer on a rented lot, which didn't require a residency change while I was a student.

  6. As far as where to place a trailer, it depends on a lot of factors, as Michael points out -- what you will be doing while living in the trailer, for instance. Will you be in college in a large or small town, will you have a job too, etc. Our trailer sat on 11 acres, about 12 miles outside of a mid-sized town. This was fine while we had jobs in that town. But, when my husband got a job in a larger town, and he had to drive over 45 miles one way to his new job, with lots of traffic along the way, then living in the trailer no longer made as much sense. We sold the trailer and land and moved to the larger town, where we live less than three miles from his job. The good thing about the trailer was, we had no mortgage! We were able to purchase the trailer and land outright with money from a house we had sold. But, when we moved to our current house, we had to get a mortgage. But, we don't have the stress of the long commute, and the cost of extra fuel to make the commute. You just have to figure out what is best for your situation. Good luck, a Go Go!

  7. The chairs are awesome! A classic retro design - looks great!


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