Monday, August 16, 2010

Yet Another Project Idea

I almost bought this settee on Craigslist this weekend.

Almost.  We've needed extra seating at the dining room table for quite a while.  It's a rectangular, modern-style dining table with four leather Parsons chairs.  (Sorry, I don't have a pic - it is currently covered in construction paraphernalia - except for the one spot cleared off for my son to eat at.)  My mom (the bargain queen) scored the entire set for a steal several years back because the frosted glass top was unevenly frosted.  When she brought it home, I told her that if she ever got rid of it - I had first dibs.  So a couple of years ago, she brought it all of the way from Louisiana to Texas.  My parents are great like that.  Unfortunately, it makes me reluctant to get rid of the furniture they've given us.  In the case of the table - I think it is actually a good thing.  I'd love a round wood table surrounded by slipcovered chairs - but our modern, semi-transparent table takes up less visual space in a room that lacks actual space.  So it'll stick around.

Anyway - we're two chairs short on the odd occasions when we have the entire family at one time - and for some reason no one likes sitting in our substitute chairs (a folding metal chair and a rocking chair that's about 6 inches too low).

I've been drawn to the idea of building a bench.  At first I was going to buy 2 larger chairs for the ends of the table - which I think would be a good solution - but I do like the idea of having a bench that could potentially sit 3 people (well, kids)  if we had the novel idea of having Grandma over for dinner.  I was thinking of a backless version, but then I saw Jenny's gorgeous Chiang Mai settee in her dining space on Little Green Notebook and fell in love.

I love the way a settee paired with a dining table looks both elegant and relaxed.

There's a great post on the trend here.  That's where I found these pictures.

So I've been on the lookout for a settee I could use.  Preferably one like this

or this

Only instead of the $250 that they wanted - something around the $50 mark.

So I thought my Craigslist find was pretty good.  I thought it resembled Jenny's settee from the inspiration pretty closely.  The fabric had a few tears, but it was laminated fabric so I could wipe it down easily until we could recover.  Only $30.  I was happy.  I thought it was a good deal.  Luckily, I decided to take a few hours to think about it (since I am, after all, not supposed to be making ANY Craigslist purchases right now, much less impulsive ones).

And I'm glad I did.  The measurements were a pretty tight fit for the dining table.  And you see those arms - that means you would have to move the settee to get out.  A simple solution would be to put casters on - but since this spot would be geared mostly for the younger eaters - having wheels on it seemed like asking for trouble.

So I didn't buy it.

I did, however, decide to look around a little bit more.  I noticed that the seller had listed his item as a "love seat."  One of the biggest pieces of advice I can share about Craigslist shopping (or Ebay shopping as well), is not to rely on one key phrase when you are searching for a particular item.  I had previously been looking under "settee", "bench" and "loveseat".  I think I had even tried "small couch" at one point.  But I had never tried "love seat." Both ways are correct (according to, but they get very different results on a Craigslist search.  So I tried "love seat."  And found this beauty.

Unfortunately, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag.  $300 to be exact.  And that's after the seller reduced it from $400.  So, it won't be coming home with me anytime soon.

But I did save all of the pictures and have decided that this will be a building project.  It'll be on the backburner for a long time - I can guarantee that.  But I think it won't be too difficult to build and I think the modern design will look gorgeous with the table.  Notice how the wings leave plenty of sliding room for exiting?  And I can pick whatever fabric I like (something pretty with lots of stain repellent).  I'm really looking forward to this one.

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