dining room changes: worth splurging?

Our dining room has come a long way in the year we have lived here.  
But it's not finished and therefore driving me crazy.
Here is how it looked the day we moved in.

My plan had always been to paint the table and buffet.  I've done the buffet, but that leaves the table.
It's just too dark.  We bought it from Pottery Barn 10 years ago, before I was savvy enough to know that I didn't want my chairs and table to match.  The good news is that I still love the lines of our table.  
High gloss white and a little varnish will do wonders.

In my dream world where money is no object and is freely spent on furniture, I need these green chairs.

I love the juxtaposition of a more rustic metal chair with the fanciness of our lighting.
I mean really...don't they look amazing here?

I even searched for inexpensive metal chairs I could spray paint green, but I'm concerned our dining room would begin to feel like a garage sale or that they wouldn't be comfortable.

Then I found these green chairs.  Less expensive than my first choice.  Still good looking, yes?

What would you do?  Splurge on the metal green chairs or just deal with what you've got?  
Either way that table is going white.  Wish me luck!

I received another "Ask the Expert" question over the weekend and they have already started painting.  It's looking amazing.  If you have a design question needing answers, click here.


  1. I'm trying to stick with the rule of thumb--in my own hoe as well as client's--to put money into filling gaps, rather than to replace items you already have. Your chairs are lovely, and with everything else painted, I think you'll want some natural wood in there for warmth.

    But oh, those green chairs are tempting!

  2. I actually really like the chairs you've got. I think the backs are a really nice shape.

    I also like the metal chairs in a fancy room idea, but I think we all might tire of it in a few years, you know? Whereas those chairs you've got will always be pretty. So if you decide to go for the metal chairs (which would look great, for sure) don't ditch the other chairs, just store them or something.

  3. Although I do love the green chairs, I really like the chairs you have now too. Good luck painting your table!

  4. i love the green chairs you found...not sure how $$ they are but here's a $99 similar version that you could spray paint green...maybe just buy one to test?


    or these tolix like chairs with arms, set of 4 for $204!

    keep your chairs though like the pp suggested just in case but i say go for it!

  5. I love the look of those tolix chairs! I also love a great wood/metal combination. A while back, home depot on line had them for about $99, which might be what Nancy suggested in her first link. Not sure if the chairs you have now can be reupholstered in the seat area, but you could always put your favorite fabric there, if they can! Looking forward to seeing the table white! It will look great. :)

  6. How about painting your current wood chairs a green color?

  7. The table is going to look so great in white! I just bought a new set of chairs, table, bench for my kitchen - can't wait till it all gets here. We lived with what we had for about 9 years so it was time to splurge for what we really wanted. I think your best bet is to paint the table white first and then see how you feel about the chairs after that - if you still feel strongly about the green metal chairs - I say go for it!

  8. I have the exact same pb chairs, and wanted to switch to metal but they are so uncomfortable compared to the Pb ones. I changed my table to white and it made all the difference in the world! You will be surprised.

  9. I really like the chairs you have too- could you paint them green?

  10. You know what? I think I would leave the table as is and get the green chairs you are dreaming of. You have a lot of painted furniture in there now and I think leaving the table in it's current wood finish would be nice. Maybe hang on to your current chairs for a client?

  11. Lots of great thoughts here Abby... my 2 cents:
    Love your current chairs, if they are comfy, you could paint them or leave them stained and add a fabric cushion. Combined with the painted table, either way they would look great. Or I like Kim's idea of leaving the table as is and adding the green chairs you love. Comfort is key though, because you want your guests to linger over a meal don't you?!

  12. I love the look you are going for, but coming as someone who sits in my dining room at least 2 meals a day, I think they might be too uncomfortable. We had wood chairs for ever, and they were fine, then I finally gave in and bought upholstered chairs and it has changed my life. Well, maybe not totally, but I'm happy to sit t the table long after dinner is over and chat, as opposed ot the awkward "let's move to the dining room" which never works for me, people just take that as an opportunity to leave!


  13. I vote to keep the chairs and add fabric cushions...check out www.cooper-grey.com under pillows for the "Carnival" pattern. Great blue and green with grey combo! Thinking the photo above with green chairs works b/c of the more modern, rustic, simple table. Keep us posted!

  14. Wow. Lots of great opinions. My vote is white chairs, green tablescape. Just sayin. :) Really, I'd never be bold enough to go for metal chairs for the long term, much as I like them (that's a compliment :)

  15. You could paint your chairs first and see if you like them. However, I know that when I want something new, it drives me crazy until I give in and buy it!

  16. I would paint what I had and then if that didnt look good, then you can plurge on the metal ones. What about if you painted the 2 end chairs a different colour, just to mix it up a bit?

  17. You may not like what I have to say, but I've never felt comfortable in any cahir with a rush seat unless yours are the exception; however, I cannot see how the metal chairs will be comfortable either. We entertain at least twice a month and our guests prefer lingering at the table after the meal. Consider comfort over style --- PLEASE!

  18. OK...I love the idea of painting the table white. Then...maybe for color instead of painting the chairs...you could change out the rush seats [saving for when you want them back] for fabric. Maybe that would give you the punch you are longing for.....Another thought is that after you paint the table....then if you are wanting more color you could paint the chairs...but I think that with a rug and color on the seats you might be satisfied......maybe :)

  19. goodness, this is a tough decision for you to make. I really LOVE those metal chairs for the 'look' of the space. but agree with the others that worry about their comfort for long meals/game nights, etc. (would be perfect for kitchen table!) anyway, I'm on board the train for painting the table and keeping chairs natural, with maybe painting the head chairs your pop of green. (and reupholstering the seats if they're not comfy already. if they are, then I think they'll work beautifully with the white table) lots of opinions here.. so make sure you do what YOU love! :)
    best of luck, and can't wait to see what ya decide!!

  20. i love the blue! it's so inviting!
    i think your table and chairs are great and that you should just leave them. You can always put cushions on the seats to add color.



Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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