Friday

DIYP #38-Room to Grow

Recently my two year old outgrew her highchair. (And by outgrew, I mean, she refused to sit in it and nearly turned it over trying to outmaneuver the strap).


She longed to sit with the rest of the family around the dinner table.

And it was a beautiful wish, really, except we only had four chairs.

before

When we bought our 5 pc (table included) dinette set five years ago, we were a family of four and no more. 

So we thought.

The set cost around $500 and has years and years and (crossing fingers) years of life left.  Since it's expandable, I thought I'd just move some furniture around and add a couple of chairs.

Each chair cost $225.

Some chair manufacturer is laughing somewhere.

I finally came up with a solution (much, much cheaper by the way) and I love it!

I opened the built-in leaf and enlarged the table. I moved the chairs around and left one side empty and strapped on a booster seat.

I added one of my garage sale treasures: a mismatched, chippy-painted bench:

after

And I saved hundreds of dollars! Plus, I love the casual, eclectic look of it.

I find that during these uncertain economic times, I'm more comfortable using what I have and holding off on big purchases. 

Are you doing the same thing? Talk to me.

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

great idea-- look terrific....but I am really wanting to know more about those cool wreaths hanging in the windows...more pictures of those, please.

PrairieCottageRose said...

Well, aren't you just a total genius! The bench looks fabulous. Love, love, love the bright colors, too!

jen said...

I have done the exact same thing with our table for the exact same reason. Well, not exactly, our 5th family member is a boy.
I had 2 old church pews given to me and I'm using one to accomodate everyone. The kids fight over who gets to sit there.
I love the eclectic look.
Great job!

Ali said...

Fantastic job! I just LOVE garage sales, you never know what cool stuff you might find =)

We are THAT Family said...

Dear Anonymous,
My red berry window wreaths are actually really large candle rings (much cheaper) and I put them up for Christmas and haven't taken them down because I love them. I saw the idea in a Pottery Barn magazine. Mine are just tied around the curtain rod with simple ribbon!

Muthering Heights said...

It looks very nice...and I'll bet all the kids will want a turn to sit there!

nutmeg said...

I had to do the same thing...for a completely different reason. I had 6 matching chairs but, alas, in one of our many moves my husband & brother-in-law managed to "drop" two of them on the road. I salvaged them enough to make one chair out of the two, but we still needed another. I, too, looked for a replacement & just laughed at the prices. So now we are using a pine storage bench that someone gave us years ago on one side of the table. I am planning to make a cushion to match the chair seats one of these days...

~Sandy~ said...

Super cute idea! Way to save hundreds of dollars...that's always a plus! I love the curtains too :O)

pjmomof3boys said...

I LOVE the bench! So cute! I am definitely reusing things I find around the house for decorating and organizing more lately. It seems even more satisfying to get a new look without spending any money than to spend half a paycheck on something. Plus, if you decide you don't really like it, you're not committed. Thrift stores and garage sales are great too. After seeing your dining area I SOOOO want to redo mine! Care to travel a few hundred miles to redecorate for me? ;)

It's a Vivas Thing said...

Mine doesn't looks as cute as yours. We often add in the piano bench or stool to our table to have us fit. Or the folding chairs. Hey..whatever works! The bench looks cute!

Nancy M. said...

I can't understand why the chairs cost so much! It's almost cheaper to buy another whole set. Smart idea you had!

Mrs. Organic said...

Pure genius and looks great!

Audrey said...

Ahh, I love garage sales!!

We're hoping to come across a toddler bed at a garage sale soon. Tonight is Princess's first night out of her crib... and on a mattress on the floor! haha.

Michelle said...

What an adorable idea! Love it!

MOMSWEB said...

Loved that idea! It's so cute!

Lori said...

Love it! And I bet the bench has been a big hit with the kids. My girls LOVE our bench and visiting kiddos always ask to sit on it. :) Great thinking!

Amanda said...

I love what you did! I have NEVER understood why chairs cost so much. It's just wrong. I love how the bench looks. Great idea!

JanMary said...

We too have just 4 chairs - we bought some stacking stools from Ikea which we are using in the meantime for our family of 5, but soon will be having out kitchen remodeled. Every mealtime our kids have a "debate" about whose turn it is to sit on a stool.

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

GREAT idea! I agree with the anonymous reader...I LOVE the wreaths!!

Jessica said...

ADORABLE!!! I have the dilema of needing more room at our kitchen table but ours doesn't expand! I was really hoping to see some majic trick to make a table of four grow. ; )

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

P.S. I forgot to ask...Where did you find your curtains or did you make them?

I have been searching for window treatments for our kitchen for over a year now and haven't found anything that I like...that is until I saw your photo. I really like the pattern and color.

~*Michelle*~ said...

I love it......we too have a bench to solve that #5 and #6 issue!

I am lovin the eclectic look....perfect!

Angela said...

What a great idea! Crazy that chairs are so expensive...but the bench is perfect. Loving the curtains and placemats, by the way!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

I love it! And now the kids can fight over who gets to sit on the bench~ Perfect!

That Girl said...

I was going to ask about the curtains too. Those are the exact same colors of our breakfast/sunroom!

Traci Best said...

I think you came up with an absolutely brilliant solution. David and I have recently 'looked' at table/chair sets...and MANY of them are now going to an optional bench! You are so in style!

:) Traci

Bridget said...

I just love that little "nook!" :) So pretty!

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

I love it!! I have been thinking about adding a bench to our table set as well. I love the look and the flexibility of seating with a bench!!

Kelly said...

Awesome! I bet it's much easier for the little one to get on and off the bench. My child constantly getting trapped in her chair at the table ;)

Stephanie said...

Oh, I really like that bench. I was just instructed, by my husband, to find more chairs for out table. We bought the table about 3 years ago at one of those unfinished furniture places and couldn't get the chairs at that time...well we never got the chairs and have been using 4 chairs from our old table along with 2 folding metal chairs. Pretty, I know. So I am in the market for a cool bench like yours and I am just going to paint the chairs we have to make it look casual and cozy. Good job and I agree with the first commenter...I love those wreaths.

Jenn said...

LOVE IT! You are just flowing with creativity and frugalness!

We are THAT Family said...

On the curtains--I saw these in a Pottery Barn catalog, but as you can imagine, they were very pricey! I bought them 1 or two at a time off of Ebay (it took about six months), but my collection is complete :D But I just saw nearly identical fabric tab tops at Wal Mart! (that's where I got the placemats)

Amber, That's Me! said...

Your table is beautiful. The bench is great. I have always wanted a bench with the little kids for the table. Good Job!

The Glamorous Life said...

Save ME a seat.
i will be over for dinner soon.

Rich said...

We had a similar problem and our bench works great. Note of caution - do not sit the youngest on the bench at first. They tend to forget there is nothing behind them and fall back. I also put the bench on the window side since it seemed to gather clutter ( food, socks, coats)if it is on the more accessible side.

willblogforshoes said...

Looks awesome! I need to decide whether or not I'm turning hubby's mancave into a nursery this weekend...it's going to take a small miracle to pull that off!

LaDonna said...

I really like the addition of your bench, and your room colors are so inviting!
I will keep this in mind as our family grows with more grandchildren down the road.
I always try to use what I have on hand...now isn't any different. Sometimes I move a picture from one room to another to help give a "new look" to our home.
LaDonna

Tina said...

That looks GREAT!!

Rachel said...

Super cute bench. I love it. Great idea. We'll have to do something like that when the next comes along. We're running out of room.

Ashey @ mrs007.com said...

I have always had a love for dining sets with a bench. I am in love with the cafe curtains and the wreaths in the windows.

The whole area looks very Pottery Barn-ish. I love stealing ideas from that catalog since I can't flippin' afford anything in there :)

Bailey's Leaf said...

I've been busy getting tires patched over here rather than buying new ones. It seems as though my car has been a screw magnet.

I do applaud your making what you have work effort. Looks great! Completely functional and fun! My sister has a bench that she uses in a very similar fashion.

Use what you've got! Love it!

Tamara said...

What a wonderful solution! I love it!

Annikke said...

We had the exact same problem -- right down to the chairs being an extraordinary amount of money! and we decided to use our piano bench. It worked great for our boys becuase they could both sit on it and it was a little higher than a regular chair so they didn't need boosters or anything. THen I put my daughter in a booster at one of the regular table chairs. It was perfect!!

Hohni said...

I. WANT. YOUR. DINING ROOM.!!

r- m val said...

i LOVE this look! i however just bought a brand new table that has room to grow. i understand the hard economic times, however those times aren't going to get any better until we start giving back. so while we're still saving... we're spending some.

Veggiemomof2 said...

And the yellow bench pad matches the yellow walls! :)

aussie gardening in America said...

I love the bench, we have a bench and it is great when we have visitors. I love your whole dining room !!

Jennifer said...

So cute! What a great idea! Now can you please come over and decorate my dinning room??? I need all the help I can get.

Dee said...

Kristen I love it thanks for the inspiration

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Brilliant! Just brilliant!

Blue Castle said...

Benches are the best! We bought a $50 from a local Kmart type store a few years ago, and it works perfectly for my boys. They're too rough and tumble to keep chairs in one piece, and the bench fits nicely up against our dining room window - like a miniature window seat.

proudgrits11 said...

what a great solution! Now that's using your noggin!! looks lovely!!

We are down to one income after my job ended somewhat prematurely, although I'd have only had a couple months left because I'm due to give birth in early May...so, man, have we tweaked our budget!!

We absolutely aren't making any major purchases--we're barely making minor ones!! I've found that simply telling people what you need--and being willing to "trade" sometimes--goes a long way. My most recent score was an artificial Christmas tree--just because I mentioned that we needed one! I also acquired a crafting table AND three chairs--just for asking! It's kind of humbling, but I sure wish people would ask me more--I'd love to unload some of our unwanted items and help someone out!! We all have to look out for each other.

Lois Lane II said...

Very cool! I love the colors you used, too.

Hmmm...we don't have that problem yet. It's just me and Hubby...and a dog who thinks she's human. =)

LifeAtTheCircus said...

NIcely done! Looks to me like you've even got room for guests to sit around the table. We have to resort to folding chairs for guests!

Diane said...

I love it what a great idea!!!!!!!!!!!

Tiff said...

I absolutely LOVE THIS IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

What a beautiful dining room! We have this same situation going on in our home. You gave me an idea...

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Joy said...

My MIL did that at her table, too!

I consolidated my blogs and have a new URL. You can now find me at:
whendoesdaddycomehome2.blogspot.com

Jamie said...

Very cute! I think it's actually a BETTER idea than buying an extra chair!

Misti of Studio M Designs said...

I totally love your bench, girl! That is my kind of kitchen, really, I have one too. Your cafe curtains are to die for! Love them... gotta go read some more of your blog...Thanks for checking out the Sknobs today!
~Misti

CanCan (MomMostTraveled) said...

There you go! Now you have room for a 4rth child!

Melissa R said...

Forget saving money, that bench looks GREAT! Even if you did want to spend the $$ to get a matching chair, I think THIS way looks much better! Interesting, not boring.

ImagineCozy said...

There is a great amount of satisfaction being able to come up with a creative solution using what you have already!

Fantastic Job!

Tara @ Feels like home said...

I love it, and I think there's enough room at that table for another child.

I'm just saying, you know, in case you'd decide to add another toddler to THAT family. ;)

It's Always Something Around Here said...

I love the bench totally cute!

I have definitely been making due with what we have on hand. I call it ragamuffining something up.

Holly said...

Yes, I am now blogging with my laptop sitting on an old wooden clothes hamper that my husband built 20 years ago when we were first married and too poor to actually buy one. He made it too big so I couldn't actually reach into the bottom of it to retrieve the clothes. We call it the monkey crate. It has sat in our garage for years. Now I need a computer desk for our dining area but we can't afford it just yet. So, once again, the monkey crate is useful!
Love the bench idea. My friend actually bought a set with a bench.

Jenny said...

I like it! I always wanted a table with a bench, maybe someday.

Suz said...

Love it! Looks like it came out of a magazine :)

Christie O. said...

very very cute!! and love those curtains by the way!

Tangee said...

I had to show my hubby this, I said, other people do think like us! We have a bench on our table too, we have a 6 foot table and it came with only 4 chairs, since we always have family over we needed more space than for our family of 6. This was a great way to do it!

Dot said...

What a terrific solution. I have the opposite problem. I have too many chairs. I went to a yardsale a few years ago and I was given chairs (as in free) that needed to have the seats recovered. The lady even gave me the foam and the fabric. She just didn't think she would ever get around to it. Now I'm on the lookout for a longer table...mine doesn't expand.

We are making do here also. Just today I finished stuffing the pillows and cushions on my sofa, making it look and feel practically new, and a year ago I would have been lobbying to replace it.

blessedmomto7 said...

Very DARLING Look!

Jessica said...

Scrolling through your DIY posts, looking for one on painting cabinets, and just have to say, after reading this one, I wish I could tour your home!! Looks so homey and creative! Looking forward to reading the rest of the posts that came up! Love it!