Sometimes there is a vintage treasure that speaks to you. Like vintage chairs which always seem to speak to me. But when they speak loudly- you listen. You look. You look at the condition vs the price vs the ‘love’ factor. And maybe you grab that treasure if the boxes are all checked. Or maybe you contemplate a bit if the price isn’t right, deciding if you should make an offer that is more in line with your comfort zone for price.
You see, my friend Sandy taught me something about offering less on something years ago and it stuck with me. Sandy and I first met at a by appointment vintage sale I was having at my house. She revised on Craigslist and set up a time to come by. We hit it off instantly-and there was something familiar about her like we were old friends. We have been friends ever since and have done some thrifting and yard sale shopping together since. We were at a sale where she found something she was interested in – and she didn’t offer less – just paid full price. Where as at another sale – she did negotiate. She said, if the price is agreeable as to what she feels good about and would pay as it is marked – she just pays it. It makes the seller happy, it makes her happy. But if it is way out of the zone she is comfortable with- she will ask if they have a better price. If it is far above where she would like to be – she doesn’t offer anything because it might offend someone.
The Chairs that took 3 Years to Buy
So back to the vintage treasures and checking the boxes…. I was working on my book Inspired Gatherings in 2019- and while I was dreaming up stylings like the table in the field- I had a vision for golden grasses, lots of romantic touches and a table set with charming chairs wearing old fabric.
I bumped into a set of 4 victorian chairs that had the most delightful aqua fabric, old painted frames and carved details on Craigslist. I LOVED them. And I could even get past the torn fabric and the water stains on the seats. BUT I hesitated…the price was a bit too high for what I was looking for.
Then we all know what 2020 and the next couple years looked like- so there was not a whole lot of vintage shopping going on during that time but fast forward to a couple months ago. I was shopping marketplace and bumped into a listing for antique chairs. With a beautiful aqua fabric. Chippy painted frames and all. those. same. details. They were in the same location as before. Same ask price as before. But, the listing was over a year old and there was a lovely little slash mark in the price since originally posted because the seller marked the chairs down. Way down to $200.
Of course, now, my table setting book was wrapped up and collecting dining chairs and tables for settings was not so much the priority. But since they popped back up I figured it was a sign that I should go take a look at them. I reached out and was met with crickets. Several times. I decided they probably already sold and the listing just wasn’t removed. But- they finally replied to a message I sent and so, the antique treasure hunt was back on.
Vintage Aqua Damask Chairs
My husband and I drove over to take a look at the chairs in person. I seriously thought that maybe they would not be as fabulous as I built up in my mind over the past few years. I thought for the condition the price was probably a little high yet – I have seen some pretty pristine ones for $35 for a pair though they did not have that dreamy aqua fabric- so that gave them a much more desirable star than me since I was planning on photographing them. But since I wasn’t doing a book on tables- I didn’t need them- I just thought I might need them haha. I can be rational about vintage chairs on occasion. But if I am honest, not too often. They are a weak spot for me in collecting.
So told my husband that I was not committing to buying- I just wanted to look at them before deciding if I needed them. He just said Ok and nodded. Well, you know he knew what that meant… and yes, they went in the car right away.
I had about a 1/2 dozen stylings in mind for them at first sight before the first one even landed in the car. And so- voila. These are the chairs that took 3 years to buy and bring home.
I can see so many different stylings- wedding photos, flower filled tea settings and of course- that table in a field with these chairs has me thinking about loading them up into the car to shoot it again. One of my favorite things is that the backs are the fabric as well. I love a view of the back of chairs at a table.
The chairs are up in the barn already waiting for some photo fun. I haven’t touched the fabric to try to clean the water stains yet- I don’t really know how to do that with a vintage fabric like this but also, in person the staining is very light and kind of blends with the fabric patterns . And don’t even mind the tears in the fabric on the one chair- I think it adds character and that chair might be my favorite. I know. I am odd.
I love the little wheels on the legs and the charm and character in the old painted frames. I believe they are victorian era parlor chairs- but whatever they area- they are darling and full of charm.
What do you think of these little chairs? Would you have brought them home too?
You can see another set of vintage tree branch chairs I brought home HERE
See you tomorrow for some Amazon Prime Day finds.
Happy Monday everyone!