The moment I set my eyes on The Cross’ Rue Striped dining room chair, I fell in love. Yes, it is possible to fall in love with a piece of furniture. The feminine and ornate details carved in the legs, and the sturdy and smooth round back made me swoon. But then I saw the price, and my heart sank. These chairs would never be a reality in my home. Again, expensive tastes that apparently I can’t shake.
For months and months my husband and I searched. We searched high and low, custom and mass produced, local and online. But we just couldn’t find the level of quality we demand for an anywhere-close-to affordable price. My dreams were dashed and it seemed like my poor in-laws would be lending us 4 of their dining room chairs forever. It had been almost a year since we purchased a contemporary, espresso wood pedestal table from Lofty Living in Steveston. I knew that I wanted a yin and yang match with white, elegant chairs. So we had been waiting…. and stealing chairs from relatives whenever we had someone over for dinner. Or usually, eating in our laps in front of the TV.
But we don’t give up easily, and I’m not one to compromise. I knew if we searched long enough, we would find a solution. Luckily, my husband is a very patient man… and also a very talented do-it-yourself-er.
We approached The Cross to find out what our options were. I was a bit self-conscious to go in there and say “We can’t afford this, how can we make this happen”, but luckily our sales girl was understanding and unpretentious. We found that we were able to order the frames, completely unfinished, for a fraction of the cost. PLUS being a follower of The Cross on Facebook, I was privy to the information that if you placed an order later that week on a specific day, it would be discounted by 20%! The result was further savings.
The chairs arrived 2 weeks later! My husband picked them up and took them over to my parent’s shop, where he set up a painting booth using sheets of poly plastic held from ceiling to floor by extendable poles. He used a compressor and spray gun to paint the wood a beautiful, smooth shade of semi-gloss white.
Next task: finding the fabric. My step-mom is an interior designer, so with connections in the industry, we visited a high-end fabric store in East Vancouver. The showroom was huge and with so many fabrics, I found it a bit overwhelming. But with the help of step-mom’s professional eye, we sifted through until we found a few options and brought samples home to share. We chose a Calvin Klein blue-gray fabric with specs of white and light gray woven in. Beautiful! Until pricing came along….. oy vey. Again, expensive tastes. Buying this fabric would have meant losing the savings we had made thus far. After another few months of searching and my step-mom’s help from afar, we found a comparable fabric for about ¼ of the cost of Mr. Calvin Klein. Amazing! It took a few weeks for the order to arrive, and then on to upholstering!
Again, a wonderful contact of my step-mom’s gave us a great deal on upholstery and his level of quality was exactly up to our standards.
After almost a year of searching and 4 months since we ordered the unfinished frames, my dream became a reality! We couldn’t be more pleased with the final results.