New dining chairs: Oak windsor chairs

I had been unhappy with our dining chairs for some time (here’s a post from this time last year). We got them when we moved here almost 4 years ago – a replica Eames they had to be put together by us and ever since the first time anyone sat in them, they creaked and squeaked, they dropped screws, the screws we had became threaded, they discoloured into a nasty yellow from the sunshine and they inevitably just plain broke. We lost a few from people just sitting in them and a few Sunday’s ago when we lost another, I was DONE with them. And it seems that I was not alone from this thread on Facebook. I suppose that’s what you get when you spend $70 on a chair – they aren’t going to last.

So I set myself the task of finding a new chair. And there were some GREAT suggestions: Ebay and Gumtree for second hand numbers, getting different styles and painting them all different colours, getting some from Ikea etc etc the list of ideas went on and on. I found a few that I liked online (but they were EXPENSIVE) who knew that a dining chair could cost so much? I didn’t want to spend $300 on a chair (and there were HEAPS of those out there and plenty that cost even more) and I didn’t want to get something that would have to be replaced in another 4 years time. Mum was leaving after a visit on the weekend and stopped into Dirty Janes in Bowral, as she often does on her way back home to Sydney. She spotted some chairs, took a snap and told me to get in there toot sweet.

I got in there a week later and instantly fell in love with a set of 8 antique oak windsor chairs that she told me about. They are about 150 years old and they were from Belgium (or Holland I can’t remember which one). After a few photos and important discussions with Rob (he mainly just rolled his eyes at me) and many sitting in and out of them from Harper I decided that it was a perfect match. If they have been around for 150 years, chances are they were will be around for a bit longer than those replica’s.

A few days later they were delivered and now they sit in our room, basking in the late afternoon sunshine. They are so comfortable to sit in (and much easier for the kids than the bucket seats we had), have little to no squeak and they feel all smooth and old and LOVELY. I particularly like the brace at the back of them…hoping this will ensure their longevity. It’s a different look now…less modern and more country in style and the dark wood has taken some getting used to, but I do love them.

They deserved their very own photo shoot in the late afternoon light.

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What do you think?
Do you have a dining chair that you love or loathe?

Comments

  1. Yep. Love. Wouldn’t work in all houses as you say, more country that you may have planned BUT you live in the country. Duh! Perfect in the afternoon light.

    We have major dining chair issues. We have the hard rubbish/opshop/ikea combo plus a church pew thrown in for good measure.

    One day when I’m a loaded grown up I’m going to buy me something fancy.

    Happy happy belated birthday. Looks like such a fab weekend.

    • That’s what people keep telling me (that I live in the country). I lusted after those ones from Southwood but just couldn’t ever pay that kind of $! Thanks for the birthday wishes :)

  2. I LOVE your new chairs Beth, while the replica Eames chairs gave a more modern look, every man and his dog has them, which has put me off getting them. Your new chairs suit the dining table and look PERFICK.

  3. Unfancy Nancie says:

    They look so much nicer than the knock-off Eames. Give me solid timber furniture (especially well made antiques) over cheap plastic or veneer anyday. I just can’t get my head around the ‘mid-century’ look, it doesn’t appeal to me at all. Probably because I grew up with it and to me it looks dated… Showing my age perhaps???

  4. Great choice, we just bought 2 off eBay which are a very similar style for either end of our farmhouse table. I love the rustic look so I think yours look fantastic.

  5. I freakin’ LOVE Dirty Jane’s. Every time I visit my in laws I have to drop in there. I just love how it keeps growing and growing and the nursery and french shop out the back?!…. be still my beating heart!! The chairs looks awesome and suit your space beautifully. Well done you and well done Mum for spotting them. Jx

  6. Beth, you were MEANT to have those chairs. They work perfectly. I’m on the hunt for a new dining room setting…but do you bother with toddlers? Thats the question I’m asking myself. x

  7. They’re just lovely – as I get older I’m finding myself more and more drawn to more traditional pieces and a rustic, Iived in look – I guess I want my stuff to have a story these days.

    • I’m with you Nic – I love thinking about these chairs all those years ago on the other side of the world…it’s a wonderful thing!

  8. Oh they are lovely and perfect for a country home. Our dining chairs are awful, two have broken by someone just sitting on them. I am trying to break the other 4. They were around $80 eight years ago. Good chairs are very expensive, which is why we haven’t replaced them. I don’t want to get cheap ones again and it is hard to justify $300 on a chair. I don’t even know what I want.

    Good on your mum for spotting them.

  9. Just as well you got in there fast I know a friend who probably would of loved them too : ) I think they look great!

  10. feebeecakes says:

    I have some very similar – not 8 sadly – same pattern leg turning. mine have been in the famiy for 150 years (more I think). They are from Germany…wonder if yours are German too – though Dutch/Belgian would have same influences.

  11. Classic’s what they call them Beth ;)
    Nice choice and good spotting Mum!

  12. I just bought the Eames replicas from Aldi for the bargain basement price if $35 each. I have my heart set on some phillipe starcke chairs but I couldn’t go any longer without so the cheaply Eames will do until I can buy the ones I want. Yours look amazing, sets the room off beautifully, I love the end chairs.

  13. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    They look lovely,I have stools at the kitchen bench like that,cheap and loose and not comfy but I’m waiting till I get another new kitchen I think to buy new ones x

  14. I really like these. I love antiques, can’t understand whey they are not more popular.

    Good choice.

  15. Marvellous!

  16. They look stunning! Comfy too

  17. I thought they were new! I noticed them in a photo earlier today , in FB or IG maybe, and was going to comment but thought I might come across a bit stalker-ish lol I like ‘em x

  18. cecily maher says:

    ha ! you are making me think about the chairs my dad did up that were in my great uncles house in New Farm in Brisbane, all countrified and bought back to life , at least 150 years old, and now sitting in my brothers shipping container stored , hmmmm I am thinking I should ask to do a swap on the 100 year old day bed I said I would let him have ………love your bum warmers !!

  19. They look fab Beth. We were lucky and collected some vintage chairs made by a Tasmanian company out of tas Blackwood. A bit retro, but they are so comfortable and sturdy. We recovered them in red fabric ourselves, good thing we didn’t spend a lot on the fabric cause the girls are trashing them with their sticky paws – but one day we’ll just redo them all. They varied in price from $5 to $50, and we have 12 (some with arms).

  20. Beautiful. Love those lines?

  21. Love the chairs! I just adore oak, it is the most beautiful wood, it just exudes something!
    My dining chairs are old church chairs, purchased from an antique place in the blue mountains about 10 years ago, and they are sqeakers alright! They are starting to squeak louder as time goes by, and one has a rung cut out of the back rest because my son got his head stuck in the back of the chair and we had to cut the rung so he could get his head out! God knows how he got it in there? (I had to call my neighbour at 7am one day, can you help me, my sons head is stuck in a chair…..)

  22. First…you are so lucky to find eight matching chairs! I hate my dining chairs. I only paid $200 for the four of them….so getting rid of them isn’t a problem. They are older…between 45 and 60 years old with wicker seats. They don’t really go with the table….they look older like the table, but they’re not the same era. The wicker bit is starting to fail on one and gone on the other…and they are uncomfortable with a sharper edge where your legs go….making me think they started out life as upholstered chairs. My problem is my table….it’s about 100 years old and when fully opened seats eight….I love it! But, finding something to go with the table…that’s the problem. I’ve thought of putting seat cushions on them and getting two Parsons style chairs for the head of the table….but still can’t decide.

  23. What a great find, and they look fantastic in the late afternoon light. Stylistically, they seem to add a bit of Bev in your Beth. Great choice.

  24. I just love these chairs! Imagine the stories that they could already tell you! Love a chair with a history :)

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