Cheap Chic: Inexpensive slipcovered dining chairs

I have been meaning to do a little post about some dining chairs I recently purchased from a well known catalog company called Ballard Designs.  I'm not really big on buying things sight unseen but in this case my desire for "cheap" got in the way of my need for"chic".  This is the first thing I have ever purchased from the Ballard catalog so I was a bit nervous.  I'd be interested to hear more opinions about Ballard because I like many of the items.  Some of the office furniture looks really great.
This is called the Gramercy chair and it retails in the catalog for $299 dollars depending on the fabric you choose to have it upholstered in.  In this case I went with a basic off white poplin because I knew I would be slipcovering them.  You can also chose the leg finish stain (I think there are 4 to choose from)

Here is the chair just unboxed.  Yes they arrive in HUGE boxes! 
It is really a nice all around chair that could be used so many different ways, but the thing that makes it a nice dining chair, especially if you have a large table, is the size.  It  is wide and deep and comfortable  for a long dinner party.  Men seem to like this chair because of the size as well.  This would make a great  occasional chair for an apartment or smaller sized living room.
I went ahead and purchased a set of the slipcovers offered from the catalog in Natural danish linen.  They came to about $175 per chair so my total cost per chair was $470 dollars but...I got another 25% off because they were running an upholstery promotion at the time.  Total cost per chair with the Ballard slips $396 dollars! 
I wasn't really crazy about the Ballard slips, they seemed a little flimsy and they are not lined and have an open pleat at the corners.  For everyday use they would be fine however and the fabric was actually very nice.  I have to say they fit the chairs really well too, which surprised me.
Here are the six chairs I purchased in their new white linen slipcovers which cost me about $300 each from my upholsterer.  All pre-washed and really soft these will ware well for as long as I own these chairs.  The fabric is a heavy white linen.
Another shot from the side and as long as I'm on the subject of dining rooms I'll share this really special table that I found a few years ago.  I have actually owned this table for about 5 years and thought that I would sell it but it may be a bit too rustic for some.  Its also a rather odd size in that it is narrow but it fits this dining area to a T.  It is an old door from France, with interesting raised molding and lots of crusty layers of paint.  The legs are new, of course, but nice and chunky fat to match the heavy table.  This sucker weighs at ton. It's about 9 feet long and can seat 8.
Here's what we did to make this door work as a table.   I had a tempered glass top made and we drilled 8 holes in the glass to accommodate these metal "stand off" brackets which raised the glass up about an inch.
You can really see in this photo how the molding sat above the edges of the table and nothing would sit flush.  
The standoff screws into the wood and then is finished off with a little cap.  They come in a variety of colors and in this case I used a gunmetal grey.
There is actually room for another chair but most of time there is never more than 6 sitting here and I like to leave the space.
Cheap Chic and comfy too!

And don't' forget to leave a message on the prior post to enter to win the Grain Sack!
Have a wonderful weekend!
  1. Love the chairs, but definitely not cheap for me, especially since you had six more slipcovers made for them! That's $1800 just for new slipcovers + the original cost of the chairs = out of my league!

    I have to admit though, they definitely look fabulous with your table, which I love!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I like them a lot... Stunning!


  3. Beautiful! Too much moola for my budget though. But wow,they look fabulous with the table!

  4. Hi and I do agree about the price. Another way to get the Look is to buy just 2 for your "host" chairs at the end of the table and use your existing chairs with perhaps new white cushions!

    xx kelley

  5. I love these chairs! Definitely an investment. I like Ballard for lots of things and just got a cowhide rug from them. Not sure if I'll keep it. I need opinions. But your chairs look stunning with that table, especially with the washed linen slipcovers! Is this your dining room at home or in Ojai?

  6. I can only think of one word for this dining room ~~ spectacular!

  7. Kelley - I love the idea of these as captains chairs, filling in with the existing chairs from a dining room group! I was looking for chairs like this to be reupholstered in the fabric that I was going to use for curtains in the dining room. I love the shape and line of this. PERFECTION! Now I just have to rethink my fabric that I chose for curtains. I thought that it was perfect at the time ... but up on the window, it's just not right. Send me your ideas - you know how much I love your opinion!

  8. I, too, like these chairs as captains' chairs. They would work well with the antique French chairs I found tucked away in a thrift shop. (the seats had old springs and horsehair padding...4 for $32.) Love your table, too! It has lots of character.

    Jane (artfully graced)

  9. looks great Kelley & the chairs look welcoming/comfy for a dining room , love that.......good idea on the glass w/the standoff screws...

  10. The chairs look fabulous - I love the slope of the back - nice and comfy for long dinners well into the night! The table ... well, it's amazing!! I just love everything you do =)

    xo Isa

  11. Perfect Kelley! White slipcovers on ANYthing is a true love of mine. Another room that shows what amazing style you have!

    Have a great weekend!
    P.S. Would you mind blogging more about your grasscloth wallcoverings sometime? What are your thoughts about putting this in a kitchen and/or dining area? Bathroom? I would love to know more about it and if it's practical in these areas, so if you feel like it someday....:)

  12. Oh I am in love! I don't know with what more...the fabulous unique table...or the chairs in their new slip! I have been keeping an eye out for host chairs for our table...These might just fit the bill!


  13. What a find. They are perfect in your dining room. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary.

  14. Hi Kelley,

    Love the chairs but I must say I adore the table. I have a gorgous old door that I would love the try this on. Thanks for the inspiration.


  15. I love your dinning room!! I love the chair's they are very pricy, but worth every dime, the cost will keep them out of everyone's home, and to me that can be a good thing!! I don't like anything that every one can get, hope that does not make me a snob!! The table it awesome too!! I can not even come of with words to explain how much I love the table, again, all the details keep it totaly unique. I would love to be a guest at your house. Stop by and check out my blog. You should post your dinning room on HGTV's Rate my space!!

  16. Hi Kelley,

    No word of a lie, when the first picture came up on my computer screen, I gasped. You have SO got it....that dining room table is stunning and it was meant to be yours. Is that an old postage box thingy on the table (??) LOVE that as well. Even through the pictures, not only does it look SO fantastic but feels right. There is so much light coming in...I bet you couldn't help but feel anything but happy!!! I agree with Maxine above, some things are just nice when not everyone has them. The chairs are stunning (have I used that word already???) and worth every cent. I hope you are having a great start to your week and I'll call in again soon.
    Take care.
    N.W. Coast Tasmania

  17. Hi to every one! I actually turned off my computer this weekend! I know call me Crazy! One last word on the chairs. They are big! Each slipcover takes 4-5 yards of fabric to do them correctly. I still think they are a great value at $299 each because of the size and construction, I also agree that for most tables, useing them at each end is the best way to go.

    So glad you like the look

    Happy Monday! kelley

  18. I adore the chairs...they really make you want to stay and linger over a meal...and that table...oh that table...simply stunning.

  19. the table is a show-stopper! the chairs are perfect, classic and timeless.


~*~love to hear from you~*~

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.