Wednesday, July 23


I love cooking and giving dinner parties. And I love creating a fantastic dining room. I'm not much for a traditional look though, with the table and chairs matching. I love the look of an old farm table mixed with some contemporary designs, like a Saarinen Tulip Chair (like my star-based ones, which I found on craigslist - all four and with the Knoll table for $150!), or anything a little bit unusual. I even like completely mismatched chairs. I adore the look of a modern table, and in converse, mixed with some traditional antique or vintage chairs. I suppose I just like the juxtaposition of old and new combined, and I think it's a great way to save money. Buy a nice table, or chairs and then mix 'em up with inexpensive flea market, ebay, or craigslist finds. I went through my files of magazine clippings and found some fun examples for you.

I love these black lacquered bentwood chairs around the white Saarinen table;
and the galvanized French metal cafe chairs with the pine farm table look great.

These bamboo chairs look lovely with the traditional white dining table;
and this little nook demonstrated in Domino with the Ikea Docksta table and
mid-century modern McCobb chairs is a fun look, as well as a wonderful space saver.

Another wonderful example of the Ikea Docksta table mixed with these dramatic
tall back chairs; and a farm table mixed up with antique black lacquer chairs.

I just want to move in here! Pretty black Saarenin table with
mid-century Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chairs.

The beautiful oval-shaped Saarinen table with
Danish modern armchairs looks really sleek and pretty.

I love this modern Saarinen Tulip set
combined with the ornate, antique hutch.

The mix and match look of these interestingly shaped
wrought-iron chairs is so much fun for dining al fresco.


amy williams said...

There is nothing better then a dinner party or dining outside!
Thank you for sharing and for your wonderful posts!

Anonymous said...

I just love your take on style and decor - this post particularly. Mixing old and new, especially in a dining setting, is the key to making it relaxed and inviting.

Great round-up - I'm posting on Kirtsy now!

Tracey said...

i love the look of mismatched chairs if they are treated more as individuals, and not just plunked down to fit out a table. Did that make sense- the chairs become almost art then!

Megan @ Pink O'Clock said...

i am totally with you on the mixing and matching! :)

erica lorraine scheidt said...

Your timing is perfect -- I am sans table in SF.

Your favorite antique store/co-op in the city...?

Went to the Bell Jar for the first time yesterday thanks to you -- a find! What gorgeous wallpaper.

sfgirlbybay said...

Erica - i still swear by the alameda flea market, but i have heard the antique mall on bayshore is a great consignment shop. i have yet to get there, but you've given me some inspiration to get out there and share it with y'all:

FancyPants-design said...

Great advice!! I too love all the mismatched chairs. I love your dining room table with the dark wood table and white modern chairs!! :)

erica lorraine scheidt said...

I live in walking distance to the Bayshore antique mall and totally recommend it: tons and tons and tons of stuff. Everything's priced (no wondering and having to ask).

Stuff goes quickly, so no hesitation.'s very close to Flora Grubb.

mirabelle said...

Love the roundup of ideas, but none of a metal table..I have an old "operating table" type table and cannot decide what looks good with it - bentwood chairs?

Any ideas that you came across to help me get rid of my $20 white plastic folding cafe chairs?

SimplyGrove said...

I love this post!!! So many great rooms to stare at!

Kerry Doyle said...

I love the way the Saarinen table looks with the bentwood chairs. Thanks for the inspiration!

Dottie said...

i love mix & matchy! i'm cringing, just thinking about my hand-me-down matching dining set. i think i'll have to start the hunt for real.

Carrie Nicole said...

I agree!! When I think of dining tables, I always remember a pic you posted a while back of Amy Butler's house, I LOVED the dining table she has.

My cousin and her husband made a really fantastic one out of reclaimed wood floors from a stately home they renovated. As a very special touch, the edges of the table were ornate, hand carved crown molding, also reclaimed from the historic property during renovation. So cool!!

{this is glamorous} said...

What a beautiful round-up -- any one of these spaces would be a perfect setting for a summer dinner party.

Fifi Flowers said...

Would be happy to sit at any of these tables and have a lovely meal with friends! Nice post!

Di Overton said...

Today is my birthday and you are cordially invited to my party down by the river. Wear loose fitting clothes and don't drive due to the excessive amounts of food and champagne that is on offer.
Di at Designers Block

la la Lovely said...

This is a great post. I LOVE the look of a table and mismatched chairs. And I have been admiring those French cafe chairs for sometime! Love the pictures!


Anonymous said...

Victoria-- these examples ae just so spectacular! You are so generous to comb your files and come up with so many possibilities! I love the old table with comfy new chairs, whatever the style as long as it's pretty! It's fun to pick up a pair of chairs with old paint or a wood surface that is mellow, and then keep looking for another pair, and then another. In the end you also have a story about each one. Kind of like your tales of craigslist and Alameda... wherever you stumble across even one chair in a style you like, grab it! You may be surprised how beautiful your ultimate combination will become. And you can save lots of money, gathering things gradually as you meet and fall in love with them. One other idea for finding a pair at a time, or perhaps a single one... Alemany flea market every Sunday. It's smaller, but occasionally there will be a treasure.
Great post, girl! Joan

read me... said...

Fine selection of images... I love the Puchard chairs too. I have two stools, and am always on the look out for more!

Stephanie said...

Victoria, I have those French galvanized chairs. I'm wondering if you think they would look great with a different table? My look isn't super country or rustic. Any ideas?

sfgirlbybay said...

stephanie - i think these chairs look great with a funky old wood fram table, or even the white Ikea Doksta table. they mix well with a lot of looks - even a glass top table. :)

Anonymous said...

What about the opposite problem....what can you pair with tulip chairs, besides the tulip table?