What’s wrong with this picture?

Look Closer:

Stickley close-up

Notice anything missing?

That’s right — there are no seats.

Here’s what happened:

In 2004 Dean and I took a financial plunge and purchased a Harvey Ellis Stickley dining room set from a store that went out of business in 2006. We had a Danish modern set, but both felt embarrassed to have people over for dinner using that set — the chairs were stained and the table top was messed up.

We loved our new dining room set — so much that we never used it except for holidays and dinner parties. After a while we began to use it more often — especially in the winter when the room with the kitchen table was chilly — but still we didn’t use the dining room table more than 40 days a year.

The table has a few scratches now — mostly barely noticeable. It also has a ding on one side and a couple of rings from hot dishes being put on it with out enough protection. At this point, I’m not too upset about those minor blemishes. It shows we use the table.

The other day I noticed that the seat of one of the chairs looked different than the others. While the other chairs’ seats filled up the space alloted to it, this one had a 1/2 inch gap. I looked at the bottom of the chair and felt that the support within the padding was bent. Upon further inspection (taking the seat off the chair and removing the staples that held the fabric) I saw that the support was bent on the front and back of the cushion. And — get this — the support in the seat of this Stickley chair was made of particle board. Very thick particle board, but particle board nonetheless.

Dean was all set to get out his jigsaw and make new support for the chair, then I noticed that another chair had the same, although not as pronounced, problem. I thought we should call Stickley or at least the store that now sells Stickley in the area to see what they thought. I checked the warranty and, wouldn’t you know it — the warranty was up for dining room chairs. That’s pr0bably because they are made from particle board. Dean took one of the seats to Sheffield Furniture and was told to bring all the seats to them, they’d send them to an upholsterer for us and let us know when they were done. Whether or not we’ll be charged for this, I don’t know — Dean assumed we wouldn’t be.

But that’s not what is forefront on my mind right now. My pressing question is:

Where are the guests going to sit on Saturday?

9 thoughts on “What’s wrong with this picture?

  1. This is one of those things that is terribly, terribly funny from afar. I’m afraid I’m of no use whatsoever as to a solution, I have never encountered such a problem.


  2. Well, let’s see–you could bring the kitchen chairs into the dining room or eat in the kitchen. Dean could get out his jigsaw and cut simple planks and you could put a pillow on top. Doesn’t Andrew have some creative idea? I remember one year when the set was quite new that a towel was placed on the seat for safety from spillage. No need for any icebreaker this year–talk around the table should be quite lively. I have fond memories of T’giving dinner at that table; seems like this year is already turning out to be a memorable one too.


  3. Bridgett — Yes, particle board shocks me. I’m not sad the Danish modern is gone though.

    It was actually very funny close-by too, Helen.

    IB — the party was a success. We ate paella, had highly intellectual conversations about the human brain and the guests sat on Stickley chairs. Stickley will only fix the two broken ones, so they gave us back 4 of the 6 seats.

    Diane — all good suggestions, but not needed luckily. As for Thanksgiving — we’re alone this year, so 4 chairs will be just fine.

    The Good Earth — thanks for stopping by. Your suggestions are also very good. I did consider the BYOChair option since the guests were neighbors.


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