Dining Room Table and Chairs Installed

Our new table and chairs

Tom and I put off buying a dining room table and chairs as long as we could.  First of all, it is a big expense.  We wanted solid wood tables and chairs and we were seeing prices around $4,000 for a set!  Secondly, we still aren’t going in stores if we don’t absolutely have to.  And the one time we went into a store to buy furniture (Ashley) it wasn’t a good experience.  Yes, we are still waiting for our sofa to arrive (bought it August 10) and no, we won’t be buying anything else there.

But, finally, we felt like we had to bite the bullet.  I’ve been looking at dining room tables and chairs for several months.  I’ve looked at hundreds of them online and showed them to Tom. Some of the tables had massive legs or were too fancy, too small, or just too crazy.  About half the tables we looked at were counter-height, which is very trendy right now but why?

We have a huge eat-in kitchen with a 16 by 16 foot area that was just waiting for a table.  So we have room for a big table, but I wanted one that was adjustable so we could have it smaller when it is just the two of us.  I also wanted a set that came with chairs so I didn’t have to choose chairs in addition to choosing a table.  In addition, I wanted plain lines and Tom wanted something sturdy.

After several days of serious looking, Wayfair sent me a notice that one of the tables I had looked at was on sale at 50% off.  Score!  Suddenly a dining room table and chairs that had seemed out of reach on price was within our price range.  Tom and I looked at it, read the description very carefully, and finally ordered it.

There are a lot of good things about Wayfair, especially during a pandemic. First, they have a great selection of furniture in all sizes and styles.  Second, shipping on anything over $35 is free.  And, finally, they tell you when you will get the item you are ordering.  When we placed the order for the dining room table and chairs, they said we would receive it between November 4 and 10.

Well, we got our dining room table and chairs on October 29 – a week earlier than expected!  And here we get to the bad things about Wayfair.  First, most of their stuff comes from outside the United States.  And, second, everything comes with assembly required.

Our dining room table and chairs came in seven boxes.  Big boxes. Heavy boxes.  But, no problem.  Tom and I are good at putting things together.  I read the directions and he (mostly) follows them.

Putting together the table

We spent an entire day putting together our dining room table and chairs.  It was fun to do it together and have it take shape in the kitchen.  The table is very large and heavy.  It is solid wood with three expandable leaves.  When fully extended, the table is 11 feet long with eight legs.  We put it together and admired it before we started on the chairs.

The table came with 12 ladderback chairs, which also required assembly.  We put the first one together and then sat at the table, excited to try out the table and chairs.  But when I sat down, the table hit the middle of my breasts.  I felt like a kid again, trying to peer above a table much too high for me.  We measured the table and found out it was 30.75 inches high.  Standard table height is 28 to 30 inches.  Then we measured the chairs and found out they were only 17 inches high.  Standard chair height is 18 to 20 inches.  So the table was too high and the chairs were too short.

Table without extra leaves

Tom and I decided to take a break for lunch.  After a lot of discussion and talking out d1ifferent solutions, we came up with a two-pronged approach.  We sawed 1.25 inches off the table legs and ordered some 1 inch chair risers.  We wanted to be able to use the table with chairs of standard height, so didn’t want to saw off too much.  Sawing off the ends off the legs of a brand new, expensive table was a stomach clenching experience, but it was the easiest thing to do.

Putting the chairs together

After getting the table the right height, we put all 12 of the chairs together.  It was a little like a factory.  I would unpack the boxes, set out the pieces, and put the bolts loosely in place.  Then Tom tightened the bolts and screwed the seat of the chair to the frame.  In this way we finished all 12 of the chairs by 5 p.m.

I am thrilled with our new dining room table and chairs.  We have enough room and chairs now for anyone who wants to come for a meal.  I like the way everything looks and I especially like that Tom and I together are a good problem-solving team.