SWH4T$: Ikea

Welcome back Ladies! It's been an awesome year for SWH4T$ so far: we've organized our coupons, repurposed jars to make super cute home decor, and now let's decorate our houses some more!

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Ikea. The Motherload of cute and functional stuff for cheap. Mizzle and I are HUGE fans of Ikea, our entire dining room set is Ikea, our endtables are Ikea, our dishes and several pots are Ikea, and Jack's playfood is from Ikea.

For 9 years now (ever since we moved in together) our dining room set was a hand-me-down from my parents: a teak table with 6 chairs that my parents swiped from the Student Union at University of Arizona when they were redoing the building (my dad went there for undergrad). The chairs are likely mid-century, and they are in surprisingly good shape for surviving thousands of college kids, me and my sisters, and then finally Mizzle & Jack (not to mention numerous drunken house parties in the pre-Jack days...).

We loved the table and I loved the chairs (they squeak, Mizzle hates it. I think it gives them character). Our dining room is small, and we needed a smaller table so that things were not as crowded, now that we have a toddler table and Jack's play kitchen in the dining room.

I wanted a round table that was better for traffic flow, Mizzle wanted a table that would comfortably sit at least 6 people when extended.

This was what we got:
Bjursta Dining Table with extendable leaf, seats 4-6

Not bad huh? It's super sturdy, wipes easily, and is about a third of the price of what you would pay at a furniture store. Now, this isn't an heirloom we are going to pass on to our children, but it will last us for quite a while. Let's put it this way: the Ikea furniture that we already have is already at least 5-7 years old, and has held up amazingly!

Now what about chairs? While shopping for tables I realized that chairs can often cost more than the table itself! Seriously! We wanted 4 chairs, and then if we had extra people we would use folding chairs. I used to buy household furnishings with the maximum number of guests in mind, but now having a kid, I buy what we need for NOW. The rest can be figured out later.

I really liked these chairs:
Ingolf Chair

Cute right? But, if we got 4 chairs, that would be $240. Not exactly what I wanted to spend on chairs. Granted, we were on a budget, and if we weren't, I would have totally got these. However, we were on a budget, and trying to walk out the door under $350 for the table & chairs.

So this is what we got:
Ivar Chair
I know what you're thinking: they don't match. Well you're right. BUT, not for long! We went to Lowe's and got some stain to match the table. 3 coats of stain and 1 coat of polyurethane/stain combo later, we have a matching set! Pretty sweet for $308.96!

We are still sanding and buffing them down, so I don't have a finished picture for you, so I guess you'll just have to stop by Baby Shmizz next week to see the finished product! :)

Just goes to show that with a little shopping around and some elbow grease, you can have a fancy looking dining set for 1/3rd the price! Not to mention that in the cafeteria that day, kids ate FREE! Bonus!

If you are looking for where your nearest Ikea is so you can run there like a madwoman, check HERE.

How have you decorated your house for less? Share with us!

Money Saving Mamas!