Katie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

Welcome to Frugal Friday! This is our second installment in conjunction with Money Saving Mom and Simply Rebekah where we add our own two cents (or less!) about ways we save money in our households. Last week, Alyssa shared the awesome do-it-yourself vertical owl cake she made for her daughter’s first birthday. This week I tackle a slightly different topic when it comes to savings: antique dining room set.

Updating Your Antique Dining Room Set

We have a beautiful mahogany table in our home that belongs to my in-laws. The table was purchased in the 1940s by my mother-in-law’s parents when they were first married. It starts small, just big enough for four chairs and has also served as a showpiece table with photos in the past. The table also has the option to extend twice, providing enough surface area for large meals and plenty of diners.

While the extended table itself has always been big enough for our family of six, we only have four of the original chairs. At first we just ate around a kitchen island, the adults standing, but then I decided it was silly to have such a gorgeous table not put to use. So I started searching for chairs to match the style of the originals. I spent a few months looking all over, but I came up short.

Original Chair

Frustrated by my antique dining room set, I started to look for new dining room sets instead. Nothing was striking my fancy but I noticed that a lot of the larger styles included options for bench seating on one side for the kids. A decorating light bulb went off in my head. If I couldn’t find acceptable chairs, I’d just find a bench instead.

So I had my husband pick up an unfinished Norden bench from Ikea for $70 after work one day and I picked up a small can of stain at Lowes that I felt best matched the table and chairs. The bench turned out a little bit darker than the rest of the set, but still looks like it belongs there. My kids love that they can all sit on the same seat, and the bench fits completely under the table when we are not eating providing extra space through our dining area. With the bench, we actually have seating for more like 8 people (if a few are kids), so our table is now guest-ready too.

If you have an antique dining room set or just a sentimental table in your home but are missing chairs (or your family outnumbers the chairs in the set), consider adding a bench option. It’s a great way to use the furniture you already own and save some cash too!

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