When DIY is a PIA

Greetings from El Rancho de Chihuahua, the source of much DIY frustration (though watching the juicy harvest moon rise over the Wet Mountains has made every remodeling step worthwhile).

I don't often mention that we have a second home for many reasons. There's the “ooh la-di-da-you-must-be-stinkin'-rich” look people give and that's so not the case. We bought our city house at a time when housing prices were so low, well, you'd laugh if I told you the price. We've also adjusted to close quarters. We live and run two businesses out of a 1,000-square-foot bungalow--the mountain house is even smaller. And we've done a lot of our own renovation work, which brings me to the topic of this post.

The ranch has many lovely attributes, chief among them being the view. But it doesn't have a dining room or a good place to put a table. Instead there's a kitchen counter with space for stools. Rather than rejigger the kitchen, we just decided to go with it and so the long debate over suitable bar stools began.

Of course I wanted something hip, trendy and expensive, while Mitch wanted something practical and cheap. There was no fighting and acrimony over this decision. We've been married long enough to either wait the other one out or postpone the  purchase until another solution presents itself.

In trying to make his case for the industrial stools, Mitch took me to a restaurant supply showroom in the hope that we'd be able to see one in situ. They didn't have the stools in question, but had recently repossessed a bunch of chrome '50s-style bar stools that they were willing to sell on special. The price was great and they met my need for a bit of flair, so off we went with four chrome stools.

Of course I hated the upholstery--red vinyl--so off I went to buy new fabric. I went with a distressed fake leather and armed with a staple gun, spent the better part of Saturday reupholstering the four seats. The total cost of new upholstery: $7.

When we got the stools down to the ranch, we realized they were too tall for our counter. This made it inconvenient to eat, which was the entire point of acquiring the stools. So Mitch spent the better part of yesterday afternoon with a pipe cutter hacking them down to size.

Well, many hours later we have our bargain stools and we couldn't be more pleased. I love that I could customize them to the ranch. Mitch loves that he could customize them to his lanky bod.

Antone is especially thrilled. There's nothing like easy access to kitchen counters.



Comments (2) -

September 28. 2007 02:14


Yeah, those industrial ones...not so much.  They look like they'd be uncomfortable on the tookus.

I was dreading the end of your post after you said they were too tall, but am glad that it worked out...and very inexpensively!

Christie |

September 28. 2007 03:15


Ha!  My marriage went through a similar bar stool standoff (or sitoff)...my tastes lean more towards yours - hip and trendy - while my wife's were more like Mitch's.  BTW, I remember sitting on Mitch's kind of stool through 2 years of wood shop in high school!

Glad it all worked out!  Our bar stools worked out great too.

John |

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