That one time I actually spent money

Happy 2014! It’s my first post of the year….and I don’t have some awesome, creative, one of  a kind project for you. I have seven projects that are about 80% finished, but I just can’t seem to get them to the “ready to photograph” stage. I also have about 14 hundred ideas floating around in my head and I just want to drop everything I’m working on and dive into some new stuff. But I will pace myself, because finishing stuff is very important. Because finally finishing  projects makes my husband very happy…and starting new projects without finishing others makes my husband very unhappy. It makes him sigh a lot, and my pet name changes from “baby” to “woman.”

So today, I’m talking about chairs.

Specifically, these beauties from Crate & Barrel…


Lyle Side Chair

If you’ve been reading for a while then you know that I’ve had my eye on these babies for YEARS. Literally. I think I first mentioned them in this post about my failed attempt at slipcovers, then in my kitchen reveal post, and a few other times as well. So why didn’t I just buy them? Well here’s the problem…they are wicked expensive. Like $199 a pop kinda expensive.


So I tried my best to forget about them and embrace my soft slipcovered ones for a while longer.

slipcovered chairs

 Honestly, they looked good from afar and they were comfy….but they were SO GROSS. I’m not the kind of person that cleans all the time and is always on the lookout for germs to kill, but those chairs were freaking me out. They were like a disgusting toddler science experiment. It didn’t matter that I could wash the covers because my kids made sure that their messes and spillage soaked all the way through the foam seats. What I needed was a good, clean, wipeable chair…a metal chair. Not unlike a certain crazy expensive chair from Crate & Barrel.

In an effort NOT to spend $600 on chairs I scoured the inter webs for affordable alternatives. Some were way cheaper, some were not. Overall I was mostly surprised at how expensive chairs are in general.

metal dining chairs

Amazon, Overstock, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware

I found some that looked just like those pictured above at World Market, and I willed myself to fall in love with them at $49 a piece – 50% off clearance! (They’re no longer available or else I’d link to them.) I so wanted to love them…but they were horribly uncomfortable, and they were small, and the back reclined too much. Basically, hated them. So I moved on the next most popular style of metal chair, the tub chair.

Metal tub chairs

 World Market, Target, Overstock, Restoration Hardware

I sat in the from ones from Target and  World Market, and they were much more comfortable than the first style. It wasn’t instantaneous love though…I couldn’t get over the squattiness of them and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to push them in under my table.

There was only one solution to my predicament…to buy the Crate & Barrel ones. I really couldn’t see a way around it. In fact, it would be illogical NOT to buy them.

So I began to stalk my prey. I watched and waited for a sale… for MONTHS. I may be stubborn, but I’m patient. Adam saw my determination and finally came around to the idea of spending and actual chunk of our hard-earned money. Finally one day they went on sale…15% off. And since I had singed up for every catalog and mailing list they have, I also got a 10% off coupon at the same time. It was fate.

There’s no fighting fate.

Crate & Barrel Lyle chair

I’m happy to report that I love them…they are large, sturdy, and surprisingly comfortable.  A little cold in the winter, but that doesn’t last long in south Texas. The first meal we had after getting the chairs was pancakes….you know, with syrup. Drippy, sticky, messy syrup.  Many a sticky pancake landed directly on my chairs and were then mashed in my grubby kid fingers, butts, and feet.  So when the meal was all over, I WIPED. THEM. CLEAN. It was amazing. Is this what it feels like to have something in your house be clean? Cause it’s awesome. Now I need a metal couch.

Lyle side chair details

Lyle Side Chair

We actually got these in just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m a little behind on my post writing. Here they are being used…

Thanksgiving 2013

Okay, so you can’t really see them in that picture (and only about half of our family is even in it), but sometimes it’s nice to see actual people using rooms on DIY/home blogs. Blog rooms are always so empty!

So that is the story about how I actually spent some money. The great thing about carefully stalking home purchases (and always paying with cash!) is that there is no buyers remorse. Buyers remorse is the WORST, I’m sure many of y’all will agree.

I’m feeling chatty today, so I want to hear…whats something you actually spent money on in your home? Or what is something you are currently stalking? I have a few other things on my stalk list…most of them are rugs actually. Rugs are expensive.


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  1. Oh yes, I am stalking rugs, too. I’m glad you got the chairs you like – sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to spend money on the thing you don’t want, when with a bit more, you could have what you actually want. (Yes, I know, quite a bit more!) I think your chairs look fantastic.
    And I can identify with the unfinished projects thing – I totally have the same thing going on around here. I probably have enough projects lined up now to see me into the grave… o_O

    1. I agree, now that Adam and I aren’t completely broke newlyweds I want to spend a little more money on quality things I love, rather than a little money on something that’s just okay.

  2. Good for you! The chairs are stylish and quite functional for the little guys as in you can clean. It sometimes never happens as we hold onto something we want buy can’t justify the price but then the stars all align and it happens! I am still waiting for my star alignment on the Silhouette Cameo for major crafting. I really want one but can’t spend for my crafts so I am waiting…patiently until one day.

  3. I know I have been stalking that Kreg joiner you had used a couple times while making tables. I didn’t even know it existed prior to reading your blogs and now I can’t get it out of my mind. I have a very small kitchen and no dinning room. But small tables are surprising expensive and if you also want stylish then it’s considered a premium. And why do chairs cost so much, yikes. So I would love to build myself a small table that would best fit the tiny space we have. My head start swimming with ideas of what I could build if I has my own Kreg. Table, stools, benches, new cabinet doors, some kind of yard decoration to hind my air conditioner. The Kreg I would like is only around $100 but then again that’s $100 I can’t justify spending on myself. So I wait, and wait, because it seems they never go on sale.

    1. I know! They are ridiculously expensive… especially for not even being a power tool. It is easy to justify if you have a project in mind that you are going to use it for where buying it is a lot cheaper than paying someone else to build your piece.

    2. Lisa, I e-mailed my Kreg Jig contact to ask if they ever have sales or coupon codes, but they said no. He said they do sometimes have rebates but they currently don’t have any planned. Sorry! I was hoping I could help you out…but at least you know not to wait forever for a sale. They do have smaller cheaper ones you can start out with (like $20-something?) The small ones aren’t as awesome or easy to use, but they do get the job done.

      1. You’re so sweet for doing stuff like this for your readers – one more reason you’re one of my favorite bloggers!! :)

      2. Thank you for checking Ashley. But great news!!! We have a home improvement store called Menards that carries the Kreg kit for $99. I have been dying to purchase it since last summer. And starting today I see they are having a brown bag sale and anything I can fit inside, they take off 14% at the register. So I only paid $85. And BONUS Today is the last day of a 11% rebate sale I didn’t know about until I looked at my receipt. So I get to mail that in for another $9 back. Good things come to those who wait just a couple days longer. :-)

        1. That’s awesome! We don’t have a Menards around here but I hear great things about them. Rightfully so, I would be crazy awesome if Home Depot let me fill up a bag for 14% off!

  4. Ahhh I’m stalking kitchen chairs too! And yes chairs are stupid expensive!! I don’t get it!! I stalked rugs for the longest time. I couldn’t believe how expensive rugs are too!! Good grief! I *finally* found one I loved last year on sale for $48 from They seem like they have great sales all the time so keep an eye there – the $one I got was wayyyyy unexpected and like 65% off (it’s only a small 4×6 plain grey shag, but it was still wayyyy cheaper than I’d found anywhere else). As for the kitchen chairs – I know exactly what I want and have also found the style at multiple places but not yet in a price range I’m willing to pay! Still waiting to find that perfect deal! Good for you for finding your dream chairs at a great bargain and not settling for something inferior!!! :)

    1. Yes…rugs, chairs, and couches are so expensive! I do love rugsUSA, I got my current living room rug from them. I don’t know if you remember but I used to have a tan shag one in my living room. My boys destroyed it and I found a GREAT deal on a blue shag one. I bought it, and it is SO BLUE…way bluer than it looked in the pictures online. Adam calls it our “smurf skin rug”. I would have returned it, but it was just such a good deal that I kept it, figured my boys would destroy it soon enough anyway. That’s what I get for buying in a whim!

      Anyway, best of luck with you chair stalking!

  5. I was stalking the Tillary couch on West Elm and finally found the back cushions for it at a clearance center and made a knock off. I love it more than the original. (I should blog about it or something…) Currently pining for wide plank wood floors to replace the carpet in my main level. It’s going to be pricey but I love gorgeous floors. I’m really craving the simple Scandinavian look right now, so maybe white washed? I don’t have upholstered chairs at our table, but I have carpet under the table. No fun! (And I’m on the lookout for rugs, too. Expensive is right!)

    1. And my other problem is I almost wish I were stalking more things. I can’t find a dining room table that I just want. Or chairs! (Hope it’s not bad form to reply to my own comment!)

  6. I am a new fan of You may already know about them I don’t know. If you buy anything on line go through them and you can save. I saved about $40 on my christmas shopping this year on line. Sometimes they have coupon codes that can be added onto the rebate as well. Big purchases especially pay off.

    1. I LOVE Ebates…I actually used it for this purchase and saved an extra 3%. I need to add that to the post and get the word out. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. I actually spent money on our bed. We were going to make one but we decided to look for 1) idea purposes and 2) just in case we found something affordable (sometimes building can be just as expensive!). We ended up finding something within $50 of the cost of building it and it was perfect. It was going on sale in 2 weeks and the salesperson let us “pre-buy” meaning we could cancel before the purchase date if needed but we could get the 10% off they were offering for that holiday weekend in conjunction with the sale price that was coming up in 2 weeks. Basically, putting the purchase on hold. It gave me a chance not to have buyers remorse but also served as a “sign” to me that this could possibly save my sanity and our relationship. So we went for it! Now we are beginning the process of couch shopping. Had to buy one in a pinch at a garage sale and it will do but it isn’t comfortable enough for me to go to the trouble of making a slip cover. I hate couch shopping!

    1. Oh my gosh, I SO understand where you are coming from. Many times Adam and I have worked our butts off building something only spend more $$$ (and certainly more time!) then just buying it new. Most the time DIYing saves tons of money…and sometimes it costs you money and makes you crazy.

  8. I like the chairs and I’m surprised that they’re comfortable because I wouldn’t have thought they would be! I have kitchen chairs that I spent a small fortune on, about $500 for four, but I truly love them. I looked for what seemed like forever to find chairs that were comfortable for sitting around the table after dinner, etc. Finally, I saw them at an antique store (although they aren’t antique) and couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money on chairs (I agree with you – who knew chairs were so expensive anyway?). My husband prodded me along and we bought them. I really love them. Spending more on something you use alot and (hopefully, anyway) will last awhile makes sense to me and I’m very practical. We did the same thing when we purchased a couch a few years ago. I really wanted something made in the US and that usually translates into big dollars. We checked out a local store (this after looking for months online, etc.) and bought a Norwalk that can be custom made – pillow cushioning, pillow height, skirt around the bottom or not, etc. They had a display model I liked on sale for about $750 if I remember correctly, but I wanted to think about it – that seemed like alot of money – this was originally an $1,800 couch I might add – do you think I’m too practical? Anyway, thinking paid off because the next time we went in, it was marked down to $500 – SOLD! I even splurged on custom pillows with silk fabric (yes, my kids are grown) because I got such a good deal. Sometimes stalking, I mean waiting, works!

    1. You got a GREAT deal on that couch, I’d say your stalking paid off for sure! Adam and I would like a new couch too (microfiber and kids don’t mesh) but he shopping is daunting. We want a leather one, but sheesh…we’ve owned cars that have cost less than a leather couch.

  9. I like ’em. If you find a comfortable metal couch let me know… that would be what I’ve been stalking for the last 3 years, a couch, not metal though.

  10. A couch. Our dining room table and chairs are old (slipcover them once and then I later recovered them in naugahyde so can be wiped easily, the living room chairs are ugly chairs I bought cheap and recovered. Coffee table is old but sturdy. Side tables are an old one of my Grandmas that I painted in stripes and the other side we made to match the design of the first because it was the right shape. We have my 20 plus year old couch in the office/second tv room but my hubby doesn’t like it enough for the living room. He had a 40 plus year old matching couch and loveseat that I grew to hate. Old but sturdy and just wouldn’t totally break. The fabric wouldn’t wear out. Dang. It was really low to the ground and hard to get out of and the back was so low I couldn’t easily slouch down and rest my head. I FINALLY convinced my husband to replace it. The big search began. The couch he loved, I hated the color. The couch I loved, he hated everything about it. So we continued on to eventually find a couch we both liked. We ended up with a leather couch that is dog hair friendly and we both like it after having it for a year now. The loveseat I added 6 inch legs to bring it up higher and made a slipcover for and now I like that also in a second living room.

  11. I love this post! There is definitely a lesson in there that most people learn the hard way (spending a big chunk of money on their second choice only to regret not spending more and buying their first choice). I wasn’t sure how this love affair was going to turn out but I whole-heartedly agree with you getting the chairs! You did you research, mulled over all aspects, considered alternatives, sat in them, and still loved the first ones. You definitely did the right thing. I lusted after Pottery Barn’s Sea Grass sectional for a few months. One came up on Craig’s List (one was used in a home staging) but the thought of actually going pick it up did not inspire me so someone else snatched it up. After a few months, I got over the sectional without having to actually own it. I guess it was just a passing fancy. It wasn’t practical to have white cushions with 9 children anyway and who knows how the woven seagrass would stand up? A metal couch would probably just about right!

    1. I lusted over the same couch! Lusted hard, but deep down I knew I would never own it…it just didn’t seem practical for everyday use. Sure was pretty though!

  12. Yes to the expensive. We are desperately in need of dining chairs. Yours would actually be the perfect solution to the dwindling number of viable chairs going to the graveyard of “glue me or dump me” chairs in the garage. And my baby needs a rug in her room. She hears every creak in the wooden floors when you sneak in to cover her up. I am apparently keeping myself from even looking online for fear I find something and want it. A new couch, sigh.
    Thanks for sharing all of your insights and stories ladies. I feel somehow cheered.

  13. Argh. Dining chairs. I need 8. In order to not feel entirely sick about spending money, I need to get them under $100 each. I’d love wicker parsons chairs that aren’t completely cheap… well, they need to be cheap, but I mean they need to not fall apart or look plastic.

  14. I love your chairs, the style and the metal although metal isn’t real practical in my climate where it’s cold at least 6 months out of the year. I rarely buy anything new I believe if I wait long enough I’ll find it out at the curb or in a thrift shop. But I needed a thin cabinet for one spot in my home and couldn’t find anything, I finally caved and bought the Hemmes cabinet from Ikea which was the only new or used cabinet I found that would fit in the space while giving me the storage space I needed.

  15. Actually, I’m in a completely different boat. Having made crazy money when I was working we bought all sorts of expensive furniture the first time we were married. Then, we bought double of everything when we split up. It wasn’t until we remarried and I stopped working (part of the pre-nup you know) that I caught the thrift bug. So, I’m thoroughly enjoying living on the cheap. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that we already have nice stuff. Those chairs are cool though. Love the industrial vibe although I’m guessing with our current -40F temps no one around here would be sitting on them.

  16. Ahhhh this post cracked me up! :) Love it! So happy you got your chairs in the end. I think they were very well-deserved (and 25% off? Yes it is fate!) I love knowing that other bloggers make themselves wait for things, and justify to themselves that they don’t really neeeeeed a new chair/sofa/table because the old one is ok and all – it makes the sweetness when you finally get the lusted-after item that much more wonderful! I am in the same boat – we still have a lot of old furniture, just-for-now furniture, and hand-me-downs, and every time we replace something it feels amazing! :)

  17. Nice chairs! You might want to reconsider the leather couch idea. We have one and don’t really like it. Hot and sticky in the summer and cold in the winter and really not that comfy. Ours came from Ikea in the “as is” section (which is way cheaper) because one spring was detached which was an easy fix. We want a new area rug in the LR…$400? I’ll be stalking now too :)

  18. Glad it all worked out! I’m in this predicament with my dining room chairs too… bought cheap ones from Ikea cause I didn’t want to spend the money, spent more money trying to make cheap slipcovers work… I’m wondering if I should just bite the bullet and buy the ones I really want now.

    Also, Rugs USA is having a 70% off sale right now… check it out! I’m buying 4 rugs :)

    1. Oh no! I hate when that happens….that is one of the downsides of extended product stalking. RugsUSA has big sales fairly often, check back frequently. It’s usually happens on holidays, even is they’re not big ones. It totally sucks having to go back to stalking once you’ve decided to buy though.

  19. I am stalking a new patio door. Ours is super old and falling apart. Of course I now want french doors, not a boring old sliding door. I am also stalking how to get someone I know to install the un-bought door. My hubby is not handy and I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to have it installed.

  20. Hi Ashley, I’ve been a fan for a while but have never actually commented. I love the chairs. I own the ones from overstock and love them too. I stalked a floor mirror from pier one for almost a year and bought it the day after christmas at $50 off plus a 35% coupon! I was sooo excited when it finally came in and boy was it worth it! I’ll actually be doing a blog post on my blog within the next month on my mirror stalking tendencies, please check it out if you get a chance! Love the blog. Love your house and your style!

  21. Those are great chairs. I love the hobnail pattern on the seat. And I’ve seen the target ones at Goodwill and wanted to buy them without a room to put them in because they were just cool. I passed, and it still hurts!

  22. It feels weird to buy brand new, expensive furniture. Furniture in general, I think. Our brand new couch and dining suite arrived on Wednesday, and after spraying fabric protector and leaving them overnight to dry I’m now typing to you from a very comfortable perch. 40% Off mind you. I never pay full price. Still… it wasn’t easy and we nearly talked ourselves into the cheaper dining alternative, but eventually bought what we loved. Cash. No buyers remorse. I’m in love.

    Enjoy your chairs, they look great!

  23. We bought a new house in August. A house with a dining room and a bar, which we never had before. We bought a gorgeous floor model table and chairs, a rug from RugsUSA and bar stools from Pier 1. Also our new living room was way too small for our old living room set so we had to splurge on a new couch, chair and coffee table. Oh my goodness we LOVE our house right now!!! There is still furniture needing to be bought (new kitchen table, master bdrm, etc) but it will wait while we use what we have and enjoy what we bought! Sometimes it’s worth spending the money!

  24. i think the chairs were worth the stalking.they really are sooo much prettier than the knockoffs. i love the detail on the seats. I remember having 2 little ones in diapers and putting a house together..that was 20 years ago. You are doing an amazing job at making your house a home…its beautiful. I will be painting my cupboards in a month..if we had not already put in all the tile i would have opted for the raising of the cupboards and putting in a shelf….what a great idea!

  25. Hi Ashley, thanks for your post — I just came across these chairs myself and am in love with them as well. What month did you find them on sale? I would love to get them as well!

  26. Enjoyed reading your post! Yes, the lyle chairs are a beauty! I work for C&B (Visuals) I just got mine about a year ago. Chairs typically go on sale in the fall…..right before all the holidays.

  27. I know this is an older post but…I just bought these chairs and they have a lot of sharp spots that have almost cut my hand. What did you do with those? I considered filing them but the paint comes off.

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