Question:
Dear Design Mom, We recently renovated a 100 year old dentist’s office in a small Indiana town for use as a second/weekend home. The house has a fabulous porch that is glass on three sides and brick on the fourth. We are planning to use this area as a room to host large dinner parties. For Thanksgiving, we need to seat around 23 people. My husband made two large tables using metal sawhorses and wooden boards. They look great! My problem is seating!! Every chair I see that has a style I love is way too expensive to purchase in such large numbers. Do you have any ideas of creative affordable seating?  I’d love to keep it around $20 – $30 dollars per person. The style is sort of eclectic industrial — if there is such a thing. Thanks! — Amy V.

Answer:
Wow, Amy! Sounds like Thanksgiving is going to fantastic. When I need a large number of chairs, I love renting them. In fact, the last time I arranged seating for Thanksgiving, I asked the rental place to show me their most vintage looking option and they brought out some beautifully aged wood and metal folding chairs (that they were sort of embarrassed about, but that I loved!), and I rented them for $2 each. They were even delivered and picked up for free.

I know you’re looking for something to own, not to rent, but until you find those perfect chairs, renting might be a great option. As far as hunting down those perfect chairs go, I would suggest 3 things:

1) Call the oldest schools and churches in town and find out if they ever have surplus sales.
2) Watch ebay and craigslist like a hawk.
3) Speak with a couple of your favorite antique shops. Tell them what you’re looking for and the price range and quantity you’d like. When they’re on buying trips, they might spot the perfect chairs.

Lastly, maybe you can take some inspiration from the haybale seating at this lovely backyard wedding.

What about you, Dear Readers? Where would you hunt for “eclectic industrial” chairs?