look what mama scored on craigslist!

The correct answer is: four (4) vintage Knoll ® Saarinen Tulip Side Chairs for the bargain price of $300.  For those not in the know, these white plastic aliens are heavyweight prize fighters in the Mid-Century Modern furniture world- going for $1,200/chair in mint condition.

Now obviously mine are not perfection. They will need new cushion covers (I have 3 foam cushions and will need to obtain a 4th.)  Plus the white finish leaves little to be desired.  So they may be getting a glossy white spray job.  But overall I’m pleased that I was able to find authentic chairs for $75 a pop.
Part of me is like, Shit, Naomi, your house is turning into a trash yard of mid-century furniture.  (Eames-inspired lounge chair, BRNO Chairs, tulip chairs.)  This was never my goal.  I wanted a mixed space with bits of modern, traditional and ethnic flairs.  I wanted thoughtful and eclectic!  
Have I gone too far?  
I just could not physically pass it up.  It would have been a design crime to let these guys go.

But this is what I’m thinking…. mix in a wood table and wood chairs at the ends and maybe I’ll be alright.

Shall I show you my inspiration?
Vicente Wolf is his name, and he marries white fiberglass chairs with woody traditional elements like its nobody’s bidness.
Thanks, Vicente, I love your work.

Other people do it too..

nuevo estilo

Are you sold yet?  Bailey still isn’t sure.  
But here’s hoping I haven’t gone so Mod I can never come back!

PS- thanks to my Guy for letting me haul lots of random furniture into our home, and to Nelya for encouraging me to get them (and bargain down $50!)
  1. Pingback: Gorgeous Tulip Chair Cushion Cover Gallery : Cushions Cover Ideas

  2. Pingback: Hoarder’s Paradise | Design Manifest

  3. Jessica

    GTFO! No way – that’s awesome! Love the rustic and modern mix.

  4. i have that same 1st picture as my inspiration for our dining room. I was able to score a table & 6 chairs for $250 this summer! I was so jazzed. all my chairs need new covers & cushions.

    i love the marriage of rustic & modern! I am hoping to do the same thing. you can check out my progress at


  5. I love this look so much! The rustic table/plastic chairs look is definitely a favorite. If I hadn’t scored my free drexel Midcentury set years back, this is exactly the look I’d be channeling. Great score for you!!

  6. Yessss great score!! I hope to someday replace my target white chairs with these beauties! Can’t wait to see them in your space.

  7. Naomi, you will always hold a special place in my heart as the very first commentator on my blog, thank you!
    But now I must say…I hate you,I’m soo JEALOUS! haha! There is no way you could have passed these up.. how come I can never find good stuff like this?!!

  8. Uh, HELL yes! What a score — these are a classic and I love the look with the rustic trestle table. It was actually what I was going for a while ago, and I still have some Burke tulip chairs that I may whip out again someday.

    You can clean the fiberglass by using very fine grit sandpaper with water. Either Brick House or Modfrugal did a tutorial… at any rate, I would not advise spraypaint on original Knoll chairs.

    Just my two cents!

  9. yipee! I can hardly believe it. wish I could be so lucky.

    and YES on the inspiration pick. perfect table….


  10. you are so lucky to have those chairs! i love the inspiration photos and have used a few on my blog. you’ll be good with the rustic wood table, it’ll mix up all of the mid-century stuff you have. can’t wait to see the paint job and cushions.

  11. Ashley

    Damn, Naomi! Amazing find. Can’t wait to see what table you combine the chairs with.

  12. thanks guys!
    Nelya- love the idea of British Colonial! Right now my budget is zero, so I’m planning to use some danish chairs my mom offered up for free. But down the line… this could be magic.

  13. nkp

    p.s.- aw shucks Raina, thanks girl. I blush.

  14. nkp

    Yay, woohoo!!!! I do not think you will regret this! I am loving your inspiration photos and think a weathered wood table is definitely the way to go. I also love the idea of some British colonial-type caned chairs at the end or maybe something Indian, you know, inlaid camel bone (check out wisteria) or even something Syrian-again, inlaid, exotic, some hammered copper inlay???

    Seriously, bravo(!) and worst case scenario, these are an investment that you will always be able to unload. No doubt about it.

  15. Lindsay

    You definitely scored!! xx

  16. No worries. The mix with the rustic-y wooden table will be amazing. Congrats on your CL score, the Craig around here is less than exciting!

  17. You did very well. Can’t wait to see what fabric you choose for the cushions!

    And I tell you what, Nelya knows her stuff and will never steer you wrong.

  18. Megan

    Bay knows he will not be able to hide between the legs of these chairs. Thats why he doesnt like them. 😉 Congrats on your score!!!

Leave a Comment