I found two of these beauties on Kijiji (the less mainstream cousin of Craigslist).
They looked decent in the picture, in need of some basic TLC, and I had seen a bunch of inspirational before and after posts online so I called my mom, carefully folded two crisp bills from my Christmas money into my pocket, and went to check them out.
Many of my friends have discovered that I am awkward, reserved, and a bit hesitant around strangers (When combined with stubbornness, this can result in hours wandering grocery store aisles looking for curry paste - or so I've been told). This is where my mom comes in*... also she has a truck which is a tad more useful than my little hatchback.
*Safety is super important when responding to weird anonymous ads on the Internet luring you to a strange house in an unfamiliar area with cash in pocket - use the buddy method!
I should have known something was wrong as soon as we pulled up to the house. The poor chairs were on a back porch, exposed to the freezing temperatures, without a blanket, nightlight, or, as far as I could tell, a bedtime story.
If only there were some sort of furniture abuse hot-line!
It was dark - tiki lights strung around the perimeter dimly lit the space, making it difficult to get an idea of the condition of the chairs. Also, everything smelled like cigarettes - maybe it was a good thing the chairs were outdoors after all.
There were 4 chairs in all - however I only had room for 2 and the caning on a couple was in pretty bad shape. I felt horrible leaving 2 chairs behind - and breaking up a family - I swear I could hear muffled sobs as I walked back to the truck.
I've had the chairs home for a couple months - drenched in Febreze - and they fit in nicely. The plan has always been to re-upholster them but now I am also debating painting them... originally I was hesitant to paint the caning, but now that I have them in the house I think that crisp white paint would look so fresh!
Once the temperature is reasonable again and I have a patio to spray paint on I will tackle this project and promptly post an update...
Here is some inspirational eye candy - in case you can't envision what I'm laying down