Getting New Bar Stools

Our chairs are finally here! Or bar stools as Sze Wey will correct me. Meant for the high counter top we have in our kitchen, I could have called them “high chairs”. But then the image of toddlers catapulting pumpkin mush around will be the wrong picture to paint.

So, what’s with these new ones?

Well, the current ones we have are just way too tall. They fit really well in our previous home which had quite a high countertop. Then when we moved houses, it looked like two giraffes had moved in with us as well. Standing tall beside the kitchen bench, guests could never work out what to do with them.

Use them as elbow rests or sit on them and have conversations with the tops of people’s heads all night.

After numerous discussions (most of which consisted of me saying “no” to Sze Wey) – I relented and agreed that Melman and his twin buddy would have to find a new home.

Almost right away, I realised how much bar stools cost.

In glossy magazines, they have names like Harry Bertoia and Norman Cherner. Each handpicked to blend in harmoniously with themed mansions that the homeowners are proud to be showcasing as their humble abode or six bedroom beach shack. Nothing is too expensive when you have to match the reproduction fresco of Da Vinci’s Last Supper in the kitchen. And if required, matching pairs could be professionally resized to suit your private jet or luxury yacht!

As you can expect, those dropped immediately off my list.

Then I also found out that furniture are no longer available from a warehouse to be picked up. If you want one, they have to be made. (unless you do IKEA where you risk Murphy’s law and attempt to make them yourself) And for this, we are talking months.

“Months! Surely that can’t be right.”

“Don’t we just keep hitting ‘Enter’ on our keyboard till a bar stool pops out on the printer? Why months?

It is like when an order gets placed, a tug boat departs from port carrying our order slip. It crosses the seven seas, till it arrives in the tropics. Here a local picks up his axe, walks into the jungle and finds a suitable tree that looks like a shape of a bar stool. From there, a local craftsman takes over. Like sculpting marble, he patiently chips, sands and polishes away at the log until a bar stool materializes. It then gets placed on the same tug boat which then returns to Melbourne with it.

As it is not the monsoon season, we were lucky it takes only a few months.

My thoughts instantly turn to finding solutions. Where can you get furniture that solves these two problems? Costs next to nothing and available right now! Garage sales came to mind but even better than that – Hard Rubbish Day.

This is the day when you are allowed to leave stuff on the nature strip that are meant for the scrap heap. Here, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. With a splash of paint, any old thing you salvage can be made brand new.

Just as I was thinking about borrowing a truck and scouring neighbourhoods across Melbourne, I remember the one time we did that.

It was the time when we picked up an old chest of drawers. Other than the horrid looking khaki green colour, it was perfect. It could have even been mahogany wood under that green.

But we never did find out.

A bit of sanding away of the green revealed some yellow mustard paint. Underneath that was some brown paint and then off white paint. The one hour paint job was turning into a full blown restoration project to rival Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. By this time, we had purchased the entire range of sandpaper grades, a sander and enough protective masks to last us a lifetime.

A few weekends later, we threw in the towel and gave up sanding it down. We just painted on top of however many coats it still had and put it in the boy’s room. It was painful. Yes . . . . very painful. Ouch.


Ok, we’ll order two of the bar stools and give me a call whenever they arrive.”

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