To bench or not to bench

We have a void in the house.  A big gaping hole called dining room chairs.

I keep joking that if you want to come to our place for dinner, it's BYOC (Bring your own chairs), which is not actually at all a joke, unless you enjoy sitting in camping chairs.

First things first.  Dining room chairs are freaking expensive.  I mean seriously, it is nuts how much they are- which is precisely why we bought a $300 couch-in-a-box before tackling the dining room dilemma. Who has $250 to spend PER CHAIR?????  Not this girl.

Also, we have been putting off the great chair debate, because Chris and I can't exactly agree on what to get, AND because we recently got 4 amazing LOANER-CHAIRS!!  What are Loaner-chairs (LC's for short) you may ask?  Well, they are 4 kitchen chairs that Chris' parents had hanging in their garage and graciously offered to loan us until we settle on the perfect dining set.  They are fabulous, amazing and most importantly, FREE- thanks Rossmans, we love you guys (and the LC's)!!!

Do the LC's match our wonderful dining table?  No.  Do they scratch our hardwoods when you move them. Yes (although I remedied that by sticking the little felt pads on them, which are subsequently falling off with use). Are they fully functional chairs that allow 4 people to sit at a time?  Yes.  What do you do if there are more than 4 people trying to eat dinner at the same time?  Rock-paper-scissors- loser sits on the floor and doesn't get to eat (we're on a budget people). 

Unfortunately the loaner chairs can't last forever.  We need to bite the bullet and buy seating for our fabulous table, and we would like to get rid of rock-paper-scissors dinner roulette.

I am currently in love with bench seating.  Could it be that I am brainwashed by Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, who are telling me in all their ads that benches are cool?  Yes.  What can I say, I am susceptible to advertising.

You're falling in love already, aren't you??
Chris is not in love with bench seating.

Every time we walk into a store I try to show him the benefits of a bench, and how cozy it would be.  So far, he's not buying it.  He likes all chairs, all the time.

Sometimes I get weak and agree to chairs, but the only ones we both seem to really like are fabric covered chairs, which I know is a horrible idea.  I love how they look, and I think it would soften up all the wood going on in our dining room, but they are little less than practical, especially since I like cream fabric chairs.
Wouldn't these pups looks so great with our table???

In case you forgot about the table, here it is for reference
Can you tell we don't have kids- no mom in their right mind would even consider cream chairs, I realize this, but I really love them, and my (perfect) kids won't spill or throw up on my cream chairs... right??  (I can see my mom rolling her eyes right now)

Heck, who am I kidding, I spill on a daily basis!  So much for lovely cream chairs... unless I cover them in clear plastic... now there's an idea!!!

OK I'm back (to reality that is).  Here are some actual options, that I like.  I would really like to put the above bench on one side, then 2 arm chairs at the heads, then 2 non-arm chairs on the opposite side of the bench (does that make sense???).

I like the detail on the back of these chairs, it reminds me of the table legs

These strike me as a little less foo-foo, but cozy
So as soon as I can save roughly $1,500 I will go ahead and swoop up some dining chairs and a bench.  I am also banking on the fact that it will take me a few months to save the money and in that time I will wear Chris down enough for him to concede the bench argument.

On a completely unrelated note.  Who thinks I can get Chris to agree to putting one of these Restoration Hardware giant replica Eiffel Towers in our house???????