A catchy name for a chair shop, the words Pull Up a Chair once graced the sign on a small building in Columbiana that has housed several businesses over the years. Pull Up a Chair closed after a few months, like its predecessors, before I could stop in to browse. I had hoped to look into the repair and refinishing of two Windsor-style chairs that belonged to my grandmother. Then, noticing recent ads for Shaum’s Chair Shop, I planned to check there for estimates.
My brother, Tom, spending the day with me while waiting for car repairs, mentioned Shaum’s as we lingered over the breakfast buffet at Das Dutch Haus. When meeting his new neighbors, he appreciated their custom-made dinette table. Made by Shaum’s, they had been pleased by the entire “Shaum experience”. He wanted to stop sometime.
“Let’s go this afternoon,” I said. Why wait when we could go together today?
I drove the stretch of rural road occasionally, but I hadn’t noticed how Shaum’s business had grown into two-plus red warehouse-type buildings that spanned to the west of the farmhouse. We stepped from our space in the ample parking lot through a modern entry into the wonderful world of wood furnishings. Passing the varied grandfather clocks and rockers, we settled in to investigate tables and chairs.
Though Tom had delayed getting his dream dining set, each time we shopped for furniture, we found that there was something undesirable about every dinette set.
“If only this top went with those legs,” we’d say; or, “I like that table, but not the chairs that come with it.”
In fact, I had slowly observed that very few of the dining chairs I tested were really comfortable for dining. Thinking at first this had to do with my short build, my feelings were reinforced when Tom agreed. We wanted a chair that supported our backs as we leaned back, yet, held us upright enough that, pulled up to the table, we’d be over our plates.
When exploring the general table types: leg style, pedestal style, etc., there were the expected round, oval, square and rectangular tops, all with variations, and – new to me – the gunboat and country style tops, all available with your choice of edge: beveled, rounded, thumbnail (some with variations). We observed the floor samples and compared them with several notebooks showing other possibilities and dimensions.
Seeing only hutch-type storage, we asked about buffet height sideboards and learned that any hutch style could be ordered as just the base half. Here again were more styles to compare, considering hardware and door/drawer possibilities.
Tom noted the stains and finishes and our helpful clerk produced a box full of wooden blocks in varying hues.
Then came the matter of chairs. We tested, compared, pulled up to the tables, made note of the names we liked, and, overwhelmed by the quantities of fabric samples for custom padded, upholstered seats, we left that decision for Tom’s next visit when he orders his set.
With about a three-month wait for production, he’ll have time to save up. What could be better than custom designing your furniture and having it made in your home county? It looks like Shaum’s can make a dream come true.
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