When I moved into my new apartment, I was starting from scratch in my dining room. Being on a budget, I decided to go with an inexpensive pine table (INGO - $69) and pine chairs(IVAR - $25 each) from IKEA and give them an upgrade. All it took was a little bit of paint, some fabric and 1" foam with batting, and voila, they hardly look like the same table and chairs. I love how they add lots of personality to my dining room, and they were the starting point for the rest of my dining room transformation. Next on the list is a bench for a banquette, but that's whole other story!
I painted the chairs the same blue as in my kitchen (Behr, sailboat), and upholstered the seats with 1" foam, batting and a fun striped fabric.