Dining Room Chair Designs that Will Bring Style to Your Table
It’s easy to overlook the humble dining chair. The dining table commands the eye and so tends to be the focus of our attention. A good chair pairing, however, can elevate a dining table and create a cohesive and stylish dining sets. Dining room chair designs are as varied as the table itself, and so are the ways of matching the two. In this guide, we’ll look at the styles available, from the best designer dining chairs to understated simplicity, as well as some helpful pairing tips.
Different types of Dining Room Chair Designs
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to picking a dining chair design. A room’s decor, the balance of comfort and style, and the dining table itself all factor in. You’ll also want to consider how the chair and table pair; do the designs contrast, or do they match? Do you prioritise style or prefer comfort? The variations of timber, upholstery, shape and height are many, so it’s important to understand your own needs. Let’s look at a few of the main dining chair designs:
Letting a little timber show through can make for a versatile chair with a stylish appearance. Hardwoods have an advantage over cheaper chipboard-and-veneer chairs, with durability to match their physical qualities. Stains and coatings give hardwood chairs protection while allowing the timber’s natural beauty to shine through.
There’s a range of stains and timbers, such as the pale natural hardwood, the darker walnut and the chocolate-tinted dark hardwood. Regardless of the finish, the design of each chair can vary to suit your decor. Simple styles with a natural stain and matte white seats like the Claire suit understated and classic dining tables. More luxurious hardwood styles, such as the upholstered Bella, suit more formal dining settings, as well as modern table materials like glass.
Chairs with curves - whether it’s the back, arms or seat - have a sense of dynamics. The curve draws the eyes across the chair, meaning these styles are great for those looking to make more of a statement with their dining set.
When upholstered, curves can give the impression of warmth and comfort. A round-backed chair with upholstery feels sturdy and welcoming and is ideal for those looking for an extra level of luxury at the table. Rounded timber frames project a fashionable quality that seems at once modern and nostalgic. Such showpiece chairs tend to work best with simple table designs to let the chair shine through, though pairing curves with grander table designs can be truly luxurious.
Not every chair needs to make a bold statement. Minimalist styles tend to favour utility and simplicity over eye-catching design and are often straight-backed and arm-free.
If your home’s decor is simple, a minimalist chair - like the Finn hardwood - can slot in unobtrusively. Similarly, if your dining table is a show-stopper, minimalist chairs are useful without providing a distraction. Rustic, cottage-style dining sets, Scandinavian-influenced interior design, and those looking for true versatility can all benefit from minimalist dining chairs.
Traditional-style dining chairs favour old-world charms, often with intricate designs and high backs. Think the button-and-leather upholstery of a Chesterfield or the flared timber of lathed chair legs. ‘Traditional’ is a broad term, but you’ll find plenty of overlap with the artisanal styles of years gone by, with attention to detail at the fore. Timber, particularly with heavy stains, as well as upholstery, features heavily in this style.
Traditional dining chairs work particularly well with period housing and vintage or vintage-look dining tables. The intricacy of the design can also pair well with simple dining tables, particularly if the stains match.
The opposite of traditional styles, modern dining chairs favour interesting and uncommon shapes, designs and materials. Common features of modern chairs are low backs, wide seats and rounded arms. You’ll also find non-traditional materials like plastic and metal amongst simple stained timber. Modern dining chairs feature design elements from movements like mid-century, Scandi and minimalism.
Chairs in this broad category can be quite different from each other, but they all share one quality: adventure. These striking chairs are ideal for the artistic home, mid-century design styles or those looking for a real statement chair for the dining table.
How to Pair a Dining Room Chair with a Dining Table?
So you’ve done your research, and you’ve got a shortlist of some great dining chairs. The next step is to figure out which ones will work best with your dining table. There’s a couple of things to keep in mind at this stage:
Design matchIt goes without saying, but if the chairs’ design clashes with the table’s design, you’ve got a problem. They don’t have to be like-for-like, but you’ll want to ensure that they complement each other. Similar styles - say, a walnut chair and a walnut table - are logical pairings that will work well together.
Contrast:As with all pairings, you don’t necessarily have to match. Contrast - where the table and chairs are quite different from each other - can be quite striking, but there’s potential for things to get messy. Pairing an intricately designed table with minimalist chairs, for instance, can be a great way to play up the table without things getting out of hand.
Size and heightAll your matching will come to nothing if you get home and find that your chairs don’t fit under the table. Taking measurements for both tables and chairs can be a smart first move. Remember to leave plenty of space for the chairs to slot under the table, as well as enough room between each chair.
The roomPicturing your new dining set in isolation can spell trouble if you don’t consider the rest of the room. Whether it’s a grand dining room or a kitchen/dining nook, a holistic approach can be handy to pairing tables and chairs. If your room is predominantly white and so is your table, consider adding a pop of colour with the chairs. On the other hand, if your whole style is monochrome, feel free to lean into it with the dining set. Just don’t forget to consider the rest of the room when you’re picking up those chairs.
Feel like you need a little extra expert advice? Our friendly team would love to chat about pairing dining tables and chairs, so get in touch today.