How to pick the right dining chairs
So you have purchased a nice dining table, and you’re now looking for matching dining chairs to complete your dining room? Buying a new set of dining chairs is a decision that should be taken seriously for various reasons. Firstly, a big part of a great dining experience lies in the ability to sit comfortably. In addition, dining chairs can have a dramatic effect on the overall look of your dining room.
But which dining chair should you buy? How many chairs do you need? What style suits your dining room? With a wide range of styles, designs, colors, and materials to choose from, finding the right dining chairs can get overwhelming. There are many questions to answer when looking for the right dining chairs.
But don’t worry — we're here to help. We've put together this simple guide to help you find chairs that will add functionality and style to your dining room. We’ll walk you through the various stages of choosing the perfect dining chair.
What is the best material for dining chairs?
Your choice of material determines the look and durability of your dining chairs. Essentially, dining room and kitchen chairs come in a wide range of materials to cater to your tastes and styling needs. Below, we take a deeper look at the different materials you can choose.
Strong and durable, metal dining chairs are one of the most common materials for dining chairs. Welded joints are just as strong as the metal itself. Metal dining chairs have a modern feel, so they can fit perfectly in a modern space. In addition, metal is lightweight, meaning you can easily move them to another room or even outdoors when needed. They are also easy to clean as you only need to wipe the metal surface to get rid of dirt or spills.
A timeless classic, wood has been used to make indoor and outdoor furniture for many years. Dining table chairs made from wood add a natural and earthy feel to your space. They can be used with other wood furnishings to create a traditional look. You can choose natural, painted, or stained wood, depending on your preference.
Rattan is a natural material known for its class and durability. Furniture made from rattan is eco-friendly and long-lasting if proper care is taken. One of the main advantages of rattan dining room chairs is that they work with most interior styles. Rattan can also be used with other materials like metal to create a modern-looking chair. However, if you have a mid-century dining room, no material can bring out the look better than a rattan chair with wood frames.
Dining chairs made from wicker are gorgeous and perfect for small dining tables. You may find wicker chairs comfortable or hard to sit on for longer periods depending on the material you choose. They are also not as strong as wood or metal chairs, and food can get stuck in their holey seats, requiring extra cleaning. On the upside, you can change the color of the wicker to match your décor theme.
Plastic dining chairs are similar to their wooden counterparts. However, the diverse color options for plastic chairs allow them to work easily with a wide range of dining tables. They can be uncomfortable due to their hard seating surface, but you can throw in some cushions of similar color to make them more relaxing.
If you love staying longer at the dining table because you enjoy talking to your loved ones after meals, then upholstered dining chairs are the best choice for you. Their padded seat is comfortable to sit on. Upholstered chairs are available in different materials, such as leather and fabric.
Dining chairs made from leather are classy, durable, easy to clean, and can be used as a focal point. Be sure to add an area rug underneath to make the room look coordinated. If you can’t afford leather, go for fabric-covered chairs. They are inexpensive and offer almost the same level of comfort. They also allow you to play with texture, but cleaning stains could be challenging.
What dining chair size should you choose?
Aside from aesthetics, dining room chairs must fit perfectly on your dining table. When looking for new dining chairs, ensure you choose the correct height. Here are guidelines on selecting the perfect dining chair size.
The first step in selecting the right chair is measuring the distance between the dining table's legs. The standard width of a chair is 46 cm to 51 cm, but chairs with arms can have an extra width of 16 cm. However, before deciding on the width of a chair, keep in mind the number of chairs you need on either side of the table. This depends on the distance between the table's legs.
An oval or rectangular dining table measuring 183 cm can accommodate 6 people, a 244 cm table can fit 8 people, and a 305 cm fits 10 people. Round or square tables measuring 123 cm can comfortably fit 4 people, a 152 cm table can fit 6 people, while a 183 cm can accommodate 8 people.
If your table has an unusual shape or size, leave a space (elbow room) of 15 cm between each chair. Also, leave a space of 91 cm between the chair and the wall or other furniture to allow unrestricted movement.
Chairs and tables usually have a standard height, but you must ensure the dimensions are correct before buying. The distance from the chair’s seat to the floor should be about 45 cm, although you can choose taller chairs depending on the table you want to use them with.
Most importantly, there should be a space of about 30 cm between the chair’s seat and the underside of the tabletop. For chairs with armrests, check whether they can slide freely under the table. Some tables have reinforcement beams, which may make it difficult.
How to select a dining chair that suits your style
Finding a chair design that suits your space is important in giving your dining area a complete look. Let’s take a closer look at the different styles to help you make a better decision.
Wooden dining chairs in black, brown, or green color make great choices for traditional-style dining rooms. You can add some pillows to the chairs for an understated and relaxed feel. Dark wood chairs in simple design will make your ornate pieces, such as the legs of your table, pop. Other materials you can choose for a traditional-style dining area include rattan, wicker, and leather.
Choose wooden kitchen and dining room chairs with detailed craftsmanship if you have a farmhouse or cottage home. Wood chairs with a rustic pattern will work well in any farmhouse style. You can easily implement this style by choosing chairs in bright neutral tones, unfinished wooden textures, and weathered finishes.
Modern dining chairs often feature sleek lines. This style focuses on natural blonde wood, although you can add some black wood tones if your room has a bright background or furniture to add a bold contrast to your space. If you have a straight wooden table, choose chairs with round, low backs.
If you have a rustic-style dining room, select natural elements like dark wood and neutral upholstery. You can start with wooden chairs to create an effortless, natural look and feel. You can also select chairs in leather or other pieces that bring relaxation and comfort to a room.
What to look for when selecting dining table chairs
Aside from material, size, and style, there are a few things you need to look out for when choosing dining chairs. These features will guide you in selecting a chair that suits your needs.
- Comfort – Surprisingly, many people focus more on color and patterns, forgetting one of the most important features – comfort. How long will you sit on the chair? This question is particularly important if your house has toddlers, the elderly, or people with knee or hip problems.
- Stable structure – No matter the material used in constructing a chair, it should be strong enough to hold people sitting on it without wobbling.
- Easy to move – Having chairs you can easily move is very important, especially when you have guests. You can use them in the living room when extra seating space is needed.
- Easy to maintain – Selecting a chair that is easy to maintain is crucial, especially when you have kids or pets. For easy cleaning, select chairs without upholstery or leather. If you have to choose fabric, go for options that are resistant to stains.
Mixing and matching dining room chairs
Some people prefer a matching dining set that brings consistency to a room, while others may go for an eclectic design approach featuring different dining chair styles that work well together. However, you must be cautious with this approach. You have to get it right; otherwise, your dining room will be messy design.
You can start by picking a common feature such as material, color, style, shape, or height. The feature will give the chairs a uniform look and make them stand out. You can also mix different materials and textures. For instance, you can pair a wooden table with white chairs. Having fun with different pieces will help create a playful space that provides different seating options for your family and guests.
Here at vidaXL, we have a stunning selection of dining chairs for every home. Feel free to browse our collection.