I’ve got my whole family coming up to Brisbane at Christmas time, and that’s got me thinking about dining room chairs and how to accommodate everyone.  So I thought I’d share a little bit about my dining chairs, and some tips for choosing dining room chairs.

Tips for choosing dining room chairs

I bought my dining table and chairs on eBay about 10 years ago.  Originally I think the setting was sold by Early Settler & Recollections.  I like details so all the wood carvings and scalloped edges appeal to me.

Tips for Choosing dining room chairs

As with many pieces of furniture in my house, I have customised my dining chairs.  The chair has a rush seat.  I added a chair pad that I bought from Ballard Designs.  Thank goodness they deliver to Australia as I couldn’t find the right size chair pads here.  Then I sewed chair slipcovers.  There’s a really bad old video tutorial that shows you how I made them.

Tips for choosing dining room chairs

The table is 1 metre x 2 metres and seats 8 but there are only 6 chairs.  When I have extra guests I use two carver chairs as the Captain’s chairs (chairs at the head of the table).  The chairs are even more than 10 years old and were from Carina Sherlock (no longer trading).

tips for choosing dining room chairs

A couple of years ago I found some chair cushions at IKEA that for the chairs PERFECTLY.  Don’t you love it when things just work out like that?

tips for choosing dining room chairs

So here are some of my tips for choosing dining room chairs:

Chairs Don’t Have to Match the Table

Many furniture stores sell dining sets.  That is a table with matching chairs.  You don’t have to buy a set.  You can mix and match your own chairs to the table.

Chatham Beach House Dining Area

Image: Chatham Beach House

I love the way Victoria chose to highlight the dark patina in her dining table by choosing black chairs rather than timber ones.

blue white dining room art deco doors W

Image: A Blue & White Dining Room

Here Joydee has used timber chairs with her timber table but the black metal cross back breaks up all the timber and stops the setting looking too heavy.

Upholstered or Not Upholstered

Another factor to consider is whether to choose upholstered chairs.  I love them.  They look great and they’re comfortable, but you are going to need to Scotchguard them or have them cleaned if you spill food on them.

modern classic open plan dining

Image: Open Plan Family Living

If you want the look and feel of upholstery with the added convenience of being able to wash them, choose slip covered chairs.

pretty dining room staircase

Image: Pretty Living & Dining 

Use a Built-in Bench Seat

You can also choose to use a combination of built-in seating with individual chairs.  Again, the chairs don’t have to exactly match the bench seat.  If using a built-in bench seat or banquette, it’s a good idea to use scatter cushions across the back.

dining nook

Image: Kitchen & Dining Nook

Arms or No Arms

Chairs with arms are generally wider and take up more room than chairs without arms.  Also check the height of the chair as some chairs with arms are too high to push the chair all the way under the table.  Often it works well to have chairs with arms at each end of the table and chairs without arms along the sides.

Unique Furniture dining

Image: Uniqwa

Use Different Chairs Together

You can use all different dining chairs.  Read our post on Mismatched Dining Chairs.  Or you can just choose to use different chairs at either end of your table like I have done.

Tips for choosing dining chairs

If you’re looking for some new dining chairs, here are a few that I’ve spotted that are similar to those shown here.

Traditional Dining Chairs


 1.   Coventry Upholstered dining chair   |   2.    Elizabeth set of 2 Dining Chairs   |   3.   Kalmar Linen Dining Chair   |   4. Petite Fleur Set of 2 Dining Chairs   |   5. Sherwood Solid Oak Timber Cross-Back Dining Chair   |   6.  Oakley Cross-back Dining Chair   |   7.   Parc Wicker Indoor/Outdoor Side Chair   |   8.   Slip Covers for Grace Dining Chair   |   9.   Mervent Solid Mahogany Dining Chair

Have you started planning for Christmas yet?  If you want furniture delivered in time for Christmas, now’s the time to order.  All the Christmas stock will be hitting the shops in the next 2 weeks.  You have been warned!

Tips for choosing dining chairs