Here, we share how to mix and match dining chairs, including popular positioning, fabric, styling tips, and design ideas.
Dining room sets traditionally consist of a rectangular or oblong table with six matching chairs. If you require functionality and a cohesive look, this default option meets your needs. If it feels a bit boring and too matchy-matchy, you’re not alone.
Mixing and matching room seating to create a customized and attractive room design is easy to do as long as you pay attention to a few key details.
Quicklook: Mixing and Matching Dining Chairs
• Change the Chairs at the Head and Foot of the Table
• Use Different Styles with the Same Fabric
• Add a Table Bench
• Paint These Furniture Pieces Using the Same Color
• Alternate Them Between Two Colors
• Go Bold with Three chair Styles
• Use Chair Slipcovers or Cushions
• Avoid Dividing Them by Each Side of Table
• Use the Same Chair Height
Mixing Dining Chairs
Mix seating style, design, or pattern, but never all three. Make sure to include unifying elements in the form of color and material.
Six completely different styles will make your dining room look like a rummage sale unless you have a firmly established eclectic decor throughout your home.
If you prioritize those three elements, the sky is the limit! Need inspiration? There are several established design strategies to get your creative juices flowing.
Change the Chairs at the Head and Foot of the Table
The subtlest and easiest way to mix and match these furniture pieces is to change something about them at the head and the foot of the table.
In many traditional sets, only the chairs at the head and foot of the table have arms; since we’re already primed to accept minor differences in style, you can stretch those differences without wandering too far off the beaten path.
For example, you could choose them from the same collection but have them upholstered in a different, complementary fabric.
Different Style Chairs with the Same Fabric
You could also choose a different style from another collection but unify them through the upholstery.
You don’t have to limit yourself to dining-style chairs, either — a pair of velvety matched occasional types at the head and foot of a table is a tried and true way to introduce variation into the set.
Mixing and matching a set of dining chairs is a great way to add character to an older table without buying a new set. To make a group of mismatched chairs feel unified, paint them all the same color or use matching upholstery for the cushions. – Jessica Probus, Home Decor Cheat Sheets
Add a Dining Table Bench
Consider mixing and matching these furniture pieces with benches if you’re craving more contrast. This is a great way to create a streamlined look in a small space since it doesn’t visually break up the line of the table.
The best way to do this is to put the bench on the side of the table that faces the door in an enclosed space. If you have an open-planroom layout, place the bench on the side of the table that faces the rest of the living space.
If you’ve already got a pair you love and want to build your dining set around them, look at the legs. Consider a bench or wooden kitchen variants if they’re square and blocky. If they’re spindly and round, bentwood cane types might be better.
Paint Different Chairs the Same Color
For an easy, cheap, and cohesive look, assemble six wooden chairs of varying designs. Paint them in a bright and bold color like turquoise or sunflower.
Use chalk paint to avoid time-consuming prep and clean-up — this versatile material can be applied directly to almost any surface. This mix and match style pairs best with informal rooms and eat-in kitchens.
You could also purchase six basic, matching, metal, or wood types and paint each chair a different color. Avoid primary colors if you’re not looking to create a pre-school vibe.
Alternate Dining Chairs By Using Two Colors
By keeping it simple and using only two colors, it’s easier to avoid matching a large color palette.
Some ideas to try are to use these furniture pieces with two complimentary neutral colors. Another idea is to go monochromatic and use two different shades of the same color to create visual interest.
Finally, one may try going bold by adding two contrasting styles from opposite ends of the color wheel.
Go Bold with Three Styles
For the boldest look of all (and the most difficult one to pull off), mix and match three different seating styles.
A bench on one side, a set of slipper types on the other, and occasional chairs on either end will make for a cozy and inviting tablescape.
Slipper types are upholstered and armless. They were initially used as a place for ladies to sit when they needed to put on their shoes.
Due to this, they are sometimes lower to the ground than the average, so check your chair dimensions. If you can’t find slipper chairs, rattan variants are another good choice.
Use Dining Chair Slipcovers or Cushions
If you want to try out a look without breaking the bank and buying a new set, try buying slipcovers to experiment with the style you want. Using slipcovers, you can alternate shades to find the pattern you like the best.
For those with wood chairs, one can buy seat cushions or pads with different colors to get similar results.
Avoid Dividing Dining Chairs by Each Side of Table
Don’t divide the table in half by alternating or staggering two types of dining chairs — it looks accidental rather than intentional. Instead, divide the table into thirds or sixths and play around with different options for each section.
Use the Same Dining Chair Height
When the table is full, all the occupants should be seated at the same height. No matter the style of chair or bench, the seats must all be the same distance from the tabletop and the floor.
For the comfort of your guests, plan for 12 or 13 inches between the tabletop and the seat. This will allow most people to sit comfortably and many people to cross their legs.
Most dining tables are between 28 and 31 inches high, so the appropriate seat height would be about 18 inches. If you have a lower or higher tabletop, adjust the seating accordingly. Read more about dining room table sizes here.
When considering how to mix and match chairs, it’s important to consider your taste and sense of style. Mixing these furniture pieces creates a more inviting and relaxed space you may love.
What is your favorite way to mix and match chairs? Let us know in the comments below.