Great Seating Ideas: How to Mix Chair Styles in Dining Rooms!!!
I don’t know what it is about mixing chairs in a space, but it has always been one of my true design loves!! Maybe it’s my quirky side, but to me, mixing chair styles makes a room so much more interesting!
This dining room is one of my all-time favorites! We plastered the room and hand-painted a design inspired by a historical Swedish wall covering. This home by designer Brooke McGuyer is featured in its entirety in Segreto Style!! The tonal and textural combination of different chairs and fabrics makes this dining room so much more inviting!!!
I would love to incorporate the eclectic feel of mixing chair styles in my new Colorado townhouse! Here is one view of the dining space. As you can see, the table does come out a bit into the walkway.
In this photo, you can see that the back wall is a window. I already have a round 60-inch and a rectangular 72-inch table in storage along with multiple chairs that don’t match. For inspiration on mixing these elements, I turned to my Pinterest board, and I found a couple of fun chair mix options that might fit the space well! Which option do you like better?
Option 1: A Table with a Mix of Chairs
One of the easiest ways to make this concept work is to combine matching side chairs with upholstered end chairs, like they did in this beautiful kitchen. I love how the blue-gray tones of the cabinets and the black of the French doors pull out all the colorations of the floor! This is a true testament to how treating doors can effect the overall feel of a room.
I love this example of using three chair styles for a great effect in this eat-in kitchen! The stools could be tucked away whenever more counter space is needed for chopping and mixing. One thing I’ve heard to keep in mind is that the average person needs 12 inches of knee space, 14 inches is even better! You’ll also want about 34 inches from the edge of the table to the wall to ensure there’s enough clearance for the chair to scoot back so you can get up.
Remember that chairs that are too similar can be viewed as near misses, so make it obvious by mixing upholstered and unupholstered pieces, chairs with and without arms, and seating made from different materials. Two easy ways to never go wrong: 1) get the same chair in different colors, or 2) get chairs in all different shapes but the same color.
Always opt for lightweight chairs that are easy to move! I got this incredible tip from the wonderful blog, Style Me Pretty. As we all know, whenever you’re entertaining, you’ll end up having to scoot back and get up at least three times during a meal to fetch something… save yourself extra trouble by choosing dining chairs that are easy and light enough to move!!
Option 2: A Banquette
I couldn’t fit a banquette in my new house remodel, but I love the idea of bench seating with added chairs! It’s also such a space-saving option! Banquettes occupy less than half the floor space a table and chairs require yet they seat the same number of people. The bench could be against the window and the table turned the other way, so I could gain more room closer to the kitchen!
But the downside is that it might be harder for the guests to leave the table. Those of you with banquettes, have you noticed this issue? I’ve also heard the fabric can get grungy quickly so it’s best to use a slipcover you can wash or a leather or pleather fabric that can be wiped clean.
There are so many different configurations! This corner “U”-shape is perfect for tight spaces.
A better solution for my space might be to design a “U”-shaped banquette where the longest part would be against the window and then extend down the two side walls. For “U” shapes, it’s best to do at least 78 inches for the longest side and 54 inches for the two shorter legs. Since you need 27 inches of seating width per person, this would give enough space for about 6 people without knocking knees! The one shown above looks like it would provide seating for 4-5 people.
You can place chairs on the opposite side to provide even more seating!! I’ve heard, for banquettes, that it’s best to have at least 18 inches of seating depth (or 24 if you count the upholstery or an angled back).
Perhaps the biggest benefit to the banquette idea is the ability to add storage! Some pull-out drawers would give me space to put placemats, napkins, extra candles, and other entertaining necessities. This would be a huge help in a small townhouse!
What do you think?? Should I go with Option 1, which I already have chairs for, or Option 2, which would give us some extra storage?
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
I just wanted to give my friend and Houston designer Julie Dodson a big congratulations and job well done!! Asked to participate in the Traditional Home Hampton Designer Show House, she was challenged with the bunkroom. Here’s what Newsday says about her space:
Houston designer Julie Dodson calls this the “overflow” room for guests who need a comfortable, private space to rest. Instead of bunk beds, she used three twin beds, which she says are making a comeback in home decor. She created half-moon canopies for the beds, hanging a small bunny painting by Hunt Slonem within each structure. She used old rope and tied pieces of it in a bow to create faux hangers for the glam mirrors between each bed. “I wanted to create a fun, whimsical, happy place,” Dodson says.
DIY TIP. Another way Dodson brought a sense of surprise to the room is one of her signatures — putting animals in random and unexpected places. Here, there is a plaster dog with a real dog collar, on a floor pillow at the foot of one of the beds.
Hope you have a wonderful week! Till next week!