What are Dining Chairs?
Dining room chairs are designed to fit around and compliment your dining table which is quite often the centrepiece of your dining area. Although the dining table is at the centre, there is no reason your dining room chairs cannot be a feature themselves. Whether you have a formal or informal dining area to design or refurbish, good quality dining room chairs can really set the tone of your room. If you have an informal dining area, then your dining room chairs will likely be one of the most used pieces of furniture in your house. If you have a formal dining area, then your dining room chairs will likely be the first thing your guest’s see and touch, and where they will spend the most time so it’s important to think about comfort and quality, not only style when selecting your new dining room chairs.
What are the different types of Dining Chairs available?
When looking for dining chairs online there is a range of different options available to suit whatever needs you have. From wood to metal and upholstery too, there are many dining chair sets and choices depending on your use, space and theme.
Wooden Dining Chairs
Material wise, the most popular dining room chairs are wood. From lightweight pine veneer to classic cross back oak dining chairs, there really are so many timeless options. Wooden dining chairs can often be mixed with upholstery for added comfort, built into the chair on the seat and back or alternatively, cushions that fit the seat of the chair and can be removed. Most often, however, wooden chairs keep a wooden seat on them. Being wood there is still a certain give and comfort to this material and if you are buying good quality wood like oak, the comfort will only improve over time.
Metal Dining Chairs
Metal dining chair sets can be a great twist on classic dining and, like wooden dining chairs, can come in many different configurations. There are the classic bistro-style metal stackable dining chairs which can be a great styling idea for informal or outside dining area. Or, there are those with a mixture of a hard plastic seat with metal legs, metal frames with soft cushioned seats and, of course, a mixture of hardwood and metal. These days, you can find many metal dining chairs available online.
Upholstered Dining Chairs
Mostly found in more formal dining situations are fully upholstered dining chairs. These dining chair sets are available in a wide range of materials, from the very formal velvet, to thick linen or cotton in plain colours or beautiful colourful designs. Most upholstered dining chairs have a wooden frame with just the wooden legs showing or the chair with an outline of wood. This mixture of materials adds a sophisticated touch perfect for those more elegant spaces in your home.
Armed Dining Chairs
Traditionally the dining chair sets used at each head of the table were the ones with sidearms. Some sets of chairs still come like this, or there is the option to mix and match. Even though this is the traditional way of doing things, many people now enjoy the comfort and look of armed chairs around the whole table. There are many beautiful dining chair sets in these designs for indoor or outdoor dining chairs, but one thing to look out for is making sure you have enough room around your dining table to get in and out of them comfortably.
How Dining Chairs can help interior style
As we mentioned above, an indoor or outdoor dining chair can either compliment your dining table or be a feature in its own right. It really all comes down to personal style. If you are doing a complete re-haul or have just moved and are looking to start from scratch in your dining area, then you have a few choices to make. When looking for dining chairs online, think about if you will opt for an entire dining set? A dining set is a chair and table combination in the same style, for example, a pine dining table with the same wooden chairs made in a similar style to match. This can be a good idea if you’re looking for something simple and easy that may serve more of a practical purpose in an already busy room. However, if you are looking for something more unique, styling your own dining chair sets to match with a dining table could be the way to go. If you take this approach you need to start either with the indoor or outdoor dining chairs, or the table. Sometimes a piece jumps out at us that we fall in love with and we try desperately to make other pieces fit with it or around it. This can sometimes restrict your freedom when designing as you may find the perfect dining chairs, but they don’t fit with your already purchased table.
Starting with one piece can, on the flip side, give you a good place to start but make sure you start with the piece you want to be your feature. Finding more neutral pieces to fit is always easier than finding a statement piece second! Dining chairs can help with your interior style if you choose to use them as a feature or as a more neutral piece to compliment an existing feature. Start by thinking of the theme of your dining room and the kind of look you want to go for. Does your house already have an existing theme running through it? For example, if it’s a beach house vibe, you will likely opt for lighter colours or a natural light wood as opposed to black dining chairs and dark upholstery. Whereas, if your house or apartment has more of modern design to it, metal and edgy designs would be more of the look for you.
Best Dining Chairs for you
Once you have an idea of the kind of style you want to go for it’s time to start looking for your indoor or outdoor dining chairs online. Deciding on the style and colour of your chairs is only the first step. There are some other things to be sure to consider too.
Family-Friendly Dining Chairs
Do you have a house bustling with small children or teens but still want modern dining chairs? If so, then these are the things you need to think about.
Dining Chair Materials
If you’re choosing to have upholstered chairs in your home, have a think about the colour and any potential damage to them. Upholstered chairs can be magnets for split spaghetti, remnants of air, projects done at the dining table and all kinds of other potential issues. If you still want that soft comfort of upholstered dining chairs, then consider dark colours that won’t show stains as much and a fabric that is easier to clean. Another way to go about a softer chair without the risk of permanent damage, is to get metal or hardwood modern dining chair that comes with cushions. This can be a simple solution to still having that comfort but also giving you the option to remove the covers of the cushions and pop them in the wash every time they get too grubby. Another great alternative is to look for upholstered dining chairs in PU leather which is easy to wipe down and vegan-friendly with a stylish leather look. This could be a great alternative to classic upholstered dining chairs.
When it comes to kids in the home, the sturdiness of your dining chairs if of upmost importance. You want to make sure you are picking indoor or outdoor dining chairs that won’t tip over easily. Many laminated wooden dining chairs are much less sturdy than their hardwood and oak dining chair counterparts. They may cost slightly more but think about chairs as an investment for the future – if you buy good quality, they will last a lot longer. It is also worth considering if the the design of the wooden dining chairs have sharp edges that may cause some bruises or other harm? Or, are they easy to slide in and out of? These are all important factors that need to be considered to ensure your new investment is the perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Dining Chair Proportions
Another thing to look out for is the height and size of your dining chairs. It is especially good to do this if you are wanting to buy dining chairs online. Be aware of the table you are using so that you are able to rest your legs comfortably underneath without it feeling like your thighs are being pressed down upon. This is something simple you may think but it really is something to put thought into. There is nothing worse than purchasing your dream dining chairs only to discover your legs won’t fit under the table!
The back height of your chair is something else to think about. If you have narrow high back chairs they won’t just do with any table. Take a look at your room and think about the proportions of it. A low ceiling will need lower back chairs so as to not look too cramped and a high ceiling will want some height to your chairs to fill the space better. Think also about back comfort. This is why it is important to sit on the modern dining chairs in-store or measure your existing chair height or the height of dining chairs you find comfortable to compare if you are shopping online. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal comfort. You may enjoy the back support of a longer chair back, or that may be uncomfortable for you.
Armed Dining Chairs
If you like the look and feel of armed dining chairs be aware that they take up a lot more space around the dining table than their unarmed counterparts. This is usually fine if you are only using them on the heads of the table, but if you are using them around the whole table this needs to be taken into consideration when thinking of table size. You need to make sure there will be enough room to comfortably pull wooden dining chairs in and out of the table without scratching the sides or bumping some one’s arm!
Formal vs Non-Formal Dining
Decide on whether your dining space is formal or non-formal, this will greatly impact on the styles you choose. Generally speaking, formal wooden dining chairs are quite often upholstered and are more of a feature chair. As they are not used as much there isn’t as much risk of the daily wear and tear of non-formal dining chairs and therefore more room for you to get something extra special. Black dining chairs can also be used in a formal setting while natural wooden dining chairs can look good for outdoor dining chairs or in less formal areas.
Dining Chair Colours
Lastly, choosing colours in interiors is so important. Do you have a colourful dining room? If so, consider this – too much colour in a room can make it look overwhelming and too mismatched. They’re only predominantly acceptable if you have more of an empty space to fill and want to make a fun, inviting place for your family and guests to gravitate towards.
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