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How to Mix Chair Styles Around the Dining Room Table

You’ve likely seen the trend to “mix, rather than match” furniture in your home for a more casual, personal ambiance.

A great way to do this is to vary the style or color of chairs around your dining room table.  Mixing upholstered chairs with wood dining chairs, same-styled chairs in different colors, or differently-styled chairs in the same color creates a conversation-worthy look that’s perfect for the place we converse!

Harbour Pointe Dining Coveside and Bungalow Finishes

When it comes to eclectic decor, a little experience or know-how will avoid a disjoint or too-staged look. These 10 guidelines will help create an unexpected, but compatible mix of chairs around your dining room table.

  1. Choose chairs with something in common, whether their shape, age, historical era or color.
  2. Keep chairs at about the same height. If some chairs are slightly taller, keep them lighter-looking with an open design. Or place them at the head of the table.
  3. Choose chairs with a similar scale. Chairs with narrow seats next to chairs with wide seats look unequal, as do heavy or tall chairs next to petit or delicate ones.
  4. Avoid using different chairs that look too much the same. Chairs that are almost identical, but not quite, draws attention to their differences, rather than their similarities.
  5. Place chairs with arms at the head of the table. Or alternate them with armless chairs.
  6. Avoid strictly alternating two styles of chairs around a rectangular table. Instead, use three styles of chairs, or vary just the chairs at the head of the table.
  7. Add variety with texture. Mixing wood, wicker, upholstered or metal chairs can be less distracting than multi-colored chairs around your table (unless they’re the same style).
  8. Place a large area rug underneath the table and chairs. Like a picture frame, a rug holds a group of ideas together. It can also help tie together a variety of colors.
  9. Add an attractive centerpiece on the table; it unifies and ‘centers’ the ensemble.
  10. Repeat your chair colors or textures elsewhere in the room, whether in artwork, drapery or accessories.

You can also look to companies that design a variety of compatible chairs for a table. Hooker Furniture’s new  Harbour Pointe collection is a great example. The collection’s two eclectic finishes, an oyster whitewash called Coveside, and an espresso stain called Bungalow, mix effortlessly together around the same table. One option would be to select a table in the Coveside finish, and use chairs in the Bungalow finish. Or, in the example shown in the photo here, the Coveside pedestal table is surrounded by ladderback chairs in the Bungalow finish and woven sea hyacinth host chairs in the Coveside finish. What a fresh and inviting look!

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Bunratty April 22, 2013, 4:14 am

    Great tips. Thinking of matching some wicker with wood chairs.

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