There is nothing more satisfying than dining in your dream dining room with a beautiful dining table and chairs. If this is a goal of yours, you need to buy dining room chairs that you’ll be excited to show off during your next dinner party. But it's not until you start shopping for a new dining chair that you realize that making a decision is far from easy. Confused by style, size, price? Whatever the reason, you’ve got lots of options which is why we threw together this guide to find the right dining chairs and create a cohesive look that you love.
Determine The Style
We suggest starting by deciding on what style you want your dining space to have — retro and luxe, colourful and contemporary or something else. Once you know the direction you want to take, all the other choices will become a lot more straightforward.
The easiest way to decide on the style you want to achieve is by doing some research on Pinterest, Instagram, other design blogs, flicking through magazines and collecting images of anything that jumps out at you.
There are many types of chair materials, each with pros and cons. — Upholstered fabric, wood, metal or plastic are the most common options
Upholstered chairs often create a more formal look and offer greater comfort. They also provide an opportunity to introduce colour and pattern for those wanting to make a bit of a statement in their dining space. The downside to upholstered dining chairs is that you cannot simply wipe them clean so if you have young children or pets, you may want to think twice before buying.
Wood dining chairs cover a broad spectrum of styles — from dark and heavy traditional shapes, all the way through to minimal designs in light oak finishes. Regardless of style or finish, wooden dining chairs are generally low maintenance but because of the hard material they can also be uncomfortable. Another thing to consider before buying timber dining chairs are the other timber finishes in your dining space — if you have timber floors or other timber furniture, you want to think about how the different tones will work together.
Metal dining chairs are more commonly seen in outdoor settings but there’s a trend to bringing these indoors as well. These are possibly the lowest maintenance chairs you can find but can also look ‘cold’ or ‘hard’ in your dining space (often you’ll see people drape a sheepskin or add seat cushions to soften the look). Comfort can also be an issue so be sure to test them before buying a whole set or check that the store offers refunds if buying online.
Plastic dining chairs are popular as they offer comfort and style at a great price and are low maintenance. You can also find plastic dining chairs with timber legs, so you get the benefit of plastic with the warmth of timber.
Another material is rattan or wicker, which offers texture and comfort but are expensive and easily damaged, depending on their properties.
One of the most important decisions before buying any piece of furniture is considering size or scale. We always suggest measuring your area and using masking tape to map out the size of the furniture. You want to allow a comfortable amount of space between chairs around your dining table. Don’t forget to measure the height from the floor to table and factor the height of arm rests if you want to slide the dining chairs under the table. Although this isn’t a fun or glamorous job, it’s essential!
If you measure from the top of the table to the floor, most dining tables range from 28 to 31 inches high; a 30-inch height is the most common. From the top of the seat to the floor, dining chairs frequently range from 17 to 20 inches high. That means the distance between the seat and tabletop could be anywhere from 8 to 14 inches.
The average diner finds a distance of 10 to 12 inches the most comfortable, but it varies by the thickness of the tabletop, the height of the apron, and by the size of the diner.
A constraint we wish didn’t exist but does is cost. Dining chairs can range from just tens of pounds to thousands of pounds each, and when you consider you need to buy multiple chairs this price difference becomes amplified. But that doesn’t’ mean a small budget has to limit you. By this point of the guide you should know the style and material you want, so get smart about looking for a chair that meets this criteria. Also, we recommend you to contact customer service before placing an order to see if there are special offers or discounts for bulk purchases, which you can't see on the website. Due to pressure from inventory, they may accept lower prices in order to sell as soon as possible.