How to choose the perfect dining chairs set for your dining room?

Interior Designer’s Insider Tip


Last week, we received a nice variety of upholstered dining chairs with a wooden rectangle table for our interior design studio. Every chair has the same upholstery fabric and wood finish, but different backs and details. So, how do you choose the perfect dinning chair set for your dining room with so many choices?

If you are planning to re-design your dining room or integrate your dining space with the living room, dining chairs play a crucial role for the entire style of the space. The seating can have bright pop-up colors to bring some color into the room or it can have a unique shaped back to lead the interior feel. There are no boundaries for colors nor shapes. Nevertheless, it is important to pay attention to the right scale and function of the dining chairs. Here is a guide for choosing chairs for your dining space:

Dining Chair Height and Width

For comfort – no matter, for you, your family, or guests – the right scale of your dining table and chairs must be compatible. With that being said, measuring is a crucial task when you are shopping for your dining room furniture on your own. Usually – and I say usually because our interior designers have experienced many times of incorrect measurements for a variety of furnishing items – standard seat height is 18 inches, and a standard table height is 30 inches.

Rule of thumb: For a comfortable sitting, you want 12 inches between the top of the chair and the bottom of the table. If the table has an apron, measure from the bottom of the apron to the top of the seat.

Note whether the chair seat is hard or upholstered. Upholstered chairs tend to compress when you sit. So the distance between the seat and table changes. While assisting our client, we always measure while customers are sitting on the dining chairs. Same for bar stools – Read our past blog post about How to find the right bar stools?

Once you have chosen the correct height chairs, the next step is to figure out how many chairs can hug your dining table. If you don’t want people bumping their elbows while enjoying one of your dinners, make sure that there is a minimum distance of 6 inches between each chair. By the way, you will also want to make sure there is enough space behind your dinning chairs for people to slide out easily.

RULE OF THUMB: EACH GUEST DESERVES 24-30 INCHES OF SPACE AT THE DINING TABLE.

Dining Chair Fabric and Finish

Choosing between upholstered and un-upholstered chairs is not an easy decision as both have advantages. A plain wooden chair, for example, can easily be wiped down in case something gets spilled. Besides that, a dining chair that isn’t upholstered is usually more narrow and easier to fit around a smaller dining table. If you are looking for something more comfortable for long, leisurely dinner parties, our interior designers suggest you go with upholstered chairs. An upholstered armchair is certainly the coziest option for your guests. Moreover, they look great around a large table or in a generously sized space.

Mix and match look

Are you thinking about upping your game and go with a mix and match interior look? If yes, you will need to think strategically about finishes and fabric you want to use for your future dining chairs. It has to complement the whole interior design. The biggest challenge is when you have your dining area open to another room. Nowadays, the majority of people have a dining area combined with either the kitchen, the living room, or all three together.

When choosing fabric and finishes in a mix and match design, you want them to complement each other but not match perfectly. Best is incorporating consistent elements with contrasting. Contrast creates a more interesting and exciting space. Whereby, consistency will keep it from feeling overwhelmed.

Rule of thumb: Choose two different chair styles that are distinct but have something in common.

Usually, the host chairs are the contrasting furnishing pieces and the side chairs the consistent one. No matter what you choose, a mix and match look brings some positive drama in your interior design. Considering that we use our dining spaces the most in the evenings and on special occasions, they are the perfect room for exciting patterns and details that express your personality. You are allowed to play with colors and chairs are the best use for that.

Style examples from our Interior Design Studio

Showing our clients a variety of furniture pieces for their interior design projects is important for us. For that reason, we decided to showcase a distinctive selection of dining chairs in our interior design studio. Clients have the opportunity to feel and try our dining chairs with a comprehensive consultation. Another great option is to partner with an interior designer and allow them to bring those chairs with them for an in-house consultation.

Classic French Elegance

This elegant classic French style dining chair has a modern twist on a traditional design. It features a chic and soft upholstery combined with a solid North American dark wood frame. The nail head details on the back will bring some luxury feel to the whole interior of the dining area.

Button Tufted Upholstery Chair

Designed with quality from the ground up, this timeless style dining chair brings a classy look to your dining table. It features a low-profile armrest for easy moving in and out of the seat, while also having support and comfort for forearms. Our interior designers love to call attention to the detail work such as the polished nail head trimming that runs elegantly along the perimeter of the chair to the back. As well as, the button tufted back that makes the chair comfortable while enjoying dinner.