Choosing the perfect dining chair

January 12, 2015 2 min read

In our previous article on finding the perfect dining table, now it's time for the perfect dining chairs. I am going to say it now, matching sets are overrated! Its time to be more creative with your dining chairs. To look good, one guiding design principle to keep in mind with dining table and chairs is scale. They must be in proportion to each other. Small dining tables will look just silly if you pair it with wide chairs.

1. Style
This is the most important part of the chair - how it looks! My personal rule is to select a common element to tie the dining table and the chair whether its the colour, material or design element. Referring to colour, its either the stain or paint colour. Material refers to similar timber or metal. The design element could be leg styles or level of formality. Restrain from choosing a chair and table that shares all the common element because that's just boring.

2. Seat Height
Remember that the height of a table ranges from 74 to 76 cm. Dining chairs also varies. They range from 45 to 50 cm high. With varying heights in the table top and dining seat, its best to try out your ideal dining chair with the table for comfort. Most tables will have a side rail (trim that runs along under the table) and might touch your knees if the table is too low and the chair is too high.  Pay attention to an upholstered dining chair because it will initially sit high but will compress over time as you sit on it. Good quality chairs will have high density foam that will resist permanent compression over time.

3. Width and depth
The narrowest chair width is 45 cm and the average is 50 cm. Make sure that there is at least 8 cm space between each chair. The table leg style will determine how many chair you can place. Legs placed on the corners or pedestal style (in the centre) are the most space efficient.

4. Back Height and Arms
I usually prefer a higher back (85 cm plus) if you have a thick table base (35mm plus). Otherwise it will seem that your table is too visually heavy for your chairs. The chairs should be at least 5 cm higher than your table top to look appealing.

If you want a chair with arms, make sure the arms fit comfortably under the table or you will have a chair that sticks out and presents an uncomfortable sitting position.

5. Being Different
If you want to be outrageous, try having all unique chairs at the table. If that's too crazy, try going for the same style but different colours. Whatever suits your personality.

6. Professional Advice
If you need advice with pairing dining tables and chairs, come see us for what's available to you. We would be more than happy to show you options and guidance on the perfect pairing for you.

CL21 dining chair shown below