Mixing & Matching Your Dining Room Chairs

Have you ever felt like you know everything about something…only to have reality smack you square in the face?!?  Ah, so many times for me…but we only have so much time, so we’ll just keep it to design today ?

Right out of college I was sure I knew a lot about Interior Design, so after 6 months of working at a furniture store (selling on commission is not my strong suit) I was thrilled to land a “real” job in my field, as a junior designer at a small, high-end residential interior design firm.  I went into this job sure I knew a lot about Interior Design- after all I had a degree in this field to prove it…but I quickly learned that although design school had taught me a lot- the interior design field in practice, had much more to teach me about my chosen craft.

I spent the first year I worked there assisting the owner on her many projects, going on client meetings with her, organizing the show room/source files and fabrics (oh, so many fabric books), ordering/returning samples for the other designers, filing, etc.  It certainly wasn’t very glamorous, and I didn’t have any of my own clients during that first year…but I learned so much about design and I am forever grateful to the designers who were willing to mentor me in the beginning.

So what exactly does this have to do with mix & matching your dining room chairs you ask?!?  Well one of the design principles that I learned about in school was coordinating vs. matching…but I didn’t fully understand how important that principle was, until I got out into the real world of design.  My old boss was a master at coordinating a space/whole project, so that the entire that interior worked beautifully together.  She did not believe in being “matchy-matchy” (as she called it) and so the spaces she created were one of a kind, that fit her clients needs and personalities, and looked like they had spent years collecting great pieces to put together….when in fact they had not.  So on that note…let’s talk dining room chairs!

A lot of people struggle with trying create uniformity in their interior design, so they turn to buying their furniture in sets- like a dining room set.  But there is no hard and and fast rule that says all the pieces of furntiure in a room must match.  In fact, mixing and matching your dining room chairs is a great way to add some interest to your space and showcase your creativity.  So here are a few tips on how to get started…


1. Find Something In Common

Select chairs that have at least one thing in common with each other…be it color, wood tone, shape, scale, etc.  This way you will be creating a cohesive, eclectic look, instead of it looking like you just randomly threw some chairs together.


Image: Design Lover


Image: Tidbits & Twine


These chairs all have a similar wood tone to them, even though the style and uphostlery are different.

Image: Decoholic


2. Remember Scale

When using differnet chair styles, keep the scale of the chairs similar.  You wouldn’t want a massive, large, heavy chair sitting next to a small, spindley chair at the same dining table.  It would look silly and like something is very out of place.  So remember to pay attention to the scale (size/bulk) of the chairs, when you are shopping.


Image: Horchow


Image: Hooked on Houses


Image: HomeFurniture.net


3. Go Bold with Head Chairs

The exception to the scale rule is for the head chairs.  They should be at least as large as the supporting chairs, but can also be bigger.  It can be a great statement for your dining room and is a fun way to highlight your style and taste!


Image: The Domestic Junkies


Image: Horchow


Image: Pouted


Image: Neiman Marcus


4. Mix & Match Fabrics, Colors and/or Materials

Have fun!  Be a little adventurous!  Choosing something like a more traditional patterned fabric and pairing it with metal or worn wooden chairs can be a surprising and fun way to update your dining space.


Image: Adore Your Place


Image: The Inspired Room


Image: Dimples & Tangles


Image: Fresh Ideen


For more inspirations for your own dining room chairs, check out my Pinterest page here.

Happy Thursday friends!!!

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