How to Choose Dining Room Chairs
Picture your kitchen or dining room table with your favorite people seated around it. Are they in comfy armchairs after a decadent holiday meal, or are the kids squeezed in arm-and-arm on a bench seat? Whatever your specific reality, it’s important to be comfortable when gathering around a table. (Being on-point style-wise is a bonus!)
The Che Bella Minneapolis interior design team wants to help you select the right dining room chairs for your home. Whether your chairs need a refresh, or a kitchen remodel is in your future, these helpful hints will help you choose!
Chair Dimensions 101
Before you start your search, take stock of the size of your table and the space you have around it. These factors, along with the following measurements and guidelines will impact the chairs you ultimately choose to bring home.
- Regardless of the shape of your table, most tables are around 30” high.
- The average dining chair width is 16” – 20” with 17” – 19” between their seats and the floor.
- Account for at least 24” of space between seats. Add 6” to the width of the chair to give people enough elbow room.
- Plan for at least 12” of space between the top of the table and the chair seat. For chairs with arms, ensure that you leave at least 7” between the top of the arm and the bottom of the table.
- Measure your chair at its widest point for the most accurate measurement. This may be its seat or chair back.
Pro tip! Remember that your chairs must also fit under your table – arms included. Keep the table legs or the base of a trestle or pedestal table in mind when purchasing your chairs.
Chair Style, Yes Please!
Now that you have chair sizing in mind, let’s turn up the fun with the style of your chairs. Your vision may include a formal approach with a wingback chair at the head of the table or a set of low-flung mid-century armchairs. Match the style of your chairs to the style in the room or vary it to make a more eclectic statement. Here are a few tidbits regarding chair style.
- Armchairs need not be an all-or-nothing proposition. It is perfectly acceptable to have some chairs with arms and some without. Keep in mind that arms can add a few inches to the width of a chair.
- Be original with your chair selection if it suits you. Include chairs with a brilliant pop of color or play with a mix of chairs like those in our Plymouth, MN interior design project shown below.
- Interested in the comfort and appearance of upholstered chairs?
- Upholstered chairs take a greater level of care and cleaning but can be worth the work if you’re up for the challenge.
- For households with young children, consider microsuede or cotton. The fabrics come in many patterns and colors and are easy to care for.
- Leather is a durable mainstay and ages well if cared for properly.
Pro Tip! – Comfort is king! Remember that if a chair is uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter how good it looks. Take the time to sit in each chair on your shortlist to assess its level of comfort.
>> See additional photos of our Nantucket interior design and remodel project in which we brought style and interest to the dining room and great room of a newly built home.
How Many Chairs Do You Really Need?
When you’ve found your chairs, it’s time to determine just how many you need to accommodate your loved ones and guests. Consider the following:
- How many people dine at the table regularly and how many are present when you’re at full capacity.
- The number of chairs that you will need if your table extends.
- Stylish stackable or folding chairs are a fantastic complement to your everyday chairs.
Choosing Dining Room Chairs – Pull Up A Seat At The Table
Dining chairs play a key role in the comfort and style of our dining experience. Make decisions about your chair selections confidently with these helpful tips in hand and keep it light. Contact the Che Bella Interiors design team regarding furnishing selections for your home. Also note that we are trusted kitchen, bath, and home remodelers having worked with homeowners across the Twin Cities on projects ranging from kitchen remodels to basement renovations, home additions and more. From concept to completion, we work with you to make your home beautifully yours!