Choosing a comfortable and functional dining chair involves careful consideration of style and the intended use of the chair. Dining chairs do NOT have to match the table so never feel that you have to buy a set.
- First, decide what style you’re going for in your dining room. Do you prefer a formal dining room or one that’s more laid-back and casual? If you prefer formal and traditional, then the style of the chair will often reference the style of the table but if you like a more relaxed look, try mixing it up. An antique table can look fantastic with a Lucite or mid-century modern chair.
- Also, consider your dinner parties; do want your guests to linger after dinner? If so, you might choose to have upholstered chairs with padding so they’re not in a hurry to leave. And if the upholstery fabric ties into the overall colour scheme of the room, the upholstery becomes a statement. Try choosing a tightly woven linen or bamboo fabric for dining chairs.
- Chairs with arms tend to look more formal and take up more room around the table so if your space is limited, go for arm-less. Two armed chairs at either end of a table can strike a nice balance.
- The standard height for a table is 29-30 inches and the height of a dining chair is usually 18-19 inches. If you have a table and you’re considering chairs, ask the store if you can take one home and see if the height works for you.
- The weight of a dining chair can be important if they are doing double-duty. So keep weight in mind if you intend to move them regularly to have them act as an office or occasional chair elsewhere in the room.
- If you’re building a piece of furniture from scratch, here are some simple ways to “keep it green”. Use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified solid woods and veneers, and avoid exotic hardwoods such as those from rainforests. If you’re using MDF and particleboard, look for options that are urea-formaldehyde free. Opt for low VOC adhesives and low-VOC, water-based finish coats (like polyurethane).
- If your house doesn’t need a complete décor overhaul, it is still possible to incorporate a bit more green into your life with accessories. Look for bamboo plates, glasses made from re-used bottles with the tops cut off, vintage flatware and cutting boards made from FSC rated wood.