Mix it Up! Ideas for a New Dining Room Style
Combine Table and Chair Styles, Colors — or Just Make Them Disappear
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected, not decorated, and that homes should always be as comfortable and functional as they are chic. In addition to writing for Houzz, I work as the Head Copywriter for Layla Grayce and Zinc Door.
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design... More »
Whether your dining area formal or casual, modern or traditional, elegant or eclectic, one thing is for sure: you need chairs. While it’s easy to fall back on the already-put-together table and chair sets, consider stepping out of the standard by mixing styles. Or, if a matching dining set is more your cup of tea, there are still things you can do to make the most of your space. Whatever you choose, let these pictures be your guide as you refine your dining room style. Here’s to a space with the perfect chairs, a distinct personality and a vibe all your own!
Black vs. white. For the ultimate contrast, line one side of a table with only black chairs and the opposite with only white. The result is high contemporary style, especially when paired with a bold piece of artwork and incredible chandelier.
Vary the shades. Paint your same-style chairs in varying shades of the same color. Consistency is already achieved by the style, so playing with the color simply helps add a playful visual interest.
Consider a host and hostess chair. Host and hostess chairs are two distinctly different chairs placed at either end of the table. They’re a great excuse for throwing in a separate style, and can also be a great way to add extra color.
Mix colors. Although red and blue aren’t officially complementary colors, they still achieve the same feel, playing off each other and enhancing the colors themselves. With Lucite chairs, less saturated color still pops in the space.
Mix patterns with solids. If all your chairs are the same style, add interest to their display by upholstering half of them in patterned fabric and the other half in solid, and set them up every-other around the table.
Go bright. Throw color caution to the wind by pairing a neutral table with chairs adorned in bright and bold graphic patterns. This works especially well against this white landscape, where the bright colors have little competition.
Combine the traditional with the modern. Pair a clean-lined, contemporary table with a classic choice like Windsor chairs. It’s a sophisticated look that will last a lifetime.
Mix and match colors, styles, and patterns. For a truly distinct look, bring several styles into the mix. It will give your dining area an eclectic vibe that will lessen its formality.
Consider your surroundings. Choose chairs that pull in elements of your dining room’s architecture, like the way this table and chair set reflects the space’s molding. It creates a seamless appeal.
Think minimal. There’s no rule that says you must crowd every inch of your table with chairs. The idea is to cater to your needs: if only two chairs makes the most sense, then two chairs it is! This setup creates a little breathing room around the table.
Mix styles within the same color palette. This gives you the opportunity to choose a variety of different styles (think inexpensive flea market finds). Using the same color and upholstery throughout instantly creates cohesion.
Pair natural with contemporary. Mix an organic feel with the chic lines of contemporary chairs for an updated yet timeless look.
Let the chairs be the pop of color. Have a space done primarily in neutrals? Let the chairs carry in the color by choosing a bold, enticing shade.
Combine Lucite and glass. For an uber sophisticated look that seems to almost fade away, pair Lucite chairs with a glass table. This works especially well in a loft area or large, open space; the look is so light and airy that it won’t distract the eye as it’s sweeping across the room and taking in all of its delights.
More: DIY Dining Set Makeover
8 Ways to Rethink the Dining Room
Browse photos of dining room designs
Ideabook published on June 13, 2011.
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