Find a seat

Now that we have our new dining table, my attention is turning to my favourite furniture: chairs.

Here are my criteria for new dining chairs:

  • Contrasts with, yet complements, the traditional dark wood table.
  • Reasonably priced–especially as I’d like to buy eight.
  • Not upholstered.
  • Slightly country feel. We live on a farm after all.

Here are some of the options I’m thinking of.

The front runner right now is something wicker or woven. Sarah Richardson used rattan arm chairs around the table at her farmhouse. I’d probably go more of a parsons chair route, as I want to squeeze as many people around the table as possible, but I really like the contrast and casual feel of a woven chair.

Sticking to the wicker theme, I also like the woven seats and the ladder backs on these chairs from for the love of a house.

Jen at Rambling Renovators found some great cross back chairs for a decent price. Their weathered finish would tone down the formality of the dining table and still keep the country feel that’s appropriate for our setting. Ikea has a white version that would contrast nicely with the dark wood table, but they look pretty plastic in person.

Jenny at Little Green Notebook recently scored a great deal on some Louis style chairs. The fluting on the legs picks up on some of the details from the table, and with a white glaze or slightly distressed finish we could still avoid the matchy-matchy dining set look.

Or I could just collect a whole bunch of old chairs, paint them all the same colour (cream, maybe?) and use them. I’ve seen people do this quite successfully. It would definitely be country and would probably be the cheapest option. I’m just not sure that that much mismatching is my style.

Sigh. I see why dining room sets are popular. Easy. No need for creativity or independent thought. Convenient.

What do you think? Do you like any of my ideas? Or do you have a suggestion of your own? I welcome any and all advice. How do you handle mixing and matching in your house?

14 thoughts on “Find a seat

  1. I always love the beautiful antique tables but every time the old chairs end up giving us grief. We invest money to upholster their seats but eventually the wood and glue holding the spokes and legs together starts to dry out. I don’t trust them. They break. I now only buy new chairs. .

    • With our last dining room set (which we are absolutely keeping), we had the table and chairs refinished and during the process all of the chairs were taken apart and reglued. Made such a difference. Refinishing is not a cheap process, but worth it for us as it’s a family heirloom that we wanted to preserve.

  2. If all different chairs is too chaotic maybe you could find sets of two or four that would mix well once painted the same color. Usually price per chair is higher when you try to find sets of 6 or 8 – people want to buy a matching set. All wood, ladderback chairs would look nice – a rush seat (like inspiration #2) or woven cane seat (like inspiration #3) will make it harder to paint them. I also like the idea of rattan or wicker Parson chairs.

  3. I like the woven chairs with the ladder backs. The seats are a lighter colour which would give contrast to the dark wood. The chairs also look like they fit nicely around a large table.

  4. I like the above commenter’s idea about a couple of different sets of chairs. I think that would be a good degree of variety vs. consistency. Eight different chairs might feel a bit much?

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