There’s a new trend in dining room decor: mixing and matching dining room chairs. If you scroll through any interior decor social media account, you’ll likely see examples of unmatching chairs set at the same table.
What started as a trend in farmhouse chic has spilled over into other styles, including modern contemporary design. The use of different chairs is an easy way to add style without spending a lot of time or effort into deciding what works and what doesn’t.
A dining room with different chairs around a beautiful table is like an artful centerpiece to your dining room. It’s the perfect marriage of form and function.
At Modloft, we’re definitely loving the creative mix, but we also know that mixing and matching dining chairs isn’t as simple as it looks. While it may look as though the chairs just brilliantly work together by being tossed in the same room, there is some careful consideration needed to get it right.
We’ve got some great tips to help you mix and match dining chairs like a pro, along with six chairs we love for mixing and matching.
How to Mix and Match Dining Chairs Like a Pro
It’s not as easy as walking into a second-hand shop and scooping up a selection of someone else’s old dining set. There are rules to follow to make sure your mismatched dining chairs still look cohesive in your room.
Change the End Chairs
If the thought of six unmatched chairs breaks you out in hives, consider only swapping out the two end chairs. This is also a great way to try this trend without completely losing your original style. It’s also super easy to change back to your original decor if you prefer it.
End chairs should always have a back that is at least as high as the other chairs at the table. End chairs are also great swaps for chairs with armrests, as it is often more difficult to use chairs with armrests on the sides of your table as space is more limited.
One to try: The Harper Chair. This two-tone masterpiece offers a different view from varying vantage points. While facing the chair, you have three fabric choices to choose from. The back of the Harper chair is a glamorous walnut. This chair would work well in rooms that emphasize dramatic curves and entrancing angles.
Work in the Same Color Palette
If you already love an eclectic look, you likely know that color palettes matter. Selecting colors from the same color families can help ensure your room matches perfectly every time.
When you decide to use mix and match dining room chairs, you have two options for color:
- Monochrome. This is the easiest way to match your chairs but will likely require painting and/or refinishing unless you acanind different styles of chairs in the same colors.
Monochrome selection means you’ll use different styles of chairs, all in the same color. This helps keep your table looking finished and more polished.
- Use a color family. Using a color wheel, select chairs in the same color family or in the opposite coordinating color family, depending on your style. You can play with color to the extent it suits you.
Make sure you choose a balance of colors; i.e., two neutrals and two brights, or vice versa. This will help you keep the room’s symmetry.
If you’ve added your chairs and still feel they don’t look quite right, consider repainting or refinishing one or two of them to bring them closer into your color family.
One to try: The Langham Chair. Available in five different neutral colors, these chairs can be mixed and matched together or be used individually with other chairs. Leather and tweed options help add layers of texture to your style, creating a richer look.
We also love: The Sloane Chair. This Sloane chair may provide the easiest way to mix and match color. Available in black leather, the base of the Sloane is made from either polished carbon steel or teak. Mixing and maxing the base materials gives your dining room the upscale look of a matching dining set with all the mix and match trend.
Select One Shape
A very no-nonsense way of ensuring your mixed dining chairs match is by using the same shape of chair in varying colors and fabrics. This is easily done with neutral colors, which will give any dining room a modern sense of trend and elegance.
This also helps you keep your dining room style a bit more conformed, which may be preferable to some. You can also simply use two different colors when mixing your dining room chairs. Each chair doesn’t have to be a completely different color from the rest.
One to try: The Enna Chair. The Enna Chair is available in two strikingly different colors of Eco Pelle leather: dove gray and white. Using these two colors in the same chair creates a beautiful, clean contrast in any dining room that will help look artful, tasteful, and balanced.
Opt for Different Armchairs
This one is admittedly a little tricky, but you can mix and match your dining chairs by using chairs that have different armrests.
There’s a caveat here: if you don’t have space at your table for armchairs, don’t use them. Some dining tables are too small for large armchairs, and using them will only make your guests feel uncomfortable and cramped.
For armchairs, the recommended distance to adjacent chairs is 30”, measured from the middle of the first seat to the middle of the second seat. Anything closer will make your guests feel trapped between the arms of their chairs.
One to try: The Kaede Chair. This chair has arms that aren’t quite as long as traditional dining chair arms, making it a good fit for pairing with other armed dining chairs. Guests won’t feel as cramped with the shortened arm length, but you’ll still get all the style of a dining chair with armrests.
The Bench Option
Mixing and matching dining chairs a bit too much for your taste? You can still get a bit of the trendy, eclectic feel of mixing and matching your dining room chairs without committing to much differentiation in seating by simply using a bench on one side.
A bench creates a much more uniform look while still allowing for a little variation in seating by allowing chairs on one side. This is also a great way to get the mix and match style with limited space. A bench takes up much less space and can even be stored under the table when not in use.
You can up-style your bench by selecting one that is more artful and modern, or stick to a classic, minimalist bench that provinces clean, symmetric lines.
One to try: The Amsterdam Bench features an unexpected fiberglass and concrete top that has an almost industrial feel. The neutral colors make this bench easily paired with virtually any style, color, or texture of chair.
When mixing and matching your dining room chairs, there are a few helpful hints which will save you time and frustration and keep your room looking cohesive.
- Seat height matters. Your dining room chairs should all have relatively the same seat height. It will be uncomfortable and awkward if one guest is sitting higher or lower than another; make sure that the heights of all seats are within ½” of each other.
- Stick to one decorative style. Whether you prefer the ornately carved renderings of traditional furniture, basic function like parson style, or modern elegance, choose dining room chairs that are from the same style family. It is incredibly hard to pair traditional furniture with modern, and the more styles you attempt to add, the more chances you have to get it wrong.
- Make sure your chairs fit at your table. It goes without saying your chairs should fit neatly at your table, but if you purchase a chair without measuring, you may find the armrests don’t fit, or it’s simply too big.
It’s best to carry the measurements of your dining table with you, so you can be sure you have that information when you attempt to purchase chairs. You should have at least 7” from the top of the armrest to the underside of your table.
Mixing and matching dining chairs is a great way to add easy style to your dining room and update it without spending a lot of time or money. Modloft has great styles of modern contemporary dining chairs to help you create a table you love and seats that are mixed yet matched.
Tips to Mix and Match Dining Room Chairs Successfully | Architectural Digest
Recommended Distance Between Dining Chairs | SF Gate
Learn How to Choose Chairs for Your Dining Table | The Spruce