How To Properly Mix and Match Dining Chairs

As a designer, I try to break as many rules as possible. My style mantra is – if you love something, it will work. In fact, that’s my rule for just about everything in life. Clients often ask me questions about design rules and whether or not something will work in their space. I always assure them that there are no real rules, it’s all about application.  Once you learn to take the limits off your home you then open yourself up to endless design possibilities.

One rule breaking trend that has some people questioning everything they learned on HGTV is the mix and match dining chairs look.  Most dining rooms are boring because they appear stiff and lack personality. Swapping out a few matching chairs for ones that are different will make the space feel much more inviting. A little differentiation is less formal and screams, hey come on in!

Pulling off a mix and match dining set is no easy task. In general, you want all the chairs to be similar but have some sort variety.

Tip One.  Start with a color palette. Choose a color story that works in your space and then select chairs in that particular color or material. For example, if you have a table with six chairs and your go-to color is navy blue then you will need six uniquely different chairs in navy blue.

Tip Two:  Find Commonalities. The easiest way to way to pull off this look is by selecting a set of identical chairs in different colors. You can even step your style game up a notch by mixing and matching different style chairs together.  Figure out what they have in common. Are the leg styles similar? Do they have high-backs or low-backs? Are they from the same time period?  I find that industrial style furniture pairs nicely with Mid-century Modern and Traditional chairs look nice with almost anything vintage.

Tip Three.  Size really matters. I’m sure you’ve heard designers say that something has be the right scale in order to work. When choosing dining chairs that don’t match pay close attention to the seat height. You don’t want the height of the chairs to vary more than two inches. That rule should also be applied to the width of the chairs.

If you’re feeling stuck and not sure where to begin, here’s an example of how to mix and match dining room chairs together.  Please note that I selected two different style chairs that have similar frames — they are both armchairs with narrow legs and the same seat and back heights. If you’re in the market for new dining chairs, be sure to visit Chairish for a huge selection of vintage furniture.





Sources: 1. Rug // West Elm  2. Dining Chairs // Chairish  3. Table // Crate and Barrel  4. Lighting // CB2 

5. Art  // Restoration Hardware  6.Vase // CB2

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