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How to choose dining room chairs

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Even more so than a table, dining room chairs contribute significantly to the look of your space, so choosing the right fit for you and your home is extremely important.

Quality frames and fabric will give your room the right flavour, but they can also save you a lot of heartache when someone loses a meatball or topples a glass of milk.

Of course, it’s about more than the look and how easy it is to clean. The size of your dining room chairs is key to the comfort of your dining room. Keeping things sized and spaced appropriately can be difficult, but using a few rules of thumb can guide you to success.

Establishing visual harmony and comfort is important. When choosing dining room chairs, always keep design, style, size and spacing in mind.

What style?

There are many styles available for your dining room table and chairs but going with upholstery is a popular choice. It’s an opportunity to introduce a beautiful, patterned fabric, so long as it matches the look of your dining room and décor. Have at least one coordinating element to tie your room together. It could be a colour, shape or design that is common among your furniture.


You can certainly be a little creative with the shape and colour of your chairs. Just make sure you prioritize comfort over style. The best chairs are functional and beautiful.

Be cautious about mixing styles. It’s easy to make things look chaotic, especially with more than two different looks for chairs. It’s about the relationship or contrast between finishes, fabrics, shapes and colours. Again, at least one element should be shared among your dining room furniture to ensure that everything flows together.

What materials?

If it isn’t easy to clean, you may want to avoid the purchase altogether. Spills, messes, and crumbs are inevitable at your dining room table. This can happen to anyone, but it’s especially relevant with small children. You should not have to worry about spills every time you have a family dinner.


Avoid silk fabric like the plague. It’s delicate and stains easily, making it immensely difficult to clean. Cotton, pure linen, and polyester are great when blended with other fabrics, but unsuitable for spills.

Choosing materials like vinyl and leather can be great if you are prone to spills. If you go without any upholstery (full wooden chairs without fabric seats), you will exchange spills and stains for discomfort.

What size?

It’s easy to fall in love with a single chair, but as you’ll have more than one, you’ll need to think about size. The size and shape of your chairs are crucial to creating a space that’s easy to navigate, while still looking visually attractive. You do not want a crowded dining table, with no breathing room. Look for the ‘just right’ fit.


Having chairs that are too small won’t draw enough focus and may be unsuitable for larger guests. Having chairs that are too large will overshadow a smaller table — the entire room could even look disproportionate.

While a dining room chair is typically 16 to 20 inches wide, you should leave 24 to 30 inches for each guest at the table.