The dining room – a table, some chairs, maybe a buffet or console, how interesting could it get, right? Wrong! Add excitement to this room by mixing it up a little, literally. Mixed seating is another up and coming trend you’ll see more often. One benefit being you can keep your existing chairs and add a complementary set to a bigger table. This way you can keep your chairs and get add some visual interest. As a rule of thumb, make sure people have at least 24 inches to themselves. Also, make sure the head of the table has a minimum of 12 inches to the nearest person. With these laws of the table in mind, there are a few key aspects to mixing chairs that will help you keep your space chic. Here are our top 5 things to consider when mixing chairs:
Photo Source: Bright Residence Chang by Atelier II
Add a bench
If space is an issue, consider taking out a few chairs and adding a banquette or bench. This is ideal if the chairs are up against a wall because you can easily tuck a bench under the table when not in use. A backless bench can take up less space in a smaller room and by having a bench seat you may even be able to fit another guest at your table.
Photo Source: Bernard Touillon
Consider the placement of mixed chairs
By putting complementary chairs on the ends of your table you create “host and hostess” chairs. This concept has been around for a while – most commonly seen using the same style chairs as the side chairs, except with arms. MIX IT UP! If you have a small dining area that opens up to your living space, try adding backless or armless stools on one side of your table. This will knock down visual barriers separating the spaces and open up the room, giving the illusion of more space. For those of you who want to be ultra chic and aren’t afraid of originality, try randomly mixing in your complementary chairs. This also works well for round tables.
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If you feel your space needs more visual interest, try adding chairs with a whole different style. Is your space too industrial? Try adding upholstered chairs. Too modern? See if you’d like a few Chippendale chairs. When in doubt, choose a parsons chair, with its’ simple frame it blends well with a variety of styles.
Photo Source: Anitta Behrendt
Don’t vary your proportions too much
If you’re going to randomly mix in your complementary chairs, make sure your chairs’ mass, widths and back heights are similar. Varying them too much disrupts the harmony and can be distracting and make the space look imbalanced. If you are on a limited budget painting mix matched wooden chairs can be an easy DIY project.
Photo Source: Eche Martinez
Same chairs, different colors
Another option is to have all of the same chairs, but use a couple with a varying colors and/or fabrics. This keeps the chair flow consistent while still adding some interest through pops of color. For best results, make sure you keep within the same color scheme.
Cover Photo Source: Mark Tuckey Styling Louella Tuckey, photo Luke Allen