Dining areas are often in full view of the living area, so it has to look good as well. It is advisable to choose your dining table first, to set the style of the area (and of the home), but the hard part comes after that. As there are so many styles of dining chairs available, how do you make a choice? We share some tips. 

dining room, dining chairs, bookshelf, string shelf
Design: Grafunkt 


Consider the space 

The size of your space will determine the shape of the table you choose, how many it can seat, and what chairs to go with it. If you plan to position your table in the centre of the space, cater allowance for comfortable movement around it when people are seated at the table – at least 1.1m in length from the table edge to the walls or any other piece of furniture. Choose your chairs bearing in mind how much space they occupy when they are pulled out.

Ensure that the chairs you choose have seats that can fit nicely under the table, so they won't take up extra space when not in use. Chairs that are streamlined in design, and armless, can fit in tighter spaces. Choose chairs with open backrests so the chair looks lighter, but still provides back support. 

A spacious dining area can take chairs that are statement pieces, such as high-back chairs (pictured below), or those with embellishments. 

dining room, dining chair, high-back chair
Design: Design Intervention

Your chairs should follow the language of your dining table; choose chairs with sharp, clean profiles to complement rectangular and square tables, and chairs with soft, rounded contours to match oval and round tables. 


Form and Function 

The design of the dining chairs plays a crucial part in pulling the look of your dining area together. To narrow your choices, you can relate them to the design elements of the space. For example, choose a design that echoes a detail of the feature wall, or pick our upholstery colours from a painting in the same space. 

For something more luxurious, consider using only armchairs around the table (pictured below). 

dining room, dining chairs, armchairs
Design: The Scientist


If you want to casually mix-and-match the chairs, make sure they relate to each other in form, colour, materials or texture (pictured below). 

dining room, living room, dining chairs
Design: D5 Studio Image

If you have pets and/or children, your dining chairs should be hardy, easy to clean and lightweight, as you might have to move them around more often to clean them. If you entertain, consider stackable chairs for easy storage. Before buying your chairs, sit on them for at least five minutes to make sure you feel comfortable.


Contemporary Alternatives 

Free your floor space with alternatives to conventional chairs, such as banquette seating, stools and benches to liven things up. Benches and banquette seating options save space and accommodate more guests. 

dining room, benches, dining bench, dining chairs
Design: Produce


Keep them well

Your choice of material will dictate your chairs' maintenance needs and how long they will last. Should you go with wood, leather, or fabric? Liquid spills on wood must be cleaned up promptly, or they will leave water stains. For those with upholstered chairs, or who have young children around, using a household fabric protector such as Scothguard will help with preventing stains and marks. You can also get removeable slipcovers for ease of washing.

Leather and wood veneer chars should never be placed under direct sunlight. Clean them lightly with a damp cloth.