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Dining Chairs

Finding the Perfect Seat

If your dining table is the centerpiece of your dining room, and the decor is the backdrop, then your set of dining chairs is the final puzzle piece that pulls it all together. Your choice of chairs is a great way to show off your personal sense of style, while providing a comfortable place for you and your guests to gather.

Here are a few tips to choose the perfect set of chairs for your dining room:

The Table

Your first consideration will likely be whether or not the chairs match your dining table. You can buy them all together as a set, but finding your own chairs that marry elements of your room decor and table let you create a look all your own.

You can try pairing traditional chairs with a traditional table to create a unified theme with your dining room decor. Or, you can try adding a contemporary table to a traditional dining room, and transitional chairs to tie the two.

Another way to add your own personal touch to your dining set is to find chairs in a contrasting finish, such as white chairs with a black or dark wood-finished table.

The Type

Next, decide what type of dining chair you'd like to add to your table: Side chairs, arm chairs, or parson chairs.

Side chairs, so named because they're usually placed along the sides of a dining table instead of at the head and foot, have no arms. They come in a range of styles, from simple and traditional, to heavily ornamented, to luxuriously cushioned.

Arm chairs are generally used for the head and foot of the table, and are usually available as a match to side dining chairs. These also can range from heavily decorated antique-style pieces to more modern, simple styles.

The parson chair, first created in the 1930s, is designed without excess ornamentation that was common in historical furniture designs. The result is a simple chair with clean, modern lines, often richly padded for the ultimate in dining comfort.

The Style

From the classic ladder-back chair, to tall upholstered chairs and everything in between, the range of styles to choose from is almost infinite. This choice gives you a lot of freedom in creating your own look, but it can also be overwhelming.

Start by considering the decor of your home and dining room. Are you going for a casual look or something more elegant? Do you want a traditional feel, or modern, or something in between — a fresh contemporary or transitional look?

Is your dining space bright and airy, or small with less lighting? A small dining room without a lot of light may benefit from chairs with a more minimalist look and light-colored finish. A large dining room with a lighter color palette and plenty of natural light, on the other hand, is a better choice for more substantial chairs with luxurious leather upholstery or dark finishes.

The Materials

When choosing your dining chairs, you should think about the comfort of you and your guests. If you want your dining room to be a welcoming gathering place for your visitors, you may want chairs with cushioning and upholstery.

Here, too, you have a lot of choices, and can use the opportunity to express your style. Your chairs can have solid wood, woven wicker, molded plastic, or foam-padded seats. Your upholstery choice is almost limitless, with leather, faux leather, vinyl, and fabric in an infinite array of patterns and colors.

The chair frames can also come in a range of materials, from metal to wood to wicker. Try to find a set made from materials that will blend well with your dining room decor. For example, wicker makes a great choice for a more casual or rustic atmosphere, while chairs fully upholstered in leather lend a sophisticated, elegant style. Metal frames complement a modern layout with a lighter feel than wood.

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