Not too long ago we didn’t have much choice when it came to selecting chairs for our dining room tables. You simply got the chairs that went with the dining set. Thankfully, the days of the matchy-matchy furniture set are long gone, and at Nell Hill’s, we’re wild about the opportunity to mix it up in the dining room, pulling together interesting groupings of tables, chairs and cabinets that give a space unique personality, a look all its own.

Thinking about getting some new chairs to complement your new or existing dining table? Here are a few tips to help you pick the best seats in the house.

Select a Style You Love

To help you narrow down the style of chair that will work best in your dining room, take a survey of your home. Is it more traditional, transitional or contemporary? Do you like formal furniture, or are you casual all the way? What look are you going for in the room where your table will be placed, whether it’s a separate dining room, a section of your hearth room or an eat-in nook in your kitchen?

My dining room is very formal and traditional, so I went with a classic look for my chairs, much like the chair pictured in the snapshot above. But in general, today’s trend is toward casual dining rooms. More and more people are picking dining tables that feel like they were taken from an old farm house. A fun benefit of these unique tables is that they look wonderful surrounded by a host of different types of chairs, from formal to informal, small to large, even benches.

The parson’s chair is one of the best sellers at Nell Hill’s because it’s a classic style you can reinvent dozens of ways. We have covered parson’s chairs in coco brown leather to give a dining room a masculine, hunt club look. We’ve upholstered them in today’s marvelous graphic fabrics in zippy colors to bring a transitional or contemporary influence to a room. And, we carry parson’s chairs that are made with texture-rich banana leaf weaves, which look amazing in any décor, from an edgy urban loft to a romantic country home.

Pick the Right Scale

Getting furnishings that fit the scale of the room and balance with the other pieces of furniture in the space can be a tricky thing to do. Most often we see people get into trouble by selecting chairs that are too small in scale for their dining room tables. When you have a massive table surrounded by small chairs, the table overwhelms the chairs and destroys the balance in the whole space.

If you want chairs that make a strong, bold statement, consider using upholstered side chairs, like wing backs. One of my favorite looks is to use four wing back chairs at round dining tables. Or, you could use wing backs as the host and hostess chairs at each end of a rectangular table. If the chairs you’ve selected for your table are a bit on the small side, sometimes just adding larger scaled host and hostess chairs will give the grouping the visual weight it needs.

If your table is a smaller one or has more delicate lines, smaller side chairs work perfectly.

I really like this line of dining chairs we are carrying now at Nell Hill’s. They are really affordable, come in three different styles and look sensational with either formal or informal groupings.

A Matter of Material Importance


When picking your dining room chairs, remember that they don’t need to match the material or finish of the dining room table. You can pick a similar style, or be daring and mix it up, pairing your table with chairs that are wonderfully dissimilar. Sometimes, the more you mix it up, the higher the wow factor!

What do you want your new dining room chairs to be made of? Stained wood? Distressed painted wood? Upholstery? Leather? Bamboo? Banana leaf weave? Wicker? Cain? You have lots of great choices today!

When you’re selecting your chairs, opt for finishes that fit your lifestyle. You probably don’t want chairs upholstered in white fabric if you have toddlers, for instance. Or, if your heart is set on upholstered dining chairs, pick a family friendly indoor-outdoor fabric or a dark color.

Details, Details …

Sometimes, it’s the tiny details that give a piece of furniture its personality. For example, simply by adding brass nail head trim to this upholstered parson’s chair, we gave it a distinct look.

As an avowed lover of antiques, I can’t resist special touches like carved designs or inlaid wood. These chairs are inexpensive reproductions, but the carved detail on the legs makes them look like they were snatched from an antique store.

Next Week … Sensational side tables can make a room. Find out how to pick the right ones for your space.

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14 Responses to “Chairs Give Your Dining Room a Distinctive Look”

  1. nancy berry Says:

    Love this blog! How much are the blue and white Garden Benches in the picture!!!
    Nancy

  2. Kathy Zimmerman Says:

    Picture number five – the white side chair near a marble topped round table – price?

  3. Kathy Zimmerman Says:

    Picture number five, the white side chair, next to a marble topped round table. Price?

  4. cheryl jones Says:

    Regarding the first picture, I have a round kitchen table very similar and love this look, cozy, high back chairs. Are they available in other fabric choices? Also, would need to receive approximate pricing please! Thank you!

  5. Lee Says:

    Funny that you said “Cain” instead of “Cane!”

  6. carla welch Says:

    Do you have some of these chairs in Atchison? I am looking for a dining room table and chairs and it is easier for me to get to Atchison.

  7. Mary Carol Says:

    Nancy—I love our blue and white garden stools too. They sell for $66.00 a piece.

  8. Mary Carol Says:

    Kathy–The bare wood chairs with off white fabric sell for $253.00 and come in several different style backs.

  9. Mary Carol Says:

    Cheryl—The chair shown in the first picture is our Dautry chair. Available for purchase or special order in our stores or our online shopping. Prices vary depending on the fabric choosen. Ranges from approx. $1,500 and up, however, we do have an upcoming upholstery sale beginning June 15th.

  10. Mary Carol Says:

    Carla—The chairs featured in this weeks blog are located at our Briarcliff store. Call for more information–877-746-4320.

  11. Carmen Says:

    Thank you so much for the dining room chair suggestions. We have a beautiful Mediterranean dining room set that is probably 30 years old. But the chairs are defintitely dated & ugly. I have been on a “new chairs” search for 10 years
    without success. You have given me a great new starting place…..

  12. DiAnn Grimes Says:

    YaHoo!! I love the unmatched look that is happening now. I am looking for chairs, myself, unfortunately, I live in San Antonio, Tx. and will have to look in shops down here. We have NOTHING that compares to Nell Hill’s. Just sayin’

  13. Brenda Shaffer Says:

    Hi I love the blue bowl on the table on your May 16th post . I cant find it on the web site . Would you please tell me if its for sale, and how much . Thank you
    Brenda Shaffer

  14. Mary Carol Says:

    Brenda—We do not have that particular blue bowl in the stores at the moment, however, we do have a little larger one for $28.50.

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