Friday, November 9, 2012

Tips for an Eclectic Dining Room

I love the look of a mismatched dining area. I'm talking different styles and colors of chairs. Or, just pairing two different styles together. We've got that going on in our breakfast room, where we've paired matching chairs with a bench.

I really want to get some cushy chairs in here...but that will have to wait. Until then, I wanted to give you some ideas/tips on how you can create the mistmatched and eclectic look in your favorite dining area.

#1: Select your table. It will be much easier to find chairs to go around it than try and find a table that will be a good fit for your seating. Are you going with a round or rectangle table? Or square? Choosing your table first will make finding your chairs much easier!

#2: Pay attention to chair height. You don't want your guest at the end of the table sitting down lower than your other guests. It's not only uncomfortable having to peer up at the person sitting next to you, but it makes it awkward to eat! When shopping, know how tall your dining room table is so you don't end up buying a chair that is too low or too high. And, don't forget to test it out! If it's a cushy chair, do you sink down?

#3: Know your table's dimensions. This goes along with Tip #2 -- know your table like the back of your hand! How much room do you have on the sides? Are the ends wide enough to accommodate a chair? Our dining room table is very narrow...standard chairs don't fit on the ends. Bring measurements, a tape measure and a photo when you head out shopping. It will save you less headache in the end!

#4: Don't forget your style! What will work best for your home? Do you do a lot of entertaining? Have little ones running around? You might love the idea of having a couple of cozy white chairs flanking your table. But, if you have young kids, this might not be the best option for you right now (or, get something that is washable!). If you like to have guests over (think clients, the boss), you might want to look for chairs that are comfortable and steer clear of the industrial/metal chairs. Make sure your selection fits with your style and life.

#5: Select chairs with some corresponding elements. While I like the mismatched look, I still think it's important to have SOME cohesive elements. Whether it's sticking with a similar shade, chair style, matching cushions or picking two different matching sets, you can still get the eclectic look, and have it look more natural.

The rooms below do a great job of mixing things up, without going overboard.


Etsy is a great resource for finding unique chairs. Here's a Treasury List of some of my favorite finds. Let me know your favorite!

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