Decorating a dining room without falling into the boredom of matching dining tables and chairs, but without failing with mismatched combinations is a big challenge. It is clear that the dining furniture sets are more than outdated. It was very easy for our mothers or grandmothers: they went to a store and they chose a table with matching chairs. Their only challenge was the budget.

Mix and match dining table and chairs adds decorative interest, even a touch of surprise, but doing it right requires an extra effort and inspiration. Not everything works. So before purchasing new dining chairs or table, be sure of your decision.

Eero Saarinen oval Tulip table with Executive chairs. Predictable? Via: House Beautiful

In addition to achieving a good aesthetic result, you must also consider other factors when thinking in decorating a dining room, for example, the space available, the number of people who use it, their age (especially with children!),  even their size (not all people are equal …). And of course, the comfort and quality of the furniture you buy.

There really are endless options, more or less unexpected, but there are five tips that will help you when decorating a dining room mixing and matching tables and chairs:

  1. Look for a common design element. If you combine a design table with classic chairs you can get a shocking result. The tip is to put together pieces that share something. Look for chairs with legs or straight back for a table with very straight lines. And combine a round table with sinuous chairs, as in this dining room of Andina and Tapia.

decorating a dining roomAndina & Tapia mix here a contemporary dining table in steel and lacquered glass with classic Lord dining chairs, from Blasco & Blasco. Via: Nuevo Estilo

  1. When size matters… There must be proportion between table and chairs. About 55cm is the usual width for a chair. When the table is very large or the dining room is huge, dining chairs should be wider than usual or models with arms. If the dining table is small, you have to choose proportionated dining chairs, considering that the minimum width for a dining chair is 40 cm, below this, not even your size-36-friend can sit down comfortably. Still on the theme of the measurements, the height of the seat is usually between 45 and 48 cm, while the height of the table is about 75 cm. Although chairs and tables generally have standard heights and there are usually no problems, you should check that chairs do not stand too high or too low, and that they can approach the table without colliding, for example, their arms.

Estudio Melián Randolph dominates the rules of decorating a dining room, with a magic eye for mix and match. This light table is paired with light dining chairs. In addition, dining table and chairs combine straight lines with sinuous details.

  1. Create a random but uniform look. Chairs do not have to be all the same, but they have to harmonize. For example, a group of different styles old chairs will work together if all of them have the same worn wood. Or random chairs will fit together if are painted in the same colour or upholstered with the same fabric. Try it for a bohemian or vintage look.

Suzani fabric unifies different chairs and a pair of accent chairs on the ends in this dining room. Table from Restoration Hardware. Via: Country Living

  1. Table first. Why? Because the first step in decorating a dining room is to consider the available space and how many people will use it. This depends more on the table than the chairs. Then you can play with dining chairs, combining several styles if you need more, adding accent chairs on the ends or relocating a couple of them in another room if left over.

Available room defines the table size. Choosing this first will make the task easier. Via: Veneer Design

  1. Mix and match without fear. Because if you don´t take risks and you just choose dining chairs that don´t fit with the table but are not too different, the look will not only result drippy but it will seem a mistake! When decorating a dining room there must always be some “unresolved visual tension” between the dining table and chairs.

White lacquered table with bamboo chairs. A blend of styles, materials and colors. The key? The curves. Via: Studio McGee

If you liked this post on decorating a dining room with different chairs and tables, you may want to read about how to arrange a living room in 10 steps.