The kitchen is the heart of the home, but we think the dining area comes in at a close second. A place to gather, create, eat, work, and enjoy one another’s company — your dining table certainly gets a workout. It goes without saying that the dining chairs get a workout, too. That’s why it’s important to choose a chair that ticks four major boxes; beauty, comfort, quality, and practicality.
Image: Amber Interiors
We’ll tackle the most difficult part of the decision-making process first. Choosing a chair that turns heads for the right reasons is easier said than done. “Beauty” is very personal and subjective. It’s already a challenge if you have more than one decision-maker in the home, especially if your style preferences don’t align. Here’s how we suggest you break it down:
- Consider your surroundings. What shade is your room? What material is your dining table? What colour is it? These will all influence your chair choice.
- Choose your look — minimalist or maximalist. If you want a sleek and simple chair, check out our Bayside Dining Chair. For something with beautiful detail, this black Chippendale Carver might do the job. You could also have three chairs on one side, and a bench on the other, or mix and match different chairs for an eclectic look.
- Choose your colour. Are you going to pair your stunning wooden table with stark black chairs? Or perhaps try and match the wooden tone?
To cushion, or not to cushion?
Obviously, you want your dining chair to be comfortable. Whilst most people can sit comfortably on a flat wooden seat, some simply can’t. For example, elderly people might need a seat with a cushion or some padding. Additionally, if your dining table doubles as your workspace during the day and you’re sitting there for 8+ hours, you’ll appreciate a seat with extra comfort.
Always test drive.
If you’re shopping for your chair in person, definitely give it a “test drive”. Sit down for a few minutes or more. Lean back, move around, and make an informed decision. If you’re buying from an online furniture provider, read product reviews if they have them. People almost always comment on the comfort level so you can at least have a second-hand comfort experience before you invest.
Image: Amber Interiors
You get what you pay for.
When it comes to furniture, you get what you pay for.
Not always, but often, dining chairs on the more affordable end of the spectrum are here for a good time, not a long time. Although these are great for your bank account, they'll probably show wear & tear sooner than you’d hoped… Ideally, you want your dining chairs to last you 5-8 years or more, so it’s worth making more of an investment to ensure the quality is there. Remember, you sit on them daily, often more than once a day.
Inspect & ask.
Inspect the fixings and “security” of the chair. If it has loose joints or feels unsteady, it’s probably not the chair for you. Most retailers should provide a warranty that covers the chair’s quality, so this is something you can ask about before your purchase.
Image: Studio McGee
If you have little ones at home, you absolutely need a practical dining chair. For example, if you desperately want upholstered dining chairs, make sure they’ll clean easily or go the extra step and get them scotch-guarded! Some fabric chairs have removable covers you can put in the washing machine — these will be your best friend. The same can be said for wooden chairs. How easy are they to wipe down?
Make sure you’re choosing a chair that’s at a practical height. If you’re buying dining chairs that aren’t a part of the same dining table set, you’ll have to do some measuring. There’s nothing more annoying than getting your six dining chairs home only to find that they’re too short or too high.
If you’re buying chairs for an outdoor dining setting, ensure your chairs are weatherproof. Even if they’re undercover, they could still be subject to harsh rain or fade from sun damage. Our collection of French Bistro chairs are perfect for an outdoor undercover area.