What kind of chairs would you use in this room?

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Our dining room is ALMOST finished, hooray! We just need chairs. We're temporarily using these pretty but very uncomfortable hand-me-down chairs until we find a set of 8 chairs that we like. There are two caveats:
1. We're hoping for something UN-upholstered OR something with simple seats that I can reupholster myself with faux leather, so I can just wipe spills away. This is not a formal dining room; we don't have an eat in kitchen. We eat here every day, and we don't want a spill to feel like a big deal.
2. The spindles on our current chairs hurt our backs, so we probably can't handle chairs with spindles.
Thank you for reading this far. If you have a chair suggestion, please let me know in the comments! :)
q ideas for brown wood dining room chairs, dining room ideas, painted furniture
q ideas for brown wood dining room chairs, dining room ideas, painted furniture
  12 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jan 27, 2015
    Your Windsor chairs are lovely, but I can see where they might be uncomfortable. Judging by the style/feel of your room, you might want to look into replacing the Windsors with either splat-back or t-back chairs. Both styles come with either solid wooden seats or seats that can be removed for upholstering. Since it appears there are a lot of hard surfaces in the room, I would recommend the upholstered version. This would provide some visual softness and very minimal sound softening. Rather than getting rid of the Windsor chairs, they could be placed offside in the corners of the room to use when additional seating is needed. You live in an ideal area to find many different kinds of splat-back or t-back chairs. Many, many of these were made and quite a few have survived. Poke around in consignment, junk, antique, etc. stores. You'll find all you will ever need or want.

    • See 2 previous
    • LibrarianTellsAll LibrarianTellsAll on Jan 28, 2015
      @Swan Road Designs You know, the one you linked to is so simple that it never would've caught my eye. But you're right... it would be perfect in there BECAUSE it's so simple! :) One thing I love about the room is that it gets a lot of light, and the open areas on the chair back would let light flow through.

  • Pamela Golden Pamela Golden on Jan 27, 2015
    I would suggest armless upholstered dining room chairs with a pop of color. They will look elegant and cozy at the same time.

  • ..If you arent able to find a whole matching set of 8 chairs...why not use a matching set of 6 , and TWO that compliment the style of the 6 chairs but match EACH OTHER..; I have seen this done and it always look like ' it was always that way". as the fabric on the chairs all matched. Just a thought , and if the chairs are similar in style and you have the finish match on all them, and fabric ( in your case , wipe clean fabric choice) it could look nice . :)

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    • @LibrarianTellsAll hahaaa! ..the reason I was suggesting the tall back chairs is that they balance the table, Oh, yes, I am sure its because the current chairs are not comfortable to you, or the style you would prefer. Pray on it and have patience....the right chairs will show up :)

  • Lola Lola on Jan 27, 2015
    Upholstered Parsons chairs with tufted top and leather faux upholstery would be great. I love your chairs, your current ones, but I can see where they might be uncomfortable.

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    • LibrarianTellsAll LibrarianTellsAll on Feb 07, 2015
      @Lola We don't have any kids... yet. Just furry, four-legged kids. :) I agree that a neutral would probably be best. I'm thinking that if we have to have an upholstered seat, I'd like to go with a faux leather that we can just wipe clean. Probably in black or taupe.

  • Mak Meyers Mak Meyers on Jan 27, 2015
    Love your current chairs.

  • Belinda Todd Belinda Todd on Jan 27, 2015
    Just a thought, why not pick out some neat fabric and have some custom tie on cushions made for the chair backs. I really like the chairs!

    • LibrarianTellsAll LibrarianTellsAll on Jan 28, 2015
      @Belinda Todd I'm glad you like them! The chairs are too country style for us, though, and there are only five of them. At a table that seats eight, it's an awkward number.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 28, 2015
    The chairs are really special - too bad they are so uncomfortable! I'd check out Thrifts to find something less ornate, but with enough of a traditional look to fit in with your antiques.

    • LibrarianTellsAll LibrarianTellsAll on Jan 28, 2015
      @Marion Nesbitt Yeah, they're pretty painful. That's why they were handed down to us, actually. No one can stand to sit in them! :(

  • Marinda Boydstun Marinda Boydstun on Jan 28, 2015
    We used to have a cherry-wood Queen Anne dining set that was upholstered in blue crushed velvet(so elegant, loved it). It was quite comfortable. The chairs were splat-backed(part of being Queen Anne, I think).

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jan 28, 2015
    I've been viewing your photo carefully and have a few more observations. First, the ceiling appears to be a bit higher than the standard 8-foot one. Plus, because of all the wonderful light from the doors/windows the room has the, at least, visual feel of being quite large. Also, the spacing between the chairs on each side and the "real estate" surrounding the end chair, tell me that the table is a good-sized one. Probably at least 40 inches wide by about 80 inches long. Having said that, you might want to search for some chairs (either splat-back or t-back styles) that have higher/taller backs. Your Windsors are somewhat taller than the average dining chair, which works nicely scalewise with the room. Just a few more thing for you to "chew" on.

  • LibrarianTellsAll LibrarianTellsAll on Jan 28, 2015
    Good eye! This room has 10 foot ceilings. The table is 42'' by 90'', and it seats 8 comfortably. We only have 5 chairs right now. You are so right; the room needs taller elements to draw the eye up. I'm not sure I want that height to come from the chairs, though. I'd like to keep everything at eye level uncluttered, and I'd prefer not to hide the buffet and bar behind the seat backs. The bar tools and glassware are pretty, and I like having an unobstructed view of them. I've considered using benches on the long sides of the table, but I'm not sure that would be comfortable for long board game sessions. We really like our board games! :) I'm also considering a West Elm chair. Here's a picture I took of it at the West Elm shop; do you think it would work in here? http://www.librariantellsall.com/2015/01/update-gallery-wall-and-mirror-in.html I was going to address this in a different Q&A post, but when budget allows, I'd like to install thick molding and tall curtains in here. A pair of floor to ceiling curtain panels flanking the French doors would provide the height and softness the room needs. And extra thick molding where the wall meets the ceiling would bring the ceilings down, a bit. What are you thoughts on that? I'm sorry to ask you so many questions, but your advice is spot-on, and I appreciate your thoughts very much.

    • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jan 28, 2015
      @LibrarianTellsAll My "eye" has had many years of workouts and I notice details. I suspected the table was comfortably large, mostly based on the fact that I know those chairs take up some amount of space and by seeing that there was more than ample elbow room around each one. Ask as many questions as you wish. I did this for many years and am retired so it's fun to help others, not on the clock. I don't mean to go terribly tall with the chair backs, just about as tall as the Windsors, which as I already commented are slightly taller than most dining chairs. The West Elm chair is nice but a bit too contemporary for what you have going on, especially in light of the beautiful cabinet you have in the corner. Your ideas to draw the ceiling down visually are good. A few other things you could do to achieve this are to, if possible, drop the ceiling light down a few inches (not a lot) and raise the mirror behind the buffet. A dramatic change to the whole room would be to paint the ceiling a darker color, too. Not too dark, just enough to give it some character and "drop it" by eye. Might be a nice compliment or contrast to the molding you're planning.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Mar 18, 2015
    I think the simple chairs would be a nice compliment like the first comment suggested.... I would NOT go for 8, but 6..... then add a bench, kids love to sit on a bench, it can be used in so many places within the home. slid under the table when not needed. I'd make a cushion to compliment.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Mar 18, 2015
    You have a great room in the making.... I agree with the post of raising the mirror just a bit. I might add a pair of bold simple sconces - something with a rustic hand blown glass shade with the air bubbles in it. Same color as the light, and window frames, black or dark dark grey.