Dining Chairs - Your Guide

You have decided that it's time to invest in some new dining room chairs.  At first this seems like a simple purchasing decision, but in fact there are many considerations you should take into account to make sure that you are completely happy with how they look, their comfort and functionality. In this article we will use the Danform brand to take a look at some of the things you should think about when buying new dining chairs.  Danform offers a great range of stylish, unique and comfortable dining chairs.
Dining Chairs | Danform Dining Chairs | Milola CH

1. Number of Dining Chairs

This should be guided by the number of people you wish to seat at the table, but also by the size of your table.  Obviously you need enough for your family, but do you entertain? Or is your table extendable for large gatherings? 

Number of Dining Chairs | Danform Tan Flair Dining Chairs | Milola CH
Our recommendation is always purchase the largest number of dining chairs that your table can comfortably accommodate as then you are covered for all size of gatherings, plus you cannot beat the look of a full dining set.  But of course, this option may require you to store some of the chairs when not in use, so this also needs to be taken into account. Dining chairs are a lot more stylish and comfortable these days, so can look great in other rooms, for example, in the corner of a bedroom, as a useful chair in the hallway, or as shown below with our Danform Rambo chair, which has been used to create a welcoming area to enjoy a good book and a coffee.
Number of Dining Chairs | Danform Rombo Green Dining Chair | Milola CH
We recommend that you allow a space of 60cm for each person sitting at the table so people are not knocking elbows whilst eating! If you want to maximise seating, you could also consider a dining bench on one or both sides of the table.

2. Size of Dining Chairs

Most chairs have a seat height of around 43-48cm and the average dining table has a height of 75cm, so try to leave 25-30cm of clearance between your chair seat and your table top to enable people to cross their legs comfortably under the table. Many tables have an apron so this needs to be taken into account - you may not get the full recommended clearance, but consider a slightly lower seat height in this case to maximise leg space.

You also need to decide whether you want dining chairs with arms or not. Armchairs can offer extra comfort, but are generally wider so you may only want to use them at the head of the table. You also need to consider the arm height and to what extent you want the chair to tuck under the table.  Again don't forget about the table apron as this often stops chairs from being fully tucked under.  

Size of Dining Chairs | Danform Embrace Blue Velvet Dining Chair | Milola CH

The final measurement to consider is the back height. Traditionally dining chair backs have sat above the top of the table and the taller the better.  Generally they should be at least 5cm taller than the table so the chairs do not look squat.

You can see above that our Danform Embrace Dining Chair with arms is perfectly sized and in proportion to the Cibus Extendable Dining Table.

3. Style of Dining Chairs

You want your dining chairs to fit your style and obviously this is a personal choice, but we recommend choosing a style that complements your dining table.  The easiest way to do this is to choose chairs with a common element to your table, whether this be in the colour, shape of legs, materials or the period style. 

But we know some of you like to mix things up a little and therefore why not play with mix and matching dining chairs. Have different chairs at the end of the table or mix and match chairs of the same style, but different colours or vice versa. If you are feeling really brave create an eclectic mix with different styles and colours - this is hard to pull off, but it can be done if the scale of the chairs (similar back heights, widths and all open/closed backs) is the same and you keep one thing in common so that the mix seems intentional. 

Mix and Match Dining Chairs | Danform Tan and Grey Pitch Dining Chairs | Milola CH

You can see one of our customers has done a great job of mixing our Danform Pitch Dining Chairs of different colours with our Kristensen Kristensen Urban Flex Dining Table.  It works because the chairs are the same style, but in differing colours and the curves match those of the table.

4. Comfortable Dining Chairs

This is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying dining chairs as you want to be able to enjoy a long and lazy meal in comfort. Again, it is a little down to personal preference and depends on your height and body shape so we would always recommend where possible to try out dining chairs. This is why we have most of our dining chairs on display as we have found from our customers that sitting in the chair in important. Comfortable Dining Chairs | Danform Gaia Vintage Green Dining Chair | Milola CHComfort is affected by seat scoop, the height and angle of the back as well as the covering. A gently rounded back that follows the natural curve of your back and a lightly scooped seat offer the best support. Also make sure that the seat width is at least 45cm in width to allow some 'wiggle' room.  The Danform Hype Chair with arms is particularly ergonomically proportioned, offering fantastic comfort.

5. Maintaining Dining Chairs

Do you have children or pets? If so, you should definitely consider maintenance and saying that we should all think about it because at the end of the day we are going to be eating food from these chairs! Leather and artificial leather are generally lower maintenance because they can be wiped clean, but many people prefer the look and comfort of upholstered chairs.  We have been pleasantly surprised with how easy velvet is to maintain.  We have two kids and have been able to keep them looking new with just a damp cloth and a little washing up detergent if required.  Velvet is harder to maintain with pets because hair tends to stick to it.

It is worth checking with the shop whether the chairs have been treated with any kind of protection spray and if not you may want to consider investing in some.  We recommend Nano4Life Fabric or Leather Protector, which creates a protective layer over the seat, making spills easier to wipe up.

All the dining chair options featured here can be purchased at Milola.  Got a question about which style, colour, size will best suit you? Get in touch or make an appointment at our showroom and we would be more than happy to talk through options. View our full range of Milola dining chairs, including wooden, fabric, velvet and leather options here.

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