A dining space that feels warm, welcoming, and lovingly layered always ranks highly on our clients’ wish lists. But where do you start? Start with your dining basics – the table and chairs. We’ve found that the creation of a thoughtful gathering space is all about mastering the mix, and one of the best ways to do that is to pair vintage seating with a statement table! Whether your style leans mid-century modern, French country, or traditional, discovering the winning combination that works for you will have guests drooling over your dining room in no time.
Selecting Your Table
Purchasing a table is easy. Finding one that’s the appropriate size and shape for your space can be overwhelming! Thankfully, there’s a wealth to choose from and many companies will offer the style you love in a variety of lengths, making it easier for you to find a piece that fits your space like a glove.
Shape: In general, a round table feels cozy in a smaller, square room, while a rectangular or oval shaped piece will feel proportional in a longer space. Currently, we’re loving the look of round and oval tables for the communal atmosphere they lend to a space!
Size: We can’t stress this enough – measure, measure, measure! In an ideal world, you would have 3 feet between your table and the wall and any surrounding dining pieces. This allows your guests enough space to move freely throughout the room.
Expert Tip: As a general rule of thumb, you should select your table before your chairs. Your table’s size, shape, and style will determine how many people you can comfortably seat (ie. how many chairs you will need).
Selecting Your Vintage Seating
If you’ve ever been antiquing, you understand that the struggle of finding a full set of perfectly matched dining chairs is real. But who needs perfect? Vintage seating is made to be mixed! Once you’ve found a piece you love, bring in other chairs that complement and elevate the space for a dream-worthy dine.
Size: Found a chair you can’t live without? Be sure to break out that measuring tape! First, check the seat and arm heights against the height of your table. You want to ensure there’s enough space to slide the chair comfortably underneath.
Expert Tip: In general, you need 12 inches between the table top and your seat height and 7 inches from the chair arm to the table surface for a super comfy sit. (Always keep in mind that these loose “rules” are simply guidelines, and each person’s preferences can vary.)
Next, take a look at the width of the chair in relation to your table. You should allow roughly 6 inches between each chair, offering guests ample room to slide in and out. For more on measurements, check out this handy guide.
Style: Have fun mixing up your chair genres! We love how the pieces in Bill Ingram’s image above are all wood but boast varied styles and finishes. Same goes for upholstery – each piece can display its own personality while still contributing to the grouping as a whole. And if mixing and matching your dining chairs makes you nervous, go the classic route and opt for a statement head chair with complementary matching side chairs. This look still offers that collected vibe without straying too far from time-honored tradition.
Color: Although we love us some antique wooden chairs, upholstered dining chairs are especially luxurious. We suggest mixing colors, prints or patterns depending on the look you are trying to achieve.
Alternating the match creates a lovely little surprise!
Relaxed dining spaces with loads of Belgian linen are always winners in our book too!
Hopefully you’re feeling more confident about outfitting your dining space with vintage seating. Hunting for more inspo? Shop a few of our favorites below!