Creating a Mismatched Dining Set

Before Thanksgiving, we wrote about how dining rooms are still in demand among today’s homebuyers. Despite their enduring popularity, the dining room of today is not the same as those of yesteryear. In the past, dining room sets were very cohesive and each piece of the set was matched with the others. Today, this seems stuffy and boring, so mismatched dining sets are increasingly popular. Even in a mismatched set, however, there are a few rules which will help you create a usable and enjoyable dining room. Here are some of the most important of those rules.

Matched dining room sets create a formal atmosphere.

The most important rule to follow is in regard to the height of the chairs. First, the seat height of all chairs should be the same. For a standard height dining table, an 18-inch seat height is standard. If you have a higher or lower table you can choose a different seat height, but this will be the height for most dining chairs and a good figure to stick with if building a new set. Second, while the back height of the chairs can vary, keep them within 2 inches of one another. This allows for some variation without the final result looking too discordant.

Wing chairs can work great at the head of the table.

Another rule, albeit a flexible one, is to choose some theme to tie the chairs of the set together. Consider the chairs to have several attributes, like color, wood or style, and then keep one of those the same among all the chairs. For example, you could use mission style chairs, but have the chairs at the head of the table painted white while the others were stained wood. Or, you could use traditional and modern style chairs that are all painted the same color. This method allows for a lively mismatched set that still maintains cohesion.

The black chairs mirror the hutch color, while the other chairs pick up the trim color.

If you have cushioned chairs, then your fabric choices can also be used to bridge between the different types of chairs. The obvious solution is to upholster the chairs in the same fabric, tying them all together. A more subtle approach is to use a modern fabric on traditional chairs and a traditional fabric on more modern chairs. This way, the chairs maintain a separate identity while still forming a nice set.

These chairs are all similar, but the variation in armrests and padding adds some distinction.

Finally, it is usually best to maintain some symmetry when arranging the chairs. The chairs at the heads of the table should match each other, while those on the sides can be arranged in a number of ways. All the side chairs can be identical, but another option is for the chairs within a side to match each other but not the chairs on the other side. Similarly, side chairs can look good if they match their counterpart across the table but not their neighbor.

These chairs contrast but do not clash.

These are just a few of the biggest points for creating a mismatched dining set, but the most important idea is to try things out in your dining room. We hope you have a great new year, and please contact us for more information about designing a functional yet fun Timberpeg home just for you.