Whether you’re splurging or saving, it’s worth choosing a well-designed dining chair. Here are 10 great seats to bring to the table

Produced by David Harrison

Choosing new dining chairs is a tricky job. They’re one of the main focal points of any dining area or open-plan living/dining space and therefore exceptionally important in the overall interior scheme. Choosing from the huge number of options available purely on visual grounds can be daunting enough, but your chairs also need to be both robust and comfortable. Spend as much as you can afford and you’ll be buying better-made and longer-lasting pieces.

what you need to know:

measure up: It’s important to sit on your chosen chair at the table you’ll have, to assess the crucial height and width issues. Most dining chairs have a seating height between 420mm and 460mm while tables vary in height from 700mm to 760mm. It’s vital that a low chair isn’t placed with a high table and vice versa. Look for a comfortable amount of space beneath the tabletop or frame and your legs.

comfort levels: Chairs that have a moulded seat will be far more comfortable than those that are flat and hard. Small amounts of give in the structure enhance comfort – consider a flexible material like moulded plastic or plywood, or upholstery that softens and moulds to the body. Solid timber and metal can also be very comfortable depending on the shape of the seat and back rest.

style notes: It’s better to err towards major contrast rather than an ‘almost but not quite there’ match. If you can’t find chairs with legs to match your table tone or material, contrast it with something substantially different. Mixing metals is a no-no, but combining black with chrome, brass or stainless steel is acceptable. Timber also works best if matched or contrasted; for example, maple with walnut or oak with black-stained oak.