Because a standard dining set is boring.
A beautifully messed up look sets your home apart by tapping into the fine art of eclectism. Antiques and retail finds work like magic when mixed together. You create a masterpiece out of your space by mixing different shapes, textures, and colors. You bring different periods, from the Victorian era to the modern, together in one table – literally.
Next to adding interest and character to your home, the mix-and-match seating also the dining area one of the most inviting spots in the house. It’s perfect if you want to ditch formality and make the dining area, where fun conversations usually take place, more fun and laidback.
Pulling off a beautiful mix and match isn’t easy though. You don’t just shop different random chairs and expect them to work altogether. Ironically, you have to make a thought out plan so the mismatched chairs don’t look, well, mismatched.
If you want to rock a chic, eclectic mix-and-match dining set, here are 9 tips to consider.
1. Use color to unify varying shapes and scales
If the element you keep uniform is a visually prominent one, like color, it’ll be easy to go wild with a few different qualities.
By sticking to your white and brown scheme, for example, you can mix chairs with and without armrest, chairs with high and low backs, and chairs with angular and curvy shapes, without making the combination visually jarring.
2. Go crazy with colors but stick to one shape
The same strategy applies: Pick a shape and vary the colors.
If you stick to one shape, the set wouldn’t look like a mess even if you choose eye-popping rainbow colors. Before shopping chairs, take inspiration from designers first as to which colors match. Examine different color palettes and decide which would fit best to your style.
3. Mix contrasting textures
Mix soft and hard, smooth and rough, upholstered and translucent, squared off and curvy, natural and man-made, elegant and industrial, all in one table. For example, you can combine farmhouse benches with upholstered chairs, or parallel a fabric-covered two-seater couch with two wicker chairs.
Velvet upholstered wingback chair paired with a classic Tolix chair? We don’t care!
4. Insert a bench into the mix
One easy way to add variation without thinking too much is by adding a bench. You can parallel a few chairs with a bench that is either built into the corner or free-floating along one side of the table. You may go low-ley eclectic and pair a sturdy farmhouse bench with wooden chairs of different shapes and scales. You can also use a couch.
5. Let different worlds meet
Age range, wear level, and geography are some of the qualities to look for. Add a few slick contemporary chairs to an antique mix. Add a few classic chairs to a modern mix. Let east meet west.
If you can’t be consistent with the color family, you might as well stick to similar shape and height. For example, it’s nice to mix modern tulip chairs with barrel saloon chairs. Though they’re totally different styles and eras, their curves echo each other.
6. Have them in pairs
If you can’t fully commit to the idea of having six entirely different chairs, try having them in pairs so they appear more symmetrical. For instance, for a table of six, you can have two similar dining armchairs, two similar dining side chairs, and two similar dining stool.
7. Go low-key by changing only the end chairs
If you have a rectangular or oval dining table, you can just alter your two end chairs. They are a natural pair to swap out for something unexpected. Try adding a pop of color or interest for the two end chairs, setting them apart from the rest of the set.
8. Make the contrast obvious
Go big or go home. Make it apparent that you’re curating a mixed collection by varying the shape, scale, material, and colors as boldly as possible. You just have to…
9. Take measurements
Rule of thumb: Though they differ in shapes, sizes, and color, they should be of the same height when grouped together. It looks totally weird if you’re eating with your friends and one of them look shorter than the rest since he’s sitting on a low side chair.
The bottomline is, although the chairs are diverse, a beautifully, thoughtfully mixed and matched dining set should be one or two common elements that hold them like glue, making them look cohesive.
Author: Carmina Natividad is a resident writer for Wincrest Home Builders, one of NSW’s most experienced and well-renowned home builders aiming at building and designing modern family homes in Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, and the Hunter.