Pull up a chair that feels comfortable for multiple courses and coffee. Check out these smart choices and showstoppers
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Good company and great food go a very long way, but seat guests on chairs that see them wriggling long before the meal’s over and a get-together won’t be what it should be.
Take a bow, then, upholstered dining chairs. With a padded seat and back support, and sometimes armrests, too, they’ll encourage relaxed meals no matter how many courses you serve or how long you linger. Take inspiration from these handsome examples.
The chairs in this dining room were reupholstered to add colour and brighten up the area. Note the finishing touches: buttons at the back make for a casual feel that’s suited to a dining area used during the day as well as in the evening.
If yours is a dinner-party-only dining set – maybe family meals happen at the kitchen table or island – then fitted and plush upholstery will add drama and decadence to your soirees.
Bring on bling
Studs are a traditional addition to upholstered furniture, but the look here is far from classic, with the modern take on finishing touches bringing a little glitz to entertaining.
This table and chair combo is also a winner if intimate get-togethers are what’s required. A round table and curvaceous chairs will hug the occupants in a close circle that makes conversation between all the diners easy.
Pop in a pattern
All-over pattern ensures these contemporary dining chairs take centre stage against the neutral tones of the wooden floor and white walls.
Transparent legs give the seats an almost-floating effect, so nothing fights with the upholstery. I also like the way the motif on the fabric echoes the table’s shape.
Reach out and touch
The chairs in the dining area of this apartment confound expectations with an upholstered finish where a hard frame is expected. The tactile fabric is luxurious, while the lighter lines of this style of chair keep the small area feeling spacious.
Copy the look with a wooden floor in a dramatic dark finish. This one’s treated with an oil that brings out silver and grey tones in the wood that match the upholstery beautifully.
Painted upholstered chairs are partnered with a painted table in this dining space. The advantage? The comfort of a padded seat plus the neat shape of a classic dining chair. Even better, it’s easy to update the chair frame when you fancy a different colour.
If you’re worried that dining chair upholstery won’t stand up to everyday life, opt for a fabric treatment that will protect it from staining when you buy.
Present two faces
Two different upholstery fabrics on one chair provide plenty of decorative possibilities, whether in a complementary colour pairing or a plain and pattern twosome, as seen here.
Viewed from the front, these chairs are understated; from behind, eye-catching stripes make the look more playful. What’s more, if your dining area is next to the garden, a deckchair stripe can be a fun way to connect outside with in.
How to manage an upholstery project
This dining area is quietly stylish, with the seating adding soft contrast to the harder surfaces. Their mid-toned wooden legs add natural warmth to the neutral scheme and complement the flooring, too.
If you’re investing in new dining chairs for an existing table, look for an obvious contrast in the colour of the legs and the table material, as here, or match the tones; a mixture of not-quite-the-same wood finishes won’t be visually comfortable.
Select several shades
Not every dining chair around the table needs the same upholstery. Here, three different fabrics tone without matching. It’s a great strategy for a dining area in an open-plan scheme, allowing a handful of colours from elsewhere in the room to link the dining space to other functional areas.
Arrange chairs carefully, positioning complementary shades side-by-side, as here, or go for a range of depths of the same colour to create an ombre effect.
Upholstered dining chairs often conjure up visions of classic shapes, but there are plenty of contemporary chairs available in both fabric and leather finishes. These versions complement a sleek kitchen design as well as injecting colour.
If boosting light and maximising space are on your agenda, look for a slim and reflective leg design like this.
Browse dining chairs in the Houzz shop
What are your dining chairs like? Tell or show us in the Comments section.