- Lindsey Borchard
Inspiring Dining Room Furniture Combos
Not nearly as technical as a kitchen or bath and a departure from typical furnishing patterns needed in living spaces, dining spaces are just fun to design. Since many aren't used every day, they offer an opportunity to stretch style boundaries and try something a little unexpected. Even still, choosing the right combination of furnishings can be tricky. If it matches too well, the room feels dull and one-note. If the pieces don't relate to one another, it will feel disjointed. I've rounded up a few inspiring spaces (both our work and the work of industry friends) to help break down the process.
Design by Anderson Wier Studio | Photo by Margaret Austin
Sleek + Simple
I love this combination of a modern take on the classic Windsor chair paired with a sleek table. With the planked ceiling and lush curtains, it feels elegant and refined but also understated. This Sonoma house was designed by East Coast designer Lori Anderson, who added a touch of refinement to the laid-back California vibe. What really makes this space work for me is the light and dark combination of furnishings. If the table and chairs were more similar in color, neither one would make an impact. And of course, the stunning light fixture with the delicate exposed bulbs just kicks it up a notch!
Palos Verdes project | Photo by Public 311 Design
Soft + Textural
A no-fail combination for a cozy dining nook is a round pedestal table surrounded by upholstered chairs. This spot is actually in the family room of our Palos Verdes house, and it used less for dining (there is a formal dining space plus eat-in space in the kitchen) and more for game nights, but it would be perfect for intimate dinners. We chose an oversized, textural light fixture because of the room's many windows -- anything sleek or linear would have gotten lost -- and it is what really makes the space sing. Of course, I have to include the disclaimer that not all upholstered dining chairs are created equal! If you have kids in your home, it's best to select something with performance fabric or a slipcover that can be easily laundered. And any time you choose a dining chair with arms, measure carefully to be sure they can be tucked underneath the table.
Design by Becca Interiors | Photo by Rikki Snyder
Vintage + Banquette
Buying vintage is looking better and better these days. Not only is it available without excruciatingly long lead times, but it's sustainable and great for the environment. Dining chairs are a very accessible way to dip into buying vintage furnishing, and if you only need a handful, they can be easy on the budget, too. To expand your seating options, consider pairing a built-in banquette with vintage chairs for an instantly-charming dining spot. Add art and cozy lighting for all the Parisian cafe vibes!
Dallas project | Photo by Amy Bartlam
Low + Understated
One of the most challenging spaces to decorate is an open space that includes a kitchen, dining, and living space (in fact, I've written an entire post on that particular design challenge). Creating a cozy, livable atmosphere in such large room is tricky, not to mention adequately furnishing the space without it feeling cluttered or busy. That was definitely the challenge of our Dallas project, where the dark green cabinetry had a ton of visual presence. To balance it, we chose a dark finish on the dining table and placed it atop a dark rug. We paired them with chairs that were lighter in tone and had a low profile, so that the eye travels across the table to the kitchen beyond. The brass and glass light fixture is also visually light, but gives off the nicest glow when lit at night.
Still stumped by furnishing your own dining room? Fill out our design inquiry to find out working together would be a good fit for you. Or, give us a ring at our Westlake Village, California studio where we can help you choose the perfect accessories to finish off your space: 805-371-3222.