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Ask the Audience: Chairs to go with my new dining table

Well folks. I pulled the trigger on the dining room table this weekend – after getting all of my friends/employees and Brian’s approval. And then after reading all your comments yesterday, I of course regretted it. Not that I regret the table, I still LOVE the table (see below), but you brought up some solid ideas and it made me wish I had processed them before I pulled that expensive trigger.

Here she is:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Craigslist Photo Grid

I got it on Etsy for $1995. Not cheap, but I was so sick of looking and needed the box to be checked (plus we just sold our other house so I gave myself a bigger budget than usual). As you might remember from yesterday’s post we were loving our super simple wood table, but wished it were slightly bigger. Again, a normal person would be absolutely satisfied with that table, but since I’m a designer I knew that it should be slightly bigger to be perfect (when did I start to care so much about perfection??). We bought that first table because we thought we were going to orient the room along the window:


But ultimately it feels way better to have it parallel to the island. And after living in the house for a month after we shot this (2 months total) I can say that we have enough room to play in the living and family room, so we don’t need the middle of the dining room to be open, as I had previously thought.

After finding that table there arose this huge question: For the love of God, what chairs do we put with the table? Remember they need to work with the kitchen, be kid friendly and obviously work with the dining room windows and the new dining table. Since I had been pinning a ton I immediately pulled together some options.

Now let me be clear – these are not design plans. These boards are just for chair options. There will be a rug, art, a hutch (already purchased – check out insta-story for some behind the scenes today) and curtains. The room will be properly filled out with color and texture, I promise. These boards are only for chairs:

Here we go #1:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Option 1

Lighting Fixture | Curtain Fabric | Captain’s Chair | Side Chair

I love both of these chairs. If the arm chair would fit under the table then I might get 6 of them, but I don’t think they will. I also love the tufts on the side chair.

The problem with this one is the fabric. As many of you pointed out, (slash begged me) kids specialize in smashing bananas and crushing red jello into chairs. Because of that I am rethinking some of these options. Charlie is pretty fine with food – just the average spilling out of the mouth and dirty hands, but nothing too high maintenance. Elliot, however, is a professional food thrower and smasher of Cirque De Soleil proportions. But she is still in a high chair and will remain there until she learns how to not act like a sociopath with her food (she looks me in the eye, smiles, then chucks her salmon behind her so it bounces off the glass and lands on the floor where one of two cats is just waiting to lick it up. So disgusting).

But I love those chairs. I’m wondering if we do go with this idea if I custom make them in sunbrella or perennials fabric. Or maybe those kids are just both in kids chairs until they are 5 (similar to these). We do entertain FAR more than I could have predicted now. We call our house a ‘frat house for parents’. We have a rotating door of friends and kids all weekend, so we do need the space at the dining table for both kids and friends. It’s actually amazing and a dream come true (barring the mess that we maniacally clean up on Monday mornings before our nanny Sylvia gets here).

The curtain fabric is such a pretty washed linen by French General – I’m obsessed with it. It’s a light green and white stripe. While the photos of the room during the day make it look like we don’t need curtains, at night it feels very cold and exposed. The curtains will only soften it without adding much busy-ness since they are just a texture.

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Option 2

Lighting Fixture | Curtain Fabric | Captain’s Chair | Side Chair

Option 2 is solid because those chairs are classic (which is the general vibe of the house) but lighter since they have a light fabric. Again with the fabric. UGH. But we don’t want hard chairs!! I’m absolutely obsessed with having the most inviting house ever (so I never have to leave) and it’s my firm opinion that upholstered chairs are so inviting and comfortable. Those toddlers are ruining this house. I love those chairs, though. Brian fears that they are on the petite side and he might be right.

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Option 3

Lighting Fixture | Curtain Fabric | Captain’s Chair | Side Chair

OOh I love this combo. That captain’s chair has leather arms so it’s a bit edgier/more modern in still a classic and simple shape. The tone of the woods all looks great together. The schoolhouse side chair is also simple and classic, and has an open back which I think is good in that room to keep it feeling lighter. Is this my favorite??? Maybe!!!

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Option 4

Lighting Fixture | Curtain Fabric | Captain’s Chair | Side Chair

In a lot of ways I think that this will work the best. Are those my two favorite chairs in the entire world? No, but they will keep the room feeling casual and light while still being classic. Brian doesn’t LOVE the chairs and my staff mentioned that they do feel kinda ‘Hamptons’ but I like them. I don’t love them with the fabric of the curtains on the board, but once art and accessories are added I think it will feel really easy, casual, wipe-up-able and affordable.

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Option 5

Lighting Fixture | Curtain Fabric | Captain’s Chair | Side Chair

This one was a last minute addition because all of us really love this chair. Now things to consider – we would probably do our own sunbrella or perennial fabrics. The kids would get the side chairs and for the next couple years would sit in a higher trip trapp or toddler chair. These chairs, while on the wider/bulkier side are so incredibly comfortable, inviting and work perfectly with the table and kitchen. Again, I don’t think that the tone of the fabric is perfect, but we can get whatever fabric we want. I found some recently that you can take a sharpie to and wipe it off, and yet it looks like linen. Won’t that be good enough?? Or am I still asking for problems?

The last option is one that I’m attracted to in theory but as a designer I feels like it’s not the most sophisticated.

But man …. do I love some mismatched vintage classic chairs:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Mix and Match_Inspiration Photo_1

Please note that this table is propped up by some wood because the apron is too high for anyone to properly squeeze their thighs under. When shopping for vintage tables make sure that the apron clears at least 27″, if not more so that you can cross those legs.

I styled mismatched chairs in Ian’s dining room and man do I love them there:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Mix and Match_Inspiration Photo_2

It would be pretty easy to find – classic Thonet, Tavern, Windsor, even a Paul McCobb or Cherner – all my best friends. But it is certainly less formal and it kinda feels like a cop out to me – like I couldn’t really pull it together so I just scrambled it together. But is that just because I’ve had “design” on my brain and I need to get back to being a stylist? I love those photos and in a way does that person look more interesting?? Do I want to be a mismatched/interesting person or a pulled together/well-designed person? I fear I’m the former that wants to be the latter …

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Option 6

Lighting Fixture | Curtain Fabric | Brown Leather Seat Chair | Black Rustic Wooden Chair | Black Ladder Chair | Flat Bone Wood Chair

Now if I really did that, would I replace the stools? I might have to. So many of you wish those stools were different but I’m here to tell you that when you are in that small room, those stools are perfect. They are just narrow enough to fit 3. They add a nice curve to the angular kitchen. They are casual yet classic. Could I find others that might photograph better? Sure, but I love those ladies.

Now it’s your turn. While I might keep shopping I’d love to know if there is some sort of overwhelming opinion out there. You guys are often right and have great opinions – don’t prove that statement wrong. Weigh in:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Dining Room_Chairs_Table_Option Roundup_FINAL

Would you go with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and for what reason. Let us know below.


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1,050 thoughts on “Ask the Audience: Chairs to go with my new dining table

  1. Evening guys, Megan in Australia. Your blog is my nightly ritual be4 bed. I like option 3 it feels the most “Emily-ish” to me. Fresh, classic lines and not all fabric which can only b a good thing with kids. Dislike 5 soo much it hurts my eyeballs. Good luck im excited to see results. Night

    1. They look like those poured concrete chairs people get for their patios now. I’m sure the different fabric Emily is considering would change that, but for now their such a Nope.

    2. Also from Australia and your blog is my nightly ritual too! ? agree with Megan #3 is best… and please not #5!

      1. 100% with the above! Definitely number 3 (but I love 6 too) and definitely NOT number 5!!! =)

    3. I like 3, mostly because it makes sense for the next few years, and you will likely want to change it up then anyway. Anything else and you are trying to create a look that will be “timeless”, which doesn’t square with your designer-y sensibilities. That said, I would consider a bench plus 2 matched sides and 2 head chairs.

      1. Yikes! I meant #6. I think #3 is the goal later.
        Also, regarding fabric protection. I covered some bar stools and noticed it pills a bit….from sliding on and off. Worse, my slipcovered PB sofa shows indigo from the many blue-jean clad bottoms that have sat there over the years. Even the cleanest among us has to deal with this.

        1. My PB white denim couch does the same thing! If you have any ideas for how to stop it, I am ALL ears! Drives me crazy- Thankfully it is easy to wash though 🙂

    4. SAME!

      I like the idea of sticking mostly with wood to complement all the white happening in the kitchen. And those cafe chairs are my dream come true.

      I hate to be mean, but I also agree with Megan about option 5. I don’t know why, but those chairs remind me of a shaggy dog in desperate need of a bang trim. I think they’ll crowd the table. And the amount of fabric surface area is proportional to the amount of stains they’ll acquire. And that’s coming from someone with no kids (but two slobbery dogs).

      You’ll make it beautiful, whatever you do.

    5. Agreed with both (although no eyeball pain!). Three is pretty. I also like 6, although I see where it could get too cluttered looking in your perfect house. I also liked the idea of a bench on one side that you mentioned before!

    6. I agree Megan! ? And yessssss I’m also in Aus and this blog is my nightly rital too! While I feed the baby to sleep! I look forward to it each day, hah!

    7. I’ve arrived at this post at a time when there are over 800 comments and figured that there was no point in adding my 2 cents. To my delight, however, the very first comment in the thread captures my feelings exactly!

  2. I love Option 5. I think these chairs will look least busy with your window/French door situation. They look like a modern chair with a classic fabric and offer a comfortable vibe that I love!

    1. Agree with this! Like option 5 best.
      If option 4 is that plastic rattan you friend in French bistros then they’re pretty uncomfortable, especially if you have any bare skin touching them. Presumably in California you’ll be in shorts and short sleeves and you’ll end up with completely patterned skin from these chairs.
      I like the stools at the island and think option 5 doesn’t compete with them.
      Hate the Windsor chairs by the way. They’re so uncomfortable and look like a cheap pub to me

  3. Option 3 is the one I like best. I think it’s the prettiest. (And as a mom with two young kids they seem pretty friendly.) The end.

  4. Hmm. I like option 6, or the side chair from option 3. The others just don’t feel like dining room chairs to me. And personally I don’t think I would ever go for upholstered chairs in a dining room; I know they’re more comfortable, but having soft furnishings around food just feels wrong to me… is that weird? I too have a messy toddler (is there any other kind?!)

    But you should probably ignore me, because I love your current chairs a lot and would just get those in white!

    1. I wonder if a nice light colored leather would be good for upholstered chairs? OOOh, could the seats of the #3 side chairs be covered in leather? With the wood for the rest of the chair, and echoing the #3 capt chair arms…could be lovely.

      1. I like this leather instead of fabric idea. I grew up with wood thonet chairs (similar to your stools) but with an leather covered cushion seat. They are still nice and are so comfortable !

    2. I would get the current chairs in white too. Option 2, 4 and most of 6 are bad ideas – the chairs look too flimsy. Kids love to stand on chairs, and you don’t want anything that is going to flip backwards. And upholstered dining room chairs would be unthinkable in my house. Option 3 is pretty and could work if the chairs were sturdy and well-balanced, and if only grown-ups were allowed in the captain’s chair.

    3. I love the current chairs too! Would just paint them white, as Clair said.
      Or options 6 sounds so much fun. Also, if you need to add two more chairs when guests are over, all the chairs will go perfectly together.
      I don’t have kids, but still won’t even consider upholstered chairs, unless with slipcovers (but I hate those, so…)
      I don’t really like any of the other options, but I don’t like country/classic style, so my opinion doesn’t really mean that much

  5. Personally, I think leather upholstery is the perfect compromise, you would get a soft foam cushion (comfortable!) with wipeable fabric (practical!) for kid spills and grubby hands. Considering just the options above I like number 3.

    1. Number 2 with the seats reupholstered in leather or vinyl (gasp!)
      Those seats looks like a DIY to me. Many chairs have seats that can unscrew and you could just staple a vinyl fabric over the existing upholstery and in a couple years you could just take the vinyl off 🙂

      1. Agree with #3 – I love the dimension/texture those chairs offer while coordinating with the wood.

        I am partial to #4 – I adore those S & L Riviera chairs. Hoping those are still around when we go to redo our kitchen in a few years.

        I also dislike #5. Looks bulky for the kitchen, maybe?

    2. I agree so much with a leather possibility, if Em isn’t wanting all wood. All the fabric options give me so much anxiety with kids. Finding dining chairs that are fabulous and leather is so HARD though. This is truth.

      To be honest, I’m still feeling a little lost on what style were trying to do here, but I know Emily will figure it out!

      The table is GORGEOUS. At first I think I wouldn’t love the grooves, because of clean up, but that table’s grooves look large enough that I think clean up won’t be as big of a headache as ours was.
      Good luck! You’ll do great Emily

    1. All I can think about is all the crud I’m currently cleaning out of our old dining table which is VERY similar to Emily’s new table (the supports underneath are different, otherwise the organic live-edge style is very much the same). We’re going to sell it because kids and adults get crumbs down in those cracks and it’s gross. I’m having such a hard time getting it clean, even with a special thingy for my vacuum and all kinds of wacky inventions I’m making with old tooth and bottle brushes. And I did not realize we had spilled So. Much. Glitter. these last few years. Maybe it multiplies in dark spaces.

      1. We had a dining table with small cracks between the table-top boards. Oh boy what a nightmare! And I think it was the table we had before kids.

        Emily – you might look into a vacuum with super suction and mini attachments for those table top cracks. I didn’t think to try one before craigslisting our table.

        1. I clean our farm table grooves with one of those cans of keyboard cleaner. The blasts of air usually forces the crumbs up or through to the floor.

          1. That is a great idea! We bought our table from a lovely elderly lady who told us her husband customized a table for their growing family when he returned from WWII: he put longer, wider planks right on the top of their store-bought table and then screwed them in, filling the tops of the holes with wood plugs and glue. So, our cracks don’t go all the way through, there’s a solid tabletop underneath them holding in all the mess. 🙁 It’s a lovely story, but a bad cleaning situation.
            When I commented earlier I was actually forgetting that our table is an unusual specimen. Probably Emily won’t have a bit of trouble cause her cracks go all the way through the tabletop.

  6. Ooh I love options 3 and 5. They look so comfortable and if you go the Sunbrella route that should assuage your fears about the champion food throwers for now 🙂

    Can I also say thank you for letting us in on the decision making process, and that I love your instastories. You are magic!

  7. Option 5! So pretty! And if you get them in a Sunbrella type fabric and, even better, a slipcover, they would be totally fine with kids.

  8. Option 3 captain chair with option 4 side chair. (That’s prob a weird mix bc of square and round backs.) I love all of option 3 the best of all, but those wide back openings will cause kid trouble. I’ve seen kids repeatedly slide backwards through openings like that. 🙂 Or climb through from the back and try to stand up and get stuck and then scream. Toddlers, indeed! 🙂

  9. Because of the kids, I’d vote for option 5, then replace them in 10-15 years… but if you could upholster in a sunbrella fabric in a light pattern that could help disguise stains…

    We have a Stickley table and chairs and our dining table became our everyday table when we moved to our current house. It gets used heavily for eating, homework, building legos, etc. Two of the side chairs have fabric (busy patterned) and two are black leather. When the kids outgrew their high chairs we had them use the leather ones because I was afraid they’d ruin the fabric ones..

    After ten years (my kids are 14 & 12), most of the chair damage has been to the wood (and the table pad). The leather’s been easier to wipe off and wipe away spills for sure.

  10. Option 6 or option 3 sans upholstery. The thought of cleaning smashed food products off upholstered kitchen chairs daily is too much! Save your upholstery for formal dining room.

  11. Option 3 all the way. They are more classic than option 4 and would look great with the stools you already have.

  12. Honestly I vote mismatched. I’ve always laughed when I read your bio–you have a line that says “let’s get weird” or something like that…anyhow, I think it would be true to who you are. You have such a gift for pulling in the quirky and the vintage–plus I am a firm believer that aiming for perfection will just cause you more stress. (This comes from a perfectionist–so believe me I can relate!)

  13. I like option 5 and 6 best! i have a thing for comfort AND vintage chairs alike…so it would be one or the other for me.

  14. I love option 3! ✨ Those school house chairs are especially amazing. One thing to consider is a wide seat. Nothing is more uncomfortable for you OR your guest if you invite them to sit in an armed chair and their bottom won’t fit in. ? Happened before with some chairs I was trying out and I felt awful—for everyone involved! So, wide seat, no armed chairs is what we ended up with. GOOD-LUCK! You’ve got some great options!!!

    1. PS I have four small kids, and know how to keep upholstery clean bc we have three white sofas—however, I gotta say, having all wooden dining chairs that I can wipe down after dinner and not worry about IS pretty darn nice!

  15. All I want to say is stay AWAY from the upholstery with kids…on your every day kitchen chairs at least. This is coming from someone who happily has a white couch and cream upholstered bar stools AND two little boys. I’m happy with those other decisions but our kitchen chairs get so much messy use that I would never take the chance there. If you go with option 4 consider that food can get smeared on and stuck between the weave of that material. Until December I had chairs with rushing and it drove me nuts. There is probably moldy food stuck in those chairs for good.
    BUT I like all these options. What if you do uphoslstred captain chairs and then some non upholstered chairs for the kids? Another thing to consider–you might be able to contain your children’s messy eating but what about guests? Would it drive you nuts?

    1. Oops. Just realized option 3 is exactly what I suggested above. Then option 3 is my vote for sure!! 🙂

  16. I love option 3 – it feels the most balanced and aesthetically pleasing. I’m not a fan of the contrast between the bulky, upholstered chairs (#5) and the rustic (beautiful!) table. #3 strikes the best compromise between comfortable/sophisticated and complimentary to the table. Also like #1 and #6 (maybe with matching end chairs?). Just curious- will you be staining or refinishing the table at all?

  17. An amazing space with all the light! Just to weigh in on the kid-friendly + design + comfort dilemma, we’ve gone from upholstered 18th century-style, to all wood in the style of your current black ones, to Eames plastic chairs with a sheepskin pad. By far I love the Eames chairs the most. Very, very comfy with the pad. Incredibly easy to care for. Adds interesting shape but no visual “mess”.

  18. I like 5 and 6! I don’t always love mismatched chairs but I think it’d be so sweet in your house. You wouldn’t worry as much about ruining vintage chairs and I think it would say “I’m not taking this house too seriously”… if that makes sense!

    (PS I don’t mean to imply that I think you’re taking your house too seriously 🙂 I don’t!)

  19. Honestly, I don’t think any are quite right. With these options, I’d go with the mix and match (no. 6).

    If you want softness,
    I’d look for a chair with an antique leather seat. Something with natural canning could also bring that softness into your palate.

    Those upholstered chairs with kids (or even adults drinking red wine) are a terrible idea.

    1. While all these picks are lovely, I tend to agree with you. I do really like 3 and 6, though. The upholstered still seems so impractical. It’s not just the toddler years you have to worry about. I love having a gaggle of school-age kids/friends/neighbors over and never want them to have to worry about being neat in the kitchen. Having friends over is built-in babysitter! I can leave the room and do anything else! 🙂

      Also, those skirted chairs scream hide-n-seek and would constantly have grubby fingerprints all over them. But, whatever you chose Emily, it will no doubt be perfect for you! And that’s all that really matters. Best of luck!!

    2. I agree. I don’t think any are quite right also. It is starting to feel very one note right now. I like the table, but the chair options add to the already muted tone of the room. The green seems to be a soft green, so there is something that needs to be added to bring just a little bit of brightness or texture to the space (a print would be nice if you go with upholstery.) Someone suggested some Eames chairs and I think that would help too.

  20. If you’re having other people’s kids over all the time anything upholstered will make you so tense. You can put your own kids in toddler chairs or high chairs but you won’t have stacks of them for everyone else, and every time a grubby kid gets down and rubs their hands on their parents’ chairs you’ll be cringing.

    Honestly I’d stick with the Windsor chairs you have now, and get leather pads made for the seats. I think those are the Target ones; I have a set and they’re pretty darn comfortable even without a pad. Upgrade to whatever upholstered version you are in love with in 4-5 years when all your and all your friends’ kids are relatively civilized.

    1. I agree and just made the same comment about having other kids over. it’s a liability until they’re, like, 20. hahaha

  21. I want to be honest with you Emily. I feel like in this new house, you start to lose your very own, happy style. I know you can`t go too mid century in this house, but the sofa in the play room for example is something I just can`t see with your great and personal style (and I frankly do not like it, but that`s of course none of your business). Do not force too much farmhouse/shabby/ curvy style, some more modern and simple elements will balance it out better. I actually think your current chairs work pretty well, but as they are too busy for you, I would recommend to look for simple chairs with some mid century inspiration – maybe like in option 3 or even more Scandinavian (you can`t go wrong with Arne Jacobsen or Eames chairs).
    I do not want to offend you and your style, it`s great but maybe just not me anymore.

    1. I want to counter this and say that I love the new change. My own home tends toward mid-century style and Emily’s last home was MAJOR inspirations for me, but I’m glad she’s getting a chance to move on and implement some of that country style she says she’s always dreamed about. As a designer I know it’s really exciting for her to explore a new style (which potentially fits the new house and this stage of life better). Definitely a shift for readers, and some will miss what they see as her *signature style*, but I for one am really enjoying seeing her take on a new aesthetic.

    2. I agree with Sarah. I have been reading your blog for years and have always been impressed with your ability to be creative but still be very true to your personal style. I think a lot of the design choices for the new house have been geared toward building your portfolio and “matching” the design aesthetic of the house, neither of which is a bad motivation. However, this is your home. While a good picture sells, what has always sold me with you is the character that you bring to each design. None of the options shows that character. Option 6 is the closest and so that is my choice. Option 6 also gives you room to change without forgoing your eclectic spirit.

      1. Sadly, I have to agree with Sarah and Melissa. I am having trouble seeing the bright, eclectic, happily Emily design in this new home. I’m not a parent, and I’ve never lived in a traditional home, and surely that informs my design, but lately your designs have been so far away from the Midcentury Emily that I have loved for years and it makes my heartache. I really hope that I’ll be own over and who knows, maybe I’ll understand when I have kids.

        1. You guys! We are not done! Be patient. Designing a home takes a long time and re that sofa – we are not keeping it. It’s a foster for a pro-bono project but so much better than our sectional in there. I’m not the same person I was 3 years ago, I don’t want a midcentury house in this english tudor, but don’t worry – i’m not losing myself either. Stay with me. Without any art/accessories/rugs that room does feel personality less, but its not like its going to stay like that. And ultimately I’m from the woods in Oregon – I have country roots that were burning to come out …. Stay tuned!! xx

          1. I’m with you girl! I’m getting nostalgic with my decor these days, too. I want all the country vintage rustic goodness I grew up with in the 90s in Texas. After getting a little too design-y with my place in the last couple years, I really just want it to be classic, comfortable, cozy (all the Cs), functional, and a reflection of my husband and me. Do your thing. I can’t wait to see how this place turns out.

          2. I am staying with you! I also want to be clear that I am not yearning for midcentury Emily–just something with more pop. I’ll wait for all the little details to fall into place–that is what makes your work so on point.

          3. Emily, you have at least one true believer in me! I’m patiently waiting for everything to shake out and then I’ll like the bright, funky final result – I just know it. 🙂

      2. my main issue is the “design by vote” ethos?? No wonder Emily is confused..I have a headache just looking at this amount of feedback and how can this much advice ever be helpful? I get Emily has “asked the audience” and if this is how Emily wants to build a community and her following that is Em’s choice but I can’t help feel the “design” as been compromised in the process, and it’s created a bit of a monster.

    3. I’ve considered commenting many times before but out of concern of offending Emily and her team, have shied away from it. As a longtime reader and avid follower, I’m not drawn to the new house like I was to the Glendale home and your rental before that. It seemed like I was always looking to purchase whatever you had linked from those homes’ decor, yet I haven’t once even clicked over to look into purchasing anything in your new home. Your blog has always been my favorite and first read of the day, however I feel like this house has lost a lot of the personality that made you unique. Maybe it’s that your personal style has genuinely changed, but I feel almost you’re trying so hard to force this new style that it’s becoming generic.

      Like many other commenters, I dislike the island stools and feel they really cheapen the aesthetic of your kitchen. I think the pristine, painted look to them really clashes with the rawness of the antique table you’ve purchased, despite the spaces being open and overflowing into each other. Just my honest two cents since you frequently ask the audience, but you are obviously the professional stylist and should do whatever you want with your own home. Like Sarah, it might just not be my style anymore. If I had to choose, I would suggest Option 1 with new counter stools.

    4. I think the problem is having buy everything at once, right away. That pressure, and having the budget to do so (plus the ability to resell and recoup costs) seems like it’s making for some expensive impulse buys! I’m not begrudging you the success you’ve earned, Emily. But maybe having to wait and see what comes up on craigslist (i.e., obsessively check craigslist) is not a bad thing. I realized recently that every single piece of furniture in my living/dining room, except for the sofa, came from craigslist, and I love it all.

      1. Ha. You guys are very confusing. You want it to be done but you don’t want me to purchase quickly 🙂 It’s a tricky position to be in and one that I love, but I guess I’ll just reiterate this – stay tuned. It’s all coming together. It’s harder than you think to marry styles and do so quickly, with kids in mind thus yesterdays post.

        1. I totally get that so I am going to wait and see! how it all ends up
          That said, I think what has been throwing off my liking the kitchen completely is that I think the style or whiteness of the kitchen stools with the rest of the room throws something off-maybe if they were a natural wood color? I do feel a bit like the others in this post do about not seeing the playfulness or quirk in the new house yet that seemed to be your signature style-but I do understand that that you aren’t done yet and that our tastes change and evolve over time. I mean I used to love shabby chic in the early 90’s and then veered into vintage, then the last 5 or more years I have been into mid-century (with quirk) and now I am wanting to incorporate some bohemian or Scandinavian style into that. I do have to be honest that I am pinning for the Glendale house some. I loved every inch of that place and every piece you brought in! I know you have to adapt that and that you want to give some nod to the style of the house but I do hope to see some playfulness when you are done styling! I like a little farmhouse style too because it is so warm and comfy feeling. I can see that you want to have this house feel more warm and maybe more serene and relaxing-a nod to your woodsy Oregon roots as you said. Don’t rush for our sake-stay sane out there! 🙂 I think once your art, rugs, etc comes in that it won’t feel TOO traditional, etc. You rock as a designer Em!!!

    5. I understand where you are coming from, but I have to say that none of the rooms in her new house (except the kitchen) are fully designed yet. I’m expecting that there will be Emily’s personal, quirky and happy style when she pulls it all together. We just have to wait and see.

    6. First of all, I *love the new table. I think chairs that contrast in style – say, mid century designers or the mix matched option 6 would look great.

      TBH, I feel that Emily’s style kind of started to change a lot once she became a spokesperson for Target…and I get that – being accessible to a wider range of people who don’t design for a living, or have the time, propensity, or money for thrifting or fleas or (as much) vintage. I felt like her style began to shift towards newer items, and sometimes a little more contemporary of a look. I think she has still put her personality into it, but it wasn’t quite as quirky or full of character as the work that drew me to her in the beginning. A lot of it had to do with a lot less vintage items, but also on top of that, her stated desire for more calm in her colors and design. I know it’s still there in lots of ways, and there is of course value in working with the new, but I sometimes miss the vintage-driven nature of her design, rather than the sometimes Target-driven one that shows up. I do love her commitment to loving things from every style, and I’m excited to see what she does with this new house, particularly in bringing her character, and seeing the styles she brings in to contrast with the Tudor.

  22. What a dilemma! But LOVE your new dining room table – gorgeous – especially the legs and bar underneath. Great for kids to prop their legs against and push! 🙂

    What will the final option look like next to your bar stools (assuming you’re not swapping them out anytime soon)? In my opinion that cancels out Option 6 – too busy.

    Really dislike Option 5 (too much upholstery and not very elegant).

    I would go for the captain chairs in Option 1 (they are gorgeous!) and the side chairs in Option 3. Keep the kids off the captain chairs on pain of the naughty corner and you should be set.

    And re a carpet under the table – I would avoid at all cost! My 13 year old still seems to have half the menu on the floor at the end of a meal.

  23. #1 and #3 are my favorites. They both feel “dining room” enough to me (not too lightweight) without feeling too heavy for the amazing light filled space and give off a great vibe in general.

  24. First choice: 3! Natural and easy with the table, plus they flow with the rest of the kitchen. I also like 5 and the comfortable formality they bring to the room.

  25. Definitely option 3. My kids are 6 and 8 and trust me they still spill stuff. You will regret the upholstered chairs almost immediately even if you do a performance fabric. At the time I also had fantasies about keeping my kids in a more kid friendly chair but trust me they won’t go for it as long as you will need/want them to stay in it. Maybe consider a chair that you can at least get the seat upholstered in a wipeable vinyl and use a pretty fabric on be back? If your house is truly an entertaining house even if you manage to keep your own kids from destroying the chairs trust me one of their adorable friends will certainly spill something and who wants to deal with that stress and awkwardness. Someday the kids will be teenagers and you can have those beautiful upholstered chairs but that is a long way off and unless you are comfortable looking at stains everyday choose something wipeable. That is why at least for the time being #3 feels like the smartest choice.

  26. I vote option 7:

    Funny enough, I saw this on my blogfeed today after reading your post and thought it was a perfect fit for your space! The table is similar to yours, and I think the matte black wood would pop against the white painted walls and trim. The backs are low to preserve the view and the cushions can be in a stain resistant material.

    Just my two cents!

    1. Those chairs are cute, and I love that the seat is a little wider and rounded, making a hard chair more comfy. Those chair cushions they use though, I do not think they are good. Especially the somewhat sloppy way they attach in the back. I agree with you that the matte black would be great.

    2. Dang, option 7 is so good! Removable, washable cushions are comfy and smart. I have 50’s Drexel chairs with a similar scale. They have 70’s velvet striped upholstered seats which wear and wash up like iron, it is insane.

      “Perfection is boring.” My initial vote was for the personality and individuality of option 6. But I also love the style and practicality of option 5. Kids and adults are hard on chairs, especially when they are having a good time at the dining table! I am curious to see which chairs end up being comfortable, practical, AND interesting in that space.

  27. 100% option 3! They are beautiful. And I feel like you get some pretty upholstered chairs but still have some easy to clean side chairs for kids. Can you tell us how much the side chairs cost? I followed the link but the website wants me to create an account and well, I just don’t want the spam 🙂

  28. Wow, such different and amazing options! I love #4! It does look like a more beachy vibe, but they will clean up so nicely and the blue works well in your home.

    But I also absolutely love #5!! If you can get a durable fabric that allows you to wipe off a sharpie marker, then it’s indestructible!!

    I think #5 would be the most comfortable, too. And it sounds like you love to entertain and linger and chat with friends. So this might be the best option!! Best of luck. You always knock it out of the park with your decisions!

  29. Man, dining chairs and kids are such a nightmare. I have black, washable cushions on my barstools, and they look clean for about five minutes after washing. Ugh.

    I agree #6 is the most kid friendly, while also really inviting. Are you against anything modern-ish? I love modern chairs with with a farm table, and the Bernhard dining chairs from Ikea come in white leather. They’re also super comfortable.

    Score with that table! You will love it forever.

  30. Option 2 – The color ties in with the stools at the island, there is nice detailing with the nail head trim, the look sturdy, while still being polished and refined. I am an Architect with a 9 year old boy, and his entire life we’ve had white Eames shell chairs with wood legs at the dining room table – I’ve never once regretted the color or the wood. Go for it!

  31. This is my favorite eat in kitchen I have been fortunate enough to sit in. The chairs were mismatched as you like from slip covered wing backs, to partial slip covered comfy vintage leather side chairs, to leather side chairs (great for the kids) , plus a 2 seated leather simple French settee thrown in for good measure. ……heavenly. I hope you go vintage for the chairs, mismatched isn’t the easy way out. It is a skill to do it well.

  32. Ok, here’s my two cents. There’s is something I really like about the option 4 captains chairs but I don’t care for matching the side chairs (too much matching). First pick- opt 4 captains with opt 3 side. I like the counter stools by they way and feel these help repeat that curve. Second choice- opt 4 captains with opt 2 side (maybe in a ‘wipeable fabric’).

    I also like all vintage mismatched chairs for sides with something more substantial as captains. I like the look and it seems practical for now from a budgetary and toddler standpoint. You can always upgrade down the road.

  33. Loving #5, they look so good with the table and look amazing! You could always do the #5 captains chair and a set of vintage chairs (but matching) like #6 as well. That table is gorgeous!!

  34. I definitely lean toward six myself! The mismatched chairs could be bought used on the cheap so you won’t notice the wear and tear of kids climbing in and out as much. Also, you mentioned you have lots of families with kids over. I would suggest putting a bench on one side of the table instead of chairs. Benches are easy for littles to get in and out by themselves plus you can squish as many little behinds on it as necessary and therefore fit more people at the table! So to sum up, six with a long black bench down one side.

    1. I agree. I don’t find benches comfortable myself, but kids seem to love them, & they probably wouldn’t care if the view were to their backs.

  35. Options 1, 3 and 5 are my faves!! 5 looks the most comfy, but I think 1 and 3 are prettiest. Actually, I like 1 the best, but I worry about stains…

  36. Option 3 – those circular chair backs popping up from behind the angular table are ~*~everything~*~

  37. Option 3 or 6. And I really hate to say this, but your kids will be dining room nightmares longer than they can fit into the highchair! I can’t count the number of times my kids have knocked over a glass or spilled food and they are all over the age of 5. It’s a never winning battle.

      1. Yup! My almost six year old cannot eat cereal without dripping milk onto the table and sometimes onto the chairs. He’s a mess, as are his friends.
        I like option 3 as well.

      2. agreed! just because they don’t sit in the upholstered chairs doesn’t mean they won’t touch them while they are playing, doing art, walking around the table when they are supposed to be sitting in their chair eating etc. :/ i couldn’t wait to get rid of ours because they always looked so dirty!

  38. Option 6 or if you must have upholstered Option 1.

    Option 5 looks like they should be on the bridge of a space ship – too big and clunky and Option 2 is too petite. Option 3 Captain chairs are OK but the side chairs look like school library chairs. Option 4 looks too similar to the kitchen chairs and yes I think you need different chairs/stools for the kitchen island.

    I don’t envy you the decisions to be made on this. Good luck!

  39. 3 is my absolute favourite, but I also like the way the curves in 2 echo the curves in your stools. But really they’re all nice except 4. I’m really not a fan of those

  40. Hello! I love option 3 it feels young and slightly unexpected. Perfect for a young family. With that option the other wooden pieces in the room would still work and so would the island stools. However option 6, if done properly could be absolutely amazing. My only concern is that with a wooden table, wooden chairs and the two other rather substantial wooden pieces in the room it might start to feel a bit heavy and one note.

  41. I’m torn between 1 and 5. They both feel warm and inviting to me. As much as I love the Serena chairs in 4, I do not feel them for your space at all. I think the perfectionist in you will get over the complete mismatched idea in 6 REALLY quickly. These mockups were great for visualizing the space!!!

  42. I really like options 2, 3 & 6. Maybe consider the mismatched wood chairs to be painted white or white washed? Option 5 is too bulky. The table is lovely 🙂

  43. Option 3 is my fave because it has simple, clean lines and I like the peek of wood of the top back side chairs. Option 6 would be my second choice. I detest option 4 – all that busyness going on underneath the chair seat is all I see.

  44. #3 from options posted, however I think , White American Bow-Back Windsor chairs with custom cushions in kid friendly fabric would be lovely, practical and (cushions) easy to replace or remove according to function and guests. Swapping out the white stools with stained stools.

  45. 3, 3 ,3! Love the mix of textures with wood and upholstery, love that hint of modern and hey! If the captain’s chairs get totally destroyed, it’s only 2 chairs to reupholster instead of the full set.

  46. My first comment, but I feel VERY strongly about this (a little too strongly for someone else’s house I’ve never been in but, ya know)!

    DEFINITELY either option 3 or 6! Options 4 and 5 feel very basic (in the Starbucks and yoga pants sense of the word).

    LOVE the table choice too!

  47. Options 1 and 3 are my favorite even though I’m not a huge fan of tufted, heavily upholstered chairs, especially in main eating areas. I really hate option 4 and option 5 is my second least favorite. I love that black pendant light to tie into the black sconces over the kitchen windows. This will be fantastic.

  48. Sometimes I find it helpful to get rid of the options that I feel don’t work and then I decide between the remaining options.

    I don’t care for option 1 – upholstered chairs look too cumbersome for kids and would crowd the space although the chairs with arms are good and seem like I wouldn’t get tired of them.

    Don’t care for option 6 – just makes me feel like I’m living in a thrift shop.

    Don’t care for option 4 – The chairs look too “fussy”

    Option 5 isn’t bad but keeping them clean would be a daily challenge and I can’t imagine the kids being able to push them around.

    That leaves Option 2 and 3 and I think either choice would be a good one.

    I really enjoy your blog and designs. Whatever choice you make will be right one for you. 🙂

  49. My favourite is number 1 – but yeah, you’d need sunbrella or something easily cleanable! I love comfy upholstered chairs at dining tables, but I can see issues with child-friendliness! I’m not sure option 5 matches the style of the room or the table at all.

    Failing a suitable upholstered option, I’d definitely go for mismatched option 6. IMHO it’s harder to get right than people think. But when its done right it has a nice casual vibe and brings a lot of character. And there are always bespoke comfy seat pads.

    Would it be too hard to do option 6 to start, and then replace when the kids are older? Or would it just be one of those things you never get around to?

    1. It’s an option. I mean, hell, i like to change things. I know i could pull this together pretty fast and then yes, custom cushions …. its something to think about.

  50. I like #5 as I have something similar but we opted to take the ladder-style chairs you have in #6 and create slipcovers for them. Just a thought that gives you the luxury of both options. And we made slipcovers in white duck, which I know is controversial to some, but we chose it because we can throw bleach directly on fabric, throw in wash, and they are as good as new. Such a lifesaver with a toddler!

  51. #5! While I often like mixed chairs in this room I think having all 6 chairs the same – works. Not only do they look incredibly comfortable for lingering after a meal but I think with the open space and all the windows the chairs use the space better and will provide some weight to the room which I think it needs.

  52. After caring about this WAY too much, I think you should go with your gut and do option #3. I LOVE looking inside your brain a little and seeing the thought processes behind it, though. I have 2 boys, 6 &9, and I can tell you, the younger one is still a caveman. Like, you will become a mad crazy lady with #5 and maybe #4. Option #2 feels the least like you. #6 is quite charming, maybe even quaint. I think you are more sophisticated than you give yourself credit for, just my opinion. #1 feels more like you too. It is SO hard to choose.

  53. Oh my I LOVE option 6. Plus think of how many extras you could have stashed in different corners around the house to pull up for your frat parties!!! you could switch out seat fabrics daily if you wanted! think of the possibilities!
    I also love option 2. Could you have them covered in a leather? Maybe a distressed light grey leather? If not, I wouldn’t fret. There is not that much fabric on them so they could be recovered more affordably.
    Can I say one more thing? If you are having families in and out on a rotating basis, you want to be relaxed in it. Other people’s kids are not going to be as mannerly as you are hoping yours will be. Running around with napkins makes people nervous. the mess stage goes on for at least a decade. Mine are 10,7,and 3, but its the house full of friends that ultimately destroy my house. I want to be relaxed, but i would sometimes I find my self trolling them when I should just let them be free. Now that I have a few lower maintenance options, entertaining a big crew is more fun, for me.

  54. Ok, this is my first time commenting here:)

    Either #3 or #6. I find #2 and #4 too fussy and the chairs have way too much going on. #5 is too serious and overwhelming, plus the fabric is going to get dirty quickly. #1 would be my third choice but still not quite right. #3 is the right mix between upholstered and rustic, lines are clean and wood tones are gorgeous. And you cannot go wrong with #6:)


  55. I feel like 3 is the best option given your lifestyle. Even though my child is 6 and fairly polite, he still gets food on his hands and drops the occasional bite of food and lots of crumbs on the cushions. I just think light fabric-covered chairs would be a nightmare. I feel like truly good decorating must also be practical. But that’s just me.

  56. If I had to pick one option, I’d vote for #1. But I’m wondering, could you do the captain’s chairs from #3 with a more comfortable side chair? I love that those have a little more edge to hold up to all the traditional style around them.

    Also, as a 5’9″ human, I am taking a bold stand against small, un-upholstered chairs. I can sit in them for about 15 minutes before I start to fidget and get uncomfortable. To make the table a place where your friends linger over dessert and stay late to chat, it’s got to be comfortable. You can always do sunbrella fabric, as you mentioned, or scotch guard to protect the fabric. Also, maybe the upholstery doesn’t have to be white? What about navy or charcoal?

    1. Replying to my own comment (like a truly not-crazy internet user) to add that #6 looks a little mason jar/raffia/pinterest-bride to my eyes. I know you would make it look great, but the current vibe is leaning more shabby chic than farmhouse to me.

    2. I second Elizabeth’s comment about small unupholstered chairs being esp. Uncomfortable for tall people. My 6 foot plus husband prefers chairs with a taller back (38″ – 42″) and a wider and deeper seat. Seat must be upholstered or have a cushion and he prefers an upholstered back. His requirements resulted in a 3 year on and off search for our chairs.

      I vote for 6 with cushions. The mix of black, wood and black and wood similar to what is shown would be great. I also like the current black Windsor chairs with cushions but 6 is more interesting.

      The table is beautiful but it’s difficult to determine if the center support would interfere with chairs at the end or if two side chairs would fit comfortably between the table legs. We had to consider these issues when deciding on chairs for our table.

      As always you’ll nail it when you make your final decision.

  57. I love your new table but I was scrolling down, not liking any of the options until I got to “Mismatched”. Yes! I vote mismatched!
    I think because your kitchen is open to your dining room, a more formal dining room (with captains chairs, which I’m not a huge fan of at the best of times) doesn’t really work.
    And mismatched is definitely more “cottage” than the other, more formal options.
    I also think there is a great opportunity to show off your design chops by showing the right way to do mismatched chairs. (For example, I hate too different seat heights with mismatched chairs). I see some of your mismatched options have upholstered seats, or you could put removable cushions on them. Perhaps you could do all these in the same fabric, which would would pull them together visually.
    As regards the stools at the island, and apologies if this has been brought up before, but have you thought about backless stools? They would still serve the same purpose but wouldn’t visually chop up the space, and they wouldn’t compete visually with the dining chairs.

  58. I like option 6. You said that you have friends and kids over all the time so you need chairs that are safe from other kids too, not just yours. My 17 month old is also a look you in the eye and throw food type, so glad we have wipe clean leather chairs. Definitely not option 4- it’s too much money to get something neither of you love and you’re going to see them every single day.

  59. As a mom of 3, I’d recommend #3. No matter how careful we are, there is inevitably a grease spot from pizza cheese or the errant chicken wing on our removable cushions! Now, I’ve never had Sunbrella fabric on a cushion, so that may make all the difference in clean up, but for peace of mind, I’d steer clear of upholstery on the side chairs. I can’t wait to see your choices!

    1. Yep; we have the Ingolf junior chair and all the kids (ages 2 to 10) fight over it. Sturdy and less than $50!

  60. Six. If you’re going for comfortable and homey, the appearance of chairs collected and added over time works. The rest of the options don’t play well with the bar stool, IMHO. And the openness of mismatched chairs will allow that fantastic table to be seen.

    Kids still spill and make a mess when they are in their early teens. Pass on anything upholstered for seating at a table.

  61. I love mismatched chairs. I find it hard to find ones that go together nicely without looking like I was given relative’s leftover furniture they forgot to burn.

    So when I see it done right, I think it’s design-y.

    So #6 is my first choice, followed by option #3!

  62. Option 5 please!!! Something about the weight and bulk of those chairs seems like it would balance out the island. Plus they look so cozy!

  63. #3, the others are all way too busy and funky… but you can’t really push in chairs at the ends of the table… not a big fan of the purchase.

  64. I love the #3. Adds a bit of class with those captain’s chairs, but then keeps the down-to-earth vibe with the side chairs. In my opinion, this blends the best!

  65. These are all beautiful chairs on their own, but I think everything except Option 5 is so busy that I don’t even notice how special that table is.

  66. Option 3 is my favorite but I also really like 6. I’d stay far far far away from option 5, even with the sunbrella fabric. I have a neat eater and a messy eater and it’s amazing how often I have to wipe down the messy eater’s chair because it is disgusting. (btw, he’s 10 and he is neat in every aspect of his life except for at the table!) Imagine trying to wipe down upholstery for the next 5-10 years. No thanks. 🙂

  67. That table is simply amazing! I vote option 6 so that you can find some equally dazzling and unique chairs. Not digging the squarish, modern chairs at all.

  68. I like option 3.. But can I vote for these? sprayed white, with a custom cushion made out of a cheery Sunbrella fabric? Adding some pretty turned legs to the equation with that lovely table=mmmmm. Plus, Stickley. Made for generations of use. I have 2 children, a girl and a boy, now 13 and 15 and I used upholstered chairs in my everyday eating area as they grew up. Expect the yogurt spills, just choose fabrics that hold up!

  69. Either 4 or 5. I feel like 4 really pulls in the kitchen look. 5 because people rarely have this much room for comfy chairs like this and you guys have it! Also, I have comfy dining chairs and it has changed our lives – we actually WANT to sit at the table and guests tend to linger there instead of seeking out more comfortable seats in the living room. Also, with all the wood and white this feels like a texture/warmth that will add “living room” into the dining room.

  70. Hi Emily! I think options 3 or 5 are the best, with a few stipulations. I have three kids under six, and the truth of the matter is, upholstery is going to get ruined. I had Sunbrella in a pattern at my last house and it looked tragic after several years…not delightful. Kravet makes a PHENOMENAL buttery vinyl in a million colors that is perfection for dining chairs/upholstered banquettes. My four year old just got sharpie on ours, and it is all but a distant memory. I think a gorgeous pebbled vinyl in a navy/emerald/sage would be outstanding! Leather is also an amazing option, and would beat up beautifully!

  71. I’d skip the upholstery, especially if you have families over a lot, until your family is older. I had wood chairs with a can back and a cushion seat and I could never keep them completely clean. Easier at this age to do wood and be able to relax rather than worry about getting the chairs clean. I vote for option 3.
    Your house is lovely!

  72. As a pair, I like Option 1. I had a hard time deciding between 1 and 3. The Captain’s Chair from Option 3 is lovely and my ultimate favorite, but I do not like the shape of the side chair as it peaks out above the table. If you paired the Captain’s Chair with something else, I’d be on board.

  73. I so wish you could/would keep the black windsor chairs–I LOVE those in that room (and like how they tie in with the black from the kitchen sconces!). The black is so striking (but in a good way, not in a “coming on too strong” way). If you are set on changing, though, I vote option 1, 3, or 5, with option 3 being my favorite. The simple reason is that I like those chairs the best! I strongly dislike the chairs in options 2, 4, and 6, but I’m sure you can make anything beautiful.

  74. My mom picked up a couple chairs at Salvation Army at least 10 years ago that vaguely resemble the arm chairs in option 1. They are upholstered in naugahyde which is technically a form of vinyl, but I love the chairs and the material. And nothing can be smashed into it and I love the look.

    My blog is terrible so don’t read, but the first picture at this link is the chair.

    I would vote for option 1 armchairs with the West Elm Framework Leather #35 from yesterday’s post for the side chairs.

  75. I have to comment as a mom to 2 girls, who are 6 and 9 and are generally very well behaved etc etc etc….BUT they are still a total mess. They drip milk, crumbs, basically everything that Elliot is throwing, they still drip and drop. I can’t imagine having fabric anywhere near them when they’re eating.

    And , I love the mixed up last option. That way, when your kids break a chair (cause they’ll do that too) or get paint on them or play dough or glue and sparkles you could in theory replace it. And not be too bummed.

    But even without the kid factor, I like the last one. I think it adds some interest and gets some love in there where the rest feel too formal and too design-y. I get you’ll have a rug and i feel sure you’ll pull it off regardless, but I’m a mix it up vote.

  76. Option 5. None of the other options are even close. Those white bar stools are already so leggy and I think you really need the solidity of the slipcovered chairs to give the room some weight.

  77. #3 is by far my favorite. it has the variety you get (and love) with #6, classic and clean, and if you are able to choose your own upholstery, than it’s really a win win!

  78. Option 4! I feel like it’s the most kid-friendly, airy, bright, and works well with your kitchen! I also loooove French bistro chairs. 🙂

  79. I like option 3 and 6. My kids are close in age to yours and there is no way in hell I’d get the upholstered chairs in option 5 even though I LOVE the look…..don’t do it!

  80. #3 is my vote with #6 being second place.

    I have many of the same feelings as you about comfy seats and loving to entertain. And perhaps your kids are great at keeping their spaghetti fingers off the upholstery. But if you plan on entertaining a lot, it’s going to save you (and your guests!) a lot of anxiety by avoiding upholstered fabric where kids will sit. Charlie’s friend’s Mom will relax a lot more coming over if her little one is sitting in an easy to clean chair.

    I also second the comment above about your “let’s get weird” comment. Bring it on!

    1. Not to throw a monkey wrench in the mix – but how would the side chairs from option #1 as
      captain’s chairs and the side chairs from option #2 look. I love the tufting and height of option
      #1 for the ends and the style of #2 (smaller scale) to get more seating. Love your table choice!

  81. Whatever you choose, make it leather or wood. I have a 13 year old and 11 year old, and they still get stuff on our chairs. I had slip covered kitchen chairs and I would just about cry when they spilled or wiped their grimey hands on the chairs. Such a pain to get them off, wash, and put back on the chairs. I now have leather, and I just wipe them up. That being said, after having them for a month, my daughter almost put a hole in one with her stilts-yes, stilts. Laying your stilts on leather chairs and leaning onto said stilts is not a good idea-take that note. So, I would say, nothing too precious and nothing that you cannot wipe down. My husband hates uncomfortable chairs and we have been happy with light cushion on the seat and leather upholstery.

    1. Sounds like you are talking about MY kids! Did you ever dream this would be an issue when they are in their TEENS?!? Glad it isn’t just mine, LOL

  82. What about a bench on one side? When all our family is over, I love having a bench to cram the littles on. They have fun (too much), it contains the mess to one area, and they look so darn cute sitting in a row. Maybe do a couple of matching upholstered captain chairs to bring in some softness if that is what you are craving and mismatched chairs ( done well – I think it takes some effort to make that look right) on the opposite of the bench. I can see it in my head. And you are right, it really doesn’t have to be perfect.

    1. A bench – yes! Or, maybe benches on both sides and chairs at the head/foot of the table? Not sure if benches are a bad idea with little children because they might fall backwards…we don’t have children, but I can that happening.

  83. Option 3. I also love option 5 but that’s because I love having soft comfy chairs for lingering after dinner. I have old, cheap (craigslist), but comfy parsons chairs that I made slipcovers for. But the option 5 chairs would obscure much of that gorgeous table.

  84. I want to take a minute to respectfully remind you of your motto: ‘Perfection is boring, let’s get weird!’ When I think of you and your style (which has inspired me SO. VERY. MUCH.) it has some ‘quirk’ to it, right? (Not sure that’s the right word) but just the right balance of a certain ‘je nais se quoi’. So #6 gets my vote. (You could have some fabulous, antique chair ‘personalities’! And I know you could do this like no other!) I get it, though, that style is ever evolving, and so if you want it to be more ‘pulled together’, #3 gets my vote. It’s interesting reading other folks’ comments/faves….. I see quite a few like #5, which is my least favorite of all the options for you.. Fascinating….

  85. Option 3 or 6. Although when I saw 3 I said “THAT, definitely that” in my head. You will likely regret any upholstery. Remember, you will entertain adults and their children. And other kids end up sitting in your upholstered chairs when you run out of bar stools and kid high chairs and then THEY get their grubby hands all over them. Or they mash play doh into them or wet their pants on them. That by far is the best… tinkle stained upholstery. Don’t do it. Or only do the two chairs that can be put away.

    Option 5 is my least favorite. While comfy looking I think they’d make that area look blocky and very overpowering.

  86. I know you’re really try to figure this out fast, but I say…none of these. I have 3 kids: newly minted 6, 4 and almost 2.5 years old. They just aren’t ready for upholstered seats. We have Bertoia chairs which are metal and use a cushioned seat. I wash the cushioned seats, a lot…too much to even consider upholstered chairs. I suggest a chair with a basket weave/cane seat that would be so comfy without a seat cushion. For the kids, I’d do a beautiful live edge bench seat and then strap their booster chairs to it and not be bummed when inevitable spills happen. I also love the idea of rescuing mismatched chairs, instead of buying new ones…vintage/sustainable will get my vote every time. Good luck.

  87. I like option 3. I also wonder what the side chairs from option 3 would look like with the arm chairs of option 5.

  88. Here is my input. In this order. 3 – 1 – 5 – 6 – 2 and no to 4. Can’t wait to see what you pick!

  89. 3 or 6. 3 because they’re easy to take care of with the kids. 6 because I have always LOVED the idea of mismatched chairs. I think it feels casual not “thrown together”. Big difference.

  90. I would say Option 2…The scale of the chairs with that table is the best. The curving lines offset the very straight lines of the table and also speak to the curving lines of your bar stools. The table is just too rustic to pair with the other mid-century styles. I think you would regret the fully upholstered ones because of the kids. My second choice would be the miss matched. It might actually be fun to have a continually changing rotation going as you run across different ones while out shopping. Just keep swapping and have fun with it.

  91. I’m sorry to say, but I don’t think any of these options are the one. Of the styles you included, I definitely lean toward the fully upholstered ones (#5, I think?). I agree with the other commenters who said you already have so much going on – beams, chevron floor, door and window mullions, etc. A simpler chair that doesn’t compete with all those lines would be my preference.
    Also, I don’t know what all these peoples’ children are doing to their upholstery to make it so dirty – LOL. We have an upholstered banquette (upholstered in a sunbrella fabric) and upholstered (just seats) barstools and my 3.5 year old eats on one or both of them every day and they are completely fine! Granted, they are a dark color, but still – I just wipe it down with a damp paper towel and it looks great. We’ve had this kitchen design for 2+ years, since she was only 2! I suppose it could be the difference in going from one kiddo to two, but it can be done!

  92. Option #3. It has the best balance of classic and modern. The other options start looking too antique, and lose the modern Emily quality we all love. I’ve been looking forward to see how you blend your modern aesthetic with a traditional home, and #3 speaks the most to that!

  93. 3. Get leather upholstery. My husband insisted on upholstered chairs for our breakfast nook and our 4 kids, who are between 4 and 15 and relatively clean eaters, have ruined them. Despite the fact that the cloth is dark brown and my efforts at scotchguard. It only takes one cup of spilled milk or orange juice to take a chair down. But it’s things like a simple smear of peanut butter, a drop of buttery syrup, or rogue spaghetti noodle that do the most damage. And it’s inevitable with kids of any age.

  94. So many of them are so pretty, but I’m giving a strong vote for #6! The last thing I’d want to do is buy expensive chairs with fabric + get them dirty (which, even in my house which has no children — much less toddlers — in it, seems to always happen)…or spend any time WORRYING about getting them dirty (far better to focus on the fun of entertaining and raising kids!)

    Plus, I think the mismatched chair look is cute — maybe you can just do something more pulled together (or even fabric) for the stools!

  95. The option with the schoolhouse chairs is perfect. They’re divine. Still hate the bar stools. Not the stools themselves but the color.

  96. 5 or 6. How will the captains chairs work with such a prominent base? Will a person be able to pull up close enough to the table? Beautiful table but will there be any room for those end folks to put their legs? We are changing out our years old trestle table because my husband HATES knocking into the base of the table and we have a leaf to add additional space from the table edge to the base. Just curious on your plan/thoughts.

  97. I love option 1 and 3!! #3 may be better with two littles… they love to wipe their hands on the backs of chairs or turn around entirely while eating… my littles are like yours.. 4 and 18 months.. and I’m pretty sure my 18 month old and Birdie would have a blast together at meal time! He is a master at throwing and smashing!!!!! Good Luck!!!

  98. Option 3 or 6. I look at option 6 as the treasure hunt. Do not like option 2 or 5, the shape and style of the chairs in option 5 does not workshop well with the style of the table. You would not be able to see the craftmanship around the tablelegs with those chairs. Just my 2 cents.

  99. really, just not option 4 for me. I do not find that Parisian/Hamptons vibe appealing at all. 3 seems the most kid-friendly, and 1 is visually the nicest…. in my opinion only. 🙂

  100. Option 5 all day long! the solid nature of them visually lets the other linear elements shine ( barstool back, window panes, etc.) and you can do so much with the right fabrics so that shouldn’t be a concern.

  101. Number 3 feels right for the space. Number 5 feels way too stuffy compared to the classic but relaxed kitchen.

  102. I love the new (perfectly old) table, and I really like option #1 the best but option #5 is my second choice. Soft chairs invite lovely, relaxed dinners!

  103. 3 or 5. I would go for 5 if you are going for the super pulled together Architectural Digest/Hollywood celebrity look or 3 if you are going for the Kinfolk/Minimalist Chic Moon Juice Lady look

  104. I like options 1, 3, and 6. I absolutley hate options 4 and 5. I think option 5 has too much fabric and option 4 seems so cheesy.

  105. No. 5 for sure. No. 1 would be my second choice. Reasons: No. 2 & 4 are clogging up Pinterest as we speak. They’ve both been done so many times that it no longer feels design-worthy to me. I like the arm chairs for No. 3 but the side chairs don’t seem to jive with the antique table. I can’t put my finger on exactly why but it’s like two styles that just shouldn’t go together? And finally, I think the mismatched chair things for No. 6 works – only when it’s not your house. It would drive me crazy and I think it is something good in theory but not reality.

  106. I LOVE the table. You did very well with that! In europe the miss-match chairs are VERY populair and look great. You see them often in all the same color. So not 5 different wood-tones but all white or black or a color. I think that would look great. I’m a big fan of a bench on one side, so playful and practical. Next to #6 i also like #3 but the chairs don’t look so comfortable, i guess you have to try those out first. I absolutely don’t like #5, too bulky and formal and not practical, try to move those to get in and out. Good luck, can’t wait to see the results.

  107. I vote for option #5. Upholstered dining chairs just invite you to sit down and stay awhile, and I feel all the rest of the chairs have just way too much ‘leg’ going on, which competes with the beautiful wood table and ambiance of the room. Besides, if you got the sharpie-resistant fabric, even little Birdie might just want to cozy up and settle down! Btw, congrats on the sale of your ‘other’ house!

  108. I think Option 3 looks perfect with that table. I thought I would hate option 5 with the table when I saw them alone, but when you mocked it up with the table I did like the way it looks.

    However–I am here to tell you that children do not magically become much tidier when eating once they are out of the toddler stage. Marginally better, yes, but not great. I have kids age 4, 7 and 10, and someone spills something at dinner a few times a week. Not only the big spills–the crumbs!!! So many, many crumbs. I love having wooden dining chairs so I can just quickly wipe them down after dinner. I cannot imagine having to vacuum out upholstered chairs or scrub fabric…don’t make more work for yourself.

    We are big entertainers as well–we have friends over almost every weekend, and people sit at our table for hours, even though the chairs aren’t that comfortable. I really don’t think you need upholstered chairs for the stage you are in your life, or even for your general style or attitude. I obviously don’t know you, but your whole vibe seems fun and casual and cool. Upholstered dining chairs are so formal and old fashioned to me.

  109. The chairs is option 4 are one of my favorites, but I agree they don’t totally go with your style/house in the design board they didn’t bother me with the table, but in the final graphic I feel like they just don’t really work well together. I like options 3 and 5 equally. Option 3 feels most practical for you/your family now- but I absolutely love the look of option 5. If the dining room was separate from kitchen and a true formal dining room, I’d say go for 5 all the way. BUT since you’re connected to the kitchen and using it more like a breakfast room 3 is probably more practical. If you were committed to eating at the island with the kids, and keeping the table as adults, I’d go with 5.

  110. Option 3 or 6. If you went with option 3, the bar stools may blend with the chairs. I think you would need to replace the stools with option 6.

  111. Love #3 – and love that you are often and honest about the struggle of coming up with the right combination and that despite being an amazing designer, your first inclination is not always the right decision in the end! It’s refreshing!

  112. I vote for keeping the Target chairs and just getting more of them. They’re kid friendly, cheap, and you won’t be freaking out if they spill spaghetti sauce on them or beat on them with their utensils (or maybe only my toddlers do this).

  113. I like options 5 and 6. In my opinion, one of the table’s best features is the support bar running under the center and I think matching wood chairs detracts from that a bit. (I lose the table and the interest of it with all of the wood lines of the matching chairs.) The fabric chairs have a soft juxtaposition with the wood. I also think the shape helps the bones of the table to shine. The mismatched wood chairs make my eyes pause and take the table and chairs in, whereas the matching chairs cause me to look at it more as a unit and I gloss over the table a bit. I’d personally be looking for modern to mid-century metal and leather chairs (metal for a clean line and leather for comfort and ease of clean up.)

    I liked your comment about what perspective to approach it from in terms of designer vs. stylist. I think the kitchen is classic enough in design to handle the stylist in you having a bit of fun with the chairs. (I also agree that you may want to change the bar stools, but I’d also consider keeping them but going with a darker color since they are reading a bit soft to me against the island paint color. That being said, the rug and other pieces may change everything.)

    Whatever you pick, every option is lovely and you will have a beautiful result. Thanks for taking us along in this process with you!

  114. As a mom of older kids, I say 3. You’d be surprised how messy tweenagers will still be and those chairs look the easiest to clean/maintain.

  115. I love option 3. The look fits the room, but if I’m being 100% honest, you can not have fabric chairs with young children. Even if they have slip covers, you aren’t washing or having them cleaned everyday. Spills and hand wipes are going to happen. Of all the options, I love the look and practicality of #3. Can’t wait to hear which option you choose!

  116. #3 is my absolute favorite. Clean lines and open/airy. I also love option #5 if you want to go with upholstered. It’s very cozy. But those wooden chairs in #3 are SO dreamy!!!

  117. I’m obsessed with #3! It feels the most cohesive, breezy, and kid friendly. It also feels the most “Emily” to me. I could see the appeal of #1 and #5. However, #1 doesn’t seem as kid friendly and there just may be a lot of white chairs going on in the entire space. #5 felt maybe a little too formal?

    So, yes, definitely #3!

  118. I love your table – it is both beautiful and distinctive – what a wonderful choice! I like options 1 in leather or option 6 until the children are older. Or maybe the captains chairs from option 1 with matching wooden chairs for the sides? Trust me, even if you can train your own children to respect the furniture, at some point they will have friends who will come over and destroy them.

  119. Option 3! I like the fact that some of those are easy clean, wood chairs, but there are a couple upholstered chairs on the end (for adults only! 🙂 ) Also, all practical considerations aside, that’s the picture that looks the most cohesive and charming to me.

    If you’re looking for a way to make the wood chairs a bit more comfy when guests are there, small sheepskins draped on the seat would add a soft cozy touch, while being easily removable for the kids or replaceable in case one is stained. I love the look when people drape them over dining benches, and I think those wooden chairs could pull off the same aesthetic.

    Love the table too – hopefully the regrets are short lived once it’s in your house!

  120. I am one of those that wish you’d replace the stools. It’s the color I don’t like, too much white overall and it’s leaning too far country. Kitchen in general looks perfectly subtle country though. What about black stools or stools with black metal to tie in with black sconces? Seems like one more touch of black is needed. House looks beautiful though!!!

  121. Honestly I love #6 the best, it offsets the newness of the kitchen and barstools to meld the old and new. I disagree that it feels like a cop-out, rather it feels like a curated traditional option. Plus it’s the best option for the stage your kids are in now. (Being in design you know you will change it up soon enough anyway. I’d go with more function for another year or two. If #6 just doesn’t work for your design brain I’d go with #3 it’s my second favorite. The Captain’s chairs in that one are really nice.

    Don’t do option #4 you will regret the woven cane chairs the minute your kids touch them with grubby hands. Food and messes happen and these chairs are so hard to clean the nooks out when a soggy crumbly cracker has been smooshed into it! I’d go with a washable cover or fabric chair over these any day.

    For option #5 I REALLY like the Captain’s chair but with the side chair the skirts feel like too much. What about a really pretty weathered bench with an upholstered fabric on it, the two Captain’s chairs and three mix and matched chairs along the window area?

    Something about option #2 feels too busy – maybe it’s the nailhead detail that I just don’t vibe on.

    Also I don’t think that your bar stools need to go, I think that with the right chair setup they will be really beautiful.

    PLEASE do share more info about this magic fabric you speak of? I also have kids and would love to know how I too can have fabric dining chairs!!

  122. I would choose 1, 3, or 6. The chairs in 5 are lovely, but so heavy and I think they would block a lot of the special details on the table that you should be able to see.

    As a mama of six, all that fabric in option 1 makes me nervous, so I’d likely choose 6 so that I didn’t have to freak out (or want to freak out) about messy hands/children/people. I think with your intentional choices, you could make option 6 just as stunning as options 1 or 3.

    And, what a BEAUTIFUL table! So enjoyable to see your inviting home come together. That’s my heart for my home, too.

  123. I have vintage 60s rosewood chairs that are upholstered in a buttery soft white vinyl (like not slick and cheesy vinyl, they have a nice texture and feel) – they are in the dining room, so they don’t get daily use, but I’ve had many kid birthday parties in there and so far, so good!

  124. #3 or the mix-matched chairs my favorite. #5 I know must be really comfortable but to me look so formal, heavy, just all around too much for the table and area. I also think the armchairs in #1 and side chairs in #2 would look great! Yeah, wish the table was oval or long rounded but you are in love and that always works! Good luck!

  125. You asked, I’ll take a stab at it:
    On all counts, I have five kids. NO to white, unwashable anything. You will regret it. First red wine spill, spaghetti dinner or, better yet, chocolate dessert, the party is over. And then you will hate on either your chairs or your blessed children.

    Option 1:No to white fabric. No to waiting room chairs or boardroom conference chairs.
    Option 2: I like the nail-head trim and I would like them if they were heftier and in a gray or brown naugahyde or leather for wipability.
    *Option 3: I like this. You two get the fabric (although I still recommend naugahyde or leather) and they get the wipable chairs. You can use the tie in cushions on the hard seats and wash them or throw them out every 6 months when they are trashed!
    Option 4: Patio furniture. No.
    Option 5: Gorgeous. But, no. Miles of stainable fabric….unless they are slip-covered and washable. Maybe someday.
    *Option 6: I like wacka-do (Oprah calls it this), ala
    “You’ll just have to learn to mix and match!” ~Napoleon Dynamite. I think it fits well with the rusticness/reclaimed look of the table and you could snag them on the cheap at flea markets etc to make up for the high dollars you spent on the table.

    So, Options 3 or 6.


  126. leather is a good bet – I have three kids and opt out of seats with huge gaps/holes because if there is an opening, my kids will find a way to fall through it. ?

  127. 3 all the way–because those arm chairs are my favorite, and I agree about the leather. You could always change up the side chairs down the line!

  128. Man, option #4 will never not remind me of the deck chairs of the sinking Titanic.

    I think I like #3 the most. They keep an open view through the chairs, but look comfortable. But the side chairs look like a hard seat, which I thought you didn’t want? (I guess you could always claim hostess’s rights and get one of the capt. chairs.) #2 is also open and light, but I can never like those chairs. The top looks weirdly small for the rest of the chair to me. Maybe a graphic print would change my mind, but I don’t thin that’s what you’re going for here.

    And I love the stools. This is the first time I’ve come to the blog since those got posted and I think they and the island look great. Please keep them!

  129. Having the table be perpendicular to the island looks better in the photos in my opinion. But I haven’t been in the house and I can’t tell that perpendicular works for the space without being in the atmosphere.
    First of all, I would nix the mismatched chair idea. There is something in my gut telling me that is not “Emily Henderson” and you would ultimately get annoyed with it. I also don’t love the Hamptons chairs or the nailhead chairs (I would get tired of them) but I honestly think all the other options would look incredible! If you get a durable fabric and you don’t mind being precious with them a little bit then upholstered looks best. But go for comfort and functionality first in a room you spend a lot of time in/make a lot of messes in. I can’t wait to see the finished project! (awesome choice for the table, I’m so jealous)

  130. I admire your mantra: ‘Perfection is boring. Let’s get weird!’ So the mis-matched chairs of #6 are my favorite. (Plus, I know you could do this amazingly!) I get it that style is an ever-evolving thing, though, so if you’re looking for a more ‘pulled together’ look, my vote is for #3. My vote is to keep the ‘weird’!!! <3

  131. 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3! the tones do look really nice together, but it is a lot of neutral wood without it feeling too heavy – it still has that nice, airy tone that could easily be complemented by other pieces (hutch, rug). and it doesn’t feel toooo traditional. 6 is my second favorite.

  132. I really like option 1 or 3 the best, but my kids are 9 and 6 and I still find stickiness and gross all over the place. Just wait until they start making “concoctions”. Hide the flour!

  133. Option 6-definitely! It seems the most Emily. It is perfectly quirky and happy and says all kinds of people are invited to our table.

  134. From a design standpoint, Option 3. Those armchairs are gorgeous, and I love the lines of the side chairs. It seems like a practical option with kids as well.

    Now the artsy, free spirited, nostalgic vintage lover in me says option 6. Vintage chairs always tug at my heart strings and make a space feel so homey, lived in, and personal.

  135. 100% Team Option 3. Beautiful chairs, enough interest but still simple, works well with the overall vibe of the house – welcoming but still light. I think option 5 is just WAY too heavy for the space, personally. Option 1 is my second choice.

  136. Option #5 do like cozy but A) the chairs will totally hide the table’s feet which would be such a pity and B) they are so serious ! So I vote for option #3 or #6. We have mismatched chairs over here and I LOVE them. Besides, they allow everyone to find a seat they like – meaning something comfortable for my grandmother and cleanable for my 2 toddlers … I do like #4 too but maybe not for the 6 chairs.

  137. 6! 6! 6! SIIIIIIX!!!! For the love of all that is holy, option 6. You could pull this off like nobody’s business. I lived in Europe for years, and my most stylish friends that had mismatched chairs would be like “oh this chair? Belgium. And oh yes, those Parisian markets–my vintage Thonet.”

    I adore option 3, but I know that when my child/guests are careless, it would drive me to madness. So, do I resent my friends and family? Or do I just get some damn chairs that I can wipe off? DGAF if they squash their entire meal into the chair. Or color on it. Magic eraser it away!

  138. SIX! Personally, the mismatched look makes me crazy, but I’m a gal who needs uniformity. But when I look at those pics, Number Six says Henderson to me. It’s fun, funky and feisty while also showing an appreciation for the past.

  139. 3. Hands down. They’re simple yet beautiful and the mix of straight and curved lines in the captain’s chairs vs. side chairs is perfect.

    I love the 2 as well (the stud detailing and unique shape are so fantastic) however I think Brian is right that they are too petite and you need something more substantial.

    Absolutely not 4. I LOVE me some bistro chairs but I agree with your office that they are too Hamptons (or in my mind “Parisian”) and they just don’t fit with the rest of the house. Plus, they’re super trendy right now and I don’t think that’s what you’re going for. I adore the idea of mismatched chairs but I think with the bar stools so nearby it just turns into “ALL THE CHAIRS” and it’s overwhelming.

    So yeah, THREE!! 🙂

  140. Hi Emily,
    I honestly loved your current chairs & table. The hit of black from your chairs seemed pretty perfect & they would be washable!

  141. Something I’ve noticed recently: I love “style” in pictures, but I love clean design in life. Life is so damn hectic with kids and work and friends and everything, I don’t need the visual stimulation of mixed chairs. Too much. I need simple and clean, and the muddle of my life provides the color and texture. True story!

    I like Option 3 best if the side chairs on Option 3 had an upholstered seat. We have beautiful wooden chairs, but they are so so hard and no one wants to sit in them for long lazy dinners. I’m forced to think about something horrifying like seat cushions, and that’s no good at all…

    The table you got is beautiful.

  142. I think the chairs in option 2 will match your bar stools the best (they seem to have the same curved detail under the seat) and they would look great in leather. However, I am not sure how comfortable they are. Number 1 or 3 would be my choice otherwise. I love side chairs of Number 3 but think those in 1 would be more comfortable. However, having 3 in leather might be easier. Do not like 5 as I think they take up too much space. Painting your current chair white or the same green as your island, could be pretty nice (or maybe slightly darker but in the same family). Whatever you do will be great and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  143. I recently bought a handmade table for my kitchen eating space and dithered over chairs to go with it. I thought I had narrowed it down to two and went in to my local Room and Board to sit in them and then pull the trigger. Both were upholstered and when I asked some cleaning questions b/c I have 5 grandchildren 6 and under, the helpful sales lady asked me to consider this chair. I never dreamed I would go this route but actually four of these really highlight the beautiful wood table, streamline the room, and are SO EASY to wipe down. Highly recommend.

  144. #1 or #3.
    #2 looks wildly uncomfortable for any lengthy meal or lounging with your friends in your lovely kitchen. #6 — I’m sorry, but we all know that while fun and pretty, your vintage chairs are also usually uncomfortable (either too petite or too short or need regluing to be sturdy enough to support anyone over size 2) unless absolutely perfect ones.
    Something’s just off about #5, can’t put my finger on it exactly.
    And #4 really, really reminds me of all weather patio chairs for any ocean-side bistro.

    Now I’m going to read the comments to see whether I’m right or not 🙂

  145. I don’t have kids, so I’m not taking that into account, but I love the look of Options 1 & 3. REALLY don’t like 4 and I feel like 5 just isn’t you.

  146. Option 1. It is a good mix of texture. Options 2 and 4 are too French Bistro like, Option 5 looks too much like a Restoration Hardware catalog and I think ultimately, option 3 is too much wood. If comfort and style is what you are after, go for number 1 in a sunbrella fabric.

  147. Oh, pleeeeease do option 5! Every other option looks so leggy and busy. There’s so much chaos with kids, I feel like you want your decor to be as visually clean and uncluttered as possible. When sippy cups and legos and half the contents of your Tupperware drawer are scattered all over your dining room, I think the clean simple slipcovered chairs will provide some much-needed background calm.

    Anyway. Table looks AMAZING, as does the light fixture (!!) and curtain fabric. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love posts about your new house. It all looks SO good.

  148. Top picks are 1, 3, 5. Five, although modern, still feels too vanilla restoration hardware-ish for your style. Can’t wait to see what you select!

  149. Please please please number 6!! It feels like you, your love of vintage and only a well trained eye would be able to put the right chairs together with the kitchen chairs and have it feel cohesive. I think it is the opposite of a cop out!! <3

  150. This room is so lovely and bright. I bet you love mornings now. 🙂 With that I think the first four lighter options will be lost in the room. My vote is mismatch (#6) or #5. I love ladder backs! I have antique reproduction ones in my Colonial kitchen and just love them.

  151. Option 1: seems like weird optics with the 4 ‘side chairs’ larger than the captains chairs/head chairs
    Option 2: has the nail heads which really aren’t seen anywhere else in your design(s)
    Option 3: is my favorite!!! the color of the wood and seating seems right and they’re comfortable without being visually heavy.
    Option 4: seems too uncomfortable. there are not seats where can finish a bottle of wine after the kids go to bed with your husband.
    Option 5: is ok, but i think 6 boxy chairs would be visually heavy in a space thats so light (literally) as well as being in front of all that window.
    Option 6: while i do not doubt your ability whatsoever. balancing your wood floors, wood table, and 6 different wooden chairs, beadboard, and trim seems like a lot of wood to balance.

    Can’t wait to see what you choose. PS. that table is INCREDIBLE.

  152. Option 6! No doubt. It looks collected rather than contrived, plus it’s probably the easiest to compile at a reasonable price while the kiddos are little and then if you reaaaaaaaaally want something cushier you can change it up later.

  153. How about this:

    #3 *AND* #6 — because let’s be real, Emily. Many of us have read your blog since its inception, and we aaalllll know that you will eventually totally re-do the chairs (and maybe even the table) and the overall look at some point anyway! So why not start with #6, the mismatched chairs (affordable, fun, easy for toddlers) — get some great photos out of them, because lord knows a lot of your fans love that look (and can afford it) — and then switch it up with the more sophisticated #3, which is absolutely lovely. 🙂

    The mismatched chairs would be an easy and affordable and less stressful place to start.

  154. Option 3! But only if you can get the chairs in a highly childproof fabric. Even if the kids aren’t sitting in the pretty chair, they will be magically drawn to wiping their hand on it as they run by. And they will always want to sit where you tell them they aren’t supposed to. My sons seem to be morally opposed to using napkins, instead preferring to descreetly wipe their hands on their pants or the furniture when the think I’m not looking. I love the modern lines against the antique table – it’s the perfect contrast and not too feminine for a mixed gender household.

  155. To me, option 3 is the best of both worlds. It incorporates your favourite style (midcentury) and the style of the house/table (traditional). The adults get the upholstered look with the captain chairs and the kids can get the side chairs dirty. Seems like this is the best option for your dining room 🙂

  156. Number 3 is my favourite – I wish I could give you a fancy/designery reason why but the real reason is when I look at all 6 options, I visually prefer 3. It doesn’t seem too busy or heavy and also doesn’t seem matchy matchy. Good luck!

  157. Either option 4 or 6. you have 2 little ones and the fabric covered chairs will just get ruined. practicality over beauty. plus i think th emix of vintage chairs will go better with the house.

  158. The table is gorgeous. But, am I the only one who thinks the captain chairs aren’t going to fit nicely on the ends of the table? I also think whomever is sitting in those spots won’t like their legs running into the wood work there (regardless of the chair style). These are the reasons I currently sit with my chair sideways at my own dining table.

  159. Wowzers are there a lot of comments already! 🙂 If it were my room, I’d keep the existing four black chairs which I think are from Target. Maybe I’d paint them a different color (anything but white), or maybe not. Maybe I’d add captain’s chairs too. If I were going to pick one of the Photoshop options though, it would definitely be OPTION 3. Easiest vote ever, since it really seems like the best one.

  160. Beautiful table! What if you did a bench on the island side? Wouldn’t compete with the curves of the stools. When all my family comes over we sit all the littles on the bench in a row and they have a great time. The mess is somewhat contained to that side of the table and they look so darn cute all lined up. Maybe do the upholstered captains chairs on either end from Option 5 because they do look super comfy. And do mis-matchy opposite the bench or option 3 side chairs? Those chairs seem to complement your stools best. And you are so right – it doesn’t need to be “design” perfect! Sounds like you have a great time entertaining so make it function well for that.

  161. Option three has your name written all over it. It’s lovely and I don’t think you’ll ever tire of those schoolhouse side chairs.

  162. Option 1 or 3 for sure. No question. The others feel cheap, irrelevant to the style of the house, and irrelevant to your style (in my personal opinion).

  163. Emily, I too love the look of the mismatched chairs, so I would choose option #6 – with a caveat. Why not have matching upholstered chairs at the head of the table so that it looks more pulled together? That way you have both the cool mismatched vibe – which, although I’m not a designer, think it looks so country chic – and the stately “I am the king of the table” end chairs.

  164. #3 – you get the soft chairs for the adults and indestructible chairs for the kids. I think some of the other options are too busy for the table (esp 2 and 4) and #5 is way too boring for what I’ve come to love about your style. My second option would be #6, because I love seeing how someone who actually has an eye for design chooses mismatched chairs! LOVE the table!

  165. I say option 1! I love option 5, but that seems like a LOT of fabric for the littles to be running around. I also like option 3, but those side chairs look uncomfortable. I’m with you on the desire for a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, which brings me back to option 1. It’s a good mix of upholstery, wood and clean lines. Option 2 is a nice one also, but the arms on the captain’s chairs bug me for some reason. Definite no’s to 4 and 6.

  166. I love 5 and 6 the most. With 5, would you consider putting an upolstered setee on the window side? I’m sure whatever you choose will be gorgeous and I can’t wait to see it!

  167. Option 3, ALL THE WAY. Nothing comes even close IMO. The leather on the arms of the captain’s chairs is just too good to miss.

    Option 4 feels too French cafe and is the only one I’d stay away from.

  168. Not to throw a wrench in the chain, but have you thought about doing a backless bench in the front? Between 6 chairs at the table and 3 bar stools, there are just SO many chair backs in one space. If you did a bench along the long side (at least on the side of the table that opens to the main room — not the wall side). That would make it so you aren’t staring at the backs of the stools and the chairs. Maybe a custom bench with an upholstered leather seat and then the captain’s chairs from options 3 or 5. Main thing would be to keep it from getting too “heavy.” The kitchen doesn’t have a lot of visual weight, so something too “heavy” would feel off-balanced.

  169. Option 3, the clean up of the kids chairs will be easy. The adults can use the captains chairs.

  170. Option 3!!! It successfully accomplishes that “traditional/country meets mid century modern” look. The scale is great and those chairs are simple and casual but still distinctive and stylish. Plus, those leather arms, come on.

    Option 1 side chairs feel a little too formal with the tufting. Option 2 chairs are sooo cute but I agree the scale seems slightly too petite and they read a little too regency with this table, somehow.

    Options 4 & 5 are definitely a no. I love the chairs in 4 but they don’t seem to make sense with that table/in that house. The chairs in 5 are more formal feeling and, even if they’re covered in a low maintenance fabric, it’s still so much fabric to inspect/wipe regularly. They also look too boxy, maybe.

    Option 6 is interesting, I love the look and it’s becoming more ubiquitous (maybe a little trendy?). It’s the busiest look of the six options and for that reason I’d say no for this one, based on the desire to not fight too much with the paned windows. Even with rustic/classic chairs, the fact that there’d be so much variety would call all of the attention in the space to the chairs, which would feel unbalanced. If the dining room were it’s own space then this look could really shine, but with the backdrop of the kitchen, there’s too much going on here.

  171. I love option 6. It fits with the aged table. Option 3 is a very strong second. I agree with everyone about the upholstery- my husband and 2 adult kids can’t keep our upholstered chairs unblemished!

    Another option that someone else mentioned is to keep your Windsor chairs and paint them white, or leave them black. It’s the most cost effective and you can keep looking while you assess them.

  172. I think I would have to agree with everyone about the upholstered chairs being a disaster in the making – beautiful but disastrous! I’m sure as a designer you already know this but the performance fabrics are definitely not all they are cracked up to be because they pill LIKE CRAZY and it’s really irritating. I got a beautiful glider for my nursery in the RH Perennials linen-like fabric (it’s made from the same solution dyed acrylic fibers as sunbrella) and it started pilling within 3 months and I don’t even use it that much. I was totally in love with the idea that the baby’s bodily fluids could be wiped off and bleached if necessary without changing the look of the material, but the pilling on the seat is really intense and the inside arms look like its growing some type of awful wispy Trump-like hair! Maybe I’m doing something wrong and there is a way to get rid of it (good ol’ bic blade??) but I think you would not be happy with it within a few months if you went that route.

    I love option 4 but I’ve seen those chairs and the wood is kinda yellow and might look weird with the table. If you could get option 2 with vinyl (or faux-leather??) I think it would be a slam dunk as long as the arm rests on the captain’s chairs don’t get in the way or make you look like an awkward wanna-be monarch if you put your arms on them- they look high, no? Thanks for posting every day, reading your blog is one of my favorite things I look forward to!

    1. Now that I’ve writing a response that is entirely too long, I also wanted to throw out there that a bench on one side of the table might be a fun way to funk it up a little – not as comfortable for long dinners but still fun!

  173. This is tough. I can say with certainty NOT #2 or #4. I like #6, but don’t think it is right either. I was initially drawn to #3 but I don’t love the wood top of the side chairs, especially in comparison to the side chairs in #1 (but I like the captain chairs in #3 more). #5 could work with the right fabric, my only concern is will they be too heavy? You have a better sense of the space though, so maybe. Chairs are tough. I really regret the one’s that I bought and wish I had grabbed these instead to go with my wooden farmhouse table: probably too dark for you though.

  174. A quick word against “youth chairs” like this one (even though they are very easy to clean up):

    These types of chairs are the cause of lots of ER visits a year. I forget where I read it, but I read an article that had the top ten “ER visit due to an accident” reasons listed and it was on there. Here is an article in a similar vein though:

  175. I like #1 but I know my kids trashed my upholstered (in Sunbrella) dining chairs when they were small. I’d go with 4 or 6 until they hit elementary school.

  176. Definitely #3 🙂 I love the leather arms on the captain chairs. And the side chairs with the leather seat are perfect for the kiddos. It’s a win, win for everyone! Plus, I think they will look beautiful with the rest of your English Farmhouse style for this house.

  177. Emily,
    Get the chairs you LOVE, put the kids in the kiddie chairs! I had white chairs in my living room when my kids were little, people often commented that I was nuts but they survived and i recovered them when they were 10 and 12. 🙂

  178. Absolutely option 5! Your island chairs are very “leggy” and everything in this space is hard or wood so the fabric would soften it up and really give an inviting sophisticated look! Also, the blue-green color on the island really draws your attention that direction but this fabric would give you an opportunity to balance that out. Definitely go with option 5!

  179. I love option 3. It has a lightness and a clean look to it, but still visually interesting. I would not do option 5, it looks too heavy, and the mismatched chairs would be too much for that many chairs. I like the end option 1, but the side chairs are too much fabric for me. 2 and 4 would be my next choice.

  180. #3 or #6 and if you go with the fabric captains chairs, make sure they are in a wipeable/spot cleanable fabric too. It sounds like your home is an awesome place to be!! and if you do something high maintenance in here, you might find yourself entertaining less. And that’s no fun! Also, as beautiful as DR rugs are, since this is where you eat all of your family meals, you might want to think about not having one. Also, if you don’t already have a dyson cordless vac, buy one today!! Its the best. I thought mine was broken the other day and I felt like a heroin addict needing a fix. I called the help line on the top and it was just a clog (whew). I can’t go a day without that thing!

  181. It may blow your budget, but you’d only have to buy things once instead of multiple times (like me!)
    Let’s introduce you to:

    with a 5 & 6 year old in the house this is what I’ve found allows me to have nice things.

  182. First off, very pretty table. I also like the kids’ chairs in the link.
    I feel like the backs of captain’s chairs should be either be at the same height or higher than the backs of the side chairs. I dislike option #1 for this reason.
    I like option #5, but I’m not sure how practical it’ll be. What IF you made 2 special “kid slipcovers” and just used them on an everyday basis? Swap them out for photo shoots or parties. They could even be a darker color, canvas, etc.
    I also like #6, but it might take longer to find all the perfect chairs.

  183. Emily, I love when you let us peek into your brain. I think this table adds character and brings a lovely rustic touch to the room! I love options 3 and 5… and 6.

    Here’s why I like 6: You have little kids, you’re inviting other people’s little kids into your home. The dining area seems like it’s right in the middle of all the action and a bunch of mismatched chairs may not be “designed” but could definitely be “styled.” It seems like a nice option to make an inviting space that isn’t too perfect. You could make it beautiful–you’ve already done it! Plus, once your kids get a little older, you could replace them with something prettier and more designed.

    Just some thoughts! I do, however, love 3 and 5, if you want to go for a more pulled-together looks, which would certainly match the rest of your home. (I love having a few surprises in homes, though!)

  184. I must say option 3 is also my favourite design wise but you will have serious issues with yor children slipping down to the floor because those backs have plenty of empty space just the size of your toddlers. we had such Incidents and wouldn’t recommend those kind of chairs for children

  185. #3 all the way! I think it solves all of your wants…. It’s SO pretty, most “Emily-ish” to me, mismatch enough to add interest but not crazy mismatch like option 6 (which I normally like a lot as well but just not here for some reason), very inviting and comfortable looking. I can just picture great dinner parties there where people want to hang around for a long time.

  186. Option 4 is my dream dining room! Casual, stylish, and not too fussy. If I bring my kids (or husband) to someone’s house with upholstered dining chairs I’m pretty anxious that they will spill something!

  187. Your new table is 100% everything dreams are made of. Do not regret that beautiful stallion. I vote #6 because I think it adds softness and coziness to the home.

  188. Option 3! Or, I loved the beautiful black caned back chairs you posted yesterday as well. Good luck! I am stuck in my own dining room decision paralysis (fellow designer here), and WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO HARD??

  189. I like 6…and I don’t think it’s a cop out at all. No. 3 is close second…Love the new table!!
    Any fabric, with little ones, is a headache to maintain. Good luck!

  190. you will not be sorry with #5

    dinner time will last longer ,due to chair comfort…

    I like the way the fabric will anchor the room, with all the wood, metal, tile.

  191. Three! I have a kiddo Elliot’s age and he is also a champion food smasher. I’d not go with a rug at this point in his life, unless it’s totally washable, but I would go with awesome long lasting chairs. Throw some Sunbrella on there OR those hideous plastic chair covers on her chair and close your eyes when you walk by and remember in 18 months she will likely have lost interest in feeding the cats her salmon and you’ll be jonesing for kick-A chairs.

  192. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but I would avoid the chairs with the largely open back. Your children, if they are anything like mine, will contort their bodies to fit through those holes. It’s much easier (with children) to have either a closed back or vertical bars on the backs. We have ladder backs and constantly have trouble with them sitting on their knees and squirming through the holes and often getting stuck. Just my two cents. I’m also on the other end of the spectrum with the upholstery thing. We can’t wait to replace our upholstered chairs with a hard WIPEABLE surface!!!

  193. I like the third option by far the best! Wipeable chairs is a definite need, but I also think it makes the captains chairs stand out more, which I personally like. They seem to fit the vibe of the kitchen area too.

  194. I have such a strong opinion. Either #3 or #5. Go Emily fanciful or Emily comfy and you’re all set. Sunbrella or whatever the upholstery. Maybe your kids will develop a dinosaur obsession and you’ll do dino chairs at some points. Nah. But maybe you will have a special cover made that says BIRTHDAY KID and take it out on each kid’s birthday:). I have never had that idea before now.

  195. 3 or 6! I like the chairs in 5 but they feel so heavy all together. Like it would just be one big block of fabric when they are around the table and they would block out the bottom of the table which I really like.

  196. I think leather chairs are the way to go. An English manor house, should not have Parisian bistro chairs. Not really liking the options, could live with #3, with leather.

  197. I love option 3! It’s similar to what we have in our dining room, but we added an upholstered bench on one side as well. Good luck; whatever you decide to go with will work out beautifully I’m sure!

  198. I know you love the breakfast bar stools but I think you need these/similar.
    I think the look is edging towards the 80s at the moment (sorry don’t hate me).

    What about benches if you’ve got lots of visitors? You could have a wow chair at either end – a Wegner Wishbone or something less ubiquitous – and two really great benches on either side with a removable seat pad so you don’t have to cringe about OPCH (Other People’s Children’s Hands). I bet you know someone who would custom make you the perfect benches and they would look very country but different.

    1. Benches are great idea – less fussy in appearance and function but may not be as comfy as you want. If you are even considering changing out your counter stools, your kids will LOVE swivel ones and they would also allow folks to face the kitchen or the dining room (for overflow seating).

    2. Agreed that the kitchen is trending 80s (although I know they are back this year in fashion!) I think the stools are definitely not helping, and the color of the island itself which reads more like *seafoam* or moss than the deep, rich green I was anticipating. I think if the island was repainted and stools were replaced, she could lean more towards the rustic elements she seems to want to introduce in the dining area.

  199. Option 3 for sure!!! 🙂
    I personally don’t feel like the chairs in #4 look right with that table at all.

  200. please don’t kill me, but i’m not in love with any of the chair options.

    PLEASE PLEASE consider those bddw ladder chairs, as they are DREAM CHAIRS for this table.

  201. I like 3 but I LOATHE 5. Maybe I’m just too young to “get” these chairs–they’re like oddly formal blocks. Those are like the opposite of bright and airy.

    I also want to see you do 6. That’s my favorite. Fun, sweet, lived in. This room needs a bit of funkiness thrown in.

    Someone mentioned these chairs in the comments and I like them too:

    I think they might be these chairs:

    And you could add a (washable!) cushion.

  202. My vote is for option #3. I love the look of the 2 chairs together and think they will be practical, pretty, and functional. I do like the chairs in #5, but I think having six of them feels too heavy. I think they could be great on the ends and do something different for the other 4 chairs. Good luck choosing!

  203. 1st place = #6- some of the other looks are more refined and beautiful, but it just feels authentic and straight out of Europe.

    2nd place = #5 Its classic and cozy and refined but doesn’t feel out of place.

    Also, FWIW, I would definitely not do #4. Don’t like those chairs with that table and not sure it fits with the feel of your home.

  204. Definitely #3. It is the best looking and has the added bonus of incorporating some of the “mis-matched” feeling since the two different types of chair work well together but aren’t necessarily in a “set.” It also looks like one of the more reasonable options since the chairs aren’t super wide (like many of the others) and you can easily squeeze in extra chairs for when you have large meals!

  205. I read yesterday’s comments and I’ve been thinking about those white stools of yours as well as looking forward to seeing your new table. How lovely! (though I was thinking you could really use something with a leaf). I’m wondering if what is happening to my eyeballs over here in screen land is simply that with so much white in your kitchen, the photos are just not reflecting the depth and texture that is actually there which warms things up and gives the space more “age” and patina. In photos, I sense that it is reading kinda “modern” because everything is so new, and well white – plus it makes those very modern little black gnome-hat scones really prominent – and “new” isn’t something that we, your readers, generally associate with you.

    Which is just a very long-winded way of me saying that of all the options, I prefer #6 – mostly because they are the only option that would bring in that personality and sense of age to the space. And while I love those white high stools, I do think that in photographs they contribute to the “new” feeling (even though I know they are a fabulous old classic).

    I don’t mind the mix and match old chairs, but I was thinking that what you really need in there is something with a leather seat. It can get stained and worn and that’s all fine. So I would love to see a full set like the Thonet with the leather seat that you put in the mix-n-match option. And I’m sure with your talent and luck for finding these kinds of things you could do waaaay better on the price than those babies. And then you could still mix up what goes at either ends of the table if you wanted to. The house seems to be asking for more worn-in pieces, which also seems more like the “you” readers are used to.

    What I think would be very interesting would be if you did make some strategic styling choices for your upcoming shoot that look better in photos but aren’t the “Henderson-family approved” choices and then explain & show why on the blog. Or shoot what you’d would choose if your kids were 5 years older, but live with the reality of who you are as a family now – which based on the comments will be wholly appreciated. Some things just make a better composition for a photo, but you don’t want to live with it. Always love the secrets from the stylist!

  206. Option 1. I think you need fabric chairs to soften everything. Plus it will make it very inviting! (Since you already have stark white wooden bars stools) It will look fab with the new table which is great!!

  207. I like the vintage mix matched option 6 the best. Though I might keep the kids in tripp trapp chairs or other kids chairs for a while to make sure they don’t tip the chairs over backwards by pushing their feet against the table. Upholstered chairs (unless it is leather or pleather upholstery) seem crazy for dining chairs. For kids or even for adults. Mixing in some stabler kids chairs would work well with the rest of the mix matched chairs.

  208. I think my favourite is option 5, but if upholstery is too much of a risk, then 3 is great too and less fabric to worry about. I love the idea of 6 but I don’t think it is right for your space…too busy and it will take away from those beautiful windows and backyard view!

  209. number 6 all the way. do not buy fabric covered chairs, Emily. You may love them now but you will hate them next week. Or you will hate the kids of your visits. or your own kids LOL no fabric and be happy. From a mother of three who had covered chairs, went wood + leather and did not regret one minute

  210. I like # 3 the best. Leather is so good with kids. But I NEED that light fixture. The link did not take me to a place I could find it. Can you provide more info or a cheaper alternative. We have a very similar table and have been looking for the perfect pendant light. Thank you!

  211. Hi, Emily. I have the same issue with our table that bugged you about your old one. It’s too small. It drives me crazy but we bought such an expensive table (Room and Board) we have decided to live with it. I searched for a year for the perfect chairs because the first chairs we bought (also from Room and Board) got scratched up and they let us return them. We got the Leather Slope Dining Chairs from West Elm recently and we love them. I think they would also look great with your table. (I LOVE your new table, by the way!) Rejuvenation Hardware has similar chairs and I just looked and they are on sale (makes me mad since we just got ours!) But they also have beautiful cane chairs and bistro chairs that would look great with your table. Just a thought! All the fabric in the chairs you chose scare me since I have two kids. I like option 3 the best, though. Good luck! Love your website!

  212. I like 3 for looks, 1 for comfort. I am short and those hard seat chairs where the seat tips back always catch me uncomfortably in the knee. I actually like your current chairs the best. I have been feeling that the kitchen sconces are sort of a lonely black presence and need some company. Even when going for light and airy, a little darkness helps with grounding things. I like the table a lot though I actually prefer the one you are getting rid of.

    I really like that you are doing something different and perhaps outside of your comfort zone with this house.

    Also, there is no such thing as too much space to dance. Dancing space is awesome and wonderful and should be considered in every home design!

  213. So this really boils down to personal taste right? I like beautiful things that I can’t get just anywhere. Option #2 is more unique than the others and I think they’d be yummy in a buttery, cream/white/grey leather. I have three kiddos and leather is a good stain resistant material. I also love comfort, so if you go with option #2 don’t do a shiny smooth leather. My second choice is #3 because it compliments the table SO well!
    CONSIDERATIONS: #5 looks like you copied a Restoration Hardware catalog. #6 is cool, but if you’re anything like me, the mismatched chairs will eventually start to “bug” and then you’ll be shopping for chairs again in a year or two. #4 competes with the table. I don’t see any connection between the two. Good Luck Emily!

  214. Option 6 all the way – we have 3 kids, 2, 4 and 7, and just hosted 8 kids and 6 adults on the weekend for dinner and…..easy clean up and no fear of anything getting stained makes people want to come over. Based on the wear and tear of our current set, in 5-7 years the chairs will be trashed, the kids will be less messy, then you can get the fabric kind you dream of.

    I too am in the camp of the island chairs being wrong, but I feel option 6 will make me ok with them.

  215. Skirted chairs are a pain in the seat to sweep under.
    I like #1 armchairs with #2 or 3 side chairs.
    Also, those chairs will be used as step stools by kids who want snacks in top cabinets. Hard chairs are good.
    Final thought, since your home is The Clubhouse, make sure you can squeeze in extra seating for heated games of Left Right Center. The wider the chair, the fewer the folk.

  216. option 1 or option 4. I love the idea of easy to wipe cafe chairs (typically pretty comfy too), i like the look to and these seem like they suit this stage of your life best, even if not perfect. option 1 is stylistically my favorite, but having recently visited a house where two toddlers took crayons and markers to a set of PB beige dining chairs, well I wouldn’t advocate upholstery 🙂 you know you’ll get bored and want to upgrade in a few years anyway, so why not go with what works best for now?!

  217. I extremely dislike 5. Maybe it’s because I can imagine all the cat hair and dust sticking to the bottom of the fabric. I think number 3 works the best here but I’m a number 6 kinda gal.

  218. Could you do #2 or #3 and reupholster in a white leather (or leather-type fabric)? LOVE the #3 end chairs. Please, not #5 🙂

  219. Option 3 is my favorite but I also love the idea of mismatched vintage chairs – maybe 3 pairs of mismatched? So it looks a little more uniform by having a chair & its mate but still mixes it up.

  220. First, that table, oh beauty! I applaud and admire your choice. The table is delicate for a farmhouse/cottage style…which influences the companion chair choice in a great way. Initially I saw that several of your options would work really well, good scale, lines, comfort, style. I was mostly tied between Options #2 and #3 for the best look, practicality, compatibility with the existing stools.

    But after going back and forth and looking at the room as a whole (and reading the comments with the super functional suggestion of leather on seat cushions) I keep coming back to….Option #3, with a slight twist/suggestion — leather seats on the side chairs and maybe a patterned upholstery on the two captain’s chairs. I don’t know what other pattern you have planned for the room but upholstery on the two end chairs could give that bit of unexpected “quirk” that gives a collected look and simultaneously pulls everything in the room together. If that’s too much, then leather on all the chairs because it will bring warmth and ease of cleaning, and comfort.

    I can’t wait to see what you choose!

  221. The table is amazing and is such a statement piece and in my opinion it needs vintage chairs just like the last two pics above in order to feel less contrived and more accidental …the other chairs looks like you are trying too hard and they don’t really fit the table (my humble opinion).

  222. Option 5 is my favorite. Everyone gets a comfortable seat and it feels so SoCal. However, I’m not sure it is the right option for your space. I think your space calls for #6. I love having a few black chairs sprinkled in, which ties together some of the elements from the kitchen. #6 is the perfect choice for your space.

  223. It’s right there in your bio: “Perfection is boring. Let’s get weird!”.
    Your house is STUNNING and still full of lots of personality, but I think you could infuse some vintage Emily Henderson by doing something less polished and…sophisticated? It’s fun to see how your style has evolved over the years and it’s inevitable that it will become more mature, but I’d love to see a playful and unexpected choice!

  224. I really like 6 but for a more modern (and practical) style I like 3 the best. The end chairs are still comfy but the whole set is more open than set 1 (which would be my runner up). Set 3 is also still pretty child friendly and the kiddos will be growing up more and more. (I really dislike 4 and 5)

  225. My house is also a bit of a “frat house for parents” and I can tell you I’d pick #1 and have the fabric stain-treated (scotch guard?). And I’d keep the kids in Stokke Tripp Trapp chairs and off the fabric chairs. But, speaking from experience having lots of kids and parents in my house all the time having comfy chairs to sit in around the table is very important. You’ll regret it later if you don’t.

    Absolutely no to #5 because the fabric on the bottom would be against all the mess that kids and cats leave on the floor whereever they go (said with love as a parent of kid and cat (and dog)).

  226. I love 5. I really, really love 5. But I also have a 3 year old boy, just a few weeks older than Charlie-and no matter what the fabric is, 5 is gonna be an issue. If it were my house I would go with the super durable fabric, and then I would end up covering it with a beach towel to keep from constantly having to try to clean it up. You dont want a beach towel chair. And its not just the dropped food-it’s the sticky syrup hands that they put all over the chair while they turn around “just for fun.” I fear it will never end. That said- #3 is really good. Pretty, classic and designed. Throw the tiny toddler butts into those solid wood chairs-and when they get sticky just wipe them down. They will look good more often than not;)

    PS-love seeing that professional designers struggle with the “want a grown up house but need to cater to a small, demanding, messy toddler.

  227. Definitely option 3, they are just interesting enough without being TOO interesting and distracting from the charm of the table. Plus that wood tone is just so lovely

  228. I also think that number 3 is the more “you” – love the uniqueness of the leather arms, and agree on the light & airy factor! I would say 5 seems WAY too formal, in my opinion. Formal for you personally, and for a house for kids! Even if it had fabric that would cooperate, it just gives a really formal vibe to me so I’d vote two thumbs down on that one. And because of how chunky they are. So another vote for THREE! 😀

  229. Oh I just love #6. We have a long farmhouse table and matched (amazingly) 8 ikea wooden chairs. I just like the look of wood + wood. For comfort’s sake, couldn’t you put a cushion on top? That then solves the comfort plus food messes since you can replace, clean, turn over. I just think that natural look would be good since the counter bar stools are staying. 🙂

  230. I am surprised to report I love option 5! You mention wanting to have the coziest house, and those chairs look like the comfiest dining chairs ever. They also add a modern yet soft edge to your very classic kitchen.

    In my current home I have option 6. I love having mismatched chairs because I feel like if I ever fall in love with another chair and it’s on it’s own, I can add it to my collection or replace one. The feeling of constant movement around my dining table is so fun, and chairs are one of those things I’m always drawn to.

    I must say though that I am personally drawn to option 3. I gasped when i saw those beautiful chairs! They would look stunning in your kitchen as well.

  231. 2- #5 for captains chairs in washable white linen.
    4 – #3 side chairs with removable washable stain resistant white fabric tie on cushions (no cushions would be best though)
    Love the table and I think you would want to keep the lines of the table as visable as possible, and not completely hide the beautiful trestle base with heavy chairs all around. So so many straight lines there though, it would be nice to bring in the curviness of those counter stools somewhere into the dining area, especially since they’re all “seen” simultaneously in the sight line.
    I agree with another responder who commented that you’re losing your mid century base and colorful fun vibe in this house. Even though I agree it’s good to stay within the house’s own character, I miss the “unexpected” qualities that you had in your previous incarnation.

  232. Love your blog!!
    I love option 3 and 6.
    And agree with another commenter that the Ikea junior chair may be a good option!
    Also love your stools – don’t change them! 🙂

  233. Option #1 side chair x2 and Option #3 side chair x4… or x2 if you’re considering a bench on one side. Just love how you can fit so many tiny hineys on a bench when you’ve got more kiddos in the house for gatherings.

  234. One more thing-I missed. I actually have chair #4-or something VERY similar. My three year old has managed to get ground up graham crackers AND cookies in the weave. They are harder to keep clean than I imagined. If you go that route-that a cracker to the store and see if you can make a mess on them first;)

  235. #3 is perfect!!! Love the casual more modern look mixed with your cool old table. It SO works with the light CA vibe! No need to change out the barstools either. Also not as much fabric to worry about with kids! #3 !!!

  236. I vote for #2. The room needs some curves (and upholstery) to offset the hunkyness of the table. I would also upholster in a light colored leather or a wax coated fabric.

  237. Putting my vote in for option 3. The scale is appropriate while not taking away from the table. It also doesn’t impede the beautiful windows!

  238. Number 3 is my favorite, because I like the clean lines. I think they are family friendly and stylish. Very natural but classic.

  239. I have a 4 and 7 year old, and while I hear you on wanting cozy, cushioned chairs… Do not get fabric chairs. Even sunbrella fabric, I’ve found, isn’t ideal. You can clean it, but you often see water marks. If it’s a slipcover you can take off, you avoid that problem, but trust me: You don’t want to be washing your slipcovers on your weekends! I have imitation Navy Emeco chairs now (from Home Decorators) in a light ivory color that are great looking but SO uncomfortable. We bought cushions, but they’re now stained and gross and I don’t even have the energy to wash those as often as I should. My next move is wood. Kids are just grimy, even if they are pretty good with food. To me, the only way to do upholstered seats with young kids is to laminate the fabric. Make it not just washable, like sunbrella, but WIPEABLE. And maybe you compromise and have comfy/upholstered captains chairs that are off limits to your kids:) Good luck! I am in the market, too, and love that you share your process with us!

  240. I like option #1! I think you need the softness of the upholstered chairs. And those particular chairs are still unique. #3 would be my second choice.

  241. Option 5 or 6 for sure!!! Option 5 might be the best as I think it will work the best with your current stools as the other options may be too similar and fight with the curves a little too much. Also, as long as the chairs are slipcovered in fabric that is washable I think it will survive the kids (besides extra cover could always be made now or later when they wear out or you change your mind). But the mismatched set is LOVELY❤️. But then I fear the pristine white stools would look out of place. Perhaps the last option but with all painted the same white colour.

  242. Option 5! Those chairs are amazing and they make the room feel sophisticated and classic. They look so comfy too!

  243. Mismatched chairs are my forever style. It looks the most authentic in my opinion. So, Option 6 is my choice BUT for your house I would say Option 3. Your kitchen is so formal and well done and the style throughout the house is shaping up to be that way that I think the mismatched vintage chairs are out of character for the space. Option 3 offers it while still pairing well with the kitchen and rest of the spaces. Option 5 is hideous…..don’t do that….gorgeous chairs on their own…but it’s too much going on.

  244. All lovely options. I absolutely love the look of option 5! However, kids will most definitely use them as napkins. I’d really like to say only small children would do such a thing, but it’s just not true. Therefore, I think you should go with option 6. So not a cop out! It takes a designer’s eye to curate the perfect eclectic mix. If anyone can do it, it’s you.

  245. Option 3!!! Option 4 is too “on trend” – I see these chairs everywhere and I think they are going to go out of style as quickly as they came back in. Option 5 feels too pottery barn. The leather will age well on the arms of Option 3 regardless of what the kids do to the chairs. Mismatched looks nice in pictures but I don’t think it actually lives well – makes things just look hodge-podge when the room isn’t 100% cleaned up and styled. Also harder for re-sale if you ever fell out of love with the look.

  246. I think #4 side chairs “talk to” the counter stools but the #4 captain chairs are too busy. I’d mix in #1 captain chairs or something similar to #1 side chairs with arms. I do like the variation in heights but think the the taller ones should be the captain chairs. That table is the star and contrasting materials (fabric/rattan) would look best with it. Love your house and congrats on the sale!

  247. Option #3 ticks off all of the items on your checklist: simple and classic, maintainable side chairs for young kiddos, and cushioned armchairs for comfort, the style won’t compete with the stools,, the table (which is beautiful!), or the windows.

    To me, Option #4, #5, #6 would detract from the windows because they are eye-catching. The windows and the view are enviable, and I wonder whether these chairs would overpower them. I agree with what you mentioned in your last post – that the chairs should probably be understated. However they shouldn’t be plain.

    Option #1 is also understated and classic, but might not last too long. Option #2 looks pretty, but they don’t look comfortable to lean back against – either the arms are too high or the top of the back of the chair is too low.

  248. 3 is the best! Clean lines, but inviting.

    I’m sorry, but 5 is the worst! 5 will be too heavy, weigh everything down.

    I think 1 also works, or just the side chairs from 2 (I’m distracted by the extra bar on the end chairs). I personally have been wanting a place to go with 4 chairs in my own house — but they would not be right with this table.

    No to 5! Yes to 3!

    Table by the way is lovely — have no regrets!

    1. Oh, and 6 — (I feel compelled to weigh in on all, I guess) — come on, that’s been done too many times already now. Trite! Also, doesn’t look comfortable!

  249. Options 3 and 5 are my favorites. 3, because it adds a little bit of modern and the chairs are nice and simple which shows off the table (though I like the captain’s chairs better than the side chairs). I like 5 for the same reason, and it’s easier to replace a slipcover than a whole chair.

    With 5, though, I worry that the pretty chair skirts will hide all the beautiful detail under the table.

    I REALLY don’t like #4. The chairs are cute for an outdoor café but they’re too busy for your dining room.

  250. Love #3 but missing the black chairs that you posted a few days ago! They seemed sophisticated and charming and kid-friendly. 🙂 But out of all of these, 3 for sure!

  251. Options 3 and 6 are my favorites! The captain’s chairs in #3 are so so good. I do the think school chairs with the table go pretty farm/ rustic, but it will still look lovely. To me #6 is appealing, because it nails the quirky/ casual/ inviting thing.
    Option 5 is very “Modern California Casual” but really doesn’t feel like it fits with the table or the rest of the house.

  252. I love option 4 and 6. Hard. I will say that when I had mismatched chairs in my dining room, some people loved it and some people thought I was being cheap. I’m sure your friends are far more design conscious and aware so they’ll probably love it.

    I pretty much love every option besides option 3, weirdly enough. IMHO, I think that a little less MCM-like furniture would look lovely in the new house. That being said, I’m sure that whatever you do, you’ll make it look lovely

  253. Option 3 looks like you, option 6 could be fabulous especially if the chairs relate closely but are all different.

  254. 3 all the way! With 1 as backup. I quite dislike all the other choices – 2 feels off with the nailheads, 4 seems say too gardeny and uncomfortable, 5 feels like the kids would get the fabric SO dirty and also it’s a bit drab and boxy, 6 is too flea market shabby chic.

  255. This is TOUGH!!! My design eye says option 3 is perfection, but my butt bones say that extra cushion in Option 1 would be oh-so-nice while sipping rose with the moms and not moving for hours!

  256. Option 1 is my favorite, but option 3 seems more practical. Could you do the captains chairs from option 1 and the slide chairs from 3?

  257. Option 6, for sure. But a personal preference of mine (and I sure ain’t no designer) is to have chair backs that do not go higher than the top of the table because it makes the space feel more expansive, won’t block the view out those gorgeous window and generally makes space feel less jagged. But you do you, Emily!

  258. Simple: Mix & match vintage chairs that can take a beating for a few years, then go for #3. (In sunbrella, kids, and humans, will be making messes until they move out)

  259. I like option 3. It’s simple and it seems to most functional to me with small children. The four will be easy to clean and the lines are great anyway. I will say though, that the captains’ chairs on #5 look SUPER comfy. I think the captains’ chairs on #2 look weird….like, the arms are awkward.

  260. Love #3! You’d be crazy to go with the fabric-covered chairs. Take it from a mom who has two little boys smearing fingerprints on her flax linen couch every morning.

  261. I have a similar table (antique oval with spool legs). Has the same feel to it that yours does and I have been wanting #5 chairs soooooooo bad but I have a 3 yr old and 5 month old and just can’t do it. I mean even when my girl isn’t eating stuff still seems to fly everywhere!! So I have French square back faux leather chairs instead and let me say….smartest move EVER. I mean I need to recover them cause the color is killing me but I will go with another faux again. I get to have a cool fabric on the back and the viynel is kid proof. Upholstered and kid friendly!

  262. I like 1, 3, and 5 best, maybe even a combo of the end chairs from 5 with the side chairs from 3? I love the kitchen stools, but are they the white still or back to natural (please natural!)

  263. Hi there from Germany 🙂 Emily, option 3 is an absolute winner. Would get this combo for my home in a heart beat & I am 100% sure it would look abyolutely amazing in your new home. Also the perfect combination of kid friendly & just beautiful! I am so in love & can’t wait to see what you are ending up going with! So exciting!!

  264. Have you considered leather chairs? Or is the coloring too difficult? Leather can be comfortable and washable.

  265. I have the chairs from option 4 in our beach condo (San Diego) with a big totally plain white table. They are fabulous for the maintenance (especially since we also rent it out) and look great. BUT I don’t feel they are the vibe you want given the kitchen/rest of the house.

    I feel like option 3 is a great (if safe) bet and I agree with how great the open-ness is. I think I’m a bit traditional in that I want captain chairs that look more bulky/substantial than side chairs which is why option 1 does not speak to me. Option 5 looks way too cube-y and heavy to me, but then I have a bit of a poison eye for big slipcovers so that’s probably just me.

    I too have a toddler (she’ll be 4 in July). We have both a formal dining room (with upholstered chairs) and then a very casual table off our kitchen with a bench on one side and leather captain chairs. So very kid friendly and yet she STILL insists on eating in her high chair which we just pull up to the table. I just bought her a booster to go on one of the leather chairs so she can really be a part of the table and, nope, only the high chair. So I think it’s totally fine to buy upholstered chairs (esp option 3 which seems to feature minimal upholstery) and plan to pull up chairs for the next year or two. Remember, tis but a season with these little ones!

  266. The option 3 captain’s chairs are rad but the side chairs seem off. I have those side chairs and will say that they aren’t the most comfortable. I find them to be something you want to quickly get out of rather than sit and have a wonderful conversation with friends over tall glasses of wine. Option 5 is my favorite because it feels luxe and unexpected. I want to sit at that table.

  267. UUUGGGG! None of your images are showing. The text is there, but not images. Tried it on 2 different browsers but nothing. You have me curious about which table you picked. Any chance of correcting this?

  268. I would choose option 6 for sure! Anything but option 5! #3 Does look like something Emily would choose.

  269. Option 1. You need to balance the whites from one side of the room to the other.

    My eye sees that if you go with the “all wood” look, meaning both wood table and wood chairs…..the kitchen would look uneven. One side is light and bright, and the table area would look like a dark hole.

  270. I would do number three, mainly because when it comes to furniture, I prefer simple, clean lines especially when the details have been well thought out. Those two chairs with the leather on the armrests sound amazing. I never would have thought to do that. Plus I like that they’re light enough to not overwhelm the space, definitely kid friendly (I have three, 6 and under, so I get it) and I love how they contrast against your gorgeous table, which is definitely a heavy wood. Both the tables and chairs would look great with any style of rug and art you go with in the space and they’re classic enough to stay in style and looking beautiful for years. I truly think option 3 is the best choice. Good luck!

  271. #6 has more interest and brings in a more comfortable/lived-in vibe in the totally-new space. But, you will probably accomplish the comfortable vibe with the rug, hutch, and accessories. So, #3 is a close second.

    Regarding the stools – I was one of the nay-sayers. The shape is great, but the white is stark. The white/light dining chairs from #3 might help that out. I still think wood stools in the same shape would look better, but I get that you love them and they are here to stay.

  272. Three and six! On three, like the mix of fabric on the captain’s chairs and the plain, simple but not too dainty wood chairs. As for six, I love this look. It’s high personality as each chair is different. If the kids wreck one, you don’t have to start all over and you have the fun of the search!!

  273. Option 3 for sure! Seem kid friendly but stylish without being too trendy. Keep the room light too without adding a ton of bulk.

  274. Option 3! I like Option 2 as well, but three acts more as a foil to the table, vs 2 feels more coordinated, and I prefer a little bit of contrast in age.

  275. Option 3 ! I like the light fresh lines with the table , and with your bentwood stools. You can add some sheepskins to the side chairs for texture ( and comfort). Scandinavian design helps mix the old world and the mid century modern I think.

  276. I already commented above but forgot to add that I think the table and light above are a PERFECT combination!! ??. Still not quite feeling any of the chairs as quite right. But I do LOVE the tall ladder back chair- think these would be lovely as captain chairs, and something less busy in the middle.

  277. My favorites are 2, 3, and 5. I love the scale of 2 and 3 and the colors tie nicely the with bar stools, which are awesome btw. Five is growing on me and I think that once in the space, these would look great – very warm, comfy, and inviting – and would speak to the style in the rest of the house (I think!). Good luck!

  278. I agree with those that suggest a bench on one side, because its right next to the kitchen island chairs, to break things up.

    I have young children and the Sava leather chairs from Room & Board have been amazing (not too harsh to sit on, no worries about food stains). Not the right look for your room, but leather could be a good option, especially for longevity and character as it ages, to go with the marble in the kitchen, etc.

  279. Option 3- it’s keeps things light and open, the side chairs give you a kid friendly option, even when your kids get to the point of not smushing or spilling, don’t put your guests in the position of worrying about ruining your stuff. Having gone through the little kid phase, our Emeco chairs which could just be wiped down was a lifesaver.

  280. Ok – 3 and 5! 3 because I love the side chair with the stool. And the captains chairs are perfect. Overall this look has a great shape and lightness that works with the overall vibe. And it doesn’t feel too forced.

    5 because – yay – comfort! And they look very inviting. And they are soft and cozy and still very simple and beautiful.

    Love seeing your updates!

  281. Emily, great table! I find myself preferred no option 1 and 5. The softness of the upholstery contrasts so well with the rustic quality of the table and the combination just beckons you to sit, eat and enjoy in leisurely conversation. Also, it feels a little more modern. Although the other chairs options are interesting I feel jostled by all the lines.
    Can’t wait to see what you decide. I always enjoy seeing your rooms.

  282. Option 5 in your own fabric seems so effortlessly chic! Love them!!! Number 6 seems the most fun. With the orientation you chose, are you sure the end chairs won’t stick out too far if the arms don’t tuck under & are you okay with having bang marks on the arms & table of they don’t? Can’t wait to see it all put together!

  283. I love option 5 but with three kids under four we are still DEEP into the sticky hands, food throwing/smearing stages so I fear for your sanity if you go with those. We actually moved out our upholstered captain’s chairs from West Elm because I was so tired of telling the kids not to touch the chairs during meal times (that does not make a fun mom!). So, option 3 is my vote!

  284. option 1 or 3 – from reading your blog, I personally feel like 3 is more you. and your style

  285. I think the mismatched chairs is just a bit too rustic for your room. Plus… looking at the sconces, the bar stools, the windows, the overall design…. there is a lot of symmetry going on. Which I love! I think the mismatched chairs seem too busy.

    I vote for option 3. Clean lines… plus I love the leather on the arms of the captains chairs.

  286. I’m gravitating towards 3, but I’m wondering if you need at least two chairs with a high back. Your ceilings are so tall and beautiful, that I think the short chairs that you had in there before (I have the same chairs) looked a little shrinky-dink. I love option 3 & 4 the most. Good luck! P.S. I’d marry your kitchen.

  287. If I had to pick, I’d go with #3 also. But actually I don’t really like any of the options. This is a first for me, I usually love one of your options and like all the rest of them!

    And I’ll wait until you actually post pictures of the table, but in the Etsy pictures I wasn’t liking the yellow tone that it had.

  288. As an experienced mom I say DO NOT do Option 5. Even if you have your kids trained to perfection, other peoples kids will spill. Even if you get all kids to sit in special kiddy chairs, they will touch stuff with sticky fingers. Even if you get wipeable fabric, it takes way more time to clean fabric than a hard surface. Do you envision your kids doing crafts/homework at the table? That introduces a whole new level of stain-producing substances. Your chairs will look like trash in a year.

    I like Option 3, but don’t love it. Option 2 just looks painful. Mismatched sounds great if you can pull it off.

  289. Hi form UK/Spain. Number 3 for sure! I would add maybe a bench or a wicker chair if I wanted to give it a more “relax” feel. Love your feed and the way you break down your thought process. ☺

  290. Option 5! I have 3 kids (ages 10, 8, and 5) and have similar chairs. Kids are still messy, but I love that I can take the slipcovers off and send to cleaners whenever they get too dirty (vs upholstery). Chairs are super comfy for long dinners with friends and the fabric breaks up all the wood in my dining room.

  291. #3 all the way! Having two toddlers myself I will tell you, the kids chairs will get thrashed! But, it is nice to have a fancy head of the table chair that is off limits for the littles;)

  292. Right, so for me option 1 is a clear winner – I love those chairs and think they are everything; classic but not conservative, stylish but still formal, robust and comfy (looking) but still visually light.
    My second choice would be option 2 – I like the side chairs but quite strongly dislike the uncomfortable look of the captain’s chair.
    Having said all that, I am a huge fan of mismatched chairs and don’t believe that it’s a cop out. Quite the contrary, finding mismatched vintage chairs that harmonise takes more skill than just buying a matching set 😉 Visually it can look informal, I agree, I tried to counteract that in my own kitchen by going for 4 side chairs of the same vintage style and adding 2 very different captain’s chairs. My only rule – if you do mismatch, be bold.

  293. Honestly, I don’t like any of them. The only one I
    would consider is 6, the mixed match chairs. All the other cheapen your beautiful table.

  294. I vote #3. #5 is a close second. #1 seems weird because the end chairs will be lower than the side chairs. I agree with #4 bring too French country or something. Not California enough. #6 is cool in person but I agree if we are looking for something inspirational, we have seen this look before. I also like that #3 is beautiful but also the most kid-friendly, in my opinion.

  295. Option 4 is a bit too matchy-matchy for my tastes, and 5 seems a bit too suburban traditional. Option 1 seems like the captain & side chairs should be swapped since the side chairs have higher backs, they feel like they should be at the head of the table. Options 3 & 6 are my favorite, but 6 might go a little farther toward farmhouse than you’re looking for. I like that 3 still goes very nicely together, and has that little touch of MCM that we know you love, so that would be my top vote.

  296. option 3… super stylish, mix and match vibe still going, the captain chairs offer extra comfort for mom and dad, while the other chairs remain super functional/wipeable! It looks like a win-win all the way around and is most balanced/stylish/not-to-heavy visually!

  297. I love the mismatched chairs in option 6. I feel that the mismatched chairs is all over my Pinterest but I wouldn’t know how to style it to look like the pictures I love. So option 3 is my other vote if you don’t go for the mismatched feel. I’m so excited to see what you pick!

  298. What about a set of 4 matching vintage chairs and a pair of captains chairs…example the vintage chair on the right of option 6 with the captains chairs in option 5. i kind of like the chairs in option 1 (especially the side chairs), but they are WAY out of my budget.

  299. Definitely options 3 or 6. Maybe 6 with the captain’s chairs from 3.

    4 and 5 are too perfect/normal/beige. Get weird!!

  300. I love Options 1, 2, and 3 equally–my deciding factor would be whether the arm chairs can fit under the table.
    But, I also love Option 6–who cares how predictable or easy it feels if you love the look of a collected set of chairs. That being said, I love an upholstered, cushioned dining chair, especially as your table and chairs will be like mine, your only inside eating space. If I had an eat-in-kitchen and a formal dining room, I’d say upholstered in the dining room and Option 6 in the kitchen. But, as the only eating space inside, comfort is key, and will encourage longer stays at the table.
    I have a five year old, with upholstered, not slip covered, dining chairs from Target at our only dining table and they’ve held up just fine through nearly 4 years of use (which means I got them when he was still in a high chair and much more messy than he is now). No noticeable food stains, even after swipes of syrup, yogurt, grease, etc. I just do a quick spot clean with Dawn dish soap and water as needed.
    I hate the look of Option 5–regardless of what fabric you choose. I think its the shape of the chair and the full skirt that is turning me off so violently. Those chairs remind me of the dread I feel in Restoration Hardware these days. Ahh, I just clicked on the link and realized they are from RH.
    Option 4 feels too French for an English cottage.
    Whatever you choose, remember that you are likely to change the look of your kitchen in a few years anyway, so get what you love and will work for your family now.

  301. I am most into option #6. Your kitchen is so lovely, but is feeling very buttoned up! Bring it back to that “perfection is boring, let’s get weird” vibe. 🙂

  302. Could you somehow combine Option 5 and Option 6? I really love how cozy those slipcovered chairs look, but all of them together is too matchy-matchy. I’ve always loved the idea of eclectic, mixed chairs and I think if anyone can figure out how to pull it off, you can. Would it not work to do slipcovered armchairs and mismatched wood ones for the side chairs? If not, then option #3 is my favorite.

    I know everyone is telling you to do leather, but I will say my sunbrella-like cream colored chairs held up better than my leather ones because there is something about leather my little ones LOVE to destroy. My kids never wrote or colored on anything – except leather surfaces. My bed, my recliner, my dining chairs. My dining chairs, may they rest in peace, all ended up with holes because my kids liked to jab things into them (and over the years would poke their fingers into those holes and pull. The last few months of their life half of them were duck taped together in order to keep the padding in and to stop the kids from more prying. I know I’ve made them sound like heathens and that I’m a terrible mother who doesn’t discipline her kids, but they really were not destructive to anything else but my leather things. They did know better, but it was like a compulsion for them. Now I have to get rid of my leather recliner (which I never loved anyway) because its got a hole near the bottom of it, too despite the fact that my boys are no longer toddlers. Anyway, my point is that leather is not as destruction-proof as its been made out to be. Good luck, I can’t wait to see what you choose!

  303. I like 3 best, it seems to mix a couple of different styles followed by 2 which seems to be more singular in style.

    I would be interested to see how you would style option #5. It could be cool, it feels very Lauren Liess.

    #6 is fun but it feels done in my mind, and I would want to see different bar stools with those chairs.

  304. I like the side chair in #1, it makes the dining room a little more adult. To use fabric with kids, I’d use multiple washable slipcovers. I would also put a layer of plastic over the seat and up enough on the back of the chair under the slipcovers to protect the crease between the back and seat. I think #2 & #3 are more MCM than cottage or traditional. #4 will have you on the patio with a scrub brush and a hose weekly trying to get spaghetti out of the zillion creases. I’d definitely give #5 the sit test before buying, those backs look uncomfortably low. You want your adult guests to be comfortable lounging around the table chatting after dinner. Surprisingly, I like the mixed chairs in #6 (second to the side chairs in #1.) I’m just afraid it will be too busy because it’s open to the kitchen and those white chairs. Love the striped drapery fabric! I looked long and hard for subtle vertical stripes but was never able to find anything.

    1. 3 is polished, yet warm. The mixing of woods has an eclectic vibe w/o being in your face. I also love the open back of the chair. Lets you see more of that gorgeous table! Option 6 is just fun! I think it lends well for a family with children. Everyone can have a favorite chair. Maybe even let Charlie pick one or two. The big farm table can handle all kinds of sizes and variations.

  305. 3! We just got a table like this and I am on the lookout for chairs! I wish I could buy those exact chairs but I’m not a designer and have no access to your linked website. I like that light fixture too, but are you concerned that it won’t throw off enough light? Or that the light it does throw off will be super muted? Is this a practical choice or design choice? So interested in your thought process.

  306. I *LOVE* #5, but even with a “stain proof” fabric I don’t think it would be very practical. My kids are 11 & 14 and I just now replaced our leather dining chairs with fabric ones, and guess what, I find food stuck on them *ALL* the time. I couldn’t imagine what it would be with toddlers. I wish you had the natural wood barstools instead of the white and could then pick white/painted rush seated chairs (major nod to English) but in a modern style like Vico Magistretti. My mom had rush seated ladderback dining chairs for 40 years with a family of 7 and they wore like iron; absolutely nothing stained them.

  307. DEFINITELY top vote is for #3! It goes well with the rest of the house so far and is the most appealing and seems you too. Plus, I just LOVE it!

    Voting Order:
    1) #3
    2) #6
    3) #1

  308. I like #1 the best but coming from a mom of 4, just know that fabric is going to get TRASHED!!! But we did it anyway and just bought cheap-ish chairs and replaced them. Not smart, I know, but it is what it is.

    I love the look of mis-matched chairs but for some reason am not loving it in your space. Feels too messy for what’s already going on in there, if that makes any sense.

    And I wish I was local because I really want to buy your smaller kitchen table.

  309. I would go with option 1. The chairs look very comfy. We redid our kitchen when my daughter was 4 or 5 using similar chairs. I didn’t use any special fabric, but had the chairs stain-guarded (also had slip covers made in the same fabric, but ended up not using them much). We moved when my daughter was 20 and the chairs still looked great, even after all those years and lots of entertaining of children and red-wine spilling adults. Loved the chairs so much because they are soooo comfy that now they are reupholstered to coordinate with my new dining room.

  310. Option 4 or 6! I don’t think I like any of the others for the table. I love finding and enjoying an individually well-made chair and combining lovely wood, which is what 6 does.

  311. Option 6 & here’s why: You love those white bar stools so opt 6 allows you to keep them. I think that they’ll clash with any of the others. Also I saw that you pinned a really cool pic from an antique shop you loved and there were basket lights hanging over the dining table (I think I am recalling the right lighting?) and those lights or just one of them, would be stunning over mismatched chairs and that table. White plates to add the modern rustic touch to your set would look gorgeous too.

  312. Omg this is hilarious how many opinions WE have about YOUR dining room chairs. Thanks for asking us btw! I love it and your new table! Man I’ve been on the search for the world’s most comfortable and livable dining room chairs for a few years now, so I feel you on wanting them to be divinely comfortable and welcoming while acknowledging the messy kid factor. Even though I have my 2 year old in a toddler chair on a hard non fabric chair base, the base chair still gets SO dirty.

    I vote for #1. And upholster them in the most durable wipable fabric you can find. And one part I really like about them is that the legs are simple so when things inevitably spill or dust settles etc, they won’t be as much of a haven for grime as any of the other options.

    What’s the amazing fabric you found that you can wipe a sharpie off of??? Please do tell! My dining room is dying for better chairs!

  313. Hands down, hands on my heart, #3 is the best option, design-wise.
    From my humble p.o.v.
    Those adorable oval shaped wooden backs on the side chairs contrasting with the rectangular-ness of the armchairs is a winner. I also think they fit your already established style. Light but playful. Solid but ….punctuated!
    As far as toddlers slipping through the backs, well, that IS something to consider. : /

    Thanks for asking. It was fun to consider.

  314. I like option 6 and you can use some of the totally perfect black chairs you already have. Or you could just stand up to eat until you find the ideal completely perfect chairs every designer will gnash their teeth at not having themselves. And you will never ever want to change them for any other chair ever.

    And you’ll find them on sale. Yeah, that could happen.

  315. #3 just works. The chairs have the right casual California vibe. Cool without trying too hard. Practical with kids. They look great with your new table. That said and I’m sorry, but your counter stools are none of those things. Someone above said it, but the super white counter stools and greenish/blue island are jarring in contrast to the cool, relaxed dining area.

  316. Option 5! Those chairs look like Sunday morning brunch personified. (Also, I really don’t like Option 4, mainly because it looks trendy in a bad way. Like Chevron trendy…) Good luck!

  317. Option 1, option 3 or option 5, but I worry that those adorable but sticky babies and their noms might do a number on option 5.

  318. I prefer option 4. The captains chairs should be chunkier than the others which is why I like 4. 3 keeps some of the midcentury vibe, but isn’t over the top. Option 4 has the best scale in terms of having chunkier arm chairs. A mix of the two would be perfect. 🙂 I love the new table. Your house is awesome. 🙂

  319. I like #3 the best, with #4 being my least favorite….they look like really nice outdoor chairs. #1 and #5 would be my second choices, but with the mis-matched, I might do the same chairs at the end of the table….perhaps those would be covered.

  320. I like Option 3 best. I have a farm table (and live on a farm) and am using vintage Eames molded fiberglass with wool upholstery as my chairs. Perhaps this idea is too mid-century modern, but I feel like it really suits your vibe. We love ours. They bring some color and character to our dining room and I think they go with the farmhouse vibe perfectly. Plus they are easy to clean and extremely durable.

  321. Option 3 makes the most sense and is so beautiful and sophisticated yet simple. The table is stunning, by the way. Option 5 doesnt work for many reasons but a big one is that the architecture of the table will be hidden by all the fabric of the slipcovered chairs. Option 2 and 4 aren’t pretty or interesting enough. Those serena and lily cafe chairs are played out and I don’t think they fit your room. I like option 1 as well, but I think 3 is the way to go.

    I also think option 3’s captain chairs would look good with mismatched vintage chairs am i crazy?

  322. 3 is my favorite by far! It feels the most effortless to me and I like that you have some curves on the four side chairs in contrast to the straight lines on the captain’s chairs.

  323. #3. Clean lines. No slip covered look so you can see the beautiful table. The side chairs give it a schoolhouse look so it’s chic and fun for family/kids. ANd the side chairs are classic and sturdy for anchoring the ends for the adults. I like the way the wood on the captain’s chairs creates a shape similar to that of the table. Makes it look seemless and clean and pleasing to the eye.

  324. Options 1-4 are great, but Emily- DO NOT get fabric chairs. I repeat- do not! I just did away with ours. I have a relatively clean 5-year old and a one-year old. No matter how careful you are, kids RUIN everything. Even with a stain blocker and regular steam cleaning. I love the look of lighter chairs- could you find lighter leather chairs? Bound or tufted light leather? That would be ideal.

  325. If this were my home #6 hands down. For you, #3. Love #6 especially since this is your only dining space. The chairs feel grounded with the fabric for a nice formality to an otherwise casual space.

  326. I vote for 3 or 6. However just curious why you aren’t considering white or black Windsor chairs. I’m guessing you think that is “too boring” and unoriginal for a designer like you but I think they would be a great option too. Just a thought. Whatever you choose will be gorgeous!

  327. 3 and the last option seen the most ‘Emily.’ do the one that makes you smile. That will see you through scrubbing mystery dribbles off of them every week.

  328. 2, please. Is it because I love nail heads? Partly, but I think they also look comfy, + their curves echo those of your bar stools. 😉 I was all set to paint our wood farmhouse chairs pale blue today but can’t find the can. The humanity. Meanwhile, I love reading your blog so much!

  329. #3 or #5. 5 makes the most sense with kids, simple, super comfortable, but 3 is gorgeous too. Love mixed-match chairs, but think it will be too busy with everything else happening.

  330. option 6. Love the mismatched. The different woods blend nicely with your beautiful table. Congratulations on your new purchase!

  331. option 3 or 6. 6 is best because you can wipe them down. Fabric is too precious at this point and you can ALWAYS switch the chairs out as the kids get older…

  332. I kinda feel like the person who makes the first comment leads the direction of the majorly of the comments…… with that said I choose #6 of all the mock ups presented it’s the only one that looks calm and like they belong together and that country with a twist look … #5 reminds me of outdoor furniture and #3 looks like what everyone has… well in Australia anyway..

  333. I have finally realized that I am so old I can not appreciate today’s taste so offering an opinion on the general arrangement would be pointless but for a dollup of Debbie Downer I can’t see how anyone could sit at either end of that table? Doesn’t seem as though one could pull up close enough not to wind up wearing the Menu. You hit the jackpot though Family wise…gorgeous,happy and Smart group. You could Model as the perfect American Family.

    1. I had the same thought! It doesn’t seem like a chair (especially and arm chair) could be pulled up close enough to the ends of the table. I hope that is just because of the angles of the pictures we are seeing, and when the table arrives it is not a problem in person.

  334. I love 3 – that chair combo is so great. 5 is super pretty too, but they kinda feel like the dining chair version of your couch in the playroom to me.

    Good luck. You’ll nail it.

  335. I LOVE mismatched #6.
    I think it checks every box. If it’s done right (and you’d do it right) with soulful picks that wispher old stories, then it’s beautiful design, not phoned in at all. (At least not to me.)
    Its traditional and yet fresh. It has history and heart. I think it speaks most to the house’s essence—a hint at who it really is. And maybe even (we can pretend) the chairs have traveled through the decades with it, on its journey. You can get different time frames …and all your particular passions…all living in harmony.
    The chairs would be the best bet for kids and food spills. Plus kids love having “their” chair…it feels special that yours is unique.
    And I just really like it in context of all of the space.
    I feel like option four (the “hamptons” one) is the least in context.
    If you can’t be sold on number 6 (but I hope you can be.) Then I’d go with 3.

  336. I personally like Option 2 (Option 3 was a very close second though!). I think the classic chairs in option 2 go better with the period of the house. The curvature is beautiful and matches your kitchen stools – plus the two different dining chairs also look like they are part of the same set. We have a two children under the age of 3 and had our chairs recovered in a soft vinyl (I know, I know..). BUT the chairs are comfortable, very easy to wipe down, and still have clean lines.

  337. I really want to like #2 but I think #3 is the best look. It’s simple, clean, and fits an eclectic styling. Both #4 and #5 feel like too much for a casual dining space.

  338. I like 3 and 6 the best. And I agree with all the people who are suggesting leather upholstery. So much easier to clean.

  339. I like 2 and 3. 4 is most practical and I agree not in love. I know those come in black and white which may also look nice. It is so hard to decorate a house with children when you instinct is to make everything pretty. Good luck!

  340. Option three! Don’t do the mismatched chairs…. while I love that look I think your table brings enough character to the space.
    So in love with your new home.

  341. Please, stay away from fabric! It’s not just toddlers, but kids in general (teenagers, too!). Your kids might be fine, but think about what can happen with other kids, or even adults (think wine!). I love 3 or 6!!

  342. ohhhh 1, 2 or 3…with number 1 or 3 maybe my favorite.

    Hmmm, 3 I feel is more “Emily-ish” ….we’re making that a thing now…see below, “Emily-ish” is a trend. 🙂

    But 1 is nice too…maybe more for me.

  343. Option 3. If it weren’t for the kids factor I would probably go with option 1 but I think you would drive yourself crazy trying to keep those clean! Remember it’s not just your own kids you have to think about but your friends’ kids and your kids’ friends!

  344. 4 &6 no. Too similar to the bar stools. #6 especially starts to looks a little messy with bar stools. I agree with someone who said 3 is the most EH, and 1 is a solid/strong case.

  345. I really like the side chairs of option 1 because I think they are perfectly transitional and keep the farmhouse table from feeling too traditional farmhousey (I think we can all agree Fixer Upper put the last nail in the coffin for that look for everyone), and would fit with all of the other more modern elements very well. I do not like how different in height they are from the captain’s chairs however. And I love the captain’s chairs of option 3 but don’t love the school house chairs with them. They don’t seem comfortable and something just doesn’t feel right about that combination. And take it from me, if you have a busy house, comfortable chairs are a must. You don’t want to have to end a perfectly good Yahtzee winning streak cause people’s butts are numb. The upholstered chairs of option 5 are lovely and would be the comfiest but it’s kind of a lot of fabric. I like option 4 but prob the worst for the curtain fabric, and Brian’s, right option 2 aren’t substantial enough. Mismatched vintage would be cool if you could find 2 matching comfy captains chairs and matching side chairs all vintage but all different would be too chaotic to feel pulled together I think. It works in some houses but your beautifully renovated house is too nice for it.

  346. Please don’t choose option 4. I agree with your straff: they are way to Hamptons. The rest of your options are nice, but I would personally never choose upholstered chairs in a kitchen with children under 10 years…

    1. I agree with this and replied earlier that #3 is my fave. The chairs in #4 have too much of a nautical vibe to them IMO and doesn’t go with your home at all…

  347. I’m breaking your rules and not voting for anything, but I swear I’ll be helpful. I’ve been following the blog <a href="Interiors for Families" for a while now; that blogger’s style is way more traditional than yours is (or at least used to be; we’ll see what this house does to you, haha) so I’m less into the looks she offers but pay a TON of attention to textile warnings!

    Kelly always suggests fabrics like Crypton fabric. I’ve also seen treatments (in the first Domino book I think?) where upholstered chairs were covered in vinyl to prevent kiddie stains. I’m worried that wouldn’t fly in our household because our asshole cat likes to claw vinyl (!? go find some MCM tweed like a normal cat!) but he’s on his last leg so we’ll probably get vinyl-upholstered padded chairs when he kicks the bucket, poor guy.

    I’m with you that upholstered chairs are the way to go. They are SO much comfier for long loungey dinners. Also Lauren Liess solves this by just having a pile of towels in the dining room to cover chairs for the messy ones. I dunno how long you could stand such a plan, but there you have it. Good luck!

  348. Option 2 checks off all your boxes plus they are nicely paired with your bar stools.

    Option 3 is far too modern.

    I would really have see the fabric you would choose with option 5. I’m thinking a beautiful deep blue or linen white. The fabric would bring a softness that I think the room needs.

    I do like the idea of mismatched vintage chairs, I just think you may regret that decision in the long run.

  349. So many comments that I hesitate to add one more.

    When your kids are little, it seems like that they will be like that forever. But it’s really just a very short time, a few years, until they can be relied on to be fairly neat – say when the youngest is 4 or 5-ish.

    So, just to get you through a temporary situation, either buy a cheap and practical chair that you intend to replace in a couple of years, OR buy the chairs that you love the most and are the most comfortable and beautiful. Then, just figure out some way of covering them easily until your kids are old enough. Possibly some kind of washable slip on cover that you can store and continue to use when younger children visit through the years.

  350. I love options 1 and 5 and actually almost got those RH chairs for my antique 100+ year old family heirloom mahogany table (good glory, that is a description, lol). Those two looks seems to make the room softer and go better with the modern classic look the rest of the house seems to have as well. Maybe if 5 could be a lighter color fabric and scotch guarded though?

  351. That table is a beauty! No regrets…do what you want. Id rather see your gut instinct with the chairs than let peoples opinion ruin your design…I’v read your blog since design star and I feel you always like to please people but you have to leave a little personaliy or its so forgettable. I’d love to see something i wouldn’t have thought of☺

  352. Def no 6 mismatched chairs. Your kitchen is beautiful but needs a rustic edge. The table is great and needs similar rustic chairs. I love the mix of chairs- practical for the kids and great for adult dining too.

  353. No 3 is my favourite. I also think no 6 could really work in your space too. With the right chairs you could marry your love of mid-century with the more classic style of your new house. As a designer, you could also argue that you are road-testing the chairs for future clients!

  354. 3 please

    IKEA junior chairs are great. Use wood glue on the joints during assembly and they will last forever.

    Lovely looking table, experience hopes your knees survive. My dad made a similar table when my sister and I were very young. We all have had a love/hate relationship with that table. It was discovered when six sat at the table, requiring use of the head and foot, those seated there had the end of the beam between their knees, or would end up horribly bruised and snagging clothing when they forgot and whacked themselves when getting into their chair or crossing their legs. Forty years later neither one of us wants the blasted table, and we refuse to own a trestle dining table. Fair warning, I instigated many fights and acts of sabotage laying my legs across the beam and sticking my feet into my sister’s lap. And she reciprocated in kind.

  355. As a fellow designer, I would go with option 3 or 4. The chairs are light and airy and go well with the table which is a little more visually heavy. They balance one another out in both options. Maybe I am partial, but I love the chairs in 4, but leaning more toward 3 for your specific space. 🙂

    Great choice on the rustic table, I love it and looks great in that space!!!

  356. More than ten years ago, when I met one of my closest friends, she had two toddlers. The first time I went to her house I laughed out loud within minutes of entering: her dining room chair seats were wrapped in food safe plastic wrap! It was her method of coping. I ordered two distressed hides and reupholstered the seats in winderful, beat-up leather. We thought she’d go back to fabric when the kids got older. Well, they’re in high school but the leather is still on. It beats the plastic wrap… Either option 1 or 3 for me. Good luck!

  357. I would go with #6 all the way b/c you can rotate in different chairs if one breaks or proves to be unsatisfactory, or even if you find a fabulous single chair you must have. For some reason, most of the rest of them look like you’re trying too hard. I might go with #5 if you didn’t have small children. The chairs you have would still look fine, too, as would a leather chair like the Slope leather dining chair from West Elm.

    I’m struggling through trying to find a slightly larger dining table that will not overwhelm my smallish dining room or obstruct passage through same. Also, I just realized that the rug size that better fits the room cannot be centered under the chandelier because of a huge floor vent. Sigh. Imperfection for the win.

  358. I love option 5 (Apparently I’m in the minority.), but no way I would EVER EVER EVER do that with young children… or even older children… or even myself, as evidenced that I spilled two things yesterday while trying to tend to my young children. I, personally, would go with option 4 for the same reasons you listed.

  359. 6! I love it, especially if your house is the drop in casual kid party spot. I would not be able to relax as much in someone else’s fabric chair. We also have personal experience with sunbrella upholstered seats on chairs we bought from Crate and Barrel. I was so excited about the option/ thought we were brilliant, but they are pretty filthy from two kids despite being sunbrella and a taupey color I though would be forgiving. We bought some of those modern looking plastic chairs from Wayfair with wooden legs and just wipe them off. So. Much. Better. I also think #6 just feels the most inviting.

  360. 3!

    I very much dislike 5.
    I like captains chairs in 1 but something is so bulky about the side chairs.

    But who are we kidding. You’ll do something totally different than all of these!

  361. I vote for 6 although I admit not totally loving any of the options. In my experience, kids and open back chairs are not a good option!

  362. Most of these options would be hard to style with more modern accessories and I’d hate to see you become so into the cottage look that you loose yourself. 3 feels much more like you.

  363. #3 It is a little edgy, a little modern, a lot practical. You are fine to do washable/ durable fabric on adult chairs, but I love the school house chairs for the kids. My 8 year old is still the messiest eater of all 3 boys (8, 5, & 3), and you don’t want to scold them for being kids for the next decade.

    Thank you for sharing your agony 🙂

    Mis-matched chairs have been done. A lot.

  364. I love the 3rd option – perfect with kids – and looks fantastic! Loved those wooden chairs in the last blog. # 4 feels all wrong to me. Good-luck!

  365. 3 or 6. Trust me, you need to avoid fabrics with kids. Make your life easier with something that has personality and that you can wipe clean.

  366. LOVE THE TABLE!! want it!! none of the pics from todays email came through except for the last 2. NONE OF THE CHAIRS WORK imo!! i think the chairs need to have metal instead of wood or rattan. i almost like the fabric covered chairs just because they have no reference to that caramel wood color, although they’re way too blocky/solid looking. i’d keep searching….. i bet the blk chairs you have now will look good until you decide, or forever! p.s. i’m the one who mistakenly, yesterday, suggested you buy that tree stump monstrosity table. i got confused on the numbering….

  367. I like option 4. I think it goes best with all of your other stuff. The lines are similar to the lines of your stools. Also, it has a glossy white “fabric” that ties in with the other glossy whites. I also think it makes the modern light fixtures make sense. I don’t think some of the other options tie in with anything. There would just be a lot of random things put together with no repeats to tie it all together. I think option 4 reads modern french country cafe mixed with English cottage. I think the other options seem to bring in other influences (maybe dutch?) that don’t appear anywhere else. They give me the unsettled feeling that there is way too much going on.

  368. If you’re keeping the kitchen stools I’d go with Option 5 so you don’t end up with a cacophony of legs and styles. Then maybe upholster the captain’s chairs in a different, washable/wipe clean fabric (floral or contemporary pattern maybe, to suit/contrast with the country house vibe and linen curtains??) and keep the side chairs solid. If you spend a great deal of time entertaining around the table these look the most comfortable without adding busy-ness to the space.

    Those chairs would also look pretty funky and functional upholstered in vinyl if you wanted more of a NY vibe….but might not be so comfortable in shorts and California heat. See:
    I’ve had a banquette upholstered in tan ultra suede as my kids were growing up. It’s washable, very forgiving, soft on skin and adaptable to rustic, classic or eclectic…. also looks good with ticking stripe cushions 🙂

    One final thought….. Option 6 with upholstered captain’s chairs might check off a lot of boxes too.
    Have fun!!! They grow up faaassst!

  369. Option 6 or even the black sort of Windsor chairs in the top photo. The others look like you’re trying too hard and everyone in the world has option 4. Not original at all and I’m so tired of seeing them everywhere. I love your table and the curtain fabric. You could also do mix and match and have two comfy, larger, slipcovered (washable) ar the ends of your table.

  370. I really like Option 2 but I do think some taller upholstered chairs on the end (like the one from yesterday’s post) would anchor it more and add a much needed cozy element to the space while not being too heavy.

  371. Number 1. without a doubt – In a fabric that is forgivable – like leather or sunbrella. Leather looks better with stains and wear so maybe you should consider that!

  372. Option 3 or 2 are it. 5 is too much fabric, 6 is overplayed, the styles don’t mesh in 4, and 1 is just ehh.

    Just my two cents. Good luck! not an easy decision.

  373. I love the Serena and Lily Riviera chairs but in case no one has mentioned this already, cleaning out the ground-in food that children leave in woven chairs is NO FUN!

  374. I like option 1. The side chairs are more Traditional and go with the architecture of the house. The captain chairs are Mid-Century and say, “guess who’s coming to dinner”?!!! Sometimes total opposites work!

  375. Option 4 looks too patio/bistro to me. The table is so Arts and Crafts looking I’m surprised that you didn’t look at any chairs from that style. My dining table is a simple Stickey with chair seats upholstered in leather. They look new following 25 years of near constant use.

  376. Why not just have your kids in Stokke Tripp Trapps for a while? We have a turquoise one and love it. They come with a cushioned pad so they look nicer, too.

  377. IMHO, #3 is the most fun and unique option. I think the others seem a little fussy or too busy/uncomfortable for a house with small children.

  378. I love option 3 so much. It looks like a designer effortlessly put them together! 😉 The chairs are different enough that they are each unique, but they work so well together. Love it!

  379. I love option 3 so much. It looks like a designer effortlessly put them together! 😉 The chairs are different enough that they are each unique but they work so well together. Love it!

  380. I vote current wood chairs –painted white! It carries the white over from the kitchen stools, matches the white trim in the room/on the windows, and keeps it so clean/fresh/airy.

    On a side note– I vote not to parallel the table to the island —keep it running along the windows!!
    So much more open and won’t visually obstruct or compete with the view of the kitchen!!!

    Can’t wait to see what you do!
    Huge fan,

  381. It’s got to be option two! I think the curve picks up on the barstools while still being a distinct profile.

  382. Option 3 or 6. I have 3 kids, so I speak from experience when I say that you want to not be thinking about the kids and their spills when they’re eating, and you will if you go with fabric options you have to wipe up. You really will! Even if the fabrics are easy breezy, you will still have to wipe them up carefully. We were always putting towels on the chairs or talking about how careful the kids needed to be, so in order to keep peace, we covered our side chair seats in vinyl that looked like silk until they are older, and a few years later, finally bought captain chairs that are fully upholstered, but they are strictly off limits to the kids and I scotch guarded them within an inch of their lives. Even though the kids are pretty awesome about following the rules, I’m still always looking wild eyed when one of them gets up from the table to wash their hands. 🙂

  383. My 5 cents worth: no to four & five. Four is too outdoorsy and five is too blocky. I like “air” under a table. The white chair options are ok but I don’t believe they complement the table as much as no. 6 does. No. 6 is by far my favourite. By faaaar….

  384. Love love #3! Beautiful simplicity, and the curved back on the side chairs looks so nice with your bar stool backs.

  385. 1. Meh
    2. Not sure about the chairs from the picture
    3. I’m interested
    4. Not feeling it
    5. Like this option the more I look at it, but would be scared to use it with kids
    6. Could be really fun and definitely would give a casual vibe

    Torn between 3, 5, and 6! I think any of them would look good!

  386. OMG option 3 all the way. The chairs seem like they’d be really good friends with the table, not too alike but v. complementary. And the side/captain’s chair relationship is like that of awesome sisters: totally related, but each doing their own thing exceptionally well, not trying to be eachother. Am I over anthropomorphizing furniture? Possibly. Plus I like the idea of cushy chairs for the grownups but wipeable chairs for the kids.

  387. Option 3 or Option 5 but I think the former would be less stress and maintenance with toddlers. You certainly have evolved from a stylist into a designer. I guess it’s part of growing up to some degree and a lot of your followers would be at a similar stage in life and growing and evolving their style with you. I loved the old Emily style but the new Emily is pretty good too!

  388. I absolutely abhor number 5. Not only do they look atrocious (and, seriously, listen to the ones with kids, you really really REALLY do not want fabric at your dining table even if the children are not sitting in them — they throw, lean, and wipe — and I know many adults who are just as bad) but they will also catch every bit of dust, lego, and food on the floor in their skirts. Number 6 is hands down my favorite. I think wood chairs can be comfortable and there is simply NO BEATING being able to wipe them down. Also, I like the counter stools 🙂

  389. Open back chairs are not very comfortable for very long — not conducive to sitting around the table and talking the evening away. Chairs with either a full back or at least some support for the lower back are best. I’ve raised four children, have seven grands, and for sure I would not go with fabric. You will hate life. So. Much. Work. Trust me. Who wants to be anxious whenever you, your children, your guests or their children (because how many extra kids’ chairs can you have?) are sitting down to eat. Eating is absolutely one of the great pleasures of life. Don’t detract from that pleasure with the hassle, work and worry of fabric chairs. Fabric chairs are for formal dining rooms that are used on Thanksgiving and Easter.

  390. option 3! I like the classic clean touch in the linen. The leather arms will age beautifully! The smooth curves on the backs of the schoolhouse chair look is so vintage yet classic that I think it will really stand the test of time.

  391. The table is very Early American, guess I would go with option #1 for the comfort factor, minus the chair with arm, done is a Sunbrella fabric.

  392. I like option #2 the best, with #3 coming in a close second. What I really love about #2 is that you get the fabric and the beautiful wood, but you also have those nailheads that bring a bit of different texture/finish to the mix. And I like how they sort of tie in the metal from that beautiful vintage pendant above the island. I just think they are classic and super-well integrated but not at all boring. Win/win/win.

    I really strongly don’t care for #5. The chairs are beautiful, but when my eye scans over that photo of them with the table, it just doesn’t work as a combination for me. 🙂

    xx Hannah //

  393. Well just have to say, you are my mom and my absolute Favorite. Almost every day she tells me to check out your blog for your latest post. Case in point – I just bought a new home and need to get dining chairs so naturally she checks your blog and bam! chairs. so many chairs!
    Love the captains chairs in option 3 and then the aesthetic of option 1. Knowing you, no matter what you choose, you’ll bring it all together so well 🙂

  394. If you want to go with fabric just keep the kids in something else. The Stokke Tripp Trapp chair lasts for many years…it has worked quite well for our son. Right now, we have the Eames molded dining chairs with the metal wire base and have been looking for something new (more comfortable and not so common)…I feel your pain. Oh, I like option 3 and 6.

  395. Option 3 is by far my favorite–it’s like Goldilocks and the three Bears. They look great, look like they feel great, and fit perfectly. It’s fun to weigh in on these. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about something I really don’t know all that much about. I work for a kids advocacy group but have come to love to see design before and afters.

  396. I think you need a bench on one side for the kids and chairs on the other. So many little butts can fit on a bench for playtimes and it’s so easy to clean!

  397. I like option 3 for the refined qualities, and 4 for that I accidentally bought all different but individually amazing chairs. So maybe I truly like 4 the best 🙂

  398. I love numbers 2, 3 and 5! 2 and 3 are not that kid friendly as far as tipping and slipping goes. What about beautiful upholstered captains chairs (5), and benches on either side? Would be a nice mix, while keeping the kids away(ish!) from the upholstery. Don’t do number 6! It’s been SO done, and you’re so much cleverer than that! 😉

  399. I like option 3 for the refined qualities, and 4 for that I accidentally bought all different but individually amazing chairs. So maybe I truly like 4 the best 🙂

  400. In 600+ comments I’m sure someone else has asked this question but ain’t nobody got time for reading through them all – Why no option with bench/benches? They are the MOST kid friendly and seat so many. Plus, they keep the sight lines open and can be dressed seasonally with cushions, draped rugs, etc. We have a similar old English farm table in with Windsors on one side, an antique bench on the other, and contrasting carved antique wooden chairs on the ends, in the same stain family as the table and upholstered in wool plaid. Wonderful mixed, casual feeling, but with a chair option for everyone. 🙂

  401. Option 1 and 3 is my favorite, 3 would be easier to clean up with kids and boosters for kids can fit easily on wood (option 3) without spoiling the upholstery (in option 1).
    Don’t like high armrests from option 2 captains chair, option 4 looks like outdoor/patio set up. Option 5 is too boxy and bulky and option 6 is too unsymmetrical.

  402. Hi Emily,
    I vote for #3. Just for the record, I am also a designer and have trained my 5 kids not to wipe their jelly hands on my furniture. However do you know who is not trained? All their friends. I found it really unhospitable to hover over all the friends to make sure they were not touching my fabric chairs. So, for the sake of my kids and my sanity I now have metal cafe chairs. It is less inviting visually but because I am more relaxed I make for a more inviting host:)
    Good luck!

  403. I love the chairs on the design files today (from Australia I think)
    They are barrel kind of chairs, with really nice pads.. and arms.. so comfortable.
    I think they would look good with your table.. (beautiful)
    or the first simple ones that are midcentury .. we have those at our house and they are really comfortable.. and don’t feel too light or too heavy. I just think they might be too small
    for the table .. not substantial enough.. ?

  404. I never comment. I Love 3 and I hate, HATE, HATE 4. I’m so sick of seeing those Serena and Lily chairs everywhere.

  405. Congrats on selling your first house, that is AWESOME!

    I like options 3 and 5 best – they both just seem beautiful, to fit the rest of the room and comfortable 🙂

  406. When I first saw Option 5, I shook my definitively, “No,” and laughed at myself for having such a strong reaction. Then I read your description, and saw them at your table, and liked them so much more. I think comfort matters a LOT at a dining table, and I think these tie your dining area to your kitchen better than most of the other options you presented.

  407. I can not emphasis this enough, no upholstery with the kids. I have a 6 year old daughter and she still can’t help the glitter glue, strawberry jam, jogurt, and whatever else happens…. Maybe I feel so passionate about this because I literally just recovered chairs that I just did a year an a half ago. I have the most wonderful captians chairs I picked up to redo and have decided to sell them ( oooooh the dreams I had for these chairs) and not even go there. I’d rather not be a mad mom and forgo getting upset when kids are just being kids. And yes, you can set up a craft area or play room but the reality I have learned is that a lot of family activity happens at the dinning room table, accept what it is for this stage in life and enjoy these times. BUT, that is no excuses to not have things look good;). Here’s what I would do, I love option 6 with the mis-matched chairs. I think it gives you so many option as far as blending with the kitchen and leading to the further design and character of the dinning room. I’d sell the stools and bring in some upholstery there. I have found leather to be pretty kid friendly, both to clean and to take the wear. If you went with a more distressed or worn leather plus the nail detail like the chairs in option 2 it would keep that English Country vibe. You can grab the modern feeling through the shape of the stools. Combine those togeather and I think you have a look that marries the kitchen with the dinning area. Good luck!!!

  408. I would personally opt for chairs that don’t mimic the style, shape or lightness of the barstools. I know you mentioned option 4 as a strong contender, but for me it feels like too much bent wood and round shapes in the same space. If you want that I think there are better chairs in the same style as option 4 because I have to agree with your staff about them looking a bit too east coast seaside-y. Out of all these options I prefer the heavier looking chairs to contrast the bar stools (1, 3 and 5), also because I feel like they balance the heavy table without making it feel bulky. The mis-matched chairs are a whole other thing, but even here I’d go for chunkier ones, not bent wood or similar. I really enjoy these posts 🙂

  409. I love a dinner with friends more than anything and when a friend has comfortable you can spend hours sitting talking and enjoying the evening without getting up and moving kind of chairs, it is delightful. Which chairs are the best for all to be comfortable? #5 chairs all around seems too much, plus limits you to 6. Do you want to be limited to 6?

  410. Until the children are older, I would go with Kooboo chairs with zip off covers on the cushions. They aren’t expensive, and you can dress them up with pillows and throws and things. You can also swap the covers on the cushions pretty easily if you want to change things up. If you want to spend more, vintage wicker. Don’t take this the wrong way, but the chairs you have optioned all look a bit too designy and try hard. That room needs some soft edges and a bit of cozy comfort.

  411. I think comfortable dining chairs are essential. Therefore, my preference is number 1 or 5 with the sunbrella or perennial fabric. I am seriously over the mismatched chairs.

  412. Option 5 end RH arm chairs (Great cush for when you work at the table), Option 3 side chairs ( wipe able) maybe with mismatched vintage fabric seat cushions?

  413. Option 3 feels the most “at home” to me. While the idea of having 6 mix and match chairs both excites and terrifies me…. if anyone can pull it off it is you. Sooo… 3…6 ? 🙂

  414. Hands down option 3….. could live with option 1 but not practical with kids. LOVE the table and for one reason or another I don’t like the other options.
    Good luck:)

  415. I vote #3 – for the ease of cleaning and because they seem pretty close to the “Emily” we know and love but also with an I-live-in-a-Tudor-now! vibe. Seems like a winning combo to me!

  416. If you go the fabric route, make sure you are ok with stains. My 10 year old is still messy and she is the oldest. Or get leather maybe? I like the eclectic chair route but you may grow tired of that after awhile. Option 3 with darker fabric would be my vote.

  417. I love your blog. I follow a lot of insta/blog designers but yours probably hits my style the most! And also, I have 3 kids – baby, 3, & 5, so I appreciate your kiddo ponderings. In my dream world I would live in CA and be your assistant, and we could nanny share. :0)

    Okay, I like 1 and 3 the best. Agree that I do not like 5 – it strikes me as corporate for some reason. Def get fabric that is easily cleaned with kiddos in the mix. Even if they have their own chair, those munchkins find so many ways to propel food around them. Coughing, sneezing, falling – just happens. Also, think about how sturdy the chairs are. We just have the ubiquitous white knock-off Eames chairs at our table, but for some reason my kids always fall over in them. Ahh! Like knock the whole chair over. My old basic wood chairs were more sturdy on that account. Good luck!

  418. 1, 4, 5. 1-like the comfort of the chair without arms. 4-you’ll always feel happy every morning when you see those chairs around that table. Farmhouse wood grain and those chairs will always be so pretty, and wipeability is a great plus. 5-Reminds me of a Nancy Meyers set, in a great way. Love the customization option of picking your own fabric-maybe have a duplicate or two made, or a whole set for spills if they are slipcover style? They are elegant and the low-profile back and armrest keeps it interesting. Ok-just my two cents…entertaining is important to young families, and if you already have a good vibe going I am so happy for you, community keeps us healthy and less stressed. So if you just aren’t feeling any of the options hit what you love and comfort together, do the vintage chairs for a little while. Dining chairs are a big investment and maybe you just need to live in the space longer and see what drives you nuts more-style or comfort. The vintage chairs will certainly tell you in the short term how important comfort is. Again, I’m thrilled that you have a congregation of sorts assembling on the weekends. So good for young families:))) Bravo Team-the design is WONDERFUL for real life:)

  419. I like Number 3. Are they West Elm? They are similar, if not the same, as what I have. My DR table is a 100 year old round on a pedestal. The chairs, with their rounded backs, look perfect. And, the seats can be removed and recovered if necessary. I’m loving watching you furnish your Tudor manse.

  420. Don’t get fabric chairs. I spent three months manically going through a million fabric samples and debating and doubting and finally got beautiful, stunning chairs in gorgeous fabrics and patterns that go so well with my house. But now no one feels comfortable eating at my dining table. I don’t have kids so I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal but everyone who comes over is so paranoid about dropping food on my chairs no matter how much “it’s ok it’s ok, I don’t care, I scotch-guarded them” I say. When friends with kids come over we end up eating outside so they will feel at ease. I regret my perfectly styled chairs so much because they make my house uninviting.

  421. Love option 3 for two reasons: A) very pretty and doesn’t look forced, and B) meets the requirements – comfortable for grown-ups (upholstered end chairs) and easy clean up for kids (side chairs). Number 5 is a HUGE no for me. The chairs feel like they belong in a different kitchen with a different table and look like a major pain in the neck to keep clean – not just from kids but from adults too. I’m imagining straightening the slipcovers all the time, crumbs, not to mention stuff you actually need to scrub and rub off…too fussy! My second favorite is number 6 with mismatched chairs. It doesn’t look like a cop-out as very few people actually go this route and pull it off. I bet you could find some absolute beauties and never have to think about the maintenance. I bet you would all end up settling into your favorites too. And what about leather (or gasp!) vinyl on the seats! I’ve done client chairs in vinyl and it comes in EVERY color and texture imaginable. I did magenta for a family with twin boys and a girl all under six years old and they were FABULOUS.

  422. How about some upholstered captains chairs and mismatched 4 side chairs? A little bit of 1 and a little bit of 6? Seems like a combination of elegance and quirk while still being light and low maintenance.

  423. I love #5 the most and #1 as the runner up. They look super comfy and I can imagine long dinners filled with conversation and laughter. Plus, they break up all the wood (floor, table, china cabinet).

  424. Options 1 or 3, without a doubt. I do not care for option 4 at allllllll. Your team is right, those chairs are very “Hamptons” and not in a good way. Either 1 or 3 are so cute with the table, and such classic beauties!

  425. Think Opt 3 is the perfect solution for all your requirements! I have to say this is a tricky dilemma as I am going through it myself. I may not have any children or fury babies, but I do like to have a space that doesn’t stress me out keeping it clean! It is all about finding the perfect combination of form and function.

  426. No.3 is my fav. I would so love to see barstools that aren’t white at that island too (I’m sorry!) 🙂

  427. Options 4 and 6 are my favorites because they will look natural and casual and classic without looking like you’re trying too hard. Some of those other chairs are either too modern or just not classic enough. I would get sick of them and want to change them out before long.

  428. As someone with 2 boys (15 &12) who has survived the whole fabric around dining thing… goes—great table, I think the color/texture of white & wood in #3 is what is grabbing everyone. But–weird curveball–with 2 little bitty bits—would you consider a low backed bench (maybe wipeable upholstery?) on 1 side of the table. Meaning not a full “dining settee” height–but more of a just above the table height? Something that would tuck them in while at the table, but not visually create ‘a wall”?……Could be a short term fix–by the time they’re 7ish you could move onto the more permanent choice?……

  429. Option 6. It will look great with the the table. It will be practical. If you truly want you home to be inviting it pays not to have chairs your friends are terrified of their kids touching and that you have to wipe up after every.single.meal.and.snack. Secondly whenever I see a beautiful home in a magazine and the family has small children but totally impractical gorgeous upholstery and expensive rugs everywhere I feel really uninspired because it doesn’t feel real or doable for a family like mine with an almost 2 and almost 5 year old. Your kids will accidentally spill things, they will wee on chairs,they will vomit, there friends will use fabric as a napkin -be kind to you, be kind to your nanny and be kind to your chairs – go wood ? Also I will be super inspired because I will be able to say look how fab Emily Henderson’s kid-friendly dining area looks,maybe I can do something similar in the disaster zone of spaghetti sauce that is my dining room!

  430. I have never commented before (hi and I love you), but feel strongly enough to weigh in on an idea for this gorgeous table and pretty room. Have you thought of benches? I know they get a bad rap in some quarters, but lack of visual clutter, can fit a crowd, and you could add a tie on cushion for texture and added comfort. We have the crate and barrel big sur benches (heavy but love), and two modern-farmhouse Windsor type chairs in white from west elm in our kitchen. We had cushions made for all in a pindler and pindler tiny stripe that exactly matches your kitchen island color, and had the cushions laminated, but it’s so subtle you can’t even tell. But totally wipeable and kid friendly while looking put together and adult. I like option 3 or 4 here, but want to put a good word in for benches and custom cushions. Prettiest dining room!

  431. I’m loving the mismatched chairs. Second best look is Option #1, but definitely use a child-proof fabric!

  432. 2 or 3. My kids are 10,7 and 4, and there’s zero possibility we could do fabric. Even cleanable. And I’m ON them about it! I have the Serena and lily stools like the chairs you posted, and I do love them, but they mash food into all of those crevices and I have to clean peanut butter out of them on the reg. Also, if your friend’s kids are there, you don’t want to consistently be worried about it they are messy on your upholstered chairs.

  433. I have four kids and they never really seem to grow up and stop spilling. But maybe those are just my kids?!

    Anyway, if you go the fabric route, I feel like you will constantly be in clean-up mode. And at some point you sort of give up and then you end up with just gross, dirty fabric chairs. Again, maybe that’s just me?! I really like the idea of solid wood chairs or something with leather. And #4 is a look that I feel like I’ve seen everywhere in the last year or two? I knew it was Serena and Lilly before I even checked the link – and I’m not a designer:) I have to say, I’m not a fan of #5, either. It just looks like it belongs in a dark castle somewhere?

    Good luck. I know whatever you do it will look fantastic!

  434. Without a doubt Option 6 is the way to go. Im just not in love with matchy chairs and I actually have mismatched dining room chairs and love them (ours have similar wood finishes and all have the same cushion). Option 2 would be my back-up.

  435. That table is nice but screams country kitchen to me. I think you should keep looking for something a bit more industrial/modern to balance the country vibe. I still like your bench idea and you can cram lots of bottoms upon a bench when necessary!!

  436. No on those gorgeous cafe chairs for small kids. Crumbs get stuck in the weave and it’s an endless battle! They’re a visual dream come true with that table, but practically speaking – stay away.
    I like option 6, but all wood (table plus chairs) would make that side of the room too wood-heavy (as compared to the wood-less kitchen side of the room). The table needs some white to balance out lightness of the kitchen. Option 1 or 3

  437. Emily, with little kids, avoid any chair with fabric or any woven material. Grimy hands will trash the fabric so quickly and the food that will get stuck in any woven material is nasty. The ones you have posted (wood and smooth) look best to me, both practically and aesthetically. I missed previous comments about the table – although it is gorgeous, food will get stuck on the top in between the planks 🙁 I love your blog and style!

    1. I should mention that while yes, fabric is problematic with children (and I have 5, myself), it can be done with the right (read: wipeable) fabric. Otherwise proceed at your own risk. 🙂 (and she’s a designer so it’s probably less of a risk I’d guess). Anyway, that’s enough parentheses to last a lifetime!

  438. Emily, with little kids, avoid any chair with fabric or any woven material. Grimy hands will trash the fabric so quickly and the food that will get stuck in any woven material is nasty. Also, we had rush seats that my MIL gave us that made my rear end ITCH when I sat on them. Awful! The ones you have posted (wood and smooth) look best to me, both practically and aesthetically. I missed previous comments about the table – although it is gorgeous, food will get stuck on the top in between the planks 🙁 I love your blog and style!

  439. Hello. I really like #3, love the leather on the captains chairs.
    But # 4 is very airy and they seem more kid friendly. Good luck.

  440. I’m torn between 3,4, and 6. I love 3 the most in general and I think it’s something you can’t go wrong with. I love the chairs in 4, but I agree that they look like something at a hamptons coffee shop or like outdoor furniture. And I really like the idea to Do vintage chairs. Your job must be so hard! I’d go with 3 or 6 tho.

  441. I lean more towards the type of chair you already have, but maybe with lower backs. Amber Lewis just did a nice project with black chairs, with the backs at the same height as the table. Similar table to yours too.

  442. I love in this order: 1 (with your own fabric), 6 and 3. I really don’t care for 5, seems way to bulky for me, but maybe I don’t have your vision….haha…I KNOW I don’t!

  443. Well, first let me say I am loving the light fixture it looks like you’re going with for the dining room. When I saw the pendant you had temporarily hung, I thought that you needed something that echoed the finish of the sconces in the kitchen.

    I am with some others that these don’t feel quite right to me. Of them all, I like the #1 side chair, but would be equally concerned about the upholstery/kids issue. I am not fond of many of the captain’s chairs. I am still liking the idea of 4 chairs and a bench, especially since you are concerned about the clearance with the doors – a bench is perfect to tuck under the table when not in use. And creates that mis-matched look for a little visual interest.

    With the white cafe stools, I feel like the wood options (I really like the look of the ladderback with the dining table) would look odd style-wise, so I definitely see why you are leaning upholstery. I think the room needs to be mixed up with a different material. That’s why I like #1. And don’t really like the chair options that are cafe-style. Too similar.

    Actually, the chair I like MOST is #54 from the previous post. And the fabric seat is drop-in, so it can easily be recovered as needed! Sadly, the site says it’s out of stock until May, but maybe your team could work some magic with them??? 🙂

    I also *sort of* like #35 and #48 from the previous post, or at least the idea of them. Or perhaps the Cordoba chair from Jayson home?? Nice, simple lines with a wipeable leather upholstery.

  444. I LOVE option 3. Feels interesting and like it will flow with other choices you’ve made in this home. Option 5 is my least favorite…too Serena & Lily catalog and not “Emily” enough! Don’t do it! 😉

  445. 3 for sure! I just like them and I think they’re the perfect mix of classic, casual, and practical

  446. Options 1 and 3 are beautiful and classic but I hear ya sister on white fabric v. kids. Cats and adults added to the problem too. I had to recover mine after 5-7 years. Option 2’s arm chairs look strange, option 4 looks like an adult highchair, option 5 is too much fabric. 6 is awesome! I did that myself after I sold my matchy- matchy set. I love the variety and get tons of compliments. Good luck! What ever you do will be awesome.

  447. Three for sure! Happy compromise with upholstered/comfy chairs and more practical. Interesting yet classic.

    For the record, I don’t think that hard chairs are uncomfortable and uninviting. I mean some are, but for hanging around the table for dinner, even a long one, there are lots of comfy options!

  448. I love option 3, option 1 is great too but less practical with kids.

    Also, I love this new English country style you’re doing and I think with the accessories once everything is styled it will look very Emily Henderson. The modern touch is all in the details. It’s coming together BEAUTIFULLY and is such wonderful inspiration. It’s fun to make a change after all the mid-century. You will blend the two together seamlessly, I know it. And I don’t think it’s crazy to furnish a whole house in the course of a year, the styling might take longer and you can always change things up later. So amazing that your already enjoying hosting, hope that’s how my home will be one day 🙂

  449. No question about it. I think option 3 is your best choice for style and functionality. Your new home is lovely.

  450. I like number 4. The black (navy?) in the weave picks up the black in the light fixtures. Plus they’re nice and light weight – easy for kids to move themselves.

  451. For the love of all that is holy (and as a mom of a 5, 3, and 1 year old), please get something wipeable. Even if you LOVE one of those fabric chairs, I promise that you will end up hating them due to the constant stress in managing and cleaning them, and it’ll most likely be your kid’s little buddy who smears something unfortunate over your chair. (Unless you can get a sunbrella fabric though, then don’t listen and forge ahead!) I know comfort is really important to you, but you can still get comfortable (and beautiful!) wipeable chairs. And besides, I think you won’t be spending hours sitting on these chairs–you’ll likely move to where you can lounge on your sofas when guests are done eating. My friend has those serena and lily chairs and they are comfortable, classic, and gorgeous–AND they are wipeable. I’m looking forward to seeing your choice!

  452. At first I thought option 3 or 6, but now I’m leaning on option 2. Here’s why. You like the bentwood bar stools. If you plan to keep those, the legs of all the other chairs wouldn’t complement them except for option 2… 1 would be too straight and formal. 3 would be too square. 4 are too busy. 5 would block the lower view of your new table, and the pattern of your future rug. 6 also seems too square, unless you choose styles similar to the top left (bentwood-ish). I never thought I would analyze chair legs so much, but they all need to coordinate since they’re in conjoining spaces. Option 2 in a soft white leather or something else durable would be great. I do like the side chair more than the arm chair though (arms feel too mod), and you may tire of the studs. Did I contradict myself there? I think so. Maybe because I bought our dining table in July and literally JUST bought chairs last weekend. This process takes serious searching. Good luck 🙂

  453. What can I say that 705 comments haven’t already said? That you really need a modern set of chairs, if you’re sticking with this table. Tulip chairs? Ghost chairs? Kartell? Milo tubular chairs? All perfect kid-friendly options. This table screams for modern, light, diaphanous. The fabric conceals the richness of the wood. The bistro chairs are just a predictable repeat of the Thonet barstools. I realize that you’ve probably thought about these and rejected them already, but I just wanted to say, please give another thought to them. (Also, I feel I am so stressed by this process, I can’t imagine how you feel!!!)

  454. I don’t like 5 at all. I like 2 or 4. I like 3 if you change the armchairs. Maybe sub in the ones in number 2. I’m not feeling any of the upholstered chairs. That aesthetic isn’t warm for that kitchen.

  455. seems like this is an unpopular opinion, but I love love love #5! I think it’s a perfect contrast/compliment of texture and color, matches the earthiness of the table but doesn’t overwhelm you in wood tones while also connecting to the lighter, brighter kitchen with the color. I also just love soft grays, so. and they look amaaaaaaazingly comfortable and welcoming. They are probably totally impractical with kids and cats (I’m imagining the cats nuzzling them as they go by and leaving little fur fluffs around the bottom of each chair). But it’s far and away my favorite. If not that, then option 1 is the only other one I think comes close.

  456. I like 3!

    Are you maybe wishing you’d dropped in a poll right about now? Whose job is it to tally the results? ?

  457. So. I have small kids and sunbrella upholstered cushions in my kitchen. They have seen tomato sauce, chocolate pudding, sharpie, paint and more. I’m really glad that they have a subtle pattern, since I think if they’d been solid, it would have made the few stains that haven’t come out, much more noticeable. I do wish (they are separate cushions that tie on), that I’d had a couple of spare cushions made that I could reserve for when we have guests over to replace the kids’ cushions on their chairs.