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