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Power Couples: Dining Chairs & Stools (24 EHD Guaranteed Combos To Give Your Open Kitchen/Dining Room Max Style)

POWER COUPLES ARE BACK BABY! Well at least for today they are. You might know (or if you don’t here is your reminder or introduction) that we have a separate online community that we call The EHD Insider Community. A couple of weeks ago they asked for dining chair/stool combo suggestions via Keyanna and we thought that was a great idea considering lots of people are about to have a lot of big dinners.

And while a lot of us saw the virtue in being able to physically close a door and maaaaaybe began to rethink the glory of an open plan concept layout last year, it’s still pretty great… but comes with some decorating challenges.

The main one being “how do I make these spaces look cohesive but not basic?” That’s a big involved question to answer but hopefully, after giving you some tips and explanations about choosing dining chair and stool combos, you can carry those ideas into your other decor decisions. But as always let’s get some hard and fast rules about these chairs first.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | styled by emily edith bowser | from: velinda’s first freelance client reveal: molding the ‘builder-grade budget’ + where they saved & splurged


If your counter/table (the bottom of it, not the top, since it’s really about where the leg can comfortably fit) is…

  • roughly 35-37 inches high, you’ll want to go with a counter-height barstool that is typically anywhere from 23 to 28 inches floor to seat.
  • anywhere between 41-43 inches high, a bar-height stool is what you need, which runs from 29 to 32 inches floor to seat.
  • anything above 44 inches (likely something custom), this falls into the “extra tall” category of barstool, with a 33- to 36-inch floor-to-seat height.


RULE: Give about 24″ of space per person for maximum comfort and food enjoyment.

Here is a seat guideline for rectangle tables depending on size:

  • 48″long table: seats 4
  • 60″-72″ table: seats 6
  • 80″-87″ table: seats 8
  • 92″-108″ table: seats 10
  • 120″ table: seats 12

And for round tables depending on size:

  • 42″-48″ diameter table: seats 4
  • 60″ diameter table: seats 6-8
design by barrett prendergast | styled by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how to make “a cook’s” kitchen

Got that? Cool. So I broke these combos down into four styles with some tips on what to look for to make it a little easier for you to shop yourself. But also feel free to use those tips to mix and match! You know your space the best.

NOTE: Most of the stools and even the chairs come in multiple sizes and heights. So don’t be discouraged if you find a counter stool you love but you need a bar height or a dining chair but want it in a counter stool. With just a few clicks you might just be in luck!

ANOTHER NOTE: Emily is a FIRM believer in stools with backs so all of the stools I chose have backs. If you are wanting to sit or have your friends sit on a stool for a while then having a back is just a no-brainer. We of course love backless stools too but why not focus on comfort for today. Your guests and family will thank you.

Modern Traditional

Who doesn’t love a beautiful modern traditional home? So classic, clean, welcoming. But what are the main details to look out for if you are wanting modern traditional furniture:

  • Clean, simple lines
  • Darker and muted colors or tones
  • Nothing too chunky
  • A hint of black metal never hurt
  • A little bit of warmth in the natural materials
  • Not too “mid-century modern”, not too “farmhouse”

Ok, let’s shop.

1. YNGVAR + KISSA | 2. Wellfleet Woven Faux Leather Metal Base Counter Height Barstool + Middleton Side Chair | 3. Geller Counter Height Barstool + Northwood Metal Cafe Dining Chair | 4. Profile Stool + Ana Navy Dining Chair | 5. Faux Suede Strap Camden Counter Stools (Set of 2) + VERSUS | 6. Trescott Value Wood Counter Height Barstool + Linen Slipcover Landon Dining Chair

I really love how in #2 and #6 they are both colorful yet muted and still feel warm because of the natural materials in the stools and softness of the chairs. I know that blue chair’s price tag is steep so here is a great alternative in Ocean Chestnut. #1 and #4 are great examples of the power of a contrast. The light tan and black stool look great but what really ties them together is the black metal on the legs of the chair. Subtle but important. Then lastly #3 and #5 are a little more mid-century in shape but the shapes and patterns are pretty cool but still simple.

Organic Casual

Our ‘Effortless California Casual’ series a few years ago was SUPER popular and honestly, it hasn’t gone anywhere. I mean, it’s so pretty and you just feel calm being in a room decorated in this style. So if you want to dive into this look here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  • Alllll the neural/wood tones
  • Natural woven materials are a plus
  • Leather is a VERY important material
  • Don’t be afraid of a little hit of black
  • Clean lines but a little bit of chunkiness is totally great

1. Industrial Counter Stools (Set of 2) + Beckett Dining Chair | 2. Emery Wood Counter Height Barstool + Zoey Caned Armless Dining Chair | 3. Jonah Counter Stool + Caillen Dining Chair | 4. Ward Faux Leather Sling Metal Counter Height Barstool + Hargrove Leather Side Dining Chair | 5. Rustler Woven Counter Stool + Tahoe Dining Chair (Set of 2) | 6. Teddy Counter Stool + Tuttle Leather Side Chair

Definitely, a benefit of shopping at the same store is that you can find pieces that aren’t a “matching set” but you can feel confident that what you choose will look real nice together like in Amber Lewis’ collection in #3. I also really dig the soft warm tones and cylinder stool legs of #2 and #6. These combos just look like a hug to me. But the little bit of moodiness in #1, #4, and #5 with those hits of black just give that little extra touch of chicness.


This one is all about mixing shapes, mixing styles, mixing materials, and kinda a gut feeling. Sorry no real tips for that one, just practice. So let’s talk about some tips I can give you:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix styles
  • Pair random materials in similar tones
  • Don’t be afraid of some color
  • Ask yourself if they look like they could live in the same world despite their differences
  • Ask yourself if you like it. If yes, you are done.

1. Wellfleet Woven Faux Leather Metal Base Counter Height Barstool + Salduro Sculptural Wood Dining Chair | 2. Tovin Adjustable Height Barstool + Rue Armless Chair | 3. ZINA + SVELTI | 4. French Bistro High Back Counter Height Barstool + Kelly Oval Back Dining Chair | 5. Natural Rattan And Wood Amolea Counter Stool + Mid-Century Modern Petal Upholstered Dining Chair | 6. Rake Brass Bar Stool + Forged Iron Elowen Chair

I am pretty obsessed with that Studio McGee Target chair in #1. Are you kidding me? So cute, cool, and modern. If I didn’t already have my friendship chairs, there would be a HIGH probability those would already be in my home. Then paired with that slim woven leather stool, it helps to continue the visual interest but in a quiet, contrast way. Now I know #4 is more “farmhouse” than “eclectic” but I wanted to give someone this style option and it didn’t fit on any of the other graphics. SORRY! For all the others, I love the texture differences, the splashes of (a little) color, and general “you can’t put us in a box” vibe.

Postmodern Cool

This one is probably most aligned with my style. I just love some cool, bold shapes, more overt but less classic MCM nods, and general weirdness. Here are my tips if this is the look you want for your combo and home:

  • The more chunk the better
  • Embrace jewel tones
  • Look for unexpected shapes
  • Let either the chair or stool be visually heavier
  • A hint of glam never hurt anybody

1. Willa Dark Walnut Counter Stool + Paradox Natural Wood Dining Chair | 2. Vinton Value Metal Counter Height Barstool + Foley Faux Mohair Dining Armchair | 3. Amisco Monza Swivel Stool + Evie Leather Dining Chair | 4. Prouve Barstool + Caravan Wood and Metal Dining Armchair | 5. Venn Navy Leather Counter Stool + Nadia Black Cane Chair | 6. Kamlyn Counter Stool + Block Base Dining Chair

I know #1 is kinda wild but I just love it. Their shapes are related but the difference in colors and materials makes it exciting to me! Great for the postmodern lover that likes to keep it neutral (aka me). I really associate a dark, jewel-toned blue postmodernism so #2, #3, and #5 are hitting those notes with that and their chunky-legged seats. Then the stools of #4 and #6 have more of that MCM look that I don’t think anyone is sick of yet because duh, they are incredible. I would happily have any of these in my home.

Power Couples to a power nap. Just me? Ok, that’s probably just me:) Hope this was helpful and got you thinking of dining chairs and stools if you need them because you know…the supply chain. Have a great day and see ya in the comments.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Erin Francois| From: Tour a Stylist’s Mid-Century-Meets-Traditional “Farmhouse” Full of Thrifted Treasures

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man oh man! i love those post modern ones!

2 years ago

What a great topic to address, Jess! I *know* mine don’t “go” at the moment (I’m in the eclectic camp) and the Anthro chair in #6 would synch everything. However, I currently have cesca kitchen table chairs and am quite enthralled by them…

2 years ago

LOVED this post and will be keeping my eye on a couple options up top! You know that whole open concept, snowball effect…lol!

2 years ago

Thank you for the chair and bar stool combinations I don’t have an open floor plan due to a 1917 four square but nice to see these options.
I love the combinations because they are unusual!
Farmhouse update?
The EDH insiders community you have to pay to read!

2 years ago

Love this round up, thank you!
Btw, does anyone own chairs with rattan/cane/woven straps etc…hard to clean up? Not advised with kids or messy adults? 🙂

2 years ago
Reply to  Julie

If you clean quickly and keep a soft toothbrush on hand for that purpose, cleaning them can be fine. It’s certainly no worse than the upholstered chairs I need for old backsides, lol. The other thing, with kids, is that a body part can easily go through the caning if it starts to dry out and get fragile (you may not notice it’s drying out until too late). Ask me how I know, sigh. I’m learning how to do caning from YouTube videos.

2 years ago
Reply to  Julie

If you catch it fairly quickly, we’ve found it surprisingly easy to clean up our woven sisal (?) rope seat chairs. We came home from dinner one night and found that our elderly cat had got sick on one, it came right out with blotting a damp cloth, no discoloration or anything. I’m not sure if it’s worse if things get rubbed in. Thankfully, we haven’t had to deal with that yet.

2 years ago

What dining chair would you pair with the Ballard Design Dayna barstool?
It is one of the most popular barstools in their catalog–maybe the most popular

2 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

That Chinese Chippendale style is traditional. Is your whole house traditional? How about with these?—set-of-2/furniture/dining-kitchen/dining-chairs/537025?listIndex=1&uniqueId=537025. You can see them used together here by M. Fox Interior Design:

2 years ago
Reply to  Kj

Kj. thank you for your reply and links! Yes, my home is fairly traditional with some modern for twist. I have the bar stools and an informal dining table in the kitchen/family room area. The table needs to be replaced but I haven’t found a trad/modern perfect fit.

2 years ago

Ok so this is a bit off-topic but what’s up with the Farmhouse ? I am not on social media so I might have missed updates but is it going ok ? Are you happy with the progress Emily ? Is the project much easier now that you’re on site ? Lots of love to you and your family ! (and the team!)

2 years ago

Can we have a discussion down here in the comments about dining settees? I really need one for when we need to squeeze 7 people around a 6-person table every dang holiday. Plus, they can be comfy for when you have a couple over and want to have a long dinner convo after the kids wander off. This is a niche problem, I know, so I would never expect a post on it.

2 years ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

I learned some things with my previous purchases of buying counter stools. My first purchase of stools was custom and the price reflected that. The stools were metal with a leather seat. They had a back and swiveled. They were nice stools and well made but they were so heavy. They were difficult to pick up and move for cleaning. After struggling with them for longer than I should have, I gifted them to someone else. My next purchase was an inexpensive backless set. They have held up well and are easy to move but not so lightweight that they are a tipping hazard. I have a home under construction now with a long countertop requiring 5-6 stools. I will be shopping for a low to mid-priced stool that is easy to pick up. I’d like to find stools with a kickplate to minimize wear on the footrest. Thanks for showing so many great options.

2 years ago
Reply to  Celine

Celine, we found barstools we liked but that didn’t have metal on the footrests. We ordered custom cut metal scuffrails from They responded quickly to email, and it was about $10 per rail.

2 years ago
Reply to  Celine

So you think I might regret it due to the weight of moving it around? You could be right. I’m not really looking at those high-backed settees that are basically a wingback chair for someone who is 3 feet wide. I’m open to low-backed seating, even an upholstered bench. I have seen some antiques with a rounded back that is only hits the middle of an adult’s back at the highest point, they have the little wheels on the bottom of the legs – like Emily’s couch in the Tudor-style house. New ones don’t have those, but I know where I could buy some and I’ve done DIY projects with casters before.

Cathy Boorman
2 years ago

Help! This post could not have come at a better time. I am truly frozen in place. I am redoing my whole great room /dining area in what would be called “modern traditional”. The informal eating area and kitchen are open for all to see too. I am keeping these white chairs and the table but recovering the seats. I’m dumping the iron bar stools and want to buy new ones. What on earth can I pair with these white chairs that will look more modern?
Any help is appreciated!

Cathy Boorman
2 years ago

Here’s my present bar stools

Cathy Boorman
2 years ago

Won’t let me post pictures…🤪

2 years ago

I love these but I need a combo that will hold up to cats and kids. So no cloth upholstery and no weaves or rattan or caning (imagining food smushed into areas I can’t clean).

2 years ago

This is such a nice article. The selection of dining chairs can make or break the interior of the kitchen. I have often seen people buying dining chairs at the most affordable price and still perfectly blend such things with the old interior of the kitchen. So selection of furniture is the key to the perfect looking kitchen. In case you are from San Antonio, you may try .