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spare dining room chairs

6 Unexpected Places You Can Use Spare Dining Room Chairs

When you have a formal dining room, it’s nice to have enough dining chairs on hand for hosting—so, at least six. Because, even if you aren’t having guests over right now, we promise that someday (hopefully soon!) you’ll gather friends and family around your dining table for Thanksgiving dinners or the brunch of your dreams! But, until then, it’s not necessary to have six chairs cluttering your dining room on a day-to-day basis.

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If you’re currently furnishing a dining room from scratch and brainstorming dining room interior design ideas, you may wonder if it’s even worth purchasing six dining chairs right now. Why not buy only two or four now, and then buy more later? Well, for one it tends to be more cost-effective to purchase dining room chairs in a larger set. With some brands, you can purchase all six as a set, along with your dining table, while others let you purchase dining room chairs in pairs. Either way, buying a whole set at once tends to be more economical than buying each chair individually.

But once you have them, where can you put extra dining room chairs when you’re not using them other than stack them in the garage? Where can you store them that will keep them handy without them being in the way? Here are six places to put your extra dining room chairs around your home where they’ll actually be useful when not in your dining room!

spare dining room chairsAdd Entryway Seating

We love the idea of framing your entryway console with two spare dining room chairs. This gives your entryway a stately and formal look, while giving those extra chairs a truly practical use! You can sit on them to take off or put on your shoes, or use them as a surface to set your bags or coats. For a less formal and more eclectic look, you could also use just one chair or put them side-by-side so your set-up is asymmetrical.

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Use One as a Desk Chair

Working from home? A comfortable desk chair is a must. So, if your spare dining room chairs are upholstered, use one at your desk in your home office! Dining room chairs work well in home offices, because they allow for a naturally ergonomic set-up. This is a functional way to put your extra dining room chair to good use, offering comfort and support for long workdays.

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spare dining room chairsSet Up a Kitchen Bistro Table

If you have space for an eat-in kitchen bistro area or a small breakfast nook, add your two extra chairs there! A two-person table can be great for breakfast and coffee—a cozy alternative to eating at your formal dining room table for every meal. And, by using your spare dining room chairs here, you’ll save money by not buying two additional chairs for this space.

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spare dining room chairsTuck One Into a Corner

No one puts baby in a corner! But you can put your extra dining room chair there. Don’t be afraid to simply place an extra dining room chair in the corner of a room—whether that’s your living room, entryway, dining room, bedroom, or even at the end of a long hallway. It’s great for filling corners of large rooms or making an otherwise empty space feel considered. Visually, this is more of an editorial approach—it’s not likely someone will just sit down in a chair in a random corner—but it adds visual nuance to an empty space. And, this way, you can also pull it into the living room when you need extra seating!

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spare dining room chairsMake a Nightstand Substitute

Place an extra chair next to your bed as a makeshift nightstand! This is a fun approach if you like an asymmetrical bedroom layout or have a more eclectic space where something nontraditional would work well. We especially love this approach in a small bedroom or guest bedroom where you don’t need two fully functional nightstands. (Though you can definitely still stack books and an alarm clock on a chair nightstand—it’s just not as great for glasses of water.) This approach gives the space a unique look and also offers a place to sit down other than the bed.

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spare dining room chairsAdd an Extra Living Room Seat

If you want to add some extra seating into your living room, place your extra dining room chair there. You could place it in an empty corner, like we mentioned earlier in this post, or in front of the fireplace as part of your seating area, like in the image above. This works especially well for more substantial dining chairs, like this upholstered option, since it offers comfort and won’t feel too out of place in a living room. Just make sure to style it with other pieces, like a small accent table or a pillow, to make it feel like it really belongs in the space.

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dining room office

A Room With Many Uses: Tips For Transforming Your Dining Room into a Functional Home Office

Dining rooms have always been spaces that see a lot of action in our homes. So much more than just a space where we share meals, dining rooms have become multi-purpose spaces where we often help the kids with homework or balance the budget. And this was all before COVID-19!

dining room office

Now, more than ever, dining rooms have become the headquarters of the house—a hub of activity and productivity. And, for those of us who don’t have space for a separate home office, our dining room tables are pulling double duty and have become the space where we set up our computers everyday for work. So now, it’s a space for video calling, homeschooling, and so much more.

And converting your dining room into an office? Not always so easy. But it can be done! Keep reading for our best tips and favorite examples of dining room office combos to inspire you!

Don’t have a formal dining room to convert? You can also set up a home office in the living room or guest room! And if you need insight on the best office color schemes for productivity or the best home office desks, we’ve got you covered!

dining room officeHow Can I Use my Dining Room as a Home Office?

If you don’t have a proper home office, using your dining room as an office is the next best thing! A dining room office combo makes for a great set-up because it’s the most ergonomic place in your home, and you already have the basics of what you need for a workspace!

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For home office furniture in a dining room office combo, your dining room table becomes your desk, which is much better for your neck and back than working from your sofa or bed! And, your dining room chairs are already at the proper height for your arms to rest comfortably on the table and for your computer to be at eye-level, helping you avoid back pain!

Not all dining rooms have ample lighting though. We love working with a flood of natural light, but you can always add a task lamp to your dining table for a well-lit workspace, or commandeer a floor lamp from another room in your house!

dining room officeSince you have much more space to sprawl out when using a dining room table versus a desk, don’t be afraid to set up a full monitor! You’re spending 8 hours a day here, after all, so give yourself permission to totally overhaul this space. (You can always put your monitor away on the weekends so you aren’t tempted to log into work on your days off!)

Proper storage is essential to keep things organized and avoid cluttering up your space. Clutter can cause anxiety and stress, and we certainly don’t need any more of that than we already have! So, incorporate table-top organizers for papers, files, and writing utensils, as well as a rolling filing cabinet to keep essential documents within reach!

dining room officeAnd, of course, you can’t forget to pick a comfy chair! For all-day work sessions, you want to make sure you have back support and a cushy seat which allows for good posture. If you have a real office chair, we highly recommend that you use that! If not, dining chairs—especially upholstered styles—are great because they’re more ergonomic than the sofa. And you can always add a seat cushion or lumbar pillow if you need extra support!

dining room officeDining Room as a Work + Activity Space for Kids

Who said office dining rooms were just for adults? Your kids may be out of school for the summer, but depending where you live homeschooling will potentially continue into the new year. And, homeschooling aside, you may just need a space where they can do activities and get creative throughout the summer! So, set your kids (and yourself) up for success with a few clever dining room interior design ideas!

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dining room officeStart by pulling in a bench, if you have one handy. This can help change the vibe in the space, giving it a more “schoolhouse” feeling. It allows for more kids to sit up at the table and makes moving around easier. And you can easily remove it when the work or school day is over to help transition the space back to a dining room!

When creating a kid zone within your dining room, be sure to balance work and play. Incorporate fun activities to help kids keep themselves entertained—from a chalkboard for drawing or games, to a tend that makes a cozy reading nook or for make-believe play time, and plenty of table space for crafts, coloring, reading, and maybe even a little screen time.

dining room officeAs in all kids spaces, we recommend adding baskets for easy clean-up! Baskets are our favorite kid-friendly storage solution, since they look good but they also make it easy for kids to own their own clean-up. And, since they’re low-maintenance and easy to move around, they make it easier to transition your dining room from day to evening.

dining room officeOther Ways to Transform Your Dining Room into an Office

Looking for other home office interior design ideas as you transform your dining room into a home office? There are so many ways to make this combo space work! Keep reading for a few more of our favorite set-ups.

dining room officeA Distraction-Free Set-Up

If you want your dining room home office to be as distraction-free as possible, opt for a more minimal style. A glass table is easy to clean, which is great if you’re using the space for both work and meals! And the velvet chairs make long days of work feel more stylish and fun—not to mention more comfortable than a wooden chair!

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dining room officeRoom WIth a View

Endless video calls aren’t so bad with this view! Don’t be afraid to take over your whole dining room, making space for your monitor, office supplies, and reading materials. You can even keep your printer nearby for easy access to printed documents! An analog clock is also great to help keep you focused without constantly checking your phone to see the time (and inevitably getting lost scrolling through social media.) This charming countryside set-up is also a favorite approach for small home office design ideas when your dining room is your office!

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dining room officeA Workspace for Two

A long table means lots of work space for multiple people. This is great if you’re sharing your dining room office with a partner or roommate. It allows you to each take one half of the table and both have plenty of space to spread out! And, if you’re both working from laptops, it’s easy to put everything away at the end of the workday and continue using your dining room for sharing meals, as well.

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dining room officeA Space of One’s Own

If you’re co-working and want a bit more privacy? Place a tall vase and floral arrangement in the center of the table to create some separation and delineate your space from your partner or roommate’s!

We also love the idea of installing or repurposing shelving for office supplies and books. If you currently use your dining room shelves or cabinets for serving platters or fine china, move them to storage for the time being so you can make the most of your space as an office.

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minimalist dining room

How To Decorate a Minimalist Dining Room

These days, our dining rooms are seeing a lot of action, functioning as a workspace and a place for meals every day. As we continue to spend more time at home, now more than ever an organized and clutter-free modern dining space is essential.

Consider the minimalist dining room. Grounded in minimalist furnishings, simple accents, and neutral colors, the look is just what we all need—less stuff, more space. While the minimalist interior design aesthetic can often range from clean-lined to totally spare, we’re fans of both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. Which means we believe that you can have comfortable furnishings and a pared-down space without going the empty room route.

It’s about mixing together a streamlined wood dining table with cool Mid-Century chairs, hanging a contemporary and design-forward light fixture while keeping your white walls bare, or keeping everything in the room neutral with the exception of a textured natural-fiber rug that has a captivating geometric pattern.

If you love the idea of a minimalist dining room but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Read on for 8 things to keep in mind to bring the look home.

1. Clear Out Clutter

Following the “less is more” mantra, your minimalist dining area should be about having the right foundation pieces and free of clutter. Fewer furnishings also leaves you more walk-around room and makes the space easier to clean and maintain.

The Design Essentials: Minimal dining table with clean lines. Mid-Century style chairs that are open and airy. A sculptural modern chandelier that reflects the streamlined shape of the table.

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2. Stay Neutral

A neutral palette is essential for capturing the minimalist look. In a minimalist dining room, that means crisp neutrals, like ivory, charcoal, and light-wood tones, or a monochrome black-and-white palette. The idea is to pull back on color so that furniture forms do the talking.

The Design Essentials: Modern light-wood dining table that blends into the room. Contemporary upholstered dining chairs in white or beige tones. Large-scale abstract art in black-and-white.

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3. Opt for Streamlined Forms

Minimalist dining rooms are frill-free, which means that in addition to zero clutter these spaces feature streamlined minimalist furniture that have strong lines. So skip designs with lots of ornamentation. Think a smooth white cylindrical vase with a gunmetal grey rectangular mirror.

The Design Essentials: Streamlined and minimalist dining table with a cool silhouette. Slim open console shelf with bold lines. Modern neutral striped rug that directs focus to the dining area.

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4. Play Up Symmetry

With dining rooms, symmetry is key for a sense of balance and cohesiveness. It’s even more important in a minimalist space where there aren’t a lot of accents. Focus on your layout and arranging your table, chairs, and art to appear intentionally, and evenly, put in place.

The Design Essentials: Modern dining table that has a sturdy base. A set of six or eight chairs that fit snugly along the table. Striped or natural-fiber rug that centers the dining space.

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5. Have Lots of Natural Materials

Minimalist interior design isn’t limited to white rooms and spare furnishings. To warm up a minimalist dining room, natural materials and textures will keep your space from feeling flat and boring. Lean into pieces that show natural wood grains, nubby rugs, and woven details. See it as adding more without adding more clutter.

The Design Essentials: Hefty wood dining table with visible graining. Patterned natural-fiber rug. Wood-and-woven-fiber cupboard with strong visual texturing.

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6. Embrace Negative Space

In a minimalist dining area, it’s okay to have empty walls. Instead, style your surfaces with a few curated accents, like a sculptural vase, vessel or object. A good minimalist decor approach is to style as you normally would, then remove half the items. This will highlight the beauty of the pieces you keep.

The Design Essentials: A selection of vases and bowls that have captivating modern forms. Woven chair that can draw attention to a corner. A cool contemporary pendant that stands in for a work of art.

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7. Play With Geometry

Similar to natural materials, your minimalist dining area can benefit from geometric designs and shapes. Here, the furnishings all have beautiful sculptural forms but are also practical for the overall space. Remember form follows function!

The Design Essentials: Linear carved wood dining table with rectangular cutouts. Large round steel mirror and industrial pendant lamp that add visual interest. Wishbone chairs and wiry barstools that are comfy and eye-catching.

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8. Amplify Contrast

In addition to textures and shapes, minimalist dining rooms are all about contrast. It’s what brings the space to life. Mix light and dark hues, bold and soft materials, rectangular and round shapes, hard and smooth surfaces. Just be sure you stay with your minimalist neutral palette.

The Design Essentials: Dark-metal minimalist dining chairs. Subtly patterned textiles featuring modern motifs. A bold-color wall that’s balanced with decor in crisp white and black tones.

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modern dining room chairs

Stylist Picks: Our 9 Favorite Modern Dining Room Chairs

modern dining room chairsModern dining room chairs are an essential part of any modern dining room setup. Once you’ve chosen the perfect dining table for your space, the chairs might feel like a bit of an afterthought. But modern dining room chairs are every bit as important as your table!

The good news is that they are much less expensive, so you can change them up frequently if you like to update your style now and then. All in all, the right set of chairs can make a major impact on the overall aesthetic of your dining room. Our designers rounded up their favorite modern dining room chairs to help you find the perfect set!

Kimi Chair, Charcoal Black

This Kimi Chair in Charcoal Black is a classic and timeless modern design. The chair is hand-carved from sungkai wood and the streamlined shape gives it a beautiful, finished look. It sports a beautifully crafted no-frills style and evokes the look of old school house chairs. The Kimi chair works great in modern, contemporary and even industrial interiors.

modern dining room chairsAston Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chair

The Aston Mid-Century Dining Chair features gorgeous mid-century lines and an ultra sophisticated shape. The design is elevated yet inviting—in fact, it’s so comfortable that you’ll want to sit here all day!

This chair comes with and without arms so you can use one or a mix of both. The neutral grey upholstery works with all sorts of styles and color schemes. This is the perfect chair if you love a traditional mid-century modern style with a slightly contemporary update.

Natural woven side chairDutch Dining Side Chair, Natural

This Dutch Dining Side Chair features a globally-inspired, minimalist design. We love it because it gives a fresh, coastal look to the modern dining room chair. The sleek shape works well with the pop of natural texture! It’s perfect for modern dining rooms and will also look great in coastal, eclectic, and even minimal spaces. Bonus: organic elements like this are a major trend in the design world.

modern dining room chairsTufted Dining Chair

For a dose of modern vintage charm, consider this gorgeous Tufted Dining Chair. The quilted leather is unique and elegant and we love the sophisticated shape. It’s a modern dining room chair with an industrial edge. The hard shape is softened by the glam undertones of antique brass metal and the quilted detail. This is a perfect chair if you want to make a statement in your room! It can also help if you’re trying to merge opposite styles into one cohesive design.

modern chairsLena Side Chair, Espresso

This Lena Side Chair in Espresso is a throwback to the retro style of the 50s and 60s. It has a streamlined shape and tapered leg detail that make it classy and cool. The organic, form-hugging shape cradles your body while you sit—one of the signature aspects of Mid-Century Modern design. This chair works great in any room that has other touches of modern style.

Paton Black Oak Windsor Dining Chair

The Paton Black Oak Windsor Dining Chair offers a modern update on the classic Windsor design. The streamlined shape is sleek and sophisticated but it still retains the traditional style. The deep black stain makes a lovely pop of contrast in a modern dining room. This is an essential modern dining room chair for the modern farmhouse style and it looks amazing paired with modern or rustic dining tables alike.

Scholar Side Chair Onyx

We can’t get enough of this Scholar Side Chair in Onyx! The timeless style blends with chic updates so it’s both old-school at modern at once. It has an awesome contrast of the black wood seat, back and legs against the brass details for a playful reimagining of the classic school desk chair. This chair works well in a glam dining room or even an industrial one with a chic flair.

Milford Dining Chair

The Milford Dining Chair is a classic example of a Campaign style piece. It features a wood frame with leather seat and woven leather back that come together in a modern eclectic style. It’s a modern dining room chair with a global, worldly vibe that we love and makes a great contrast to a metal or marble dining room table. The warmth of leather is a lovely addition to any space and it adds a lovely pop of natural material and texture to your dining room.

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