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The Ultimate Guide to Finding The Right Dining Room Storage for You

More than ever, our dining rooms have become spaces that demand hyper versatility and functionality. From serving as makeshift home offices to entertaining close family and friends, keeping the dining room neat and organized is key. The best way to create an organized space, is by making sure you have the right dining room storage.

Not sure what kind of storage is right for your needs? Our guide to the best storage furniture has you covered.

There are many types of dining room storage furniture, and what you choose needs to work for your lifestyle and needs. If you have kids, a buffet or chest with drawers and cupboards can be great for storing dinnerware along with any extra art and school supplies if your office is also your dining room; if you entertain a lot, a bar cart or cabinet might be the drinks station you need; or if you live alone in a small space, maybe it’s simply having a stylish tray to corral things on your dining table. All to say, there are many ways for how to add storage to a dining room, but it really comes down to what makes sense for you and your space.

Not sure what you need in your dining room? Check out our ultimate dining room checklist!

For guidance, we’ve rounded up stylish and functional pieces to consider for your dining room, what they’re each great for, and tips for styling them for your space. Find out more below!

Happy with your dining room storage situation but need help redesigning your space? Check out our gallery for stylish and functional dining room design ideas, then bring the looks you love to your home.

dining room storage

Bar Cart

Typically on casters or wheels, a bar cart is meant to be moved around for entertaining purposes. It’s your on-the-go drinks station for serving cocktails, wine, and even tea and coffee. For that reason, it’s a great dining room storage piece if you’re big on hosting family and friends. Whether you leave it in a corner or bring it to wherever the party is, make the most of your bar cart storage. In addition to liquor and glasses, use it for cookbooks, coasters, and small plates.

Style Tip: A bar cart has an instant grown-up look, and it can easily be styled up or down. Decorate it with plants, art, and sculptures to add a touch of your personal style.

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Bar Cabinet

For a stationary drinks station with enclosed storage, the bar cabinet is a compact, stylish, and functional option. It typically has a built-in open shelf for mixing cocktails and serving drinks. It also usually comes with doors that latch close, so it’s a smart dining room storage piece if you have young kids in the house.

Style Tip: A bar cabinet is a sophisticated and classy storage piece. What makes it great is that it hides bottles and clutter. Stock it with wine glasses, tumblers, barware, and cocktail shakers to make it feel like a real bar.

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dining room storage

Credenza or Buffet

For those with a dining room they use regularly, a buffet or credenza is the way to go. A credenza is a sideboard with closed cabinets that have either hidden or glass doors. It’s the ideal dining room storage piece for everything from everyday tableware to formal serving pieces. Credenzas and buffets tend to be large and pricey but they’re functional investment pieces that will last you for years.

Style Tip: Because credenzas and buffets offer so much storage space, use them for dining pieces you want to keep within easy reach. Think dinner plates, silverware, glasses, napkins, tablecloths, you name it.

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Console Shelf

Different from a credenza or buffet, a console shelf is perfect for less formal dining spaces. It’s typically more narrow in size and doesn’t have deep storage space. But because it is wider, it takes up less footprint and can easily be used along any wall. You also want to consider a console shelf if you’re looking for a dining room storage piece that can double as a decorative display. A console shelf with tiers will let you store smaller items on the open shelves, and one with drawers can be great for anything from silverware to takeout menus.

Style Tip: It’s great for storing and displaying decorative items, like cookbooks, picture frames, and plants. It always looks stylish when it’s topped with lamps, art, and a mirror hung above it.

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Dresser

Most people think of the dresser as a bedroom staple, but it can actually be the perfect dining room storage piece! The dresser is like a credenza but with lots of drawers instead of cabinets. And dressers typically have deep drawers, which makes them great for storing bigger items, like plates and platters, glassware and silverware, and stacks of bowls and table linens. It’s an unexpected and beautiful storage option for a large dining space.

Style Tip: Beyond storage, the top of a dresser can also easily be used as a bar, serving station, or a display surface. Or make it multipurpose and style the top for all of those uses!

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dining room storage

Portable Tray

Simple and small but versatile, trays are especially useful in compact dining spaces. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’re bound to find one (or several) that suits your needs and space. What also makes trays amazing dining room storage pieces is you can organize anything in them, be it candles and centerpieces or cocktail beverages and barware. Not to mention you can easily move them around for entertaining as needed.

Style Tip: You can mix random items in a tray and it’ll all look stylishly organized. But having a focus is always a good idea. Try using a tray for drinking glasses or coffee and tea sets or plates and napkins. It’s all about curating your trays and having fun doing it!

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dining room storage

Hutch

For a serious dining room storage piece, a hutch has both open shelving and closed cabinets and drawers. You’ve probably seen hutches in traditional and rustic dining rooms and kitchens. Hutches are large in scale and the shelves and cabinets usually come as one piece, but sometimes they can be detached. The combination of shelving and drawers gives hutches tons of storage and display possibilities.

Style Tip: You can store and display plates, bowls, and dinnerware on the shelves, then use the cubbies for linens and serving pieces; or you can line the shelves with decorative accents and stow kitchen items below and behind closed doors.

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dining room storage

Dining Cabinet

For an elevate approach to dining room storage, a tall dining cabinet is a chic addition to any space. In many cases, a dining cabinet can look like a display case or armoire. It’s large in size and typically has shelving and two front doors—some might have drawers also. If you like to keep all your special serving pieces and dinnerware that you save for formal occasions in one place (and visible), consider investing in a glass-fronted dining cabinet.

Style Tip: Try using a dining cabinet for larger items, such as platters, porcelain serving bowls, and small appliances you don’t need much. Or you can also fill a glass cabinet with your finest china collection to create a beautifully curated display.

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Storage Bench

Even if you keep all your dinnerware and tableware stored outside of your dining room, there’s still room to add in some sneaky storage solutions. A storage bench that opens up with a deep compartment can be a stylish option for those who don’t want bulky dining room storage furniture in the dining space. The bench can either be pulled up as a seat at your dining table or it can be placed along a wall for an elegant side seat that also holds extra pillows, throws, or other small accents.

Style Tip: To make the most of a storage bench for in the dining room, use its hidden compartment for entertaining essentials, like candles, small vases, matches, runners, and extra napkins, etc. Treat it as your party chest!

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Guide to Dining Chair Materials & Which Is Right for You

When you think of dining chairs, you might think they’re all function and no form. But that’s far from the truth. They can actually be fun statement pieces within your dining room! One of the best ways to get creative with dining room chairs is in the material. There are so many different types of dining chairs and materials to choose from—and what you land on can help influence or support the overall design style of your dining room. (Of course, the frame shape has a lot of bearing on the style of your dining room as well. Check out our guide to dining chair styles for more on that.)

Since they are highly functional pieces, it’s important to think about and which ones are best for your lifestyle. So, when thinking through dining room design ideas, you’ll want to consider your individual needs. If you have kids, you’ll probably want a material that’s easy to clean. If your dining room is doubling as a home office, you’ll want dining room chairs that are comfortable to sit in for a full workday. What you need depends on how you use your space, and who uses it. But from there, you can choose whatever dining chair material that suits your fancy!

Ready to dive in? Keep reading for our dining chair materials guide! We’ve rounded up a few of our stylists’ favorite dining room chair materials and why we love them!

Dining chair materials guide

NATURAL MATERIALS

Dining chairs made of natural materials encompass materials like woods, cane, rattan, and so much more. This is by far the largest category of dining room chair materials, as it encompasses such a broad range of materials that are often used in dining chairs. Read on for a bit more on some of the more popular natural materials for dining chairs.

Wicker

Wicker is made from pliable plant materials (like bamboo, willow, rattan, and reads) and can come to life in furniture in many different woven styles. It’s a lightweight but sturdy material, which will hold up well over time when treated with care. And, when weather treated, it’s generally safe for outdoor use as well. (Perfect for an outdoor dining set!)

Wicker pairs well with…

Dining tables made of other natural materials—like stone, wood, marble, and some metal tables. And wicker also pairs well with metal within the chair itself. The chairs featured above have wicker seats but feature delicate metal legs which add a more modern vibe to this more traditionally eclectic material.

This material is perfect for…

A more casual interior design style. It goes really well with rustic, coastal, and eclectic interior design styles.

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Dining chair materials guide

Teak

Teak is a tropical hardwood tree species that makes for beautiful and durable furniture. With its warmer tone, it adds nice organic warmth to a space, making a beautiful statement in dining spaces. Teak has beautiful coloring and can easily be combined with other materials. In the image above, teak chair frames are supplemented with woven seagrass seats which adds beautiful texture to the chairs.

Teak pairs well with…

Wood dining tables that are in a similar color family as your teak chair’s finish. It also pairs well with stone and marble.

This material is perfect for…

Eclectic spaces, mid-century modern styles, and even some minimalist and rustic styles. In fact, the use of teak furniture is big in the Japandi trend, a minimal but warm interior design style.

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Dining chair materials guide

Natural Wood

Natural wood dining chairs give dining rooms a beautiful earthy and natural quality to them. They come in a wide variety of different shapes and styles, making them one of the most versatile dining chair materials. In fact, they transition well between many styles—and the finish found on natural wood chairs tend to be more earthy and organic, since it’s not a stain but just a finish that seals and protects the wood without significantly changing the natural coloring. Because this is a sturdy natural material, natural wood chairs hold up well over time.

Natural wood pairs well with…

Almost everything—from natural wood dining tables to metal, stone, marble and painted wood in just about any color.

This material is perfect for…

Minimalists, mid-century modern style, and some traditional styles that veer more eclectic.

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round marble dining table on a brass pedestal base

Stained or Painted Wood

When it comes to wood dining chairs, there’s a lot more out there than the natural wood look. Stain shows off the natural grain and texture of a wood chair while giving it a darker finish. But wood can, of course, also be painted or manufactured with a darker finish—which means painted wood dining chairs can span from black and white to bolder colors like red, yellow, pink, or blue! Whatever the finish, stained or painted wood dining chairs give a more high-contrast look than natural wood dining chairs—while offering the same benefits.

Stained or painted wood pairs well with…

Metals, marbles, and stone. Depending on the stain or paint color, these chairs can also pair with other wood tones that are more refined. Just make sure that if you’re going for stained wood dining chairs and a wood dining table, that there’s enough contrast between the tones.

This material is perfect for…

A variety of styles. Chairs painted with a color other than black or white tend to suit a more eclectic style, while dining chairs with an ebony finish go well with glam or minimalist styles—or even some mid-century modern spaces. Stained dining chairs go well with mid-century modern spaces as well, but also suit traditional and classic spaces depending on the shape and style of the chair. Chairs that are painted white go well with traditional and coastal spaces. Needless to say, stained or painted wood dining chairs are quite versatile!

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Dining chair materials guide

Leathers

Leather dining chairs add a subtle pop of color to your dining room. There’s a sophistication that comes with leather, but different leather tones and finishes will give your dining room a different vibe. Leather dining chairs are often paired with metal legs, giving them a more sleek look.

Saddle Leather

Leather is a softer material, which makes it more comfortable than other dining chair materials. A saddle or cognac leather color is very versatile and adds nice warmth to a space. When treated well, it will hold up over time—though it will definitely develop a natural patina over years of use. (In our opinion, that only adds to the look—so don’t be afraid of visible aging or even small scratches and scuffs!)

Saddle leather pairs well with…

All dining table types—from wood and stone to metal and marble. This is such a stylistically versatile material, making it an all around all-star for dining chair materials.

This material is perfect for…

Mid-century styles and more transitional styles. It can also work well in eclectic spaces. Leather chairs also go well in a variety of spaces and can make excellent desk chairs or side chairs.

For tips on integrating dining chairs into different spaces click here.

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Dining chair materials guide

Tobacco Leather

Tobacco leather has a darker finish which makes it naturally suited for more masculine and dramatic spaces. With that darker finish, it helps ground your space, and like all leathers, it will develop a beautiful patina as it wears naturally over time.

Tobacco leather pairs well with…

Wood and metal dining tables, as well as some stones that are more earthy and industrial.

This material is perfect for…

Industrial and minimal spaces, mid-century style, and some rustic styles.

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Dining chair materials guide

UPHOLSTERED

Upholstered dining chairs have a bit more of a formal vibe—the material used in the upholstery will definitely influence the style. Upholstered dining chairs can range from cottons and linens to velvet and vinyl. They can also be fully upholstered or slipcovered, or have metal or wooden legs or frames with upholstered backs and seats.

Upholstered Velvet

Velvet has an ability to elevate a look due to its richness in texture and material. So, dining chairs upholstered in velvet will add a sense of luxury to any dining room. However, velvet isn’t super easy to clean—so veer away from using it in homes with children (unless it’s a durable or performance velvet that is a darker color). Sometimes velvet dining chairs are entirely upholstered, like the ones above, while other styles have an upholstered seat frame, while the legs are metal or wood.

Velvet pairs well with…

Marble dining tables. Marble and velvet go beautifully together, as they’re both materials that have a glam, luxurious vibe. Velvet also pairs nicely with white and ebony colored tables, and tables with glass tabletops and gold or brass metallic accents.

This material is perfect for…

Glam and eclectic interior design styles, as well as maximalist lovers.

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Dining chair materials guide

Upholstered Frame

Upholstered dining chair frames—where the chair’s seat and back are upholstered in fabric, are one of the most popular styles of dining chairs. They’re also one of the most comfortable dining chair styles, as upholstered chairs also have some built-in padding. Most upholstered dining chairs have wooden frames. The fabric used in the upholstery—as well as the finish of the rest of the chair’s frame—will influence what style the chair pairs with best.

Upholstered chairs pair well with…

Stone, marble, concrete, and wood dining tables. Upholstered chairs also pair well with caning. In fact, there’s also a sub-set of upholstered chairs where the seat of the chair is upholstered in fabric but the back is caning, which adds additional visual interest to the chair.

This material is perfect for…

Traditional dining rooms. However dining chairs with upholstered frames can also go with some mid-century styles as well as contemporary, rustic, coastal, and transitional spaces.

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Dining chair materials guide

Slipcovers

Slipcovered dining chairs are great for more formal dining rooms, as they tend to give off a more refined look. Since most slipcovers can be taken off and washed, they’re generally kid-friendly! (Though only if it’s a performance fabric that’s washable—so make sure you look out for that when buying!) For a less formal look, you could use slipcovered chairs just at each end of your dining room table, then bring in a natural material chair along the lengths of your table. This adds structure to your dining room with less formality—and is one of the easiest ways to dip your toe into the mismatched dining chairs trend!

Slipcovered chairs pair well with…

All table types. Since they’re completely covered in fabric (and dining room tables are never made of fabric) there is no sense of competing materials. So they really can go with any dining table materials.

This material is perfect for…

Rustic, traditional, classic, and transitional styles—although it can be mixed into more eclectic styles as well.

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Dining chair materials guide

MANUFACTURED MATERIALS

Dining chairs made of more manufactured materials—like acrylic, polycarbonate, plastic, and metal—tend to be kid-friendly because they are so easy to clean. But, the material itself has a huge bearing on what style of dining room it’s suited to.

Acrylic

Acrylic dining chairs are super sleek and are perfect for those with modern design sensibilities. While they’re not the most comfortable dining chair material, they’re very easy to clean! All you have to do is whip them down. They work great in smaller or busier spaces, since acrylic doesn’t visually clutter a small space.

Acrylic pairs well with…

Mixed materials, like brass and marble (like the table pictured above). Acrylic also pairs well with a white lacquer table or a white concrete.

This material is perfect for…

Modern and glam dining rooms. Acrylic really lets the other materials in the space shine.

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Dining chair materials guide

Metal

Metal chairs are easy to maintain and will pretty much last forever. Like acrylic, they’re also very easy to clean. However, since they veer industrial in style, they can seem a little cold—so if you want to add more comfort and warmth to your dining room, we recommend using metal dining chairs as an accent paired with a more comfortable chair or bench to help break up the metal-on-metal in the space. You could also add seat cushions to metal chairs for added comfort.

Metal pairs well with…

Wooden dining tables. Pairing metal chairs and a wood table adds beautiful contrast to the space, and the finish of the table can help define the overall style of the space.

This material is perfect for…

Industrial dining rooms. But, when paired with the right pieces, they can also work well in transitional, rustic, and farmhouse spaces.

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8 of Our Best Tips for Acing the Mismatched Dining Chairs Trend

Do you want to infuse your dining room with a little personality? Then check out this trend we’re loving: Mismatched dining chairs! Chairs are a dining room essential. And when you mix and match your dining chairs—where all are different, or you have two or three different styles—you bring added character and charm to your dining room.

The mismatched dining chairs trend flies in the face of the all-in-one, perfectly matched dining set. Rather, it’s one of those dining room design ideas that infuses your dining room with extra visual interest and flair! It gives your dining room a less formal, more eclectic style. This is a perfect trend for those who can never pass up a solo chair at a flea market or antique store, giving you the chance to show off the different chairs you’ve collected over the years.

But this look doesn’t have to be overly eclectic. There are more subtle ways to mix and match dining chairs as well—in ways that lean both casual and formal. It all depends on the dining chair styles you use.

Want to get the scoop on how to pull off the mismatched chair trend? Keep reading for our designers’ best tips on how to style a dining room with mismatched chairs.

mismatched dining chairs

1. Consider the Size and Scale

When playing with a mismatched dining chair look, it’s important to consider size and scale. Look for chairs that are roughly the same size but with enough visual variances that they feel like different chairs. This will give the set-up a complementary look while still achieving that eclectic vibe of mismatched chairs.

Stylist Tip: This is especially worth keeping in mind if you’re an antique collector or flea market fiend and are buying chairs one at a time!

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mismatched dining chairs

2. Use Mismatched Materials

For a mismatched dining chair look that is less eclectic but still impactful, Try to bookend the length of your dining table with end chairs (also called captains chairs) that add a subtle textural contrast to your space. We used slipcovered chairs in the image above, which adds visual weight and contrast to the slender wooden chairs thanks to the covers’ full silhouette in a soft jute-cotton blend. Other great materials to combine? Wood and cane chairs.

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mismatched dining chairs

3. Mix and Match Shapes

For added visual interest around the table, mix and match different chair shapes. You might not realize how much the shape of a chair’s back influences the vibe for a dining room—but they really do have a lot of impact! So, mixing different shapes not only adds nuance to the style of your dining room, but it adds a lot of visual interest as well. The shapes we chose in the design above, with the round and rectangular shapes, veers more formal, while a wishbone chair paired with a rectangular chair would be much more casual—proof that mismatched chairs can suit a variety of looks!

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4. Mind Your Heights

When it comes to mismatched chairs, it’s not an “anything goes” situation. To pull off this look well, you want to make sure all the seat heights are approximately the same. This creates a “level” look and a sense of consistency, even when the styles of dining chairs are quite different. Plus, you want all your dinner guests sitting at the same height, don’t you??

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mismatched dining chairs

5. Keep it in the Family

If you’re more of a traditionalist and like the ease of a full dining set, but want the slightly more casual approach that mismatched chairs offers, try mixing chairs from the same family! For example, in the image above, the captain’s chairs are more of a wingback style—but, being from the same brand, they have the same color of legs and upholstery, and both have the nailheads, all of which helps tie this look together into a cohesive whole. This is a great way to play it safe with the mismatched chair trend.

Stylist Tip: Make sure the fabrics are the same, or are different enough that they’re complimentary. If they’re similar but only slightly off it will look like you tried to go for a perfect match and didn’t quite hit the mark. This goes for both the upholstery and the chair legs.

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mismatched dining chairs

6. Same Color, Different Style

When trying out mismatched dining chairs, color can be a great unifier. Whether you’re taking the flea market approach and every single chair is different, you have two sets of two chairs, or even two chairs and a pew, like we have above, having them all painted the same gives a common thread to the look. This lets you venture into a wider mix of dining chair styles and shapes, but in a way that will appear complementary!

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7. Sub in a Bench

An alternate take on mismatched chairs? Using a bench on one side of a rectangular table, rather than two chairs. It will give that mis-matched feeling but with a grounding element that benches bring to the table. To get this look, use matching chairs around the rest of the table, and place the bench opposite two matching chairs on the length of the table. Of course, you aren’t limited to a bench. You could also incorporate stools, a pew, or a settee as alternatives to traditional dining chairs, any of which would add extra flair and personality to your dining room.

Stylist Tip: If you don’t want to clutter your dining room with chairs day-to-day, you could always tuck one or two chairs elsewhere in your home, then pull them out when you have company. Check out our guide on where to put spare dining room chairs for some ideas. Just remove the chairs at the ends of the table and add them back in when you need them!

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mismatched dining chairs

8. Don’t Forget the Table

When it comes to pulling off the look of mismatched chairs, dining tables are just as much part of the conversation in this trend. With an eclectic mix of chairs, you’ll want to make sure your dining room table is stylistically neutral so it doesn’t compete with the overall look. And, while you can use this trend around any table, round dining tables give you a lot more flexibility to lean into the look. Since you don’t have the formality of the “head” of the table and there’s no natural symmetry, you can get away with more varied chair styles. Without that built-in symmetry, your eye won’t be offended by differences.

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Buying Guide: Ultimate Dining Room Furniture Checklist

Have you ever wondered, when designing a room, what pieces are essential and which things are simply nice to have if you have the space or budget for them? Well, wonder no longer! With our buying guides, we’ll walk you through the essential pieces for your space, the nice-to-haves, and the little touches that make a space shine.

At Modsy, we’ve helped countless people design their dining rooms—which means that we have a pretty good handle on what pieces no dining room should be without and which pieces you can wait on, save up for, or skip altogether. And we want to pass that wisdom along to you!

Today, we’re going to give you a checklist of what dining room furniture you should definitely include in your dining room (like a table and chairs) and what furniture helps add a feeling of intentionality and ease to your space. Because, ultimately, you want your dining room to work for you and meet the needs of your space. So, we’ll walk you through everything from the essentials to the little things that will make your space sing. And, since everyone has a different budget, we’ll also include a general price range for each piece of furniture.

Early Considerations

Before we get into the checklist, we want to talk through some early decision-making filters you should think through—things that will help you narrow down your search early on, so you don’t waste your time hunting and shopping for furniture you don’t actually need for your own space.

First, consider the size of your dining area. This will not only influence the size of the pieces you include but it will also help determine how many pieces of furniture you include and what they look like.

You should also consider your lifestyle needs. How does your dining room need to function? Does your dining room double as your home office? Do you have young children or pets? Do you host frequently? All of these variables will influence your personal needs for your dining room and will help guide the choices around what kind of furniture and materials to include.

Now, on to our dining room furniture checklist!

dining room furniture

The Dining Room Essentials

These are the pieces of furniture that you absolutely need for your dining room to function properly.

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dining room furniture

Dining Table

You can’t properly dine without a table! In fact, this is piece number one for dining room essentials. Without a dining table, you really don’t have a dining room! However, there are so many different table sizes, shapes, and styles to choose from when choosing the right dining table for your needs.

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When it comes to size, consider how you use the space (and how much space you actually have). If you always host during the holidays but only have small family meals day-to-day, you might want to consider an expandable dining table that can size up or down depending on how many seats you need.

If you don’t have a ton of space, you could simply do a bistro table to keep the footprint small—or you could go for a counter or bar-height table. In terms of shape, you can go for a more traditional rectangular table, or an oval, square, or round table. Along with the size and shape of a dining table, you’ll also want to consider style, to give your dining room and home a unique point of view. A dining table is a big investment, so make sure you choose one that you love!

Price Range: $400-$3,000+

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dining room furniture

Chairs

A dining room table on its own doesn’t do much good—so chairs are another dining room essential. You need something to sit on, after all! There are so many different styles and types of dining room chairs, and we recommend choosing chairs that coordinate with the style of your table. You can also incorporate benches or even stools in a small space. When choosing dining room chairs, consider your needs—like comfort level, durability, and materials. If you have kids, you’ll probably want chairs that are easy to clean and can endure some wear and tear. And something worth remembering: some chairs come in pairs or in sets of 4-6, which can help save money when outfitting full dining room sets!

Price Range: $75-$600+ (for a single chair)

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dining room furniture

Nice-to-Haves

These furniture and decor pieces won’t render your space unusable if you don’t have them. But including them in your design and budget but can greatly increase the functionality or your dining room. Consider these items a bit lower on the “must buy” list.

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A Credenza or Buffet

Credenzas and buffets are great multipurpose pieces of dining room storage furniture that are really nice to have. On top, you can display decorative objects, create a drink station, or place a lamp for layering lighting in your dining room. But they also offer a ton of storage space—often featuring a mix of cabinets and drawers. You can use the concealed storage to stash dinnerware, linens, serving platters, and special-occasion dishes while still having easy access to them. While credenzas or buffets are pricier and more of an investment piece, they really do add a finishing touch to a dining room.

Price Range: $600-$3,000

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Ambient Overhead Lighting

Good lighting can make or break a room. That’s why we love ambient overhead lighting in a dining room design. And you don’t have to settle for what’s in your dining room when you move into your home! Swapping out lighting can make a huge difference for a reasonable price. They’re one of those great pieces that can help pull the style of the room together and make it look complete—and they’ll give you just the right ambient lighting that’s nice for dinner.

Price Range: $150 – $2,000

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dining room furniture

Bar Storage

When possible, it’s nice to put drinks and mixology tools in a separate area. This can be accomplished through the use of a bar cart or bar cabinet. A bar cabinet is great if you prefer concealed storage and want a really sleek and clean look. A bar cart is perfect for entertaining, as your drink mixing essentials are out in the open, and the cart itself can easily be moved to wherever you need it most! Either option adds a polished element to your space.

Stylist Tip: Style your bar cart with a mix of practical and decorative items to really make it pop.

Bar Cart Price Range: $150 – $1,000

Bar Cabinet Price Range: $500-$2,000

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An Area Rug

An area rug helps your dining room feel more styled and pulled together; it anchors the table, especially in a large dining space or open living space. Rugs also add some pattern, texture, and color to your space. Since there are so many different styles of rugs, it’s an opportunity to further drive home the interior design style and color scheme of your dining room.

Stylist Tip: Get a rug that is easy to clean in case of any food or beverage spills during your next dinner party! (Also an absolute necessity for parents of toddlers!)

Price Range: $250-$2,000+

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Window Coverings

While you may not need blinds or curtains in your dining room for privacy in the same way you do in other rooms of your home, window coverings are still nice to have. But it’s nice to be able to close them if you’re enjoying a late dinner, and it adds an aesthetic touch to the space. Whether you choose blinds, curtains, or Roman shades simply depends on the look you’d like to achieve. However, between the options, curtains have the ability to add the most personality to a space. Like an area rug, curtains are a great way to infuse a little pattern or color to your space. The material you choose can impact the vibe of your room; whereas a linen curtain would add a sense of airiness to your space, velvet curtains would bring in a sense of drama. And a solid-colored curtain is a great way to add a sense of formality to your space.

Stylist Tip: Go for curtains with a pattern if your dining room is mostly solids to add a punch of pattern to the space.

Price Range: $120-$800

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The Little Things

These little things are the finishing touches that make your room feel complete—styled, considered, and intentional. They’ll take you from a merely functional space to one that really sings!

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Candles

Candles are a great way to add ambient lighting for romantic or cozy dinners—or to simply make each evening feel a little bit more special! Even if you have overhead lighting, it’s nice to have candles as an option for additional layered lighting. And, whether you’re using pillar candles or tapers in candlesticks, they become simple decor on your table.

Stylist Tip: Don’t want real flames? Try battery-operated candles for a fire-safe option that you can leave on all the time. You can even get ones that flicker like a real flame!

Price Range: $5-$100

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A Centerpiece

A centerpiece can be anything from a vase of flowers or a small plant to a bowl of lemons or a trio of candles—and so much more! They can be small and simple or large and elaborate depending on how you use your table and your personal preference. Whatever it is, having something decorative in the middle of the table can make a room feel well thought out and visually serve as a finishing touch in your dining room. A tablescape is also a great way to bring in seasonal elements, as it’s something simple that you can switch out each season—if not more often.

Price Range: $50-$500

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Wall Art

Whether it’s sculptural art, a painting, a woven tapestry, or a family photo gallery wall, art will add a personal touch to your dining room. It’s also a great way to further define the style of the space. You can use wall art to pull in colors that are used elsewhere in the space to help it feel more cohesive.

Price Range: $100-$2,000

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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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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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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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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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