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Types of Dining Chairs: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Right Dining Chairs for You

Even though we aren’t entertaining much these days, we still need to have a proper dining table and dining room chairs so that you can enjoy a proper meal! In fact, dining rooms are more important than ever because we are spending so much time at home! Along with a dining table, dining room chairs are an essential part of any dining space—peep this Guide to dining table styles if you need help picking out a table to start with.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to dining chair styles—you can find wood chair styles, side chairs with upholstered seats, Art Deco dining chairs, traditional dining chairs, rustic style side chairs….you get the picture. Dining room decor comes in all kinds of options and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how many types of dining chairs are out there.

If you’re finding it hard to know which types of dining chairs will work for your dining space, we’ve got you covered! This dining chairs guide breaks down all the major shapes, sizes and types of dining chairs to help you find a solution that works.

And if you need a little extra interior design help in bringing your dining room to life, Modsy is here for you! Even though the holidays might look a little different this year, a well-designed dining room can help make the time at home feel special.

Armchair

One of our favorite dining room chair types is the classic armchair.  Often used as a side chair, their larger size adds depth and character to dining room tables. They make a super elegant option and definitely complement a more formal look—but they fit well with more casual styles, too. Dining chairs like this usually have upholstered seats, which makes them more comfortable than hard materials. We love dining chairs that bring both comfort and class to your dining space!

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Side Chair

The classic side chair is one of the most traditional types of dining chairs. Known as a “dinnertime staple,” they take their name from the fact that they sit along the “side” of the table. These types of dining chairs can be more casual in style or super formal, depending on the type of dining room table you have. (Check out our guide to dining table sizes, shapes, and materials if you’re in the market for a dining room table, too!) These types of dining chairs come in all kinds of looks, so you can be sure to find one to match any style you like.

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Parsons Chair

The Parsons dining chair is another dining room classic. It gets its name from Paris’ Parsons School of Design and the dining chair features lean, simple lines and an upholstered seat. This type of dining chair comes in every fabric you can think of so there is an excellent variety to choose from. We love these dining room chairs because they can work for many styles—rustic, transitional, contemporary, modern, traditional mid-century modern—you name it! Dining chairs like this are also comfy to sit on and can fit in smaller dining rooms because they don’t have bulky arms to take up space.

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Wingback Chair

If you want a cozy, but sophisticated look for your dining chairs, the wingback chair might be just right! This dining chair has “wings” along the side of the chair to create a distinctive silhouette—they are often used just at the heads of the table. They are usually upholstered and stuffed with nailheads for a more traditional and sophisticated look. These dining chairs aren’t ideal for kids who make a mess—they are fully upholstered so they do require a lot of cleaning.

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types of dining chairsLadder Back Chair

The ladder back dining chair features horizontal slats spaced along the back of the chair, which is usually made of wood. They are great casual dining chairs and the slats create a light and open look. They work best in more rustic and traditional styles and make a great option for a kitchen table.

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types of dining chairsSlat back chair

Slat back dining chairs feature evenly spaced vertical slats, for a laid-back, quaint appeal. This look works for a variety of styles—traditional, rustic, mission, etc. and the dining chairs can be dressed up for formal settings or toned down for a casual look. They are practical and come in both solid or upholstered seating—a great choice for casual dining and households with kids!

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types of dining chairsWindsor chair

The Windsor Dining chair takes inspiration from early English designs. These types of dining chairs feature a half-circle back supported by vertical slats or rods, along with spindle legs. These dining chairs look great with rustic, traditional, and vintage styles!

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types of dining chairsCross back (X) chair

The Cross Back Chair has an X-shape on the back side of the chair that adds a light and airy look. These dining chairs range in styles from cafe chairs to rustic to contemporary. It’s a perfect choice for a casual dining room with a more stylistic approach. And these dining chairs are usually all wood, so they are kid-friendly and easy to clean!

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types of dining chairsSlope Dining Chair

The Slope dining chair is cool and sleek with a simple silhouette. This type of dining chair features a comfortable upholstered seat, usually in leather or faux leather. They can have a swanky, factory-style feel, making them great for modern rustic to industrial style. Bonus: the faux leather can be wiped down easily, making them super kid-friendly and pet friendly.

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Barrel Back Chair

Barrel back dining chairs have a bowl-like backrest that you can sink into when you sit down. These dining chairs are super versatile—some can swivel back and forth and make great desk chairs too. The upholstered seats are super comfortable for longer sitting, and they are style-forward but not stuffy. We love these dining chairs for mid-century modern, minimal, contemporary, and industrial looks.

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types of dining chairsSplat back chair

“Splat back” refers to the centrally placed, vertical column on the back of these dining chairs. These are usually found in metal, but historically they had a more gothic and English design. The metal chairs tend to be lightweight, making them versatile for indoor/outdoor dining. If you want dining chairs with a cool, industrial-chic look, these are perfect—plus they are super low-maintenance when it comes to cleaning.

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Wishbone Chair

The Wishbone Dining Chair is an iconic Danish design that’s usually made with a wood base and woven or upholstered seating. The elegant, curved frame forms a wishbone shape on the back and they are both comfortable and decorative pieces. This style of dining chair works well in eclectic, mid-century modern, rustic, minimalist, and boho styles.

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types of dining chairs

Cantilever Chair

The Cantilever Dining chair is one of the most unique looking options for dining rooms.  It gained popularity in the 70s and design enthusiasts still love it today! These dining chairs have a flexible form that makes them a little bit “bendy.” They can be upholstered or solid—caning is popular material, too. They work great with many styles, from industrial to mid-century modern

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types of dining chairsSlipcovered

For a more formal look, consider the slipcovered chair—it can add instant sophistication to a space. Slipcovered chairs can be bought as is or you enhance dining chairs like the Parsons chair by adding a slipcover over the frame. They make cleanup easy because the cover is easily removed and washed. This helps these dining chairs last over time—which is great because they tend to be a bit more expensive! They fit perfectly into classic and traditional styles.

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Plastic molded

For a trendy and funky look, try these plastic molded side chairs inspired by the Eames chair! These chairs for dining rooms are lightweight and airy looking—classic Scandinavian style. You can easily wipe the chair clean, so they are perfect for households with kids. And the dining chairs usually come in a solid color with metal or wood legs, making them super versatile and great with minimalist and modern styles!

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coffee table buying guide

How to Pick a Coffee Table Shape to Go With Your Sofa

After landing on a sofa (or a sectional), a coffee table is one of the next most important pieces of furniture in your living room. It helps tie together your seating area, and offers the practicality of a surface for placing a drink, kicking up your feet, and displaying your favorite coffee table books.

But with so many different coffee table sizes, shapes, and materials to choose from, it can be overwhelming to land on the right coffee table for your living room. So, today we’re going to help you out with a coffee table buying guide! We’ll walk you through the different coffee table shapes, show you how they work with different sofa shapes (think sectional or sofa chaise), and ultimately help you find the right coffee table for your space!

coffee table buying guide

The Basics of Choosing a Coffee Table

But before all that, you’ll want to consider a few general rules of thumb when it comes to choosing the right coffee table.

Coffee Table Height

First up: coffee table height. You want your coffee table to be no more than 2-3 inches above or below your sofa’s seat height. (Though, the closer to the same height, the better.) If it’s too tall or too short, it won’t be as practical to use and frankly just won’t look as good.

Coffee Table Length

And, in terms of length, consider the space you need to walk and navigate around your coffee table within the rest of the room. A good rule of thumb is leaving about 17 inches from each end of your coffee table to the edge of your sofa for walkability. With that, in general you’ll want your coffee table to sit on the center of your area rug, no matter what sofa style you have or what shape of coffee table you choose.

Explore more coffee table do’s and don’ts here! Ready to dig in? Read on for our ultimate guide to choosing a coffee table to go with your sofa.

coffee table buying guideBest Coffee Table Shapes for Standard Sofas

If you have a standard sofa, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to picking a coffee table. You can safely go with just about any shape, and it’s just easier to know where to place it. (Simply center the coffee table on your sofa, and make sure it’s about two-thirds the length of your sofa.) So, really, it just comes down to preference. Below, you’ll see how different coffee table shapes work with a standard sofa.

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coffee table buying guide

coffee table buying guide

Rectangular Coffee Tables

A rectangular coffee table fits well with a traditional, standard-size sofa. It offers a lot of surface area—providing a surface not only for people sitting on the sofa but also on the side chair. And, the coffee table pictured is a perfect example of the right height in comparison to your sofa. We’d say that, for a standard sofa, a rectangular coffee table is your best all-around choice. This is a no-brainer shape that you really can’t go wrong with.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideSquare Coffee Tables

When it comes to a square coffee table with a traditional sofa, our stylists recommend doing two squares side-by-side rather than just one. A single square coffee table would feel small and awkward on it’s own with a long rectangular sofa—leaving your seating area feeling unbalanced. So, doubling up on the squares gives your living room a more balanced, cohesive look. Plus, with two squares, you get double the surface area! It gives you the concept of a rectangular coffee table, but with more visual intrigue.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRound Coffee Tables

If you want to add visual interest to your living room, along with creating a bit of a statement in your space, go for a round coffee table. Just make sure it has a large enough circumference to balance out the length of your sofa! You don’t get as much surface space in comparison to a rectangular coffee table, so we recommend supplementing your seating area with some side tables for extra surface area. You could also consider doing two round tables, and either replacing them side-by-side like the squares, or staggering them, with one closer to the sofa and one further away. Staggering a set creates varied walking space around your tables and sofa and more visual interest to your set-up.

A round coffee table—whether you go for one larger table or a pair of smaller ones—is the most versatile shape and our pick for best all-around coffee table shape for any sofa style. Whether you have a standard sofa, a sectional, or a sofa with a chaise, a round coffee table will tuck into any shape, as long as the size proportions are correct. Round coffee tables are also the most kid-friendly shape, since there are no hard edges or corners.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideOval Coffee Tables

An oval-shaped coffee table is another great shape for a standard sofa. It’s obviously a bit longer than a round coffee table, so it gives you as much surface area as possible while still offering a softer, more organic shape. And choosing an oval style with a more unique base, like this one, adds some visual interest. Like a round coffee table, and oval is also great if you have kids, because of the round edges—no sharp corners here!

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideAbstract/Organic Coffee Tables

An abstract or organic-shaped coffee table is great for inspiring movement in your living room, adding a functional statement to your space. There’s a sense of fluidity when you opt for a more organic shape—though, depending on the specific style you choose, it can give a totally different vibe to the space. Here, we have both a table that’s a soft triangle shape with three legs, and a more heavy, organic style, which each create completely different looks to the seating arrangement. With the second one, you’ll want to make sure you figure out the balance—since it’s such a heavy, solid piece, you wouldn’t want to pair it with a delicate or small sofa. With all coffee tables, consider the size and scale of your sofa and pair a coffee table accordingly.

Regardless, abstract and organic shapes in coffee tables work well with a regular-sized sofa, offering a more dynamic look. We love that, whatever vantage point you have in the room, you’re going to see it differently. This gives your coffee table the feeling of being an evolving object within your space that adds dimension and a sculptural quality.

coffee table buying guideBest Coffee Table Shapes for Sectionals

While all of the same shapes are available to you when you have a sofa with a chaise or a sectional, different shapes and sizes work differently within this context. While we’re just showing you how these shapes work with a sofa with a chaise, the same principles apply to a sectional with a full L-shape.

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coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRectangle Coffee Tables

If you opt for a rectangular coffee table with a sectional or chaise, you’ll just want to make sure the length of the coffee table fits with a safe amount of space between the edge of the sofa and the chaise, without the end of the coffee table going past the other end of the sofa! A rectangular coffee table gives you more space relative to the rest of your seating arrangement though (in this case, in the foreground of the image) since the shape means it’s not protruding into the side of the seating area that’s opposite your sofa.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideSquare Coffee Tables

A single square coffee table works really well for a sofa with a chaise or a sectional. It tucks perfectly into the angle of the chaise while still giving you enough breathing room. It’s also great for those who love a more traditional take on a seating arrangement, since the lines of the coffee table align with the lines of the sofa, with edges meeting edges and the square shape echoing the angle of the sofa. This is our pick for a no-brainer coffee table shape that you really can’t go wrong with when you have a chaise or sectional.

Like the look of a square but want softer edges? An ottomoan is a great coffee table alternative, which also provides a comfortable, makeshift seat or footrest!

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRound Coffee Tables

A round coffee table with this sofa shape has a grounding element and is easier to navigate around than other shapes. It offers more room to play around with the chair placement within your living room, and overall is easier to design around since you don’t have hard lines or edges. As with a traditional sofa, you can also opt for two smaller round tables versus one larger round coffee table. This creates a more playful look that’s very flexible and forgiving. You can stagger them and even swing one around to be a side table when you want to. It breaks up the angle of the L-shape on the sofa and adds an organic element that brings some breathing room to your layout.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideOval Coffee Tables

An oval coffee table works really nicely to balance out the edge of the sofa. The table pictured is a smaller model; we’d recommend sizing up if you’re going to do an oval with this type of sofa. But just make sure you have enough room for walking on all sides of the table.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideAbstract/Organic Coffee Tables

An abstract or organic coffee table would also give you that ability to break up the angle of the L-shape of the sofa. The soft triangle table fits really nicely in this setting and adds a bit of a statement to the center of the room. This is a bigger table, but it doesn’t feel too large for the space. That’s because, since its legs lift it off the floor, there’s a sense of airiness to this look. (One of our favorite tricks to help a space feel larger.)

The more solid, geometric coffee table also works in this set-up, but it’s definitely a heavier approach. It anchors the center of the room and visually balances out the weight of the chaise versus the chair that’s diagonal from the chaise. However, since it’s a solid, heavy table, it’s not very moveable.

Explore Coffee Table Styles

Choosing the best coffee table to go with your sofa also means finding one with the right style. As evidenced by the variety of coffee tables featured in this post, there are so many styles to consider! If you’re uncertain about what style or shape of coffee table to choose, take our style quiz, or work with one of our designers to find the best furniture pieces and layout for your whole living room!

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stylish floor lamps

Stylist Picks: 10 Stylish Floor Lamps That Are Also Works of Art

Proper lighting is one necessity in every room in the house. Even your brightly lit spaces need lights to flip on once the sun goes down. When it comes to lighting choices, we love stylish floor lamps! They are great if you need to save surface space in your living room, bedroom or other areas of the house. Whether you opt for a tripod floor lamp, a floor lamp that arcs over the room, a small reading floor lamp or a big statement piece, your lighting is an element that can instantly upgrade the look and feel of any room design. Layered lighting like desk lamps and floor lamps are essential in a small space—but they also work well in any size home.

Floor lamps are a big hit right now because we are spending so much time at home these days and need our spaces well-lit morning, noon, and night! If you need help coming up with floor lamp ideas for your home, check out some of our stylist’s favorite picks!

stylish floor lampsThe Namura Edison Globe Floor Lamp, Uttermost

We adore this Namura Edison Globe Floor Lamp! It is totally unique and the bright gold color lends itself to a lot of different styles. It’s a definite statement piece and will make a splash in any room. But it’s also a super functional floor lamp, adding tons of bright light to a space. This is one of the best floor lamps for glam, eclectic, and contemporary styles.

“I love the Namura lamp from Uttermost because even though it feels so distinctive and even a bit out-of-the-box in shape and form, it’s still the perfect addition to so many aesthetics—traditional, eclectic, bohemian, and even contemporary.” – Lauren M.

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stylish floor lampsThe Riano Floor Lamp, Uttermost

Classic floor lamps work well in a variety of rooms. This one features a mix of traditional elements like bronze and brass with cream lampshades, but putting it all together into a fun new structure. It only takes up a minimal amount of space in the corner and also provides double the light! This is one of the best floor lamps for a living room or office space. The neutral colors are pleasing to the eye and go with a lot of styles and decor palettes. We love the look of this lamp as extra reading and working light for a desk—especially since so many of us are working from home these days!

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stylish floor lampsBeton Floor Lamp White, Nuevo

This light arched floor lamp comes in both black and white so you can use it as a dramatic accent in a variety of designs. It’s sleek and simple, but very cool with its slight lean and narrow structure. It doesn’t take up much room so it works well as a floor lamp in smaller spaces as well as minimalist, contemporary and modern style spaces.

“This lamp is such a statement piece and can give you light in rooms where there isn’t a ceiling light” – Modsy Stylist Autumn H.

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stylish floor lampsThe Big Dipper Arc Lamp, CB2

This tall lamp is another beautiful statement piece that makes a splash in any living area. It comes in brass and silver so you can choose the right color floor lamps for your decor scheme. It’s super versatile in style and works well with modern, mid-century modern, minimal, and eclectic styles. It’s also great for spaces with no ceiling light as the lamp arcs over the center of the room.

“I love the Big Dipper Arc Lamp from CB2 in small spaces that don’t have overhead lighting—it arcs perfectly towards the center of any room.” – Modsy Stylist Mackenzie R.

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stylish floor lampsAtlas Wood Floor Lamp, CB2

This wood floor lamp by Mermelada Estudio calls to mind French-Moroccan style in illuminating fashion. Inspired by the curvy shapes of Moroccan lamps with a touch of refined French taste, it’s one of the best floor lamps with a sophisticated silhouette. The gorgeous design is topped off with a white cotton shade to add extra brightness and style to any room. Wooden floor lamps like this work well in boho, eclectic, rustic and transitional spaces—it’s a unique look with warm and neutral colors.

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stylish floor lampsDome Floor Lamp, Global Views

This handsome brass floor lamp has a glamorous, sculptural appeal with a mushroom cap top. It casts a warm glow with a brass lined interior so you can have brightness and warmth in any space. This is one of the best floor lamps for glam and modern spaces—it feels classic and iconic while also remaining simple and elegant. Plus, the base is so tiny that it barely takes up any floor space—perfect for a reading nook or work area.

“Any lamp from Global Views has my heart! Excellent quality and craftsmanship!” – Modsy Stylist Tais K.

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stylish floor lampsCayden Nickel Brushed Floor Lamp, Tanjore

We adore this Cayden Nickel Brushed Floor Lamp with a functional edge. The modern form goes with any decor space. The floor lamp can be easily moved up or down with the handy lever, so it’s great for nooks or smaller spaces that need a reading lamp. Use it with traditional or rustic decor—it makes a great addition to both styles! Plus, the small size makes it unobtrusive so it doesn’t take attention away from artwork and other decor in the room.

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stylish floor lampsMid-Century Modern Floor Lamp, Jamie Young

For those of you who love a mid-century look, this two-toned, sleek floor lamp might be just the right thing. It feels a bit industrial with the exposed bulb, but also has a modern edge with sleek brass and black elements. It’s a great floor lamp for small spaces because of the narrow structure. The light is focused downward, so it’s ideal for reading in bed or on the sofa or as a desk lamp.

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stylish floor lampsAllora Floor Lamp, Ciro Modern

This is one of the hippest floor lamps we’ve seen, with its modern triangular top and round base. Materials like matte black metal, shiny brass and marble even feel a bit art deco! It’s truly a statement piece and almost looks like it’s own sculpture. It’s a great addition to Mid-Century Modern, minimalist, and strictly modern styles—and it could even work well in industrial-chic spaces!

“The Allora floor lamp black form Ciro Modern—I love the modern shape/finishes of it, it’s adjustable and the price point is really great!” – Shannon M.

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stylish floor lampsLongshan Floor Lamp White, Jamie Young

Last but not least is one of the most gorgeous, classic looking floor lamps on the market. It has a sculptural look, and the bright, white color makes it look striking against a dark interior. This floor lamp is also very versatile because of the neutrality and shape. It’s one of the best floor lamps for any space, including the living room, dining room, bedroom, and more. It can also be a great look for a nursery or kids’ room design! 

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