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How to choose the right size dining chairs
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How to choose the right size dining chairs

velvet dining chairs in orange around a reclaimed wood dining table

Whether you are looking for new dining chairs to go with an existing rustic dining table and fancy a change of style, or are looking for something to go with a new table that you have just bought it is important to understand that not all dining chairs are the same size. In this short guide, we will look at all the key things that you should consider when it comes to picking the right size dining chairs.

How should you measure height?

Whether you are looking for a fabric dining chair or a faux leather dining chair the principle is the same. The first thing you need to measure is the height of the chair itself. In general, dining chairs come in two different sizes. This is because it is quite usual to purchase chairs and tables as a set, and dining tables come in two different standard heights.

It is a good idea to allow at least 12” of space between the tabletop and the chair seat pad. This is to allow someone to sit comfortably with the chair pulled up to the table. If the table has an apron, you should allow for a gap of 7”. If you are considering a chair with arms then don’t forget it is important to allow room for the chair arms to go under the table easily. Again, 7” of space can be a reasonable amount.

Measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of your table or the apron and use this to work out if the chairs are the right height, allowing for the gaps suggested. Your chairs should be low enough to fit under the table but not too low that it makes the table appear too high.

How should you measure width?

The width of your dining chairs is just as important as the height if you want them to fit comfortably around your table. Start by measuring the length of your table (one leg to another). This should be done in inches and then divided by 32” – this allows for 26” per person of eating space and an additional 6” of elbow room between chairs. If a chair has arms then you may need to add a few inches. Armless high-back dining chairs tend to be a bit narrower, so are a good choice where space is limited. Don’t forget to measure the widest part of the chair when making your calculations. Upholstered dining chairs with arms are often better placed at the head or foot of a table where there is more space.

round wood dining table with brown faux leather dining chairs

Consider the space

Now that you have measured the height and width of your new chairs, you need to think about how much room there will be around your table when the chairs are in use. It's a good idea to allow sufficient room for guests to leave the table and walk around the room without needing to disturb other people. If those velvet blue dining chairs that you have fallen in love with will take up too much room, then you may need to consider an alternative, or if you don’t need too many chairs, perhaps a smaller table or a round dining table.

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How have you made the most of a space? If you're looking for more ideas, check out our Ideas and Inspirations and create the room you want. Share your styling tips in the comment box below and your images @modishliving.

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