Decorating & Design

June 25, 2015

Choosing Mismatched Dining Chairs

It’s not news that a coveted look in dining rooms now is having different chairs that don’t match your dining table, but how can you achieve this mismatched look in a way that still seems put together? There are different variations and degrees of this look to suit anyone’s comfort level. Here are some tips to achieving whichever one is right for you, should you feel that it’s time to break up your matching set!

1. All of the chairs are the same but don’t match the table.

In this combination, the goal is to make sure that the finish and colour of the table are clearly different than the finish and colour of the chairs, otherwise it will look like a set. If the finishes are too close, it may look like you tried to match the colours, but didn’t get it quite right. So the key to this look is to go bold; pair a painted table with wooden chairs, or vice versa, for a really dramatic effect.

2. Most of the chairs are the same but the two end chairs at a rectangular table are different from the rest.

In this look, you can have a matching table and side chairs, and two different end chairs, or have contrasting side chairs and end chairs. In a more formal dining room, try two large upholstered chairs as your end chairs, or in a more casual setting, choose end chairs in a bright and bold colour.

3. All of the chairs are different from each other.

This look can be the trickiest, but also very rewarding when you’ve got it right! You can also take your time and save loads of money by picking up chairs here and there at garage sales and thrift stores. The key here is to choose chairs with a common element. Maybe they’re all similar in finish, wood tone or colour, but different in shape. Like painting out various old wood chairs in the same glossy black, for example. Or maybe they’re all similar in shape or style, but different in finish, wood tone or colour. Like all Wishbone chairs in different colours, for example.

Of course it’s also possible that you want a collected, eclectic look, and prefer to pick up chairs that don’t have a common element, which can also be a fun look!

Happy mixing!

Find more inspiration in our photo gallery of Mix & Match Dining Chairs.

Author: Jennifer Koper & Gwen Matsell

Donna Griffith


Glassware, pink vase, white, pink and black resin bowls, salt bowl, Pimlico Design Gallery; cutting board, Elte; pendant, Snob; rug, EQ3; table top, Hardware Interiors; Wishbone chairs, Hollace Cluny; Thonet chairs, Design Within Reach; artwork (right) by Alanna Cavanagh; wall colour, Cloud White (CC-40), Benjamin Moore.


House & Home December 2014 issue


Tanya Linton