Decorating & Design

December 1, 2016

Master The Mix: How To Style A Mismatched Dining Set

Assistant design editor Jennifer Koper shares four inspiring mismatched dining set looks.
Jennifer-Koper-Thumbnail-HH_NO16Once considered a trend, breaking up a matching dining set has now become a style must. Mixing different colors, materials and styles of furniture instantly gives a dining room designer appeal, and communicates a well thought-out look. It’s not always easy to find the right balance of pieces, so I’m sharing some of my favorite mixed sets for inspiration, and showing you how to get the look!

Look #1

Senior design editor Sally Armstrong’s dining room is a breath of fresh air. She stuck with a largely white palette, grounded by dark accents and a hit of bright color for a sense of playfulness. The strong, clean lines of the dining table are accentuated by it’s chunkiness, which acts as a great contrast to the dainty and shapely bistro-style bentwood chairs. If you have an overall white and black palette, don’t be afraid to add a good dose of color, even if it’s just in one statement piece — it can really make the room come together.


1. Era Bentwood chair, Design With Reach, $260 | 2. Caravaggio Matte Black Pendant Light, Y-Lighting, $395 – $895 | 3. Extendible Dining Table, Wayfair, $1,082 | 4. eWen Style Bar, Mobilia, $1,799

Look #2

This dining room by designers Christine Ralphs & Michelle Lloyd Bermann mixes ’50s Hollywood antiques with a Palm Beach breeziness that’s irresistibly dreamy. The freshness of the simple white table and wicker chairs lighten the look of the glam pieces in the space. To get the look, try pairing a Parsons-style rattan chair with a white table. Glam it up with a smoked mirrored sideboard (try putting two side-by-side to achieve a long, sweeping oversized look) and an elegant gold-toned lamp.


1. Rome Floor Lamp, Union Lighting, $1910 | 2. Mirror Credenza, CB2, $899 | 3. Tigris Dining Chair, Crate & Barrel, $40 to $199.

Look #3

In the Calgary home of a young family, designer Nam Dang-Mitchell designed a cool and contemporary dining space that still feels warm and inviting. There is a lot of wood in this look, so the key to mastering this mix is to make sure your dining chairs and dining table have different colors of wood. If the woods are too similar, it will look too matchy-matchy. Nam Dang-Mitchell went with a pale white oak table and medium walnut chairs, which have a great contrast against each other. To avoid going overboard on mixing wood tones, choose a sideboard that feels like one of the two woods you already have. In this case, a wood sideboard that takes a cue from the walnut chairs works perfectly, and a fresh white frame adds a cool touch.


1. Butte Cone Pendant, Rejuvenation, $399m | 2. NORRAKER White Birch Table, Ikea, $349 | 3. Wishbone Chair, InMod, $229 | 4. Cora Small Credenza, All Modern, $1699

Look #4

Senior design editor Joel Bray’s downtown condo dining room is the perfect mix of vintage charm and luxe cool. His vintage wood chairs warm up the dark marble table, while a modern mobile chandelier and a classic beadboard cabinet make the space feel chic and contemporary, but also comfortable and classic.

This mix uses a lot of black, but adding warm wood into the equation helps break up the look. Don’t be afraid to mix pieces that have a touch of cottage country or a vintage feel with modern items, as they can soften the look of angular shapes or hard surfaces.


1. Mobile Chandelier, West Elm, $249 to $279 | 2. ARKELSTORP Cabinet, Ikea, $399 | 3. Vintage Pub Chair, 1st Dib’s | 4. Saarinen Round Dining Table, Design Within Reach, $2,590 to $11,225

Author: Jennifer Koper

1. Virginia McDonald 2. Stacey Brandford 3. Colin Way 4. Alex Lukey


1. House & Home February 2013 2. House & Home March 2014 3. House & Home March 2016 4. House & Home November 2014


1. Sally Armstrong 2. Christine Ralphs & Michelle Lloyd Bermann 3. Nam Dang-Mitchell 4. Joel Bray