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Dining Chairs

Dinner chairs complement your dining table, the centrepiece of your dining room, so they have a vital part to play in the style of the room.  Dining chairs should also make family, friends and guests feel comfortable when they take their place at the dinner table.

Lee Longlands stock a wide selection of dining seats from famous brands including Ercol, Frank Hudson, Nathan Furniture and Stressless by Ekornes.

 
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What are the different materials available for dining chairs?

Dining room chairs are available in a variety of materials, all of which have a different impact on the overall feel of your dining room.

Leather dining chairs

Leather dining chairs bring a touch of class to your dining room.  Plus they’re low maintenance: they can be easily wiped over with a cloth in the events of spills.

A high backed leather chair that is fully upholstered is more formal, whereas a chair with a leather seat feels more casual and works with many different styles.  Depending on your choice of leg, these chairs can suit traditional or modern surroundings.  They offer more support and comfort than a chair that is not upholstered.

A brown leather dining chair complements industrial style or modern retro furnishings.  Grey leather or white leather is a fine choice for modern dining.  A black leather dining chair is a classic, sleek and highly versatile choice which works especially well across rustic and modern ranges.  Its versatility makes it a good choice if you redecorate frequently, since they are less likely to look out of place after a revamp. 

Faux leather chairs

An animal friendly and cost effective alternative to leather, leather look chairs are easy to clean and still look as impressive as leather.  Faux leather doesn’t crack as easily as real leather, has a consistent coloration and is more versatile because it can be produced in practically any colour.

Leather look chairs are also a good choice if you aren’t keen on a real leather smell.

Wooden dining chairs

Wooden dining chairs are very popular and come in a variety of designs to complement different looks.

  • Oak dining chairs are found across most styles but are particularly well-suited to rustic surroundings with their attractive woodgrain and warm oak finish.
  • Pine dining chairs are often lighter, making them easier to pull out from the table, and are an excellent choice for an industrial look.

It’s often easy to distinguish a wooden chair’s style by its back.

  • A ladder back dining chair is a common choice for more traditional or rustic furnishings, so named because its back has horizontal rails which resemble the rungs of a ladder.  Ladder backs are generally high backed for a supportive feel.
  • Slat back dining chairs feature wooden slats that run vertically down the back.  These chairs are generally more contemporary.
  • Spindle back chairs have wooden spindles on their back, pieces of wood which resemble (and used to be made in the same way as) wheel spokes.  One well-known type of spindle back chair is the Windsor chair, which is steam bent to have a curved back or “bow”.  The Ercol Windsor is a traditional and modern retro classic.
  • On a splat back chair, a piece of wood called a splat sits in the centre of the back’s design.  The splat can be a straightforward, modern rectangle or highly decorative for traditional styling.
  • A solid back dining chair has a solid piece of wood for the back which is generally square or oval in shape.  These chairs work brilliantly as a more formal low back contemporary chair.  Their simple look and shapeliness also popular for Scandi style dining ranges.
  • Stacking chairs are styled in such a way as to make it possible to stack them.  This is a convenient feature, because it means that chairs can be stacked and put out of the way when more space is required.

Upholstered dining chairs

Fabric dining chairs offer the most options out of all the materials, since they come in varying textures, colours and patterns.  Classic contemporary chairs may come in gorgeous velvets, while rustic chairs may use simple plain fabrics in neutral tones.

Upholstered dining chairs are a good choice for families with small children or for anyone with mobility issues.  Since the fabric provides more friction than leather or wooden seats, this reduces the likelihood of sliding down or slipping off the chair.  Upholstered chairs are also a bit warmer and provide extra comfort, since their hard wooden edges are cushioned.

The different types of dining chair legs

There are further options to consider before purchasing, such as the legs of your dining chair.

Wood legs

Wooden legs are the traditional means of supporting dining seats.  Chunky square oak legs offer a rustic appearance, whereas tapered legs bring more elegance, being well-suited to Scandi, retro and contemporary style chairs.  Scandi styles are also more likely to have angled legs.  On more traditional chairs, you may find something more elaborate such as a cabriole leg.

Some wood legs include stretchers, pieces of wood between the legs.  Not only do stretchers add interest to the design, they also serve a practical purpose by strengthening the frame.

Chrome legs

Clean and crisp, chrome legs give your dinner chairs a stunning modern look.

Black metal legs

Black metal legs are a common sight on modern retro furniture, often coupled with upholstered leather seats.  The chairs may have angled legs or cantilever bases for a more interesting shape.  Black legs can also be found in modern ranges, contrasting with white or colourful upholstery.

How to choose your dining chairs

After deciding on the materials and chair legs, consider the size and colour you would prefer.

Size

There is a lot of variation in size between dining chairs.

Some chairs, particularly more modern or traditional style chairs, come with higher backs, while contemporary and Scandi style chairs generally have lower backs.

A traditional high back chair is generally around 95cm but can be as high as 110cm for certain models.  More contemporary chairs can have backs as low as 50cm.  A higher back will provide more support, but also has a more formal look.

Chairs will also vary in width.  Many dining room chairs are approximately 45cm wide, give or take a few centimetres.  However, they can be more than 65cm wide, so it’s important to double-check before purchasing.

Depth and seat height are important, too.  For comfort and posture purposes, you are looking for a chair which will allow your lower back to rest against the backrest with your feet still touching the floor.  Shallower dinner chairs with a lower seat height will put an end to dangling feet, whereas deeper, higher dining seats will provide more room to stretch your legs.

When making your choice, check whether your dining table will accommodate the number of chairs you require by comparing the width of the chairs with the width and length of the table.  You will need to factor in at least 60cm of space for each person.  Smaller dining chairs can make all the difference.

Also, think about the design of your dining table.  Bear in mind where your table legs are situated, in case they cause any obstructions – an X base or square frame might prevent people from sitting at the ends of the table, for example.  For maximum seating, a table with a single pedestal will have the fewest obstructions.

Measure the height of the table top to ensure there is enough lap room for guests.  If a dining chair has arms, check that these are low enough to tuck underneath the table top.

For more seating flexibility, explore our selection of benches.

Colours

Monochrome shades are more popular on modern furniture, with black being the most versatile.

Neutral hues like cream and brown are great for rustic style dining furniture, since they blend well with a wood finish.

Bright colours are commonly found on contemporary or modern retro furniture, providing a splash of fun, vibrancy and interest to the dining room.

Get in touch

If you have a query about any of our dining chairs, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0333 200 1552 or email us at info@leelonglands.com.

 

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