Dining room chairs are used as seating at a dining table. They are available with arms, called armchairs, and without arms, called side chairs. They are available fully upholstered, partially upholstered, and without upholstery. Common styles of dining room chairs include parsons, bergère, ladder-back, Chippendale, and Windsor.
Dining room chairs come in many different styles. A parsons dining room chair has a straight, smooth back and seat. A bergère chair is a French-style arm or side chair that has a wood outer frame with an upholstered seat and an upholstered or cane back. Chippendale chairs have an upholstered seat and a carved wooden back featuring a curvy design. Ladder-back chairs have an upholstered seat and a wood back that has horizontal wooden slats. Windsor chairs are made of wood and have a curved back with round horizontal dowels extending from the seat to a solid, curved wood piece at the top of the chair.
Upholstered Dining Room Chairs
Dining room arm and side chairs are available in both fully upholstered and partially upholstered styles. A fully upholstered chair has a seat and back that are padded and covered with fabric or leather, whereas a partially upholstered chair has fabric on only the seat or only the back. When choosing upholstery for a dining room chair, select a fabric that is durable and stain-resistant to endure numerous food and drink spills over the years.
Non-Upholstered Dining Room Chairs
Non-upholstered dining room chairs may be made of wood, metal, plastic, or cane. Common woods include cherry, mahogany, walnut and alder. Non-upholstered dining room chairs may have an upholstered seat and/or a back cushion that is detachable. Non-upholstered dining room chairs are considered more durable than upholstered dining room chairs because wood, metal, and plastic do not absorb food or liquids easily. Also, detachable cushions can be sent out easily for cleaning. However, many people find them less comfortable than fully upholstered chairs.
Arm and Side Chairs
A rectangular dining table traditionally uses two armchairs at the head and foot of the table and side chairs on the long sides. For a round or square dining table without a defined head and foot, all the chairs should be either armchairs or side chairs. Side chairs take up less room than arm chairs, so these may work better if your table is small or if you wish to fit more chairs around it.
Make sure the seat and arm height of your dining chairs work with your dining room table. The seat height of your chair should be 10 to 12 inches less than the height of your dining room table. If you have selected armchairs, make sure they slide completely underneath your dining room table. Sometimes the apron, or edge of the table, will drop several inches below the top of the table and block the arms of a chair from sliding underneath. If you are unable to try out your dining room chairs with your dining room table, make sure you obtain detailed measurements from the manufacturer, including chair seat height, chair arm height, tabletop height, and table apron height.