Like any eclectic decorating styles, mismatched chairs are a tricky look to pull off, but do it right and something magical happens! It adds oodles of personality and visual interest to a space, stops it being too “cookie cutter” or decorating by numbers, and makes your dining room uniquely yours. It’s a look I’ll always love, but I know it’s a trick that some people find a bit tricky to navigate. This week I shared some of my top tips for mixing and matching with My Domaine, and now with you guys too:
First up, my number one rule for mixing chairs is to always mix and match in pairs. I do this all the time as it will make the scheme feel more cohesive if each chair is part of a couple. You can mash up all sorts of different eras, vibes, textures and so on if you stick to this simple rule. So in my pad I have tulip chairs hanging out with our own-label barrel saloon chairs – totally different styles, but the shapes create some unity. They work together because of the rule of pairs, but also because all those curves echo each other plus the shape of the table too.
For colour, there are two ways you can go. Either having a rainbow assortment of the same chair in as many different colours as you like – this is particularly cool with a classic chair design. Or have an assortment of different chairs and unify them by really reigning in the palette. This is a trick I use all the time, and it’s amazing how many disparate styles you can pull together by sticking to one hue.
You can mix vintage and modern, high/low, anything really. I actually really like the juxtaposition of old and new, or something elegant (maybe an upholstered armchair) with something industrial, like a metal dining chair. The only thing I'd say is keep an eye on the heights. As much as I’m for a lively rhythm around a room I think when it comes to dining chairs the seat heights need to be pretty similar as otherwise it can look a little disjointed. Particularly as you don’t want your dinner guests bobbing up and down all over the place!
I’m a fan of the classics – Eames chairs, Tulip chairs, Kartell Masters, and so on. It’s great to invest in gorgeously stylish statement chairs for your dining room, as they really elevate the space. So if you can only afford two cool chairs at a time, no problem! Stick to the rule of pairs, and team with an inexpensive chair, stool or even bench while you build your collection.
These classics are best spiced up with something kookier… it could be a flea market find or a brand new high street piece. I love slightly worn-looking leather chairs - French Connection are doing some great pieces at the moment. Finally, in larger, grand dining spaces I like to knock it out of the park with one or two jaw-on-the-floor statement chairs: our Louis gold hand chair and Saloon barrel chairs are just the thing.
You don't just have to take my word for it either - My Domaine enlisted the advice of Stateside designer Tali Roth too. To see what we both had to say, read the full feature here.