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How to Match Your Dining Chairs To Your Modern Dining Room

By November 1, 2021January 9th, 2023Furniture, Interior Design Tips

In many homes, the dining room is a central focal point that establishes the entire home’s atmosphere. A cohesive design provides flow and unifies the character of the rest of the rooms. However, a cohesive dining room design does not mean that your table and chairs need to match up exactly or be from the same set. At San Francisco Design, we curate table and chair sets to make your selections easier. You can choose a table from one collection and mix-and-match dining chairs from other dining room sets for a more dynamic, unique look.

Interior designers influence a mishmashed style of mix and match dining chairs while still creating a cohesive look by combining a variety of patterns, finishes, and materials. While the concept seems random in practice, there is a rhyme and reason to the dining room chair selection that ties the room together.

The secrets of interior designers are easy to learn, whether you prefer an exact-match style, want to place different chairs at the heads of the table, or use an eclectic design with several different dining room chairs. We’ll show you how:

Our Salt Lake City store featuring a modern dining room furniture set found at San Francisco Design's Salt Lake City ShowroomGeneral Dining Room Design Tips

Unless you are truly going for an avant-garde, kitschy style, your dining room chairs should still reflect a similar overall style to your dining table. They should be equivalent in size and incorporate similar finishes or detailing. Or, they should echo the same shape or lines as the table. 

Don’t pair shabby chic or farmhouse chairs with modern, contemporary tables, for example. However, a contemporary glass-topped table, like our Flocon expandable dining room table, would pair very well with industrial or retro dining room chairs. 

Mixed patterns and materials add contrast, tension, and visual interest, while a consistent shape brings the entire design together. For added character and to spotlight an eye-catching, stunning focal point, consider highlighting different colors that repeat in various room elements, such as the wall art, flower arrangements, or dining chair seat cushions.

Finally, as you put together your design, consider the little things contrast and balance your mix and match dining room design, such as the flooring, light fixtures, wall colors, and trim details.

A modern dining room table and matching chairs designed by San Francisco DesignTips to Picking the Perfect Modern Dining Table & Chairs

When it comes time to search for the perfect modern dining table and chairs, you need to arm yourself with the following information:


Before shopping, measure your space. For the best flow through the room and maximum comfort, you need three feet of space around your table. This clearance allows people to walk around the table and pull their chairs out to sit. 

Your Dining Room Table Size

To measure for a dining room table, measure the length and width of your room in feet, then subtract six from both the length and the width. This number should give you the maximum length and width of your dining room table.

If you are looking for an expandable dining room table, make sure the room is large enough to accommodate the table when it’s fully extended.

Chair Height

Your chair needs to give you a 10-12 inch gap between the chair seat and the table’s apron. This gap allows most people to sit comfortably when pulled up to the table. Keep in mind that upholstered seats will compress when someone is seated, so adjust as needed for average compression.

If you select a variety of chairs, make sure that each chair has the same gap and measurements between the seat and the floor. You don’t want one guest to tower above another.

One exception to this rule may be when choosing different end chairs. Make sure to select end chairs similar in height or go with head chairs that are taller than your side chairs. If your head chairs are shorter than your side chairs, they’ll look off. Remember that end chairs anchor the table, so opt for a bulky or sturdy style, not light and airy.

Chair Arm and Back Height

Your chair arms need to slide easily under the table when not in use. Chair arms that are too tall can damage both the chairs and the table when repeatedly bumped and scraped.

Other Space Considerations

The average modern dining room table is around 30” high. Dining room chairs that rest comfortably around the table will have 17”-19” of space between the seats and floor. In addition, consider how tightly packed your guests will be around the table. How many people do you plan to seat?

The width of your dining room chairs should give each guest about 24” of space to themselves. That includes the chair’s width with about six inches on either side. So if you are selecting chairs with armrests, keep this in mind.

Mixing Dining Room Table and Chair Styles

A modern dining room set with mix and match chairs.

An easy design trick to creating a cohesive mix and match dining room chair design is alternating the end chairs. Since the two end chairs at a dining room table are traditionally equipped with armrests and the others aren’t, they are a natural pair to swap out. 

When shopping for the perfect end chair set, look for dining room chairs that are distinctive enough from each other but have similar elements of finish, color, or architectural details so that the combination seems intentionally different but cohesive. These repetitive details are what tie a mixed dining room set together.

Make it Deliberate

When done incorrectly, mixing and matching your dining room set can appear disorganized—even confused. Uneven chairs or chairs that are too stylistically different from your table can be jarring. 

Make deliberate style choices that incorporate various materials, textures, and looks without being outrageous. 

Hire an Interior Design Professional

If you are overwhelmed by the thought of mixing and matching your dining room set, but you wish to have this trendy look in your home, you’re not alone. Enlist the help of an interior design professional to help you realize your vision.

At San Francisco Design, our interior design services can help you make a selection of mixed and matched dining room sets that are customizable so you can match your finishes and other details to your home. To learn more about our professional interior designers, visit our interior design services page.

Shop Modern Dining Room Styles at San Francisco Design

San Francisco Design store front.

San Francisco Design has a wide selection of modern dining room chairs. Each of our dining chairs features modern styles that are built to last. You can find various dining room chair options, including high-back, leather, armless, armed, metal, upholstered, and more. Combine a group of our unique chairs for an interesting contemporary design that is your own.

You can also work with our interior designers to customize your dining room set. Renowned for our modern designs, San Francisco Design’s interior design experts will help you redesign your dining room. San Francisco Design is here to help you curate your modern design needs.

 Shop our selection of modern dining room furnishings or visit our furniture store in Salt Lake City or Park City, Utah today.