Written by Diyana J/ 9 April 2022
Part of the magic of owning your first home is frankly the styling freedom you’ll have with your new space. Although, with this new-found freedom begs the question; exactly how far should you push the boundaries of your new living space for the next 5-10 years?
Of course, part of the decision-making relies on your shared tastes with your partner, but there’s also the much tinier members of the family that you’ll need to consider- or older, for that matter. What’s more, unless you’re the sole inhabitant in your new space (lucky you), homes are becoming increasingly limited in space and need to cater to all members of the family. So where should you start?
1. Practical Timeline, Practical Budget.
Consider the timeline of your future plans. Dining rooms are quite the commitment and chances are, both the dining table and chairs will follow you for quite a while. This might mean a dining table with no sharp edges and instead, rounded or chamfered, creating a safer environment in preparation for the little ones. It might also mean giving upholstered chairs a pass, and opting for tie-back cushions that are washing machine-friendly for a fuss-free anti-stain dining room.
The lovely couple of Ochre Home introduced a mix of eclectic and mid-century chairs to their dining room/kitchen island combo! The combination of tactile materials of rattan backrests, plush tie-back leather and fabric seating speaks casual but purposeful. The accents of mismatched wood tones from oranges to dark browns compliment astoundingly against their mid-toned dining table. Stunning!
2. Aesthetic Styles that Make Sense.
When hosting dinners you’ll naturally want your dining room to be as presentable as possible. It’ll be a nightmare to realize your guests are sitting at different heights, making conversation a little…awkward. Measure the seating height of your dining chairs (from the foot of the chairs to the seat) to prevent this, allow a 2-3 centimeters difference, give or take. It’s also best to keep the silhouette of your chairs as similar as possible. Consider the shape of the backrest of your chairs. Having a similar visual tone would help marry the odd collection of dining chairs together, no matter what period style they’re from (think mid-century versus ultramodern, French classics versus ArtDeco).
Inspired by their clients’ love of Scandinavian style, Amilia Gani of Facelift Design took the famed Wishbone Armchairs in a neutral brown tone and matched them with simple, modern white chairs and bench. Amilia is known for her trend-setting design moves that are limitless and know no bounds, and I absolutely love her personal style! The varied silhouettes of the chairs and dining table blend well due to their humble colour palette, broken up by the grey-green of the dual tone wall, giving it a light and airy feel.
Or take a page from the folks at SumofusSG who curated this gorgeous dining-living room layout seamlessly with the mixture of brown neutrals and green pastels, giving off Mid-Century Modern vibes. Combining 2 sets of dining chairs for an intimate, round dining table setting is one of the simpler, less daunting ways for new home-owners.
Matching chair colors is also great for those who are leaning more towards chairs with different forms and silhouettes to keep the look clean and fresh.
3. DIY it!
If you’re going for the mismatched look, drop by your neighborhood vintage stores or local furniture businesses! Sales are also a must go-to! Chances are you’ll get a good deal for these singular chairs, with some select businesses in a mad rush to clear out stocks. Good for your home, and even better for your wallet!
Featured Vintage Shop: Junkie's Corner https://www.junkiescorner.com/
If you’re a social media fanatic, you’d have also seen multiple hacks making the rounds at TIKTOK or Instagram with hundreds of millennial homeowners upcycling vintage chairs for their homes. Giving antique wooden chairs a fresh coat of paint, whether it be black, white or pastels often gives them a refreshed look! You can also choose to paint over upholstered chairs in dark or tan colors, which mimics faux leather armchairs that would have otherwise cost you an arm and a leg!
So, let’s Recap!
One, don’t break the bank for completely new chairs. Choosing vintage or second-hand chairs are a more sustainable option that will do good for yourself and for the environment.
Two, either match the shape or color of your chairs. Pick one out of the two and you should already have a rough guide for the look of your dining room.
Three and most importantly, have FUN! Be forgiving to yourself if the dining room of your dreams doesn’t turn out the way you envisioned it. Part and parcel of being a homeowner is making furnishing mistakes along the way. Your home will slowly grow with you and your family, and a crucial part of home styling is being casual, flirty and flexible with what you have. You’ve got this!