Despite the beauty of a dining chair, one of the most important qualities it can have is comfort. Consider that you, your family members, and your guests may linger for a while at the table during mealtimes. Considerations when purchasing a table include a strong back, a sturdy frame, and seats that are soft or contoured.
What kinds of dining chairs are available?
There are several kinds of dining chairs, including modern, contemporary, and traditional. Modern dining chairs are usually armless with unadorned, tapered legs. Some have frames of solid wood or a combination of solid wood and plywood while others have frames of metal, such as chrome-finished steel. Dining chairs for outdoor use can be made of cast aluminum. They can also be made of acrylic. This gives them a delicate and graceful appearance, even though they are surprisingly tough and durable.
What styles of dining chairs are available for my dining room?
Some dining chairs are simple with plain backs and seats. Armless designs can be used as side chairs. Others are futuristic in design: Technology has allowed some of them to be carved or molded into unusual shapes that are still comfortable to sit on and support your weight easily. They can be upholstered or not, and some upholstered dining chairs have attractive biscuit tufting on the backs or are completely covered in woven materials. Fabrics include faux leather, real leather, and velvet. More traditional dining chairs have curved arms and legs, and some feature decorative carving.
Styles of dining chairs include:
- Bentwood: This style is based on a technique where wood is steamed until it is soft enough to be molded into curvaceous forms. Though it is a modern style, bentwood was first seen in 1857.
- Eared dining chairs: These upholstered dining chairs have pieces on either side of the back of the chair and are an unusual but classy complement for the dining table.
- Shell: These plastic dining chairs with wooden or metal legs were a specialty of Charles and Ray Eames. They come in many colors.
- Camelback: These chairs have top rails like a camels back. They can be covered in fabric or beautifully carved.
- Windsor chairs: This design is known for having fiddle string or stick backs. The top rail can be curved or straight.
- Barrel chairs: These chairs, which are uncommon around the dining table, are upholstered and semi-circular.
- Ladderback chairs: This is a dining chair whose back resembles the rungs of a ladder.
- Spoon-back chairs: These dining chairs have high backs that are shaped to conform to the curvature of your back. This makes them comfortable to sit in, even if they are not upholstered.
- Chairs with casters: These chairs allow you to roll up easily to the table.
- Barcelona chairs: These chairs have tufted leather or leatherette backs and slender legs that curve and cross.