When I moved into my new apartment, I didn’t know what kind of couch I wanted or which rug to order. I had no lights or shades or layout in mind. But I knew, oddly enough, which dining chairs I had to have. I’d spotted them through a restaurant window on a cold night in Stockholm: petite spindle-back designs, simple but jet-black and bold. I found them online and ordered them the day I signed the lease. (They were, of course, from Ikea.) Seven months later, I still love them: They’re the only black items in a room of pale and white tones, and the contrast alone makes the whole space more interesting. (Especially since I still haven’t hung anything on the walls.)
Dining chairs tend to be an afterthought: It’s tempting to choose one you can sit on and call it a day. But with a slew of designs, materials, colors, and silhouettes on the market, chairs can have the potential to change the whole look of the dining area. Here are 14 chairs that’ll make an impact no matter your style (or budget).
1. Schoolhouse Backed Utility Stool 18”, $219 (Schoolhouse)
This vintage-style option is a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it for its hard-wearing, U.S.-made steel construction. It’s shown here in Sergeant Green; it also comes in White, Steel, Navy Blue, and Persimmon.
2. Yngvar Chair, $95 (Ikea)
These black lacquered chairs look sharp in any space—and stack neatly away when not in use.
3. Svelti Chair, $49 (Article)
Article’s 1950s-inspired Svelti Chair comes in 10 cheerful colors, with or without arms, and works indoors and out. Spill something? Just wipe it down.
4. Bolla Clear Dining Chair, $149 (CB2)
Here’s a barely-there chair that makes a statement. Bonus? It’s made in Italy.
5. Warren Dining Chair, $179 (Urban Outfitters)
A petite chair with a woven jute seat makes a charming addition when you have a dining area the size of a postage stamp.
6. Adde Chair, $12.50 (Ikea)
The clean-lined Adde Chair gets some added intrigue from a perforated seat and back. It also happens to be Ikea’s second most affordable dining chair.
7. Rus Matte Dining Chair, $189 (Article)
For traditionalists: This spindle-back chair evokes Shaker style with a bit of a modern twist.
8. Louise Gray Terai Folding Chair, $228 (Anthropologie)
Proof that folding chairs don’t have to be boring (and uncomfortable): These have soft, subtly geometric quilted seats. Each is crafted by hand in Minneapolis.
9. Emery Metal Bistro Chairs, $118.99 for a set of two (Target)
Add a pair of these classic bistro chairs to the breakfast nook for effortless French-cafe style.
10. Bendt Dining Chair, $119 (Scandinavian Designs Furniture)
For a timeless take on the caned-chair trend, consider this bentwood and chrome version.
11. Real Good Dining Chair, $249 (Blu Dot)
Here’s a higher-priced option that I covet. Blu Dot’s super-sleek, powder-coated steel dining chair comes in 10 finishes, from slate (shown) to ochre and “sweetness” (a pale pink).
12. Lucinda Dusty Pink Stacking Chair, $89.95 (CB2)
Clean lines meet a bit of femininity in this lightweight tubular chair. Order a few extra in case of dinner parties: They’re stackable.
13. Midcentury Bertoia Side Chair with Black Leather, currently $219 on sale (France & Son)
This grid chair with a black leather seat is inspired by Harry Bertoia’s iconic 1952 design, at a far cheaper price than the real thing.
14. Gazsi Chairs, $592 for two (Lulu & Georgia)
Every inch of these chairs is upholstered in sunny yellow fabric—cheery enough to make the price tag worth it.
It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.Grab your copy