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. I didn't know if I wanted to change the paint color. 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 15 chairs that’ll make an impact no matter your style (or budget).
1. Schoolhouse Backed Utility Stool 18”, $249 (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, $59 (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, $159 (CB2)
Here’s a barely-there chair that makes a statement. Bonus? It’s made in Italy.
5. Ripple Dining Chair, $150 (Industry West)
These chairs have possibly the cleanest of lines, which would easily balance out an ornate table or busy room.
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. Cane Wood Restaurant Chair, $146, (Affordable Seating)
Is there anything more classic or class-y than cane webbing and dark, bent wood? Possibly not, and these guys are the perfect example of their timelessness.
9. Industrial Modern Dining Chairs Set of 4, $124.99 (Walmart)
If you’re looking for an industrial touch to your dining room or outdoor space, these chairs are bestsellers for a reason: they fit right in with lots of tables, other chairs, and decor styles.
10. Bendt Dining Chair, $149 (Scandinavian Designs Furniture)
For a timeless take on the caned-chair trend, consider this bentwood and chrome version.
11. Real Good Dining Chair, $199 (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, $99.95 (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, $866 (Knoll)
Yes, this is a total splurge, but to say you have a real iconic Bertoia chair? Priceless. If you're not into spending so much on a chair (we totally get it), there are also lots of stunning reproductions at a fraction of the cost.
14. Modern Weave Wishbone Chairs, Set of 2, $135 (Walmart)
Here’s to the wishbone chair, may she never go out of style! But seriously, they’re a gorgeous silhouette to add to any assortment of dining chairs, at once vintage-inspired and modern in feel.
15. Metal Slat Back Side Chair, Set of 2, $149.99 (Wayfair)
Slat-back chairs bring a little bit of farmhouse to any dining room, without screaming “hello, I’ve been plucked off the farm!” These are no exception, and the low backs give them a modern twist.
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