BHG Centsational Style

dining rooms

Remember last year when I was advocating for breaking up dining sets?  I still stand by that opinion because the principle makes for good design. Dining spaces are more interesting when the chairs and table are not a matching set! How do you bring a dining room with a matching set into this century?  Here are a few ideas!

Replace a traditional chandelier with a contemporary orb version and remove the matching chairs from the space to use elsewhere in the home. Bring in upholstered chairs in two tone fabrics like this geometric yellow paired with navy velvet and nailhead trim.

yellow and navy chairs


Mix modern zig zag velvet chairs with chinoiserie print for an unexpected twist on tradition. 

zig zag and chinoiserie chairs


Partner a comfy wingback chair covered in linen with a barnwood table and benches for a welcome juxtaposition of textures (soft meets rough).

rustic table wingback chairs


Or instead of investing in upholstered chairs, pair your rustic table with brightly painted mismatched versions for a welcoming dining space.


Update a traditional matching set by replacing the seating with curvy tufted chairs upholstered in a pale fabric to contrast with the dark rich wood – a zebra motif rug also adds a modern edge. 

white tufted chairs on zebra rug


Modern Louis Ghost chairs are an unexpected addition of lucite to a traditional space, but just the right dose to keep it fresh and fun.

lucite chairs in traditional dining room


Industrial chairs and wire pendants bring cool metals tones to this farmhouse dining room dominated by wood surfaces, and their presence gives it contemporary appeal.

industrial farmhouse mix


If your style leans traditional or European, continue the theme with upholstered French linen chairs but mix the wood tones to keep it interesting.

French style chairs


Another easy way to modernize your dining room is it to slide a few chairs over and make room for an bench upholstered in a complementary geometric or botanical fabric.

upholsted bench in dining room


If you’re not prepared to replace the matching chairs with new ones, there is an easy alternative. Paint your existing chairs in a fresh color or in classic black or white and reupholster the seats in a pretty patterned fabric.

black chairs pedestal table

painted reuphostered chairs

It’s a no fail approach to giving your dining space a fresh modern look in a weekend!


A design “rule” that was meant to be broken is the one that dictates your dining room table and chairs have to perfectly match.  On the contrary, deliberately pairing your table with chairs in a different style or finish is a look that’s become increasingly popular in interior design.  Here are eight ideas to inspire you to consider breaking up your matching dining room set to give your dining space a fresh modern look. 

Paint The Chairs.   Change up your matching set with a simple coat of primer and paint on the chairs for an instant makeover in a weekend. 


white painted chairs dark table bhg

   painted chairs dining room bhg



Add a Slipcover. Recovering your chairs in basic cotton or twill slipcovers is another solution to cure the “matchy matchy” look.  Slipcovers include the bonus of an easy to wash fabric, beneficial especially with kids or pets in the home.


slipcovered parsons with table bhg


urban plank table with slipcovered chairs



Mix Don’t Match.   Move your matching chairs to another room and bring in entirely new chairs,  from a completely different period or in a contrasting color for an unexpected medley.       


wire chairs modern wood table bhg


modern black and white table and chairs bhg



Modernize!  Unmistakable designs like the Saarinen tulip table or Eames dining chairs always inject a modern vibe – be bold and pair them with anything from colorful farmhouse rush seat chairs to contemporary lacquer tables. 


tulip table green chairs bhg


modern eames chairs dining space



Geometry 101.   Fretwork chairs with geometric shapes partner well with anything from a classic wood pedestal to a chrome and glass piece, and provide a crisp contemporary appeal.  


pedestal plus geometric chairs


geometric chairs glass top table



Texturize.   Wicker and woven rattan chairs import an outdoor or tropical vibe – mix them with wood or glass for a colorful or coastal inspired setting.   


woven chairs plus glass top table



wicker chairs wood pedestal


woven rattan seats saarinen tulip table



Get Benched.  Pull up a pedestal to a built in banquette or bring in upholstered benches for a cozy and comfortable alternative to standard chairs.   


pedestal plus banqette


upholstered benches x table



Make Unexpected Choices.   Consider two settees reminiscent of a restaurant booth and upholstered in a modern fabric instead of standard chairs, or simply mix your seating as you see fit, there really are no rules!


settee with modern metal leg table


gray walls mixed seating bhg

Just about anything goes these days as long as you tie in the colors or finishes with other elements in the room.  Whether it’s country or cottage, modern or eclectic, be inspired to kick up the style notch in your dining space by mixing up the seating and table with a look that reflects your tastes!



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