I love having a dining room, but I don’t love it if it feels too formal and stiff. That’s one of the reasons I always have a mix and match dining room table and chairs set. Not only does a mix and match set keep the room from feeling a bit too stuffy, it also can set off the contrasting finishes. We recently had to change our dining table and chairs and here’s why…
In the dining room of our former house, which was huge, we had this very large Pottery Barn dining table:
That room was so large, it demanded a large table, and with the 2 large leaves, this one was perfect! (click here to see how we actually turned our former attached garage into this dining room)
But we sold that house…
and in our new 100 year old house, the dining room is no where near the size of that former one.
I tried to keep the old table and chairs, but it just wasn’t working. The table didn’t fit with the leaves and without them, because of the leg position on the table, it was a ‘knee-knocker’ to add more chairs around it.
So I sold the table on Craigslist, and found a vintage one with a double pedestal to prevent the ‘knee-knocking’ issue. I thought I’d keep the black painted chairs with rush seats to work with the new table, but once I got it set up, it just didn’t look right.
It was too much dark. And the chairs with their curvy french flair, along with the new table with it’s curves and detail just looked too similar, but not matching enough to be a set… I love justaposition, so that is what I went looking for.
After exhaustive searching and looking at chairs on Craigslist, I just wasn’t finding the right thing…
Then I spotted it on a shopping trip to…
First I spotted the chair with the ikat print fabric seat and striped outside fabric on the back. I love the bright chartreuse with gray. The weathered wood frame nicely contrasts the wood table. But I really felt that to do all the chairs in that fun accent would be too much and too busy… So I decided that 2, one at the two ends of the dining table would be just enough.
And as it turned out, the chartreuse print chair was discontinued anyway, and they only had 2 left… AND… they were on clearance! YAY!! I always feel like it was ‘meant to be’ when I pick out something, not having a clue whatsoever that it’s on clearance but just because I love it, and then find out it’s deeply reduced in price! But, on the other hand, I can sometimes wonder if it’s just that I’m behind the times… being attracted to what used to be in style but is now being clearanced out… ha ha, I guess it just depends on my frame of mind… ‘half full or half empty’… the glass that is, not my mind… well… maybe a little of both. 😉
This World Market chair style is called ‘Paige’ and there are several different upholstery choices, but I had no problem selecting the natural linen choice for the 4 side chairs to go with this ‘set’ I was making.
Maybe it’s because the backs of the chairs are rounded like the corners of the table, but I so much more prefer these chairs with this table than the black ones I had. (I sold those black ones on Craigslist too)
I once heard P. Allen Smith say on his garden show that chartreuse is a neutral, and I totally agree with that thought! It is vibrant and catches your eye, it almost seems to bring it’s own light to the space, but it really does go with everything! Think about it… picture any color next to chartreuse… it works doesn’t it?! From white or black, to gray or blue, or even hot pink, or brown… anything looks great with it.
But to make it work in a room’s color scheme, just like any other color accent, you must repeat it in a few other places, to make it woven through the threads of your color scheme and be a part of it, balanced throughout the space.
That’s what I’ve been doing, accenting in a few subtle ways in the dining and living room with a bit of chartreuse, perfect for spring and summer too. I think in some ways it lightens the color scheme even more than just white would.
Here you can see the striped candlestick centerpiece I wrote about the other day. (click here if you missed that, or would like to know more information about that striped candlestick centerpiece)
Even though our new dining room is much smaller than the dining room at our former house, we love it and use it all the time, it is the center of the house, very visible from the front entry and a main walkway passing through. And I really am thrilled with the mix and match dining table and chairs with the cozy informality they bring to the space!
Has this post inspired you to be more confident to mix and match your ‘formal’ dining set? I hope that whatever way you have your dining furniture, it’s just how you like it and makes you feel happy when you walk by it… if not, be encouraged to change it up a bit!
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