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Wrought Iron Dining Chair Buying Guide

The dining room is the heart and soul of every home. It’s the place where the family gathers not only for meals but to spend quality time together. It’s where you entertain and host formal or informal dinners for friends and family. The dining room furniture and decor should reflect your taste, personality as well as intended function. While the dining table is the focus of your dining area, the chairs are equally important. They should be comfortable and in line with your decor. When you plan to buy dining chairs - or an entire dining set for that matter - you need to do a little research. Determine what space and budget you have, what kind of style and material you want and what size will work well with the available space.

Things to Consider Before Selecting Your New Dining Chairs

The Dining Table Should Come First : If you haven’t already, then select your dining table first. The size, type, style and number of dining chairs that you need depend on your dining table. If you are buying dining chairs to go with an existing dining table, then measure the table so that you know the exact dimensions when calculating the number of chairs it will accommodate. You’ll need to note the height of your table as well, as that will get factored in when you select the chairs. For more details on dining tables, please refer to our Wrought Iron Dining Table Buying Guide.

What size dining chair do I need?

Make sure your chairs are not too small - or too chunky - to fit your available dining space. The number of chairs that will fit around your dining table depends on the size of both your table and the chairs. The dining table’s shape can also affect the number of chairs it will accommodate.

Point to Ponder: If you are buying an extendable dining table, all your chairs will not fit around it when the leaves are closed. So make sure you have space for the extra chairs as well.

  1. Do the math - You need to calculate available space on the dining table and around it before you can decide the size of your chairs. When planning table seating the main objective is to ensure comfort for all the people seated at the table. So try not to overcrowd the table.
  2. Space Behind Chairs - You’ll need at least 24”-28” behind each dining chair when someone is seated, so keep an eye on Dining Chair depth when you are selecting dining chairs, their depth needs to be considered so that you have enough space behind the table.
  3. Space Between Chairs - Each person should have 28”-32” of space. This includes 24”-28” for the chair and about 4”-6” between two chairs. Space for Armchairs - Make sure that you allow an additional 2” of space per seat if you are choosing armchairs.
  4. Seat Height - The normal seat height for a dining chair is 17 to 20-in. In order for a dining chair to be comfortable, it should be of appropriate height in comparison to the table. In order to have a comfortable reach, you want your table top between 12-14-in. above the seat height.
  5. Arm Height on Arm Chairs - The arms of your chairs should ideally clear the bottom of your table aprons or the bottom of your table. This will allow you to push in your chairs when they are not in use.

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Should I buy Arm Chairs or Side Chairs, What are the benifits of each?

Your choice ultimately will come down to preference but here are a few things that will help you decide which chairs you will want to order.

Arm Chairs are provide support for everyone who may need assistance standing and sitting by allowing you to use your arms as support. Arm chairs are also provide a comfortable place for your arms to rest durring dining - This can help keep peoples elbows off the table. If space is an issue arm chairs probably wont work because they do take up more space.

Tip: Traditionally, rectangular dining tables are set with two armchairs: one at the head and the other at the foot of the dining table, while armless or side chairs are used on both sides. But you can choose to have armchairs all around or side chairs all around fi you like.

Side chairs are very common in all settings, they offer the best use of space and are prefered for round and square dining tables.

Tip: If you are using side chairs without arms on a round or square dining table you will want to use them all the way arround, you dont want to mix arm chairs with tables like this.

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Intelligent Use of Your Dining Space

  • For a visually balanced room, let the focus stay on the dining table and choose dining chairs that complement or accent it. Choose a larger dining table and go small on seating.
  • Use a bench or a cushioned sofa on one side of your table to seat more diners and create a modern look.
  • If you do plan on using a bench on one side of your table, you can place it in a window to add emphasis. For this you’ll need to measure the window and buy a bench/sofa that fits properly.
  • Benches are also feasible if you have limited space.
  • Use transparent, acrylic seats to keep the focus on your table and make the room look more spacious.
  • Go for side chairs rather than armchairs for smaller dining areas.
  • Choose an open or delicate chair style if you have limited space. For a large dining room go for a solid backed chair or one with ornate details.

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Dining Chair Style Guide

Today's market can have an overwhelming range of furniture designs. From classic to contemporary, modern, minimalist and rustic, you’ll be amazed to see the variety. So which one do you actually make a part of your home?

The choice naturally has a lot to do with personal taste as well as intended use. Your style choice may depend on whether you want an informal dining room or a formal one.

  • For a more traditional or classy dining room, you can try Windsor chairs. With their curvy, turned legs and carved saddle seats, they add grace and timeless elegance to your dining room. You can also go for Regency-style or Chippendale dining chairs.
  • For a country-style look, you can opt for slat-back chairs that come with one or more flat, vertical slats on their back and sleek, straight legs. Ladder-back chairs also work well with country-style tables.
  • For a formal, elegant look go for tall parsons dining chairs with upholstered rectangular backs and seats. If you are planning on a Victorian styled dining room, you can go for an ornate dining table with wicker chairs to create a timeless look. Ornately forged wrought iron chairs also work very well with Victorian inspired interiors.
  • For a modern dining room you can find beautiful contemporary style dining chairs. Another great option is to go for wrought iron dining chairs. Wrought iron chairs are extremely sturdy and can be as ornate or as casual as you want them to be. Available in a wide range of styles, sizes and finish options, you can find wrought iron chairs for any decor. The seats are usually upholstered to ensure comfort. You can find matching wrought iron dining tables and chairs from leading wrought iron manufacturers. All the pieces will carry complementing iron work for a perfect look.

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How do I balance style and comfort

When choosing new dining chairs, you need to look for the optimal blend of style and comfort. The chair should go with your décor and taste but it is equally important that it is comfortable and allows your guests to linger over their meal, relax and have an enjoyable time. If you have plastic or acrylic chairs, they are very sleek and stylish to look at but the hard seat makes it uncomfortable to sit through an entire meal. You don’t want your guests to abandon the table before dessert is served!

Wrought Iron chairs often come with upholstery to ensure comfort. When you are selecting a chair with upholstery, ensure there is ample padding on the back and / or seat. The dining chair should have at least 16”-17” of depth for comfort and if you are going for armchairs, try to find a design where the arms are 7”-9” above the seat.

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What type of material should I choose

The material you choose not only determines the durability and sturdiness of your dining room furniture but also creates the final look of the room. This is again a personal preference but also depends on budget. It should complement the dining table as well as other pieces in your dining room to create a visually balanced look. For instance, wood and wrought iron go very well together and can be used to create a timelessly elegant look. Popular options for chairs include wood, iron, plastic, vinyl, leather covered chairs and ones with upholstery. If you choose acrylic or plastic chairs, you can create a modern to retro or informal dining room. Plastic chairs often come in sleek, minimalist lines and work well for small spaces. Wooden chairs can be classic or rustic as per their design. Wood is a versatile material and can be used to create a varied number of looks. With different stains and finishes you can color-coordinate your dining room very well. Make sure the wood is sturdy and the joints in the chairs bonded well together. Metal chairs are highly versatile as well and can be used to create different looks. You can go for sleek, minimalist designs in metal for that ultramodern look. Or you could go for a classically ornate wrought iron chair that fits well in a Victorian setting. You’ll find simple rustic designs as well. Wrought iron dining chairs come in different finish and upholstery options so that you can create a perfectly color-coordinated dining room. Wrought iron chairs are often paired up with matching dining tables that have the same iron work and finish to create a very elegant look without going through much trouble. Metal chairs also work well with a rustic dining table that has a distressed wood top to create a beautiful blend of different textures and materials. You can also opt for Rattan or wicker chairs for a textured and light option. These materials give your dining room an earthy, organic feel.

When choosing a material for upholstery, the color, texture and design are important. You also need to consider the budget and durability of the material.

Your upholstery plays a major role in finalizing the overall look of your dining room. With the right upholstery, your dining room will look as formal – or as casual – as you want it to be. For instance, brocades, silks and velvets will add a classy, formal touch to the dining set. Funky prints in microfiber or fabric will create an upbeat, casual look. Microfiber is a popular choice as it is durable and very stain resistant. If you are planning on buying leather upholstered dining chairs, then go for a full-grain leather chair. It is a bit expensive but durable and very beautiful. If you are on a budget, then suede leather or corrected-grain leather will work too.

Leather upholstery can be wiped clean and is quite durable. The leather looks even more beautiful as it ages and softens, and different color options allow you to match the chair upholstery with your room’s color scheme. You can also go for dark, bold leather upholstery to accent a light colored dining room.

What material will work better in my household? You need to consider cleaning options as well. This is especially important for households with children.

Silks and velvets, for instance, will be tougher to clean while leather and cotton / polyester blends or microfiber can be wiped clean and are more stain resistant.

Same goes for chair frames. Finished wood, vinyl or metal chairs can be wiped clean but upholstery may need to be sent to the dry cleaners or put in a washing machine.

Whatever you decide on, in the end the dining chairs should reflect your personality and lifestyle.

Another very important thing you should keep in mind is that these dining chairs will stay in your home for many years to come. They should be visually beautiful as well as durable and comfortable. Options like Wrought Iron allow you to choose an elegant design without compromising on sturdiness. Different finish options and a wide range of upholstery options allow wrought iron dining chairs to blend well with any decor. Wrought Iron dining chairs can be as delicate or bold as you like. Different wrought iron manufacturers offer a wide range of designs that are uniquely hand forged and timelessly elegant.

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Where Can I buy Iron Dining Chairs?

Timeless Wrought Iron has a nice selection of luxury hand-forged iron dining chairs in both the side chair and arm chair categories. You can shop all of the handcrafted iron dining chairs available by clicking here.