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How to Mix and Match Barstools and Chairs in Your Kitchen

It is much easier to mix and match chairs and barstools in your kitchen than you may initially think. In fact, you may already be doing it.

The traditional look for dining rooms, formal and informal, is to have two armchairs at the ends and chairs at the sides of the same style, minus the arms. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

How to Mix and Match Barstools and Chairs in Your Kitchen

Using a variety of chair and barstool styles in your dining and kitchen area can provide a number of benefits:

  • Visually define separate areas of the dining space
  • Increase the visual appeal of the room
  • Provide balance and contrast within the room’s style without additional decor
  • Ensure seating is tailored to your needs

While arm styles are probably the most common way to mix up your seating style, they are far from the only ones. You can mix and match across a single set of dining chairs, barstools at the counter, or between the two if you have an open floor plan.

Stick to the rule of one when mixing up styles. You can change a lot for a significant visual impact, but always keep one common thread through every piece or only alter one aspect of the chairs for a subtle change. Here are the best ways to mix and match seating in your kitchen.

1. Arms

The presence or lack thereof is the easiest and, therefore, the most common way to mix and match barstools and chairs. Most styles you can find have options with and without arms.

You will most likely see armed chairs solely at the head of the table. But if you have a combined dining space with both chairs and bar stools present, consider having one or the other have arms for the entire set.

Having seating with arms is also a functional decision. If you are tight on space or have a habit of sliding in and out of seating without moving it, the addition of arms may not work for you.

But they can help those with balance or movement problems sit and stand safely. So consider having at least a few armed chairs in your home kitchen and dining space.

2. Detailing

The little details can sometimes make all the difference. This tip works for upholstered seating options as well as solid ones.

Upholstered options can sometimes offer slight differences in stitching patterns, like diamond versus linear padding stitches. These small details can provide a very limited visual difference if you want to keep things subtle.

Mix and match the design of your chairs or barstools’ backs for a more significant distinction. Metal and wood-based furniture can provide a stunning range of back detail options off of the same base style. So look for something with insert options to choose from.

3. Color and Finish

Using chairs to implement a color scheme is an easy way to add visual interest to a room without having to add extra decor. Choose a set or couple of accent chairs or bar stools and use contrast or coordinating color out of your existing scheme.

The entire chair can change color or maybe just the upholstery or base finish depending on how much of a splash you want the color to make. For monotone rooms or a more subtle shift, keep to the same colors; just change the shade. And don’t be afraid to pull in different patterns, weaves, or finishes on fabrics.

4. Legs

You probably don’t think much about the legs when it comes to chairs. However, altering the style of the base between your kitchen barstools and chairs can be an interesting visual change.

Chairs generally have a leg and stretcher style, while stools traditionally use a central column. If you want to play with color or other detailing to make the difference look for a barstool that has a matching base to your chairs.

5. Backs

If you are going for more casual bar space, look for stools that don’t feature backs. But if you plan to use the area regularly for dining or extended periods of work, having a seat with a back can make it more comfortable and supportive. You can still keep the barstools distinct from a matching dining set by opting for a style with a low back versus full height on the chairs.

Another fun way to mix up your dining chair set is to select a style that comes with entirely different back designs or inserts. It can be a fun and easy way to add some other patterns, textures, or colors while keeping everything else you love about the chairs.

6. Type

Let’s take a step outside the world of chairs and stools for a second. Consider the humble bench if you really want to mix and match seating options in your kitchen. Not only will you have all the options above, but if you are tight on seating space around your table or in a dining nook, a bench can help.

Benches enable more people to sit along one side and can add some hidden storage, depending on the style.

Handcrafted, Custom Furniture Made for You

Whether you want to furnish a formal or daily use dining room or kitchen, nothing beats the stunning elegance and durability of handcrafted metal furniture. Johnston Casuals has been making steel furniture for over 40 years for customers worldwide.  Every piece is as much a piece of art as it is functional.

We have a full range of dining chair options. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for something more traditional, sleek and modern, or a retro style. We have something for everyone, and each piece comes with a wide selection of choices for color and finish. Visit a dealer near you or browse our online catalog to start your journey for a dining room that will last a lifetime.

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