5 Things to consider when buying a dining chair
There’s a science to comfortable sitting. And as craftsmen dedicated to the notion of making exceptional furniture for everyday living, we never lose sight of that fact. So, we steep each design in the contours of the human body- seat height, seat pitch, the space between the arms- they’re dimensions of a comfortable fit. And once the form is defined, beauty inevitably follows.
The truth is, there is no one size fits all for dining seating. For some, it comes in the form of an upholstered seat that perfectly matches a favorite rug. Or a hand-sculpted wooden seat that tucks neatly under the edge of the table, allowing for maximum use of the room before and after meals. And for others, it’s a bench that can be pulled from the entryway or living room to accommodate a few extra guests for a neighborhood supper.
One of the best places to look when you begin to select your dining room seating is no further than your table itself. What is the height of your table? With this measurement, selecting or customizing seating that will perfectly place you at the table will easily fall into place.
Most dining tables range in height from 28″ to 31″. Many of our tables fit comfortably within this range at 30″ high. Our dining chairs will average in height, from the top of the seat to the floor, from 17″ -20″ high, leaving you with a distance of the seat to tabletop ranging from 8″-14″. We find that the average person will find a distance from the seat to tabletop around 10-12 inches the most comfortable.
There are a few things to take into consideration with these measurements. What is the thickness of the tabletop itself and, if there is an apron around the table, how low does that extend towards the floor? Be sure to account for these measurements especially if you are selecting chairs with armrests.
What do we mean by the footprint of a chair? Quite simply it is the width and the depth of the chair. For some chairs, especially if they have a splayed or bowed leg, this measurement will include the furthest two reaching points of those legs on the chair.
The depth of the chair will let you know two things. One- how far is the chair going to go underneath the table when it slides in and two- how far back will you and your diners be sitting in the chair when you are seated at the table. If the chair is too deep, you stand a good chance of your legs bumping into a pedestal or trestle of a table.
When deciding on how many chairs you will have along the length of the table it’s good to know the width of the chairs so you can be sure that there is room underneath without bumping into each other or the base of the table. If the chairs touch when tucked underneath, your guests can feel cramped.
Generally, allow 28″ from the center of the seat to the next to comfortably accommodate most people or at least 2″ between chairs. For chairs at the end of the length of the table, allow 14″ from the seat center to the end of the table.
Upholstered chairs offer a variety of ways for the owner to express their style. They can be a wonderful way to tie colorful elements of the room together or offer a neutral palette for the eyes to rest.
A few of our chairs, Aria and Harpswell, offer upholstered cushions for added comfort. The fabric selections range from fine leather, like our full-grain Riverside which is ideal for heavy to medium use, as well as some of our most durable fabrics like Knoll and Brentano. Great upholstery retains its style and appeal year after year. When choosing an upholstered chair, consider how it will match the rest of your space. Do you have wooden sideboards, a stunning rug, or artwork? And perhaps most importantly, how easy will it be to clean?
Arm Chair or Side Chair
Many of our chairs come as both a side chair and an arm chair. When using an arm chair of any style, you’ll want to be sure the top of the arm doesn’t brush up against or bump into the bottom of the table or the apron. If you prefer your chairs to slide fully under the tabletop, we recommend choosing a table design without an apron. Two of our favorite arm chairs that easily slide underneath our tables without an apron are the Harpswell Chair and the Eastward Chair. For a sleeker companion to an arm chair, our side chairs offer the same exquisite craftsmanship and style.
Another consideration when choosing chairs is the difference between the table height and the overall chair height. The overall height of your chair is measured from the top of the crest to the floor. How high is the crest of the chair in comparison to the top of the table? Unless you are selecting stools as your seating, you’ll want the crest of the chair to be at least 2″ higher than your tabletop, giving visual intrigue to your dining set.
Beyond the classic dining chair, you have options. Perhaps your style is to embrace many different well- crafted elements into one room. Many of our benches and stools seamlessly pair with our dining tables and can be customized to fit your specific dining situation. Stools can easily slide underneath the table when they are not in use and benches, like our Edo Bench, can be moved into a living room or hallway allowing for flexible use of your furniture when it is not needed at the dining room table.
When you begin to think about adding the perfect Moser chair to your space, remember these basic guidelines; height, overall footprint, and upholstery. Know your style and know your space. How will the overall footprint fit in the space and do you want an upholstered seat? Benches and stools offer an alternative to traditional seating and have the flexibility of being moved into another room when additional seating is required. With these guidelines in your back pocket and our team of knowledgeable salespeople willing to help you, the hardest part will be deciding on which one to choose.