How to Add Character to a Dining Room – Mixing Dining Chairs

To create a more collected, designer look try mixing dining chairs! This adds character and contrast to the space.

I know some people love to have a dining set. I have friends (and some clients) who don’t even want to mix woods in a room! But I’m quite the opposite. I love the creativity that a mix of woods, paint colors or styles affords you. And one of the most fun ways to achieve that mix is by mixing dining chairs. It adds character and interest that you simply can’t get with a matching set!

I’ve gotten quite a few questions over the years from readers asking about whether or not they should mix their dining chairs, or how they should mix them. There are a few ways to do it if you’re not using a matching dining set. You can use matching side chairs with different end chairs, use an eclectic mix where no two chairs are the same, or even add a bench to one or both sides. All of them add interest, it’s just a matter of taste, and which style you prefer.

Another benefit to mixing dining chairs is that it feels a little more laid back and inviting – it’s not quite so serious! And by layering different styles, your room will actually have a longer shelf life! 

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite spaces with a mix of dining chairs….


mixing dining chairs in a European farmhouse style dining area french country decor

French leather chairs mixed with slipcovered end chairs. Design by Brooke Giannetti.


mixing dining chairs in a farmhouse style eat in kitchen french country decor breakfast roomAnother example of slipcovered end chairs by Lisa Luby Ryan.


french country breakfast room dining room statement lanternOne of my all-time favorite breakfast rooms by Ashley Goforth.


beautiful dining room with mixed style dining chairs

Design by Ohara Davies-Gaetano via House Beautiful.


mixing dining chairs and a bench in a European farmhouse French country style dining room

Love the wicker chairs mixed with the primitive bench! Via Decor de Provence.


mix of wicker dining chairs with a banquette in a charming farmhouse breakfast areaAnd a banquette is the ultimate mix of dining chairs! Design by Nannette Lewis via New England Home.


traditional dining room with mixed dining chairs crystal chandelier The mix of chairs loosens up this traditional dining room. By Ashley Goforth Design.


mix of upholstered end chairs with french dining chairs around farmhouse table dining room decor

You can also use the end chairs to introduce different fabrics, or a pop of color. Via Horchow.


mixing dining chairs in coastal breakfast area wicker side chairs slipcovered end chairs

Wicker chairs on the side work beautifully with slipcovered chairs on either end. Pineapple Design Group via Home Bunch.


mixing dining chairs wicker end chairs with slipcovered side chairs blue and white rug transitional style room

And this one is just the opposite! They’ve used the slipcovered chairs on the sides, with the wicker coming in at either end. Love this mix via Blackband Home & Design.


mixing dining room chairs x-back wood chairs and french country end chairs fixer upper dining room

Design by Joanna Gaines via HGTV.


As I’m sure most of you know, in my own dining room I have a mix of dining chairs. After years of having an old, hand-me-down matching set from my parents, I finally lucked upon the Swedish side chairs at an antique store. But it was several years of just those before I added my slipcovered Parsons chairs to the ends.


gorgeous French country farmhouse dining room with mix of dining chairs wood and slipcovered

For me, having just the end chairs be different feels like the perfect blend. And I love the coziness that the fabric chairs add!


mixing dining chairs to add character and interest to the dining room French country decor

Here are some ideas below if you want to get a similar look!


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  1. Thank you for this article. Can you go a little more into mixing fabrics on didn’t room chairs? Is it okay to use one fabric on the end chairs and another on the side tables? The end chairs being a strip pattern with the sides In a solid?

    1. It’s definitely fine to mix fabrics as well as style! I would just make sure one of the fabrics is a solid so as to keep them from clashing or looking too busy. What you suggested – with a stripe on one and a solid on another- is perfect!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!


      1. Thank you Shelia and I apologize for all of the autocorrect errors on my question!

  2. Hi Sheila,
    Can you please tell me what the name of your chandelier in your dining room is? Your dining room is just 😍 lovely. Also, your dining chairs, please?
    Thank you,

  3. Hi! Do you happen to know where the French dining chairs with the letter, ‘P’ on the back are from?

    1. Hi Austin I’m sorry but I don’t! You could try contacting the designer but it’s possible they were custom.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Patricia Hilborn says:

    My favorite is the casual table with the bench. It seems very livable! (P.S. I am really enjoying your emails and posts. Thank you!)

  5. Never actually thought of doing something like this before. I’m inclined to really try them out now. Great idea!

    1. Oh I’m so happy to hear that – thank you! I’m so glad you found inspiration and I hope you’ll stop by again!


      1. Sheila this was a great post with great examples. I love mixing chairs. It definitely creates interest!

        1. Thanks so much Cindy! And yes – me too! A favorite decorating idea for sure 🙂


  6. This is such a great concept! I especially love Tara Shaw’s lovely dining room, and your beautiful chair choices! I have 3 varieties of chairs around my table, and I wish I could say I meant it that way! 😉 Thanks for the great inspiration!

    1. Well it sounds like you’re off to a great start then! 😉

      So glad you found it inspiring Barbara, and thanks for stopping by!


  7. Love the idea of adding interest to the room by mixing dining chairs! You don’t have to do much, except for picking gorgeous chairs that represent your personality, yet you get a transformed dining area. Your selection of chairs in this blog post is incredible, I didn’t know where first to look and I think I might have spent more than an hour just staring into them. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  8. Eugenia Steger says:

    My favorite is the galvanized bench with the rustic table! Since I have a rustic reclaimed wood table,it is an inspiration!

    1. It looks so good doesn’t it?! Hope you get to do it!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!