Types of Dining Chairs: 16 Gorgeous Examples You’ll Obsess Over


Dining Chairs might just be the most important chairs in your house. After all, they'll be what's used for family dinner, gatherings of friends, game nights, and more. Finding the best dining room chairs depends a lot on your personal taste and the interior design themes that appeal to you.

To help you get a sense of what you like, and maybe give you some brand new ideas, we've put together this little inspiration gallery of different types of dining chairs. Check them out, and maybe you'll find a dining room chair design that's perfect for your home!

Brief Guide To Types Of Dining Chairs

What Makes it a “Dining Chair”?

Here's a fact – there are many different types of dining chairs. They come in many shapes and sizes, but there are a few things that all dining room chairs have in common. First, they're roughly the same height at the seat. Since most tables are set at a height of about 30 inches, dining room chairs typically have a seat height of 17-19 inches.

This gives ample clearance between the seat of the chair and the table. Pro tip: when shopping for dining room sets, make sure that the table and chairs have 12-13 inches of clearance between them so that all guests will be able to dine comfortably!

Since dining chairs are meant to be staged around and used at tables, rather than in normal sitting rooms, they also usually either have no arms or very small arms. Trying to use an egg-shaped chair to seat guests for dinner will create an uncomfortable experience for everyone.

So, while dining chairs come in different shapes and are made of different materials, they will always conform to their need to actually fit at a table! All this may sound obvious, but it can help you have a deeper appreciation of the craftsmanship and creativity that goes into designing these chairs.

Let's get on to some awesome dining chairs! Below you'll find 16 different types of dining chairs, and at least one of those is sure to speak to you!

16 Types of Dining Room Chairs: Inspiration List

1. Shaker Chairs

16 types of dining chairs 1
Image: Pinterest

The Shaker Chair is the darling of the late-1800's arts and crafts movement and finds itself very much at home in today's farmhouse look. Shaker chairs are distinguished by the ladder-shaped back and are typically made of wood with a cushioned seat.

Nowadays, though, the material of a shaker-style chair can range from leather to aluminum. They make great dining chairs because of their comfort and have a classic, laid-back aesthetic that doesn't think too much of itself.

They're perfect for a boho feel, farmhouse look, or any home that wants a simple rustic touch!

2. Windsor Chairs

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Image: Pinterest

Windsor chairs can be thought of as the cousin to the shaker-style chair. Instead of the ladder-shaped back, the backs of Windsor dining chairs feature round spindles that shoot up from the seat and fan out slightly to create the full back of the chair. These chairs are some of the most recognizable chairs in recent history, and there are many different variations of the Windsor-style.

These chairs lend themselves well to the decor style of classic New England homes, Victorian-style homes, or any home that has decor rooted in tradition. If you like furniture made by artisans, rather than factory machines, a Windsor chair might be perfect for you!

3. Bistro Chairs

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Image: Pinterest

These chairs are exactly what they sound like- the type of chair you'd typically find in a French-style bistro. Bistro dining chairs are distinguished by their thin, curved metal backs and simple round seats.

While they're probably a better fit for a breakfast nook or patio seating, bistro chairs can actually make fantastic dining chairs in the right setting.

For instance, if you have an affinity for travel, coffee, or just want to feel like a classic intellectual, some bistro chairs could go long way toward creating that relaxed, conversation-friendly vibe.

4. Tuft Back Dining Chairs

Mason Tufted Dining Chair, Ivory
Image: Houzz

Time for a change in direction- tuft back chairs are cushiony, comfy, and stylish. These plush dining chairs are often associated with a contemporary atmosphere because they focus on combining comfort and style.

Usually, you'll see these chairs with high backs, which gives a sense of elegance and sophistication. Tufted dining chairs are a great way to add style to your dining room without trying to make a scene.

They're big, stylish, and sophisticated- all without trying so hard to prove themselves. In a word, these chairs can make your dining room aesthetic feel effortless.

5. Modern Velvet Dining Chairs

Karina Velvet Dining Chairs, Set of 2, Pink, Gold Base
Image: Houzz

So much of what's popular right now in interior design is 21st-century renditions of items from the glam '70s. Take these velvet dining chairs for instance. They'd be perfectly suited to both a modern cozy theme and a scene out of American Hustle.

The velvet fabric is luxurious and plush, and the shape of the chair is modern and fluid, making the chair feel both futuristic and organic. If you've got a touch of modern and a bit of boho in you, these chairs might be your dream match!

6. Brightly Colored Eiffel Chairs

Plastic Eiffel Chair With Natural Wood Dining Dowel Wooden Modern Set of 2, Oran
Image: Houzz

These chairs are filled with prestigious design heritage. They're rooted in the Bauhaus and mid-century modern movements from the 1930s-60s that are wildly popular even today. The plastic seat and wooden dowel legs are extremely simple- and that's the point.

These chairs came from a design philosophy that emphasized functionality and worked to use common materials so that everyone could afford designer furniture. Eiffel chairs, today, fit perfectly with the Scandinavian/Nordic styles and can add a splash of color to your mid-century kitchen.

7. Mid-Century Dining Chairs

Helen Mid Century Dining Chair, Dark Gray/Oak, Set of 2
Image: Houzz

The mid-century modern decor style has been popular for almost seven decades and shows no signs of stopping. These chairs, made of simple wood and cushion, are highly functional and are free of any kind of excess. This makes them perfect for a minimalist, bohemian, and of course mid-century theme in your dining room.

They're comfortable, have classic neutral colors, and the simplicity of the design can help your space appear less cluttered, a big advantage when you're working in tight spaces!

8. Modern Upholstered Leather Chair

Modern Dark Brown Faux Leather Upholstered Dining Chairs, Set of 2
Image: Houzz

These chairs are big, bold, and almost monolithic. The deep color and smooth leather make the entire chair feel like one solid block, but sitting on one is surprisingly comfortable.

If you're into bold, dark colors, dining chairs such as this can help create a moody atmosphere. I can see these in either a stately red dining room or a brightly-lit, white room that needs a bit of dark color to balance everything out.

9. Tufted Eiffel Chair

Annie Tufted Velvet Dining Chairs, Set of 2
Image: Houzz

Eiffel chairs have a lot going for them- the simple shapes allow for endless creativity in terms of material and color. This chair design is one of tufted velvet, which feels luxurious to the touch and to the eye- without being gawdy.

The combination of velvet fabric and gold-colored metal legs in furniture is pretty big these days, and these chairs feel glamourous and low-key at the same time. That's a pretty hard thing to accomplish, which is why I love these tufted velvet chairs so much!

10. Bold Modern Dining Chairs

Leisuremod Modern Asbury Dining Chair With Chromed Legs, Set of 2, Black
Image: Houzz

There's so much to love with these chairs. The metal back has an organic, tree-like pattern cut out, and the legs are chrome-finished, giving a bit of shine to the whole piece.

This is a great example of a chair that makes a statement while still functioning as a chair. Some highly-stylized chairs sacrifice usefulness for flair, but not this one.

This chair would be perfect for a modern, artsy decor feel, or just any dining room aesthetic you feel needs to have a bit of fun in it! They're also space-saving compared to many bulkier dining chairs, making it a great choice for smaller houses or apartments where every square foot counts.

11. High-Back Traditional Dining Chair

Palettes by Winesburg Expressions Prestige Side Chair, Set of 2
Image: Houzz

This is like a more elegant version of the Shaker chair we looked at earlier in the list. The high back and rich, deep wood color make this feel like the sort of chair that you'd find society's top minds sharing a meal over in the 19th century.

It's constructed from solid maple, with a slight curve in the back, giving the entire chair a layer of elegance and simplicity that is hard to replicate. If you've got a traditional, rustic mindset, these dining chairs are going to feel absolutely perfect in your home!

12. Traditional Walnut Chair with Cushion

Progressive Casual Traditions Dining Side Chair in Walnut (Set of 2)
Image: Houzz

This is another chair that will be hard to dislike. The deep espresso color of the wood is very appealing, and the light brown cushion seat helps to add variety to the overall palette of the chair.

This chair makes an excellent addition to any traditional or farmhouse decor style because it uses natural materials and neutral colors. They have a sort of elegance, but they don't go so far into sophistication that they'd be out of place in a normal, happy family home!

13. Artistic Modern High-Back Chair

Boston High Back Modern Dining Chair - Dark Blue
Image: Houzz

Want to make a statement? Or, at least, sit on a statement? This chair is for you. It feels a lot like an exhibition piece or a chair that you'd find in a movie set 50 years in the future. However, it's neither of those things- this is a dining chair that you can own and have in your home!

I'd imagine the best way to style these chairs is with a large, oval-shaped glass table. that will complement the futuristic, organic form of the chair, and the glass will allow people to see the entire chair, making your contemporary dining room a bold treat for the eyes!

14. Futuristic Leather Chair

Modern Mesa Dining Chair in Dark Grey Microfiber Leather and Stainless Steel
Image: Houzz

Where to begin with this chair? Much of the modern movement of art and design has been interested in creating shapes and structures that feel almost impossible, and that's definitely how this chair feels. The seat and back are pretty normal-looking; they have simple geometric shapes and leather-covered cushions.

The base of the dining chair, however, seems like it would be impossible to sit on without tipping over. The delicate balancing act of this chair is as much an accomplishment of engineering as it is interior design. If you're looking for out-of-the-box inspiration, this is it!

15. Contemporary Dining Chair

Blanca Brushed Stainless Steel Contemporary Dining Chairs, Set of 2, Gray
Image: Houzz

Following in the spirit of the modern design movement, these classic dining chairs use simple shapes and materials to create a chair that feels both stylish and relaxed.

The stainless steel frame is shaped to give the chair a slight floating feeling, and the seat/back are both simple and uncomplicated. If you're looking for a sense of sleek minimalism in your dining room, you can take these chairs as inspiration!

16. Retro Mid-Century Chair

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Image: Pinterest

To cap off our different types of dining chairs list, I went with my favorite design style, mid-century modern. This dining chair has a lot of the characteristics I look for in a great mid-century piece: creative shapes, natural materials, and the overall rejection of excess or crazy flair.

The end result is a chair that belongs in an episode of Mad Men: it's effortlessly stylish, and built to last for years and years. This is the perfect dining room chair for people who want to be retro without going down the “look what I found in an old garage” path!