Whether you want to update the look of your dining room or add some style to your eat-in kitchen, mid-century modern kitchen and dining room chairs are a great choice. Taking inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s, the mid-century modern design style embraces the retro look of iconic pieces while incorporating the clean, minimalist lines of modern furniture. Read on to learn more about the common characteristics of mid-century modern pieces, discover the kitchen and dining room chair designs and styles you can select, and find out the answers to some common questions.
Common Characteristics of Mid-century Modern Kitchen and Dining Room Chairs
Mid-Century Modern Kitchen & Dining Room Chair Materials
Wood is a popular material for the construction of mid-century modern chairs. Metals, plastics, and wickers are other common materials. Many pieces incorporate more than one material to create a dramatic juxtaposition, such as a rubberwood dining bench with linen upholstery or a bentwood chair with metal legs.
Mid-Century Modern Kitchen & Dining Room Chair Colors
The mid-century modern style can incorporate a wide range of colors. Stark white and black are popular neutrals, though bold shades can provide a bright burst of color. A common color palette may consist of warm earth tones, such as avocado green, pumpkin orange, and dark amber. As an alternative, a color scheme may consist of white and black with pops of turquoise blue or sunflower yellow to bring dimension to the room. A faux-leather tub chair in a stunning shade of teal, complete with tapered, espresso-finished legs, adds the ideal amount of rich color to your space when placed at the head of your dining table.
Mid-Century Modern Kitchen & Dining Room Chair Shapes
Mid-century modern homes favor clean lines, smooth surfaces, and dramatic curves, emphasizing an uncluttered look. Many furniture pieces in this genre feature sleek finishes and minimal ornamentation. Chairs with curved seat backs and thin, angled legs are common in mid-century modern dining spaces.
Mid-century Modern Kitchen and Dining Room Chair Designs
As their name suggests, side chairs sit along the sides of your dining room table. These armless chairs are often constructed of wood, and they may feature an upholstered seat. In some casual dining rooms with matching chair sets, side chairs also grace the head of the table.
An armchair features arms for a more elegant feel. In formal dining rooms, armchairs sit at the ends of the table. These armchairs may match the side chairs or feature a contrasting look for dramatic flair. An armchair may be constructed of wood or plastic with an upholstered seat, though some armchairs are fully upholstered.
Most Parsons chairs are constructed of wood, featuring squared legs and a squared backrest with a slight curve. Parsons chairs are named for Frank Alvah Parsons, the founder of the Parsons School of Design in Paris where the chair was invented. These chairs are often covered with upholstery, which may feature a pattern or tufting detail.
Mid-century Modern Kitchen and Dining Room Chair Back Styles
Slat Back Mid-Century Modern Kitchen & Dining Room Chairs
Traditional slat back chairs feature vertical slats along the back of the chair. While these chairs often have a classic feel, they can suit mid-century modern spaces as well. A metal slat back chair with a white powder-coated finish strikes the ideal balance between traditional style and mid-century modern design.
Ladder Back Mid-Century Modern Kitchen & Dining Room Chairs
A ladder back chair features horizontal slats that are visually reminiscent of a ladder's rungs. Many ladder back side chairs feature upholstered seats. A wood chair with a curved ladder back, a black faux leather seat, and tapered legs puts a mid-century modern spin on an old classic.
Windsor Mid-Century Modern Kitchen & Dining Room Chairs
A Windsor chair features a bowed back with thin wooden spindles running vertically along the chair's back. These traditional chairs are common in casual dining rooms or country-style kitchens. Spindle legs are another common feature. A dining chair with a low back and thin wooden spindles extending from a straight upper rail offers a mid-century modern take on the early English-style chair.
Mid-century Modern Kitchen and Dining Room Chairs FAQ
How far apart should you place dining room chairs?
When placing chairs around your table, allow at least 24 inches of space for each place setting. For a more comfortable dining experience, strive for 30 inches of width between seated guests. Measure the size of your room, then choose a table and chairs that allow at least 36 inches of space between the table edge and the nearest wall. This means seated guests don't have to squeeze in to allow others to walk behind them.
How many chairs should you put around your dining room table?
The number of chairs you place around your table depends on the table shape and size. Use four chairs for a round table with a 36- or 40-inch diameter, and choose eight chairs for a 56-inch round table. A square table can accommodate four chairs. Rectangular tables that are 60 inches in length can handle six chairs, while 72- or 84-inch-long dining tables take six to eight chairs. A 96-inch-long rectangular table seats eight to 10 people, and a 132-inch-long dining table takes 12 chairs.
Which dining room tables pair well with mid-century modern chairs?
Mid-century modern dining tables typically incorporate the same elements as the chairs they're paired with. A wooden dining table with an oak finish and concave legs creates a dramatic statement. An oval-shaped table with a powder-coated metal base and walnut top pairs perfectly with mid-century modern cup chairs. Tables with hairpin-style legs fit right in with retro dining chairs.