Dinning room in Harley House

To Dine For (Part II)

So, you've got your dining table and might well have bought chairs to match already, in which case, you're all set. But if you haven't, what kind of seating out of the plethora of options are you going to go select? Employing the advice of a  luxury interior designer will ensure you get the right choice for you and your guests. Whether your preference is classic, Baroque, minimalist, funky, rustic, artistic, industrial or funky, the perfect dining chair option is out there. Having expert interior designer's advice will help you find it. You're guests will find that your's is a meal to dine for.

If you do decide to go for something that isn't a perfect match, you can afford to experiment a bit. From London to New York style interiors, you can really have some fun. Go a little mad, throw caution to the wind by mixing traditional with contemporary, or have a different chair in a different colour for each place setting. Choosing dining chairs can be fun – who knew?! So, first of all, consider the type and size of table that you have. Ideally, in terms of spacing, you should allow around 60cm per place setting; for a round table, allow around 75cm.

For a traditional choice to suit a classic rectangular table, a set of chairs will usually include two carvers, which aren't really suitable for a round design. Their look is too bulky and they will jut out from the table. Bear in mind that chairs with angled legs require more space St-Georges-Hillthan those with straight ones.

You also need to consider the height of the chair – a row of high backs can be a good visual way of sectioning off a dining area if you don't have a separate room while low-back designs can help to enlarge the feeling of space. In a room that's specifically for the purpose of dining, you could choose your furniture to create a particular ambiance. For example, highly polished heavy wood chairs with upholstered seating will create a weighty, even boardroom feel. For a simpler, overall luxury interior design scheme, the wooden Shaker style can be a versatile option.

If you want to take the rustic look a step further, try the dining bench option. These are fine for casual occasions and can look good, but the seats can often be narrow and hard. Also, if you go for a simple design without a back, they might prove uncomfortable after a period of time – you could even end up having a guest mutiny on your hands by the end of an evening.

At the other end of the spectrum is the contemporary, chic look. Clear polycarbonate chairs (think Philippe Starck) matched with a glamorous glass table will provide a modern, cutting-edge feel while reclaimed metal options would suit the stainless steel surface you have in mind for that industrial feel.

Bark-place-2Somewhere in the middle is the Scandinavian, Gustavian look. These wood designs are usually painted in light tones and have soft, feminine curves to suit a softer scheme. And, talking of curves, café-style Bentwood chairs add a European, Art Nouveau flair and work well with both rustic and more classic dining options.

Once you've opted for the type and style, whether it's a New York style interior or something more rustic, practicality and comfort are the next considerations. If you're likely to have more than just a few guests at a time, you'll need more chairs. If you're short on space, you'll need to think about a design that suits your existing furniture as well as where to store them.

As for comfort, upholstered chairs are usually considered the best. The downsides of upholstered dining chairs are that their weight can make them difficult to maneuver, and should there be any spillages, stains can be tricky to remove. Chairs with loose covers can be the solution to the latter problem, as they can be removed and washed or dry cleaned. Removable seat pads can also go a long way to providing guests with a bit of extra cushioning. After all, you don't want your guests to be shifting in their seats. As Robert De Niro once said, possibly metaphorically, “If it's the right chair, it doesn't take too long to get comfortable.”