Looking to redecorate your home and give it a fresh new look? You bought a nice set of new chairs only to find out that they don’t really match your table? Or worse, a seemingly good combination turned out to be not so great when put into practice? It might be a somewhat uncommon situation, but many of those just getting into interior design can find themselves in a situation where they are stuck with a nice set of dining chairs that match the ambience of the kitchen or a dining room flawlessly, but just don’t work with a table you have at hand.
No need to worry, we’ve got you covered! With just several considerations, you can easily find a table that will complete your décor efforts and match both your dining chairs and the overall aesthetic of your home.
Connecting the pieces
If you have been reading about interior design at all, you must have come across references to stylistic balance, continuity, synergy or in simplest terms, matching. All of these terms point to a fundamental principle of décor – the necessity for all the different elements to work together, to match each other and allow the space to become more than just a sum of its parts.
Looking for any décor element, be it a purely aesthetical element or a functional one like a table, is actually the pursuit of a missing piece that will connect all the other elements into a greater whole. So, in our hypothetical situations, we must start not with the dining chairs set itself, but the way that it establishes connection to the rest of your kitchen or dining room.
That connection can be something as obvious as the texture – maybe your wooden dining chairs perfectly match wooden details in your dining room? Or on the other hand, it can be something much subtler like matching design style, the relation between the lines, shapes and angles. Finding out the way that your chairs match the overall décor of your room should always be the first step in finding a matching dining table.
Continuity or contrast?
Interior design is not an exact science, it is much more art than something that can be contained within a limited (and limiting) set of rules. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot find many guidelines which will help you define the room for experiment. In décor efforts, stylistic balance can be achieved by continuity of elements just as successfully as with contrasting details. In fact, contrast can be a crucial element of the pursuit of that balance – it can help break the monotony, provide visual interest and catch the attention.
But, when to go for continuity and when for contrast?
In our hypothetical situation of searching for a matching dining table, you might first want to look into the types of relations your chair set is establishing with the space. For example, if you decided to go for a more care-free style with a set of different chairs – maybe they are made out of different materials or are the same model in different colours – then your perfect dining table shouldn’t add more contrast. You should instead focus on the simplistic and relatively uniform and subtle designs that will provide some much needed calmness into vivid world of colours and textures that your mixed and matched dining chair set is creating.
On the other hand, if you have a more conventional set of one model of dining chairs in same colour, you have much more space to work with. But even then, too much of a contrast can cause a problem. You shouldn’t forget that a dining table is a very big and imposing piece of furniture, no matter how much its form and design might be reducing its visual footprint. It will matter.
So, for example, if you have a set of Wishbone chairs in a brighter type of wood such as ash, getting a dark and heavy-looking dining table might not be the best idea unless you can connect it with, for example, dark floor. In that situation, the table won’t stand out, but will allow attention to be focused on the chair set, maintaining elegant contrast without disrupting the balance. But, opting for a dark table in a bright room with bright chair can instead create the sensation of mess and clutter.
The use of texture
What we mentioned above mostly translates into working with solid colours or wood which doesn’t have too prominent wood grain texture. But when we bring texture into play, the things change somewhat. For example, bright Wishbone chairs in oak which has somewhat pronounced wooden texture can work well with a walnut table – despite it being much darker than oak chairs, it will bring a prominent and elegant texture that will provide contrast without the sensation of clutter and without disturbing the balance ensured by the wooden texture.
Simplicity is the key
Many novice interior designers make a very common rookie mistake of trying to make every piece unique and imposing – this is something that is hard to be achieved and even so, it is more likely to create a huge mess and clutter than a stylish space. Accent pieces should be limited, but the same goes for expressive elements. So if you have a set of dining chairs that are expressive and attention-grabbing in themselves, it wouldn’t make much sense to go for a table that is heavily ornamented, large or imposing. Simplicity can be the key.
In fact, even if you are a complete beginner in the field of interior design, you can use this formula to make your ideas work most of the time. Choosing the matching table can be as easy as going for simple elegance – a wooden surface with minimalist or industrial style base can work lovely with many different chairs and in many different décor styles. Just keep in mind to ensure proper balance between continuity and contrast to retain stylistic balance, but simpler designs make this task much easier.
Choosing the right size
If all that has been said above seem a bit too undefined and based on talent, you will be glad to learn that there is a step of choosing the perfect table that comes down to numbers. We are talking about, of course, choosing the size of the table. There are two considerations here – the number of chairs in your set and the size of your dining room.
The first one is self-explanatory – by knowing the width of your chairs you can easily determine the minimal table size that will allow you to fit them all without issues – and don’t forget to factor in certain spacing between the chairs too!
Dimensions of the room are used in somewhat more different way – it is generally agreed that there should be a table to wall clearance of minimum of 100 centimetres and ideally 120 centimetres. Of course, if there is additional kitchen furniture nearby, you should start measuring from where it ends to the edge of the table and looking to ensure the same clearance.
By doing so, you will be well on your way to getting a table that will perfectly fit your home.