By Kelly O’Roark
When it comes to designing a dining room, the table and chairs are the stars of the show, and choosing the perfect set is the key to creating a warm, inviting, visually-appealing space. While many dining room tables come with chairs, you might already have a table that you love, but want a different chair style to enhance the aesthetics of the room or the comfort factor of the seating area. Whether you’re on the hunt for new modern chairs or vintage upholstered ones, it’s important to make sure that the chairs will fit in with your current table, not just from a style aspect, but also a literal one. Dining table chair size is as equally as important as the design and comfort factors, and needs to be taken into consideration before you purchase new chairs.
Ideal dining chair dimensions can be determined by these five basic measurements, which will help you create a ‘match made in heaven’ between your beloved dining room table and newly-appointed chairs:
1. Measure the Seat Height
When determining the best size chair for your dining room table, the seat height is the first, and most important, measurement on the list. You’ll want to make sure that the chairs not only fit underneath the table but provide enough legroom as well. To figure out the best chair-table combination, you’ll need to use the same formula that’s used when choosing the ideal kitchen table height. First, you need to measure the height of the dining room table. This particular table falls within the standard range, as it stands 30.5 inches from the ground.
The ideal amount of legroom between a kitchen or dining room table and the seat is 12 inches, and since this dining room table is approximately 30 inches tall, the ideal seat height should be 18 inches from the ground.
2. Measure the Seat Width
Since 18 inches is a standard dining chair height (although you can give or take an inch or two and it’ll still be considered standard), there were a lot of options when it came to choosing a set of chairs. However, before selecting these particular chairs, it was also important to determine the width and depth of the seat to ensure that the chairs would fit all the way underneath the table, and also leave enough space in between each chair on the sides of the table.
3. Measure the Seat Depth
Just as the typical seat height for a dining chair is about 16 to 18 inches, the standard dining chair width and depth are also approximately 16 to 18 inches, although some can be slimmer or shallower to fit in with a smaller table. These seats are 18 inches wide at the widest point and 17 inches deep, and with this particular dining table, they fit all the way underneath the table, and there’s plenty of space between each chair so that guests aren’t bumping elbows while they wine and dine.
4. How to Measure for the Ideal Chair Back Height
Now that we’ve determined the top three practical measurements, it’s time to move onto the last two measurements which determine comfort. Not only is it important to find chairs that complement the space in relation to the table, but it’s also important that your guests are comfortable when sitting for extended periods of time. When it comes to chair back height, you’ll want to find chairs that aren’t so low that they’re digging into the shoulder blades, yet not so high that they’re hitting the base of the neck.
To hit that sweet spot, the chair back height should be 20 to 22 inches. Having an upholstered or cushioned back will add another dimension of relaxation. However, the height makes or breaks the overall comfort level by providing sufficient back support.
5. How to Measure for the Best Armrest Height
Last, but not least, you may want chairs at the head and foot of the table (or all the way around) that have armrests, and you want to make sure that they’re at a comfortable level just like the chair back. Since the ideal chair back is 20 to 22 inches high, the best height for an armrest is 7 to 9 inches. This height allows guests to rest their elbows while eating without their arms being too high above the table.
While most dining chairs will fall into the aforementioned standard measurement ranges, it’s always a good idea to measure your table’s height, length, and width before shopping for chairs to ensure that the table allows plenty of room for the chairs that suit your design style. When it comes to choosing the right size table and chairs, your measuring tape is your best friend!
Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party or need extra seating for your weekend family brunch, your guests will feel right at home in the dining chairs that were perfectly selected thanks to your creative eye and some simple math.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark