Do you have that fear of taking home some new item, only to discover it isn’t what you originally hoped for? We hear you. New Zealanders take a lot of pride in their homes and its more than disappointing when you’ve swiped your credit card and not obtained exactly what you want. Even with the humble dining chair, there is so many aspects to consider, from looks, to comfort, to how it fits in with the rest of your dining room.

Does this mean you have to spend weeks of endlessly scrolling the internet and dropping in and out of furniture stores to evaluate every possible option? Absolutely not. In fact, the information you need could be right in front of you. Once you’ve got an understanding of some common styles and reconciled that with your needs and the style of your home, the next thing you know, you could be gathered with family and friends around a mouth-watering feast, in the most gorgeous, comfortable, perfect dining chairs.


The Main Styles of Dining Chairs 

Ranging from ancient designs to new, contemporary creations, dining room chair styles are vast and various. Designs have evolved over time with many different types of dining chair backs available, such as solid back, slatted back, ladderback, low back, cross back, wingback and padded back dining chairs, and also different materials used, including wood, metal, and plastic. Depending on your personal taste, you might want to look at antique dining chair styles, classic dining chair designs, modern dining chair styles or Scandinavian or coastal style dining chairs. Or maybe, you’re a business owner looking for café style dining chairs. Whatever it is that you need, you can be assured that there is a dining table chair design for you and we’re going to break down some of these styles below, and make some recommendations to help you decide.

Antique Dining Chair Styles 

Do you frequent second-hand shops and garage sales or have a home filled with antique heirlooms? Some age-old dining chairs, with their ornate and intricate designs may complement your home perfectly. Not so easy to come by these days, you may be able to pick one up at an antique store or find something from your elderly relative’s attic and incorporate it into your dining room for a unique look, full of character.

Traditional Dining Chair Styles

Nordic Dining Chairs

Traditional dining chairs don’t quite have the age of antiques, but their design is still rooted in traditional principles. Popular traditional styles include slatted back chairs- like our NordicCharlton and Ferngrove dining chairs, traditional farmhouse styles like the ladderback- see the La Resta Dining Chair, or for those who like something a bit more grand- upholstered chairs like the Billie Chair are a classic choice.

Modern Dining Chair Styles

Bruno Dining Chairs

Modern dining chairs are generally quite minimalistic and have less of the fancy details found on ancient and traditional dining chairs. Slim-legged designs like the Neo, Charleston and Heron are popular modern styles, as are the cleans lines of chairs like the Metro Padded Back Dining Chair.

Café Style Dining Chairs

Barclay Barstools

Café chairs can vary a lot depending on the vibe and quality of the café, but they do need to be very sturdy and durable. For cafes channeling chic French eateries, the French bistro chair is a popular choice, like the indoor/outdoor Gina Chair, shown below, which is available in black, white, and teal PP plastic. Styles like the Ohope Dining Chair suit cafes well as they don’t take up a lot of space and with a leather or polyester fabric, they’re super easy to clean. A restaurant may prefer the comfort of the padded Terry Dining Chair. For cafes with bar areas, our Coastwood bar stools or bar chairs are a great option.

Coastal Style Dining Chairs

Gavardo Dining Chairs

Many coastal style dining chairs are made from natural materials such as light woods or finished in white stains or paints. With many seaside homes in NZ, coastal dining chairs are a great choice, like our La Resta, Gavardo or Tiffany Dining Chairs. Dining chairs made from white ash timber also look great in coastal homes- like our Bruno Dining Chair.


How to Choose a Dining Chair 

So what type of dining chair is best for you? Firstly, your dining chairs should match the style of your interior. This doesn’t mean they have to be the same as your dining table or even the same as each other, but they should coordinate with the overall look in your room. Antique styles will suit an 1800s period home but for newer houses, more contemporary styles are probably a better fit.  

Don’t forget about comfort- some dinners can go on for hours! Find a dining chair with a dished or padded seat if you typically sit in your dining chairs for longer periods. Also, think about how many dining chairs you need and how many will fit in your space. Some dining chairs are quite bulky whereas other- often modern styles- are more slimline so will fit more easily in tight spaces.

Finally, ensure the chair you choose is made from a sturdy material and if it’s sustainable, that’s even better- making solid wood dining chair styles an obvious choice. We have many wooden dining chair options and the best part- the finish colour and fabric can be customised to create exactly the dining chair you want.




Want to know what makes a dining chair comfortable or uncomfortable OR how many dining chairs you can fit around your table? Read our ultimate guide to choosing dining furniture next.