You have one year to fix your dining room before next Thanksgiving. I am going to walk you through it in baby steps. Let’s start with dining chairs. Yes, I said the chairs, not the table. Read on to find out why.

Great fall tablescape from market by Lindsey Coral Harper.

Are your current dining chairs in good shape? Are they dated? Stain-splattered? Frankly, are they comfortable? Did you inherit  Aunt Lucille’s dining set and just plop it into your dining room to take up the space? I see this ALL the time. I walk in to a beautiful, well-appointed foyer. I turn to the left, and there it is….the formal dining room with an “antique” dining set that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the home.  It’s just a space saver for when the owners “finish” the rest of the house and finally get to decorating the room they use the least.

The reason this room is used the least is simple! It has the oldest, dreariest furniture in the house in it! Who wants to sit on a rickety chair with an uncomfortable back and dark fabric that was selected to “hide stains”???

Start with the dining chairs. Get the seating right and you will be surprised how often you use the space. I found some great new options at market this fall, and I will be using them in upcoming projects.

First up is a fully upholstered dining chair I am using for a client in their Mt. Pleasant dining room. Of course, I will change the fabric. In fact, I am using a Thibaut fabric on the back that is super tightly woven, so no cat scratches on the furniture! I am using a different Thibaut fabric on the inside of the chair. It’s a performance fabric that can take lots of spills ( including red wine) and make them disappear!

Here is the chair empty:

And here I am sitting in it, so the client can get an idea of proportion.

Another fabulous feature of this chair is IT IS ON ROLLERS. So, it glides so easily to push back from the table. AND it has an auto return, so it boomerangs (gently) back to where you found it. No more disarrayed chairs around the table. I love it! It also has a cane back option shown here:

One more thing I love about this chair is it looks like a club chair. You can easily pop them into a living room when you need more seating, and it won’t look weird. Like when you go to a party and they have all the dining chairs lined up around the room to add seating. This chair will enhance your living room design, not detract from it.

Thibaut dining chairs are just simply the best. Thibaut Fine Furniture makes each piece to order. Everything is custom to my specifications. I can change the fabric, the welt, the finish, the seat firmness, and more. I can add ferrules or casters. Several different nailhead finishes are available. And it is all so beautifully executed. Thibaut Fine Furniture is furniture you keep for life. I can’t say more.

Here is one of my favorite Thibaut dining chairs. The fabric is Crypton performance, so no worries about stains. It is Thibaut Ashbourne Tweed in Royal Blue:

Another of my favorite Thibaut dining chairs is up next. Notice the welting down the back, both inside and out. I would do this chair in a contrast welt, so you can really appreciate the detail work of the welting. It’s gorgeous. Again, I would add ferrules for some bling on the leg, and I would add a caster if I needed easier push back in the space.  The fabric shown is Cadence in Flax and it’s a Crypton fabric, too!

Here’s the back:

Using a great Thibaut or Anna French fabric on a good quality import chair is a great alternative if  you are on a budget. This chair is surprisingly comfortable because the pitch of the back is correct. It’s from one of my favorite vendors. They are  based in North Carolina, but they partner with a family-owned production line in Vietnam. This version sports Thibaut Luxe Weave in Smoke on the seat and piping. The back is Thibaut Anna French Deilen Slate on Linen.

And in a different fabric combination:

Remember this?  A bit of a throwback to a breakfast dining space I did in 2007. Yep, 12 years ago. Now, these colors are back strong. The warm gold and reds were huge at market. Virtually every item in this photo was “on trend” at market, except the wall color. Which of course, the clients painted a few years back. Other than the wall color, it all still works…I loved working with this client. They were great!

Get the dining chairs right and then let’s work on the table. When you find the chairs you love, the dining table will be much easier to choose.

Click here for Step 2: Top 10 Dining Tables

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