Mismatched Dining Chairs Do’s And Don’ts

Mismatched Dining Chairs Do’s And Don’ts

By now, you’ve likely heard about the mismatched dining chairs trend. It’s a quirky take on a classic dining room look! Whilst having everything perfectly matched is the epitome of neatness, mismatched dining chairs are a great—and often cost-effective—way to add visual variance to any room. But here’s the thing: you have to get it right.

Much like organised chaos or deliberately mismatched socks, mismatched dining chairs are a conscious choice. This isn’t a case of throwing any old chairs together. Unlike an ugly patchwork quilt, your mismatched chairs should be visually pleasing and complementary. They should offset their environment (and sometimes each other) in a way that enhances your space.

Done poorly, mismatched furniture will clash in a discordant mess. So how do you arrange the pieces to work in perfect harmony? Here are some do’s and don’ts concerning the mismatched chair trend. Does any of this strike a chord with you?


When it comes to mismatched dining chairs, the one thing you will want to match is the heights. You can change up the colours, the styles, and even the shapes—but you want to keep an even playing field. Chairs should be as comfortable to look at as they are to sit in—and one-size-fits-all sure is easy on the eyes.


Captain’s chairs are those end chairs you use to top and tail a dining table. They’re traditionally reserved for the ‘heads of the household’. When choosing captain’s chairs, you want to choose something that stands out against the others, and yet still pays homage to them. There is overlap here between the mismatched chairs trend and selecting accent chairs. Hint: if you’re choosing two captain’s chairs, you’ll want a matching set. They will be ‘mismatched’ only when compared with the default dining chairs.

Either of our Gallery Dining Chairs would make excellent captain’s chairs. Image: 1825 Interiors

Although your captain’s chairs can occupy more space horizontally, ensure their height does not eclipse that of the others. From a practical perspective, do you really want to elevate yourself beyond the reach of the food?


Finding the perfect mismatched chair combination is a delicate balance. On the one hand, you want chairs from the same colour theme, but you also want to deviate a few notches away from striking similarity. Choose chairs too alike and people may assume you’re compensating for what was supposed to be a perfectly matched dining set.

To keep things consistent, keep either the colour(s) or shape(s) in a similar ballpark. For example, if you’re working with a timber dining set, you may wish to add some chairs in a slightly darker tone. Alternatively, if you’re going for the more complementary look, you can alternate between chairs on opposite ends of the colour spectrum. A great example of this is the monochromatic look, which is common in modern interior design. Why not turn your table into a chess board with pieces evenly distributed in black and white?

French Cross Dining Chairs: same-same but different. Image: 1825 Interiors

If you’re feeling adventurous, choose chairs in bold colours where the relationship is less obvious. When done correctly, red, blue, and purple can be a dynamite combination. Sure, the colours are striking, but they work because they are a study in purple—in both its whole and deconstructed form.


Why are we recommending chairs from the same colour theme when they’re supposed to be mismatched? Because if you choose chairs with no thematic link whatsoever, you’ll find yourself in ‘ugly patchwork quilt’ territory again. Go too eclectic and will look like you’ve thrown together whatever you can find from hard rubbish. It’s that simple.


Let’s return to the example of captain’s chairs. As the furniture equivalent of bookends, these accent pieces are those ornate flourishes that hold everything together—at least, from a visual perspective. This is your licence to experiment with shape and style! When making your choices, remember to choose shapes and styles that complement the overall aesthetic. For example, a pair of wingback chairs may elevate an elegant dining room to something rather regal. Are these captain’s chairs or thrones fit for a king?!

If you’re working with either cushioned or upholstered two-toned chairs, take inspiration from the plush seats. Is their colour consistent with the rest of the chair? Are these softer seats visible at a glance? For a harmonious arrangement, choose captain’s chairs that reflect the auxiliary tone of the others. This is a great tip that gives you a freer reign to change up the shape. If you’re wondering why this is, it’s because colour-matched chairs will link back to the others regardless of form. Echoing shape will not be so critical.


Similar to our point about colours with no thematic link, our advice regarding shapes and materials is to experiment without deviating into a collage. Although eclectic arrangements are the mark of postmodernism, take it too far and you’re in the territory of hard rubbish collections and ugly patchwork quilts once again. For example, don’t pair plain timber chairs with a formal dining room set. Furniture that screams ‘give me the simple life’ is charming in its own right, but it doesn’t speak to the elegance and craftsmanship of 19th-century upholstery or cross-back detailing.

The Palm Grove Dining Chair and the Kingston Dining Chair are great on their own, but they don’t really go together. Image: 1825 Interiors


We’ve covered a lot of do’s and don’ts regarding the mismatched dining chairs trend. Ultimately, though, it all boils down to this advice: embrace creativity whilst colouring within the lines. If you colour outside the lines, mindfulness colouring becomes mindless. However, if you stick with the structure, you’ll have a mandala of colours that work together to create something magical. It’s the same with mismatched dining chairs. You’re not throwing anything together to see what works. You’re curating an assortment of styles that bring out the best in one another, like yin and yang.

If you’re keen to try the mismatched dining chairs trend, why not explore our catalogue? We have a gorgeous assortment to choose from, ranging from simple cross-back designs to comfortable upholstery. Equipped with our advice, why not go forth and see what mismatched combination matches your dining room? We have a beautiful selection.

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