- What width should my dining chairs be in order to seat the proper amount of people at my table?
- What depth should my chairs be to allow people to move around the table?
- What height should the seats of my chairs be?
- Do I want my chairs to be upholstered on the seat and/or the back?
Before I get into details, I must stress that I highly recommend you select your dining table before or at the same time as the chairs. You need to know the size and style of table you want before being able to effectively select chairs.
The actual width of a dining chair typically varies between about 16 and 20 inches. But since the person sitting in the chair also takes up space, you need to allow a certain amount of space in between the side chairs so that each person has room to sit comfortably. It's a good idea to allow 6 inches between each side chair. If the table is rectangular, it's advisable to leave an extra 12 inches at the end of each side to avoid interfering with those sitting at the ends of the table.
Chair depth can vary more than the width - the key to ensuring comfort here is to make sure you have at least 36 inches of space between your dining table and any wall or other piece of furniture, so that people can slide chairs back and walk around the table without hitting obstructions.
When considering chair seat height, allow 12 inches between the seat and the tabletop to give adequate room for people's legs. Keep in mind that the standard height for a dining table is roughly 30 inches.
The issue of whether to get upholstered chairs - and what they should be upholstered with - is a very important one and in order to make it, you need to think about what type of stains, wear, and so on your chairs might be exposed to.
Non-upholstered chairs don't incorporate a fabric or leather cover; you will be sitting directly on and against material such as wood, metal, or acrylic. These chairs are usually easy to clean - you can simply wipe them down. But because your body is resting directly against the surface, you may not find these chairs as comfortable.
Fully upholstered chairs would be those where both the seat and the back incorporate a fabric or leather cushion. These chairs are often more comfortable than non-upholstered chairs but they can be harder to clean, especially in the case of fabric.
Some chairs incorporate upholstery only on the seat and not on the back. These chairs have more of a balance between comfort and ease of maintenance, but if your back needs extra support you may find these chairs are not for you.
A little careful thought about the dimensions and the upholstery you want in your dining chairs will help you make an informed decision.